No. 11/05

Welcome to FAO’s NWFP-Digest-L, a free e-mail journal that covers all aspects of non-wood forest products. Back issues of the Digest may be found on FAO's NWFP home page: www.fao.org/forestry/site/12980/en

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PRODUCTS

1. Agarwood trade

2. Bamboo attracts global audience

3. Bamboo cloth: A novel functional textile from bamboo-charcoal yarn

4. Bamboo in Cuba

5. Bamboo in India: bamboo units to generate 8000 jobs

6. Brazil nut farmers crack forest conservation in the tropical Andes

7. Brazil nut: Felling trees is prohibited; and the Para Nut tree dies standing

8. Honey in Zambia: Honey goes to waste in Mufumbwe

9. Medicinal plants in Scotland: Bog myrtle (Myrica gale.)

10. Medicinal plants in the USA: Appalachian Center for Ethnobotanical Studies

11. Medicinal plants in Vietnam: Melanoma discovery

12. Moss is a cash crop for mountain people in the USA

13. Mushrooms and medicines: Fungi 'antibiotics' for superbugs

14. Mushrooms and medicines: Mushrooms hide magic in Australia’s forests

15. Mushrooms in Canada: Cash crops from the forest floor

16. Seabuckthorn: product development in India

COUNTRY INFORMATION

17. Gambia: Selling forest products to improve livelihoods

18. Malaysia: Global significance of Malaysian mangroves

19. Tanzania bans export of unprocessed sandalwood

20. Vietnam: Southern mangrove forest – great potential for ecotourism

NEWS

21. AIDS and herbs: Zimbabweans hit by 'herbs craze'

22. AIDS and frogs: Frogs may help in fight against HIV

23. Bushmen's quiver tree threatened by climate change

24. Coalition Against Wildlife Trafficking

25. Course: Erasmus Mundus Masters on Sustainable Tropical Forestry

26. Fabrics with a healing touch

27. 2006 BP Conservation Programme Awards – call for applications

REQUESTS

28. Request for contributions to the next issue of Non-wood News

EVENTS

29. Forest Market (Mercado Floresta)

30. Introducing Community Forestry: Innovative Ideas, Practices and Methodologies

31. Non-timber forest products and managing woodland for wildlife

32. Frontiers in Forest Information: a centenary conference/workshop

33. Plants to cure man and his environment. 2nd International Symposium

34. Spirit of Healing: Traditional Medicine, Fair Trade and Health For All

LITERATURE REVIEW AND WEB SITES

35. Environment and Poverty Times

36. The Overstory: recent issues

37. Women, Forests and Plantations. The Gender Dimension

38. Unasylva: latest issue covers Poplars and willows

39. Other publications of interest

40. Web sites and e-zines

MISCELLANEOUS

41. Chopsticks: National standards for disposable chopsticks issued

42. Christmas tree growers in Pennsylvania, USA benefit from IPM

43. Daffodils to help beat dementia

44. Poll: Ginkgo is firm favourite

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PRODUCTS

1. Agarwood trade

Source: AME Info - United Arab Emirates, 12 October 2005

Trade monitoring network Traffic is appealing for UAE and Omani oud experts to help document the trade in agarwood. Traffic and the WWF are trying to record the changes to the agarwood trade brought by the 1970s oil boom. Information is needed on the local market, culture of use, variety and origin of products, and volume of trade

For full story, please see: http://www.ameinfo.com/69776.html

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2. Bamboo attracts global audience

Source: Calcutta Telegraph - Calcutta, India, 14 October 2005

The bamboo-growing nations of the world are looking towards the Northeast for acquiring bamboo technology.

Delegations from four nations — Bhutan, Cuba, Ghana and Timor Leste — will visit Guwahati in the next six months under the aegis of the Cane and Bamboo Technology Centre (CBTC) to acquire such skills in a bid to develop the bamboo sector back home.

A five-member team from the Royal Bhutan Forest Development Corporation will arrive on Sunday to chalk out modalities for getting their artisans trained in bamboo technology. They will study bamboo plantations and bamboo-processing equipment. Altogether 31 species of bamboo grow in Bhutan, which is probably the largest variety found in any Himalayan country.

Cuba is also rich in bamboo and skills in developing bamboo products would go very well with its tourism promotion policy. Bamboo provides good raw material for making furniture and complementary building materials and new technology, incorporated into existing enterprises, would help to boost tourism. The country is especially interested in acquiring skills in weaving bamboo mats. A two-member technical team from Cuba is expected to arrive next month.

Ghana is interested in cluster development (that is bringing artisans together in common facility centres to develop products) in the bamboo sector and would like to learn from the CBTC experiences.

Timor Leste wishes to upgrade its skills in building bamboo houses. Bamboo grows widely in Timor Leste and can be used for several purposes.

Employment generation is the biggest concern in all these countries and development of the bamboo sector can contribute towards employment.

The CBTC is also starting a basic course for people who want to enter the bamboo trade as craftsmen and then go to higher levels.

The North Eastern Council has chalked out Bamboo 2020, a vision plan for developing the bamboo sector.

For full story, please see: www.telegraphindia.com/1051015/asp/northeast/story_5355012.asp

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3. Bamboo cloth: A novel functional textile from bamboo-charcoal yarn

Source: PR Newswire - New York, NY, USA , 28 September 2005

The emergence of functional textiles as mainstream materials is sparking a revolution in the fashion industry.

A joint project between Taiwan's ITRI (Industrial Technology Research Institute) and Taiwan Paiho is in line with the programs of the 921 Earthquake Post-Disaster Recovery Commission, aiming to revamp the areas devastated by the earthquake. Charcoal is made by carbonizing 4-year old Moso bamboo in traditional soil kilns under very high temperature. It is then ground to nano-scale particles and processed into filament yarns using biochemistry technology.

The bamboo-charcoal filament yarns have been tested by ITRI and Taiwan Textile Research Institute (TTRI) and have shown to have the characteristics of releasing far infrared rays and storing heat. The material has a uniform composition and high porosity, contains abundant minerals, is antimicrobial, deodorizes and even improves blood circulation. Since Taiwan bamboos are blown by strong typhoon winds, they have relatively better firmness and more vascular fiber tissue and thus have increased absorption.

The company has successfully developed products using bamboo-charcoal filament yarns, including woven ribbons (knitting and weaving), fabric for clothing, sportswear, socks, scarves, curtains, partitions, bed linens, shoe soles, and other household goods. In addition, Nike has expressed interest in including the bamboo-charcoal fiber on its 2005 list of designated raw materials.

For full story, please see: http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=104&STORY=/www/story/09-28-2005/0004133781&EDATE=

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4. Bamboo in Cuba

Source: Tierramérica in CFRC Weekly Summary 09/29/05

A project to develop bamboo in Cuba aims to obtain and multiply "in vitro" four species useable as lumber in order to expand its use throughout this Caribbean island. The result will be "the production of laminate wood, artisanal items and the use of its waste as an energy source," Fernando Martirena, deputy director of the Central University de las Villas' structures and materials research and development center.

Some 1,200 hectares will be planted with the support of the Swiss agency for development and cooperation. The plantations come in addition to another 1,000 hectares developed in eastern Cuba.

Bamboo grows in temperate zones of Asia and the Americas, and is known for its structural resistance, lightness and perennial growth. Until now, its utilization in Cuba has been very limited.

For full story, please see: http://tierramerica.net/english/2005/0924/iecobreves.shtml

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5. Bamboo in India: bamboo units to generate 8000 jobs

Source: Calcutta Telegraph - Calcutta, India, 14 October 2005

Mizoram government has decided to set up 10 bamboo chipping units across the state within 90 days with the aim of generating more than 8,000 jobs for unemployed youth. The project, which aims at exploiting the bamboo resources of the state, has been set up at an estimated cost of Rs 7 crore.

“We have already set up the first bamboo pulp unit at Sairang village, which is currently producing 100 metric tonnes of bamboo chips everyday,” said an official. All the bamboo units will be located along the riverine routes and linked to various national highways. Each unit will have more than 900 employees at different levels.

The state has also tied up with the Hindustan Paper Corporation Limited, a central enterprise, for supply of 800 metric tonnes of bamboo chips to the units everyday. The Bamboo Development Agency will provide the necessary machinery for the project.

For full story, please see: http://www.telegraphindia.com/1051015/asp/northeast/story_5354633.asp

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6. Brazil nut farmers crack forest conservation in the tropical Andes

Source: CEPF E-News, September 2005

One hundred and thirty pioneering Brazil nut producers in the Amazonian region of Madre de Dios, Peru recently won formal Brazil nut concessions from the Peruvian National Institute for Natural Resources (INRENA).

The establishment of these concessions effectively ensures legal protection for 225,000 hectares of primary tropical forest in the path of a planned highway connecting Brazil to the Pacific.

Supported by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund, the Amazon Conservation Association (ACA) worked with its Peruvian counterpart, the Asociación para la Conservación de la Cuenca Amazónica, and INRENA to establish formal, long-term contracts with the local producers.

Under these contracts, Brazil nuts are harvested from mapped areas, according to management plans that incorporate the highest standards of sustainable forest management.

Brazil nuts are harvested from natural stands, not plantations, because the trees depend intimately on a complex web of pollinators, seed dispersers, and abiotic conditions. Even short-term productivity therefore depends on managing these natural stands in an ecologically sustainable fashion.

Most of the Brazil nut harvesters in this region are small-scale producers, with stands that are seldom larger than 1,000 hectares. Individually, they were ill-equipped to counter the unsustainable logging that can accompany road construction. But the project has successfully stabilized land tenure in collaboration with other land titling initiatives in the area, while also providing an economically viable and sustainable alternative to logging.

Of the total area, 27,000 hectares of Brazil nut concessions have also been certified - for the first time anywhere - by the Forest Stewardship Council in recognition of producers' adherence to the strictest international standards for forest management.

The result is a benefit for growers, the forests, and consumers seeking to use their purchasing power to support conservation.

The program is already being replicated and extended throughout Madre de Dios, and there is considerable potential for this to be expanded among small-scale Brazil nut producers in Bolivia and Brazil.

A follow up grant is enabling ACA to develop the remaining 300 Brazil nut concessions in Madre de Dios, while further strengthening INRENA's technical capacity to encourage community-based biodiversity conservation and natural resource management.

For more information, please:

Read ACA's final project report just uploaded to our Web site.

Browse the Amazon Conservation Association site.

Contact Bryan Hayum, bhayum@amazonconservation.org, at the Association.

For full story, please see: http://www.cepf.net/xp/cepf/news/newsletter/2005/september_topstory.xml

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7. Brazil nut: Felling trees is prohibited – and the Para Nut tree dies standing

Source: O Estado de S. Paulo, 25 September 2005 (in Amazon News, 29/9/05)

The legal prohibition against felling Para Nut (Bertholletia excelsa) trees, a symbol of Amazonia, creates cemeteries of dead standing trees that cover the Maraba region in south-eastern Para state: all the result of the deforestation of its surroundings. The majority of the trees are what survived both legal and illegal felling.

The area was a Para Nut pole until the 1950s. Today, small saw mills, spread across São Domingos do Araguaia and São Geradlo do Aragquia, continue felling the tree despite the law’s prohibition.

According to a forestry engineer from the Brazilian Institute for the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA), the trees he has found in the area are very young, about 25 years old. Despite their youth, they all show signs of an early death.

The Para Nut tree, under normal conditions, produces fruit continuously and can live up to 500 or 600 years. The surrounding forest is essential for its survival, as it offers protection from the wind, nourishment from the ground and a route for the pollen-making bees to do their job. The progressive removal of forest from around the Para Nut leaves it isolated as its genetic flow is interrupted when pollination does not occur.

Reforestation does not work if other forestry species native to the area are not also planted. “The Para Nut tree is a forest tree. It is useless to protect one without the other”, stated Carlos Peres, an investigator from Belem.

For full story, please see: http://www.amazonia.org.br/english/noticias/noticia.cfm?id=180115

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8. Honey in Zambia: Honey goes to waste in Mufumbwe

Source: Zana - Lusaka, Zambia, 11 October 2005

Tonnes of honey worth millions of kwacha are going to waste in Mufumbwe District in North Western Province because of lack of a market and bee-keepers have since appealed to stakeholders to buy their produce.

Mufumbwe’s Kavipupu ward councillor in Mufumbwe told ZANIS in Solwezi that commercial honey collectors were finding it difficult in securing a market for their honey. He said that 1,500 x20 litre containers of honey were lying in people’s homes, as they were no buyers for the product. He identified places where honey was in abundance as Kavipupu, Kalengwe, Musonwenji and Mushima among other areas where honey collectors were in dire need of buyers for their honey.

For full story, please see: http://www.zana.gov.zm/news/viewnews.cgi?category=5&id=1129102361

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9. Medicinal plants in Scotland: Bog myrtle (Myrica gale)

Source: Edinburgh Evening News - Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, 8 October 2005

Myrica gale, sweet gale, bog myrtle. This shy Scottish plant, well known to our ancestors, is finally taking centre stage again. Bog myrtle is a small deciduous shrub with reddish brown buds that grows in bogs, wet heaths and fens. It used to be common throughout the UK, but as we gradually drained wetlands its habitat was removed and it retreated further north, finally making its home in the Scottish Highlands.

The leaves of this sweet scented plant are resinous and it was used to flavour beer. Another well-known use was as an insect repellent. The bark was hung in wardrobes and stuffed into mattresses to repel fleas.

Recently, a Scottish company has started harvesting this plant to extract the oil, which has insect repelling properties. With £750,000 of commercial and government funding for research into this plant, this has huge commercial potential for the Highlands.

Bog myrtle, like many plants, was thought of as a medicine, and at one time was the standard treatment for scabies. The leaves were made into "gale tea", which was a cold remedy as well as being a useful astringent for upset stomachs.

Belonging to the Myricacea family, there are about 50 species of wax myrtles worldwide. They are nearly all aromatic and have a history of being used as a medicine.

They are found in soaps, stomach remedies and catarrh mixes and can still be found in many herbal dispensaries:

For full story, please see: http://edinburghnews.scotsman.com/opinion.cfm?id=2059952005

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10. Medicinal plants in the USA: Appalachian Center for Ethnobotanical Studies

Source: Newswise, 5 October 2005

In the U.S. alone, medicinal and nutritional herbs are a $4 billion-plus industry, worldwide the figure is at least $20 billion annually. The Appalachian Mountains in Western Maryland and West Virginia support a unique and exceptionally diverse flora, including many plants that have a long history of medicinal use. In recognition of the need to conserve wild native plants, to scientifically explore and understand their true medical efficacy, and to generate economic benefit for the people of the Appalachian region, the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute (UMBI) and Frostburg State University, in collaboration with West Virginia University, have established the Appalachian Center for Ethnobotanical Studies (ACES).

The Appalachian Center for Ethnobotanical Studies is a collaborative, inter-institutional effort devoted to the multidisciplinary study and conservation of native plants and will foster economic growth in the region through the managed development of the area's natural resources. It will work with existing businesses and facilitate the development of new local enterprises to explore the use of regional plants for health-related purposes.

The Center’s goal is to conduct multidisciplinary research and education programs on native plants with potential medicinal properties, conservation of these plants and Appalachian ecosystems as a whole, preservation of Appalachian culture as it relates to the harvesting and traditional use of medicinal plants, and the exploration of economic benefit to the region that may be derived from managed development of botanical resources.

For more information on the Appalachian Center for Ethnobotanical Studies and the conference that took place on 13-14 October 2005 to discuss the collaborative efforts on ethnobotanical studies that integrate bioscience with indigenous herbal medicine practices, wildlife habitats, conservation efforts, cottage industries, and economic development for Central Appalachia, please visit http://www.umbi.umd.edu/nande/EthnobotanySymposium.html

For full story, please see:http://www.newswise.com/articles/view/515093/

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11. Medicinal plants in Vietnam: Melanoma discovery

Source: Press Release: Forest Herbs, 13 October 2005

Researchers at the University of Otago's Wellington School of Medicine are working on a possible treatment for melanoma derived from a Vietnamese herb. The herb came to their attention through an NZAID project that aims to save endangered medicinal plants and develop sustainable incomes for Vietnamese hill tribes, whose people are among the poorest in Asia. NZAID is New Zealand's international aid and development agency.

The company behind the project, Forest Herbs Research Ltd of Nelson, has registered a provisional patent to protect the intellectual property of the project for the benefit of the hill tribes, and is exploring options for commercializing the discovery.

Director of Forest Herbs, Peter Butler said the find was unexpected: "We certainly weren't looking for a cure for cancer," he said. "We went into this aid project three years ago aiming to save rare plants and help these remote villagers - if the Wellington research confirms its early promise we could have a major success that will be a life changer for the poorest farmers around Sa Pa."

Mr Butler said the patent for the melanoma treatment will be assigned to a collective of the hill tribe people in the Sa Pa district, which is near the Chinese border. "The plant with the anti-melanoma properties is a very rare tuber that is found at high altitudes in the forest," he said. "Through the Medicinal Plants Innovation Project (a joint venture between Forest Herbs and International Flora and Fauna from the UK) methods have been developed to propagate and cultivate the plant to protect the wild stock, and to provide a viable base for an industry."

The tuber of the plant Stephania brachyandra has been used traditionally for many purposes, including as a relaxant and sleep aid. However, the findings of its anti-melanoma properties are new. Dr Paul Davis, who heads the Biological Investigation Group (BIG) at the Wellington School of Medicine and Health Sciences, is supervising a series of trials through the rest of this year to corroborate the initial laboratory results.

The Forest Herbs' team in Vietnam has some other exciting prospects among the plants of the northern hills of Sa Pa. The aid project has funded a commercial essential oil still, set up on one of the communes to produce oils from traditional herbs that showed promise in early trials. Mr Butler said that one of these, a fast-growing member of the mint family, Elsholtzia penduliflora, has excellent potential and that traditionally it has been rubbed into sore muscles. There is also demand from international Fair Trade organisations, which will be supplied when production increases.

For full story, please see: http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU0510/S00210.htm

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12. Moss is a cash crop for mountain people in the USA

Source: ENN Daily Newsletter, 17 October 2005

Deep in the forest, miles from anything resembling a town, even logging roads and rutted four-wheeler paths dissolve. It is there that J.P. Anderson spots it: a long-fallen, rotting tree covered in a blanket of brilliant green moss some 2 inches thick and several feet long. Quickly and gently, he rips up a long section of the living carpet and stuffs it into one of eight woven-plastic sacks he'll fill in an hour.

Moss is the all-purpose sponge of the forest, storing water, releasing nutrients and housing tiny critters. But across Appalachia and in the Pacific Northwest, it's more than that. It's a way to make ends meet when jobs are few. Picking is hard work on a hot day. And it pays only about $5 a sack.

What Anderson picks could end up in a floral arrangement or a craft project, maybe even on a movie set. Along the way, it will support more than a dozen jobs, from people who sort it, dry it and package it to those who ship and sell it.

But biologists, businessmen and pickers themselves say the good stuff is getting harder to find -- and the money harder to make.

Moss is not commercially grown, so buyers depend on the wilderness. Some state and national forests, though, have already banned harvesting, worried about what they are losing when moss leaves the ecosystem.

A less ethical picker will strip the logs bare, but Anderson and father James, who have witnessed the devastation of strip mining and clear-cut logging, always leave clumps behind to help the spore-driven plant regenerate. To thrive, it needs moisture, cool temperatures and shade. "You never pick it all," James says. "Not if you want it to grow back again."

How long that takes is a question that has some scientists and U.S. Forest Service officials wrestling with the regulation of this secretive industry, where there are plenty of opinions but few facts.

North Carolina's Pisgah and Nantahala national forests expect to ban moss collection Jan. 1 after studies there indicated a growback cycle "on the order of 15 to 20 years," says botanical specialist Gary Kauffman of the Forest Service. That's twice as long as some veteran pickers and moss buyers think it takes. Though Kauffman agrees the science is still lacking, Pisgah and Nantahala will likely err on the side of caution. That means the forests will be off-limits to the 100-200 pickers a year who typically get permits.

Nationwide, it's hard to tell how many people make a living from moss. Most search out private land, where they go unnoticed and untracked by hunt clubs and logging companies. Nor are all pickers alike. Some are chronically unemployed, living on society's fringe. Some are recreational, filling sacks while hunting or hiking. Some teenagers do it at county fair time, for pocket money.

Sue Studlar, a West Virginia University biologist who has studied the business, argues that overall, moss is "mined, rather than sustainably harvested." Large-scale removal can inadvertently damage other species, from ferns to salamanders. The Monongahela National Forest banned mossing in 2001 until it could study the impact. Two years later, Studlar concluded that picking should be discouraged near limestone cliffs and wet areas, that no log or rock should be stripped bare, and that known "biodiversity hot spots" should be off-limits. But "potentially, if you did it right," moss could be harvested without harming the ecosystem, Studlar says. It falls off in clumps naturally as it regenerates, and pickers could harvest those remnants.

The Monongahela, which covers nearly 1 million acres in West Virginia, may someday restore moss-picking permits. Ecologist Melissa Thomas-Van Gundy says that possibility is not a priority, but she agrees with mossers who say they and others should be allowed to take non-timber products from the forest, including ginseng root and medicinal herbs like goldenseal, before the loggers destroy them.

Pat Muir, a botanist at Oregon State University, figures mossing was an $8.4 million to $33.7 million business in 2003, with anywhere from 4.2 million to 17 million pounds being harvested in the two dominant regions, Appalachia and the Pacific Northwest. Data is hard to come by, and most moss dealers won't share sales figures, but Muir reached her conclusions by interviewing those who would talk, analyzing six years of export data from the U.S. Department of Commerce and making a series of assumptions.

For full story, please see: http://www.enn.com/today.html?id=9039

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13. Mushrooms and medicines: Fungi 'antibiotics' for superbugs

Source: BBC News – UK, 12 October 2005

Scientists believe they may have found powerful new antibiotics in fungi that could fight drug-resistant bacteria. The protein compound or peptide which lives in a fungus found in northern European pine forests is as powerful as penicillin and vancomycin, they say.

When tested in the lab, "plectasin" killed Streptococcus bacteria including strains that are now resistant to conventional antibiotics.

The Danish and US researchers' findings are published in Nature.

For full story, please see: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/4333654.stm

Related story: http://www.newkerala.com/news.php?action=fullnews&id=35300

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14. Mushrooms and medicines: Mushrooms hide magic in Australia’s forests

Source: Hobart Mercury - Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, 2 October 2005

Tasmania's native forests could be a goldmine for new human medicines, says a leading mushroom expert. They may even hold the key to a breakthrough cancer treatment.

University of Tasmania fungi researcher Sapphire McMullan-Fisher said the island's native forests were an untapped resource for new drugs. She said that Tasmania’s forests were full of fungi and mosses with active ingredients which could be useful to medicine.

"But we know practically nothing about these possibilities, so little research is being done," said Ms McMullan-Fisher, who estimates only 40 per cent of Tasmania's native mushrooms have been scientifically named. The other 60 per cent remained a mystery to science.

After 10 years of specialised research into fungi, she said she still often found fungi in Tasmanian forests which she had never seen before. She added that there was a major lack of research into Tasmania's native fungi and in Australian fungi as a whole. "There are about 10 to 15 people Australia-wide studying fungi but there's 2000 Australian scientists investigating plants," she said.

The lack of information about the native fungi had seen bio-prospectors all but ignore them.

In the mid-1990s there was an explosion of research worldwide into potential new drug treatments. Global drug companies ploughed billions into scouring the world's rainforests for potential new drugs. "The bio-prospectors avoided looking into Tasmania's fungus because there was so little known and there was no guarantee they would even know what they were looking at," she said.

Ms McMullan-Fisher said interest in fungi and mosses had particularly waned in the past 30 years. The lack of understanding had serious consequences. She said most forest reserves in Tasmania were based on large plant types and did not take into account fungi and mosses. "These things may be going extinct and we don't even know it," she said.

The level of understanding of native fungi and mosses in Tasmania was 200 years behind the study of larger plants in the state. "Tasmania, as part of the Gondwanaland relic, could be expected to be a hotspot for fungal diversity. There's a lot of work to be done."

Ms McMullan-Fisher said Tasmanian Aborigines probably had a far more in-depth understanding of the island's fungi and which varieties were edible, poisonous or beneficial in medical treatments. "Unfortunately not much remains of what the Tasmanian Aborigines knew because we came in and didn't bother to learn."

Ms McMullan-Fisher has recently moved to Queensland where she is finishing writing up her thesis on fungi and moss communities in the alpine, wet forest, coastal heath and grassy woodland around Hobart. She spent years studying mosses and fungi near Hobart including on Mt Wellington where she said there were up to 500 different species.

For full story, please see: http://www.themercury.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5936,16760375%255E3462,00.html

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15. Mushrooms in Canada: Cash crops from the forest floor

Source: Globe and Mail – Canada, 17 October 2005

As this year's wild-mushroom season gears up, Michel Jansen-Reynaud isn't certain he'll surpass last year's harvest, when he picked 303 pounds between 31 August and 16 December – chanterelles, king boletus, pine, cauliflower and hedgehog mushrooms delivered to restaurants specializing in West Coast cuisine, caterers and fungi connoisseurs. After keeping about five pounds for himself, the rest were sold for $7 to $10 a pound, earning Mr. Jansen-Reynaud, a restaurant manager and wilderness guide, $2,500 tax free. This year's crop doesn't look as promising. "We didn't get rain at the right time," he explains.

B.C.'s wild-mushroom industry is unregulated and unmonitored. Accurate figures don't exist for amounts harvested, dollar values or the number of pickers. Any figures are merely guesses, said Shannon Berch, a soil scientist with B.C.'s Ministry of Forests. Import information from the Japanese embassy in Vancouver is used to make educated guesses about how many tonnes of B.C. fungi are being exported, Ms. Berch said.

But there is one certainty. "There's a ton of stuff coming out of the forest," Ms. Berch said.

Richard Winder, a director of the South Vancouver Island Mycological Society and a research scientist with Victoria's Pacific Forestry Centre, agrees that it's difficult to unearth hard data. But armed with his PhD in botany and plant pathology, Mr. Winder has assembled some tonnage figures. He estimates that in 2004, 200 metric tonnes of morels, 100 metric tonnes of chanterelles and 100 metric tonnes of pine mushrooms were plucked out of B.C. forests. More specifically, Mr. Winder cites the chanterelle industry in northern Vancouver Island where wetter conditions and a longer growing season enable 100 pickers to sell to three buyers for much of the year.

"I'm not sure what that translates into dollars, but it's roughly equivalent of a small mill," he said. "The bottom line is, it is an important sector in the non-timber forest-products sector. We are famous for it out here."

The B.C. government has been asked repeatedly for funds to determine how many wild-mushroom dollars -- and how much lost tax revenue -- are being sliced out of the forests. "It's an unresolved issue," Ms. Berch said.

For full story, please see: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/ArticleNews/TPStory/LAC/20051017/BCMUSHROOMS17/TPNational/Canada

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16. Seabuckthorn: product development in India

Source: GreaterKashmir.com (press release) - Srinigar, India, 3 October 2005

FIL Industries today announced the launch of Ladakh berry (also known as seabuckthorn - Hippophae rhamnoides) under FRUITFIL, the umbrella brand of the Food and Beverage Division of FIL Industries Limited.
Developed in technical collaboration with the DRDO - Defence and Research Development Organization – the Ladakh Berry is widely known for its quality of sprucing up human energy. “It is for this quality that the product is regularly supplied to the army at high altitudes like Siachen,” he said adding that the berry increases the toleration towards extreme cold. “The berries contain over 100 nutrients vital for body functions.

The sea buckthorn – a deciduous shrub that wildly grows in Ladakh – is highly stress-resistant as it contains vitamins C, E, beta-carotene and flavonoids. It serves as an anti-oxidant slowing the ageing and improving memory and is, therefore, beneficial.

The Field Research Laboratory (FRL) of the DRDO has been researching the seabuckthorn for the last five years, Selvamurthy added.
For full story, please see: http://www.greaterkashmir.com/full_story.asp?ItemID=10253&cat=5

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COUNTRY INFORMATION

17. Gambia: Selling forest products to improve livelihoods

Source: FAO Newsman, 7 September 2005

Poor communities in the Gambia are now earning regular income by selling forest products, thanks to an FAO programme that helps communities to build up markets for local products.

In a pilot area of 26 villages suffering extreme poverty, people learned about the potential value of forest products and how they could be marketed more successfully.

Villagers interested in marketing forest products have set up their own businesses and organized themselves in producer associations to sell honey, logs, fuelwood, mahogany posts, handicrafts and palm oil on nearby markets. They are also making additional income from tree nurseries and ecotourism.

"Before the start of the project, villagers had not explored the market potentials of handicrafts made of Rhun palm leaves, because they did not have the practical skills or market knowledge. Now they are selling products such as chairs, tables, lampshades, baskets and beds made of these leaves," said Sophie Grouwels, an FAO community forestry expert.

In the Gambia, forests were deteriorating at an alarming rate partly due to the state-controlled forest management approach, which ignored the local population. Therefore, in the 1990s, the Gambian government introduced community forestry, giving ownership to the communities, in an attempt to improve forest management. Despite this change, the communities still did not have many incentives to conserve the forests until the programme was introduced.

"In the past, when people from the village saw bushfires, we only protected the village but didn't care if the entire forest burned. We thought it didn't matter because regardless of what happened, the government would take whatever was there. Now, we know things are different. If we see a fire five kilometres away, we go and see where it is and where it is going. We don't let our forests burn," said Modu Jarju from one of the villages.

"People who used to shun managing forests or exploited them, are now asking for more forests to own and manage in order to earn more income," said Grouwels.

Communities that used to sell a truckload of fuelwood at around US$50 prior to their involvement in the FAO project are now selling the same amount of wood at around US$700 after having organized themselves in a producer federation.

"Given the success of this project, FAO hopes its methodology will be applied in other parts of the Gambia and other countries," Grouwels said.

The project is funded by the Government of Norway.

For full story, please see: http://www.fao.org/newsroom/en/news/2005/107439/index.html

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18. Malaysia: Global significance of Malaysian mangroves

Source: Malaysia Star – Malaysia, 18 October 2005

Mangroves are a diverse group of predominantly trees, shrubs, palms and ground ferns, which have adapted to extreme saline conditions between the tides. They grow along parts of the country’s coastline and in sheltered estuaries, deltas and lagoons.

Malaysian mangroves are of global biodiversity significance – they harbour 41 mangrove species, or two-thirds of the world’s total. Some rare species that have very restricted distribution such as Sonneratia griffithii, Bruguiera hainessi, Aegiceras floridum, Osbornia octodonta, Algaia cucullata, Heritiera formes and Heritiera globosa are at risk of localised extinction as there are no significant efforts to conserve them.

Mangroves are important for:

• Shoreline protection. Mangroves stabilise shorelines, prevent coastal erosion and act as a buffer against storm surges and strong winds.

• Coastal fisheries: Mangroves provide feeding, breeding and nursery ground for many commercially important fish, prawns, crabs and shellfish.

• Biodiversity: Mangroves are habitats for marine life, birds, animals and plants.

• Socio-economic well-being: Mangroves can be harvested for logs, tannin, honey, herbal medicines and food.

• Tourism: Mangrove ecotourism provides a source of revenue.

For full story, please see: http://thestar.com.my/lifestyle/story.asp?file=/2005/10/18/lifefocus/12218662&sec=lifefocus

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19. Tanzania bans export of unprocessed sandalwood

Source: East African - Nairobi, Kenya, 10 October 2005

Tanzania has banned the export of unprocessed sandalwood trees. The ban was imposed by the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Mrs Zakia Meghji.

The minister's action followed press reports in recent months that the highly-priced tree was being harvested indiscriminately and exported to Europe, the Middle East and Asia, especially India where sandalwood is widely used to manufacture expensive perfumes.

Mrs Meghji directed all institutions charged with protecting Tanzania's natural resources, including the Tanzania National Parks Authority (Tanapa), to intensify anti-poaching patrols in national parks where the tree is illegally harvested. The minister also said stricter laws would be introduced to regulate trade in the tree, and ensure that only crude oil extracted from the tree can be exported.

The head of protection at Manyara National Park said middlemen who have valid permits and licenses to export the tree's products have been sending poachers into the park to harvest the tree.

The tree fetches up to $15,000 per tonne. Hundreds of containers of all sizes are believed to have been shipped out in recent years.

Poaching of the tree in national parks follows its depletion in areas where harvesting is allowed by the Ministry of Natural Resources. However, the ministry only permits the cutting of the tree's trunk from selected forests and not the uprooting of the entire stem.

The ministry's guidelines have been largely ignored. Several cubic metres of the tree worth millions of shillings were intercepted last year in various places including inside national parks in Arusha and the surrounding townships. Recently, four containers of the logs were impounded at Dar es Salaam port.

Sandalwood poachers gain entry into the park from Bugeri, Kansai and Ayalalio villages in Karatu, Arusha region, and Mayoka village in Manyara region. A number of people have been arrested and have either been given short sentences or fined. Village leaders in Karatu had asked the government to limit export of the tree as it faces possible extinction, in parks.

An official at the Arusha Regional Forestry Secretariat confirmed that sandalwood is one of the 12 nationally protected trees. It was upgraded to the class A level of highly valued tree species last year to protect it from extinction. "Despite government recognition of the need to protect the tree, smuggling now threatens its existence," he said adding, "It is a serious matter now that smugglers are harvesting it in national parks."

Apart from making perfumes, sandalwood is also an ingredient in lotions, soaps and candles. Mashed into a paste, it is also used in folk medicine and spread on the skin to purify the complexion and heal rashes.

For full story, please see: http://www.nationmedia.com/eastafrican/current/News/Regional1010200513.htm

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20. Vietnam: Southern mangrove forest – great potential for ecotourism

Source: NhanDan Online, 30 September 2005

Not only as a solid levee, the southern mangrove forest, is also a “sea of fish.” Birds in the forest are countless, let alone venomous snakes that are more precious than gold. This is a great potential to develop tourism in the region.

The coastal area of Nam Cam is covered with mangrove forests. The mangrove tree (Rhizophora mucronata of the Rhizophoraceae family) grows naturally; its leaves are thick and ever green and it has fruit that sticks straight up to the sky.

There are many forests, rivers and canals in the southernmost province of Ca Mau. Rivers are snaking through mangrove trees. Canals criss-cross amid mangrove trees grown thickly on the banks of rivers and canals. Sitting on a small boat, tourists can thread their way in the mangrove forest for the whole day without being able to see the sun.

Having grown into a forest, almost no other grasses or trees can live near mangrove trees because its roots come out of its trunk and stick down to mud into a root sole; therefore, mangrove stands firmly in the mud. In Ca Mau, no-one has seen mangrove tree’s roots plucked despite strong wind and big waves around the year.

The height of mangrove trees depends on the land. In Mui Ngoc of Quang Ninh province where the mud is one metre thick, the tree is only several metres high but in Ca Mau, the tree is even 30 metres high in the 20-metre thick mud.

The residents in the southernmost region use mangrove wood to make houses and build roads, as well as to build bridges over rivers and canals. Mangrove cover can be tanned or used as a kind of medicine to cure anaemia.

Mangrove trees help prevent sea waves, protect levees and prevent hurricanes. The forest has a great potential to develop eco-tourism and is a place scientists can study the nature.

For full story, please see: http://www.nhandan.com.vn/english/travel/300905/south.htm

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NEWS

21. AIDS and herbs: Zimbabweans hit by 'herbs craze'

Source: Zimbabwe Standard (Harare), 9 October 2005

A "herbs craze" has hit Zimbabwe. Forget about the much talked about anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs) and the conventional drugs and medicines, many Zimbabweans now prefer herbs to medicinal drugs.

The more imaginative have called this craze "Operation Moringa", after the popular healing plant, Moringa. The Moringa tree is said to have amazing healing powers for many ailments and is found in abundance in the Binga area of Zimbabwe.

Due to the high costs of conventional medicines or perhaps disappointment with modern pharmacology products, many - HIV positive or even negative people - are increasingly making herbs and traditional medicines a part of their lifestyles, according to research by authoritative bodies such as the Scientific and Research Development Centre (SIRDC).

The "herb craze" has also been attributed to media reports that have profiled some people living with HIV and AIDS (PLWAs) attributing their good health to the use of certain herbs or traditional medicines.

The use of herbs and traditional medicines is also becoming a common intervention in the fight against the Aids scourge. Quite a large number of communities, especially in rural areas, are developing herbal and nutrition gardens to assist those infected by HIV. However, according to experts, it is important that people have clear guidelines to help them administer herbs and other traditional medicines. It is important also that HIV-positive people have information on the possible side effects of each and every herb they are handling. They must also know how to deal with the side effects, should they arise.

Most communities running herbal gardens are being trained and funded by NGOs involved in anti-Aids work. It is important for the NGOs to equip these communities with all the necessary knowledge to run such projects correctly and professionally.

This was the background to a recent one-day seminar organised by the National Aids Council where researchers and experts in herbal therapy concurred that herbs are proving an effective method of managing diseases but must be handled with caution. The experts warned people using herbs to be wary of possible side effects, especially when used together with modern medicines and ARVs.

Dr Orseline Carelse from SIRDC said the country should work hard to safeguard communities from the side effects and uncontrolled wholesale use of herbs. Carelse said although both herbal and modern medicines have side effects, the latter's effects are well documented and known with clear procedures to follow in cases of a reaction or allergies. Carelse said it was therefore imperative that the same measures be taken to ensure the proper use of herbs and traditional medicines.

For full story, please see: http://allafrica.com/stories/200510090247.html

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22. AIDS and frogs: Frogs may help in fight against HIV

Source: Leigh MacMillan, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, 1 October 2005 (in Mongabay.com – USA)

A new weapon in the battle against HIV may come from an unusual source -- a small tropical frog. Investigators at Vanderbilt University Medical Center reported this month in the Journal of Virology that compounds secreted by frog skin are potent blockers of HIV infection.

The findings could lead to topical treatments for preventing HIV transmission, and they reinforce the value of preserving the Earth's biodiversity.

"We need to protect these species long enough for us to understand their medicinal cabinet," said Louise A. Rollins-Smith, Ph.D., associate professor of Microbiology & Immunology, who has been studying the antimicrobial defences of frogs for about six years. Frogs, she explained, have specialized granular glands in the skin that produce and store packets of peptides, small protein-like molecules. In response to skin injury or alarm, the frog secretes large amounts of these antimicrobial peptides onto the surface of the skin to combat pathogens like bacteria, fungi and viruses.

Rollins-Smith happens to have the laboratory next door to Derya Unutmaz, M.D., associate professor of Microbiology & Immunology. During a hallway chat one day, the two decided it would be interesting to investigate whether any frog peptides have activity against human viruses, specifically HIV, the focus of Unutmaz's group.

Postdoctoral fellow Scott E. VanCompernolle, Ph.D., screened 15 antimicrobial peptides from a variety of frog species for their ability to block HIV infection of T cells, immune system cells targeted by HIV. He found several that inhibited HIV infection without harming the T cells. The peptides appear to selectively kill the virus, perhaps by inserting themselves into the HIV outer membrane envelope and creating "holes" that cause the virus particle to fall apart, Unutmaz said. "We like to call these peptides WMDs -- weapons of membrane destruction," said Unutmaz.

The frog peptides are an exceptional tool for probing "what the virus knows about the dendritic cell that we don't know," Unutmaz added. "How does HIV manage to survive and cycle back and forth to the cell membrane? If we can understand that, we'll find the gaps, and that will open a whole new universe of targets for intervention."

The investigators learned this week that the American Foundation for AIDS Research will fund their continuing quest to understand how the frog peptides kill HIV in dendritic cells. Their plans include imaging how the peptides work, screening additional frog peptides for activity, and testing peptides on a mucosal cell system to study the feasibility of developing them as prophylactics against HIV infection.

"If we are able to learn the mechanisms these peptides are using to kill HIV, it might be possible to make small chemical molecules that achieve the same results," Unutmaz said. Such chemicals would be more practical as therapeutic microbicides, he said. "This study is a great example of how collaboration across disciplines leads to big discoveries," Unutmaz said.

For full story, please see: http://news.mongabay.com/2005/1001-frogs_hiv.html

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23. Bushmen's quiver tree threatened by climate change

Source: Reuters, 18 October 2005

A famed desert tree used for generations by Africa's bushmen to make quivers for their arrows is threatened by global warming, a conference heard on Tuesday.

With a stocky trunk topped by a tangle of forked branches, the quiver tree (Aloe dichotoma) has iconic status in Namibia, where its blue-green crown vividly stands out against a parched landscape.

"The quiver trees are in the early stage of a poleward (southward) range shift," Wendy Foden, a researcher at the South African National Biodiversity Institute, told a conference on climate change science in Johannesburg. A shift towards the poles and away from the equator is precisely what one would expect as a response to warming conditions, Foden said.

She said observations at over 50 sites throughout the trees' range in Namibia and South Africa highlighted two disturbing trends which could clearly be linked to climate change. The first was that with populations found on slopes, mortality was much higher at lower elevations than at higher ones -- that is, where it would be warmer on a slope. She also found higher mortality rates in the north of its range, towards the equator, than those found in the south. Historical data from weather stations within the trees' range also showed rising temperatures over the past few decades.

"If there is no expansion in the quiver trees' range, then models forecast a 76 percent reduction in its population over the next 100 years," she said. "Even with dispersal its numbers could be down over 30 percent over the next century," she said.

She also said the quiver trees' situation highlighted the fact that climate change was having an impact on desert ecosystems, regions where many people assume the affects should be minimal as they are already hot and dry.

Dr Richard Pearson of the American Museum of Natural History told the conference that a species had three choices when confronted with climate change: die, adapt or migrate.

For the quiver tree, any migration it made would have to come about as a result of seed dispersal via the wind or from droppings from birds or other animals that digested them. That may help the species but not individuals, some of which are over 150 years old.

"If you're a plant, quite literally you are stuck," Foden said.

For full story, please see: http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L18382971.htm

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24. Coalition Against Wildlife Trafficking

Source: Biological Conservation Newsletter, October 2005, Issue No. 250

The formation of the global Coalition Against Wildlife Trafficking was announced at the conclusion of the prestigious Wildlife Film Festival in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, on 23 September. The coalition, initiated by the United States, will focus political and public attention on growing threats to wildlife from poaching and illegal trade. Seven major U.S.-based environmental and business groups with global interests and programs have joined the Coalition: Conservation International, Save the Tiger Fund, the Smithsonian Institution, Traffic International, WildAid, Wildlife Conservation Society, and the American Forest & Paper Association.

Wildlife trafficking is a soaring black market worth $10 billion a year. Unchecked demand for exotic pets, rare foods, trophies and traditional medicines is driving tigers, elephants, rhinos, unusual birds and many other species to the brink of extinction, threatening global biodiversity. Added to this is the alarming rise in virulent zoonotic diseases, such as SARS and avian influenza, crossing species lines to infect humans and endanger public health.

In July 2005, at the initiative of the United States, G-8 leaders recognized the devastating effects of illegal logging on wildlife and committed to help countries enforce laws to combat wildlife trafficking.

The Coalition on Wildlife Trafficking will focus its initial efforts on Asia, a major supplier of black market wildlife and wildlife parts to the world. Coalition partners are already working with the Government of Thailand and other members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. The Thai government will host a regional wildlife trafficking workshop for law enforcement officials and officials responsible for compliance with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species in October 2005. Soon after the workshop, Southeast Asian environment ministers are expected to announce the development of a regional wildlife trafficking law enforcement network.

Additional government and non-government partners from Asia and Europe are expected to join the Coalition in the coming months.

For full story, please see: http://ravenel.si.edu/bcn/issue/latest.cfm

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25. Course: Erasmus Mundus Masters on Sustainable Tropical Forestry

Source: Nepalese Foresters list, 11 October 2005

The MSc Course in Sustainable Tropical Forestry (SUTROFOR) is a new two-year world-class integrated programme aimed at qualifying graduates to deal with the huge challenges in contemporary tropical forestry. The course starts around 1 September 2006 and students should apply for admission as early as possible, and no later than 1 February 2006, using the Application Form available on www.sutrofor.net.

The SUTROFOR Course is offered by a consortium of five European universities: (i) The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Centre for Forest, Landscape and Planning, Copenhagen, Denmark, (ii) University of Wales, School of Agricultural and Forest Sciences, Bangor, Wales, UK, (iii) Dresden University of Technology, Institute of International Forestry and Forest Products, Tharandt, Germany, (iv) Institute of Forestry, Agricultural and Environmental Engineering, Department of Tropical and Rural Forestry, Montpellier, France, and (v) University of Padova, College of Agriculture, Padova, Italy.

The Course consists of a first study year at one of three institutions (Bangor, Copenhagen, Dresden) and a specialising second study year with different topics offered by each of the five institutions.

The first year ends with the Joint Summer Module including fieldwork in a tropical country. Specialisation options in the second year are: (i) Agroforestry systems (Bangor), (ii) Socio-economics of tropical forestry (Copenhagen), (iii) Tropical forest management (Dresden), (iv) Environmental management and policies for tropical forests (Montpellier),

and (v) Ethics in forestry and responsible trade in tropical forest products and services (Padova).

Consortium fees per year are € 4,500 for EU/EEA-EFTA students and € 8,000 for third-country students. Around 20-30 Erasmus Mundus scholarships (€ 21,000 per year per scholarship) are expected to be available for third-country students.

Detailed information on the SUTROFOR Masters Course is available on www.sutrofor.net.

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26. Fabrics with a healing touch

Source: Rediff – India, 28 September 2005

With people becoming increasingly health conscious the world over, 'Ayurvastra', fabric which is dyed using various ayurvedic herbs, sandalwood, neem and turmeric, is climbing the popularity chart.

Now, it is not only sarees, dress materials and bedsheets made of these fabric which are in great demand but 'Purdahs' made of ayurvedic herbs are being exported to Saudi Arabia following demand from women of the royal family, says K Komalakumaran, secretary, Handloom Weavers Development Society, based at Balaramapuram in Thiruvananthapuram (India).

The ayurvedic herbs have various medicinal properties and when they are dyed with the fabric, it gives a cooling effect. They are good for various skin disorders, asthma and some other ailments, he claimed. Komalakumaran, however, said clinical trials were currently going on in the government Ayurvedic college at the state capital. Some of the clothing materials are also dyed using pomegranate and jaggery.

The Ayurvedic herbs are boiled at a particular temperature and the fabric is dipped in it for at least four hours and, in some cases, a whole day. For making sandalwood sarees, first the yarn and then the cloth is dyed in sandalwood.

The society is at present exporting to Italy, Germany, UK, USA, Singapore and Malyasia, he said adding Rs 1 crore (Rs 10 million) worth export earnings were received last year.

Komalachandran said the technology being used for making Ayur cloth is being utilised for making coir mats, mattresses, doormats and carpets. Delhi-based wool weavers from Himachal Pradesh, Ladakh and Orissa have entered into tie-ups with the society to make Ayurvedic wool. Discussions have also been held with Kanchipuram weavers to bring out ayurvedic Kanchipuram sarees.

The society officials had met Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and Handloom Minister to hold talks in this regard. Within a year, the project is expected to go on line, he said.

The nearly one lakh weavers in the society are facing marketing problems and efforts are being made to popularise the innovative products, he said.

For full story, please see: http://inhome.rediff.com/money/2005/sep/28ayur.htm

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27. 2006 BP Conservation Programme Awards – call for applications

Source: CENN Electronic Bulletin

Funding available with training opportunities. The aim of BP Conservation Programme Awards is to contribute to long-term environmental conservation and sustainable development in priority areas by encouraging and engaging potential leaders in biodiversity conservation, and providing opportunities for them to gain practical skills and experience.

This initiative, organised by BirdLife International, Conservation International, Fauna & Flora International, the Wildlife Conservation Society and BP, has been helping young conservationists across the world to achieve their goals for the past 15 years. The Programme currently works towards its aims by offering advice, training and awards, primarily targeting university students.

Three types of awards will be offered in 2006:

Future Conservationist Awards: Approximately 20 awards of up to $12,500 each, plus training.

Conservation Follow-up Awards: Approximately 5 awards of up to $25,000 each, plus training. Available to previous BPCP award winners only.

Conservation Leadership Awards: 2 awards of $50,000 each, plus training. Available to previous BPCP award winners only.

These three tiers allow progression from encouraging and supporting inexperienced teams undertaking small-scale, basic surveying and awareness-raising projects, to the stage where teams are engaging in more complex decision-making, and developing stronger communication and leadership skills.

The application deadline is 16th December 2005 for ALL applications, and awards will be announced mid-March 2006.

All details, including new guidelines and application forms, are now available on the Programme website at: http://conservation.bp.com

E-mail applications and enquiries to: bp-conservation-programme@birdlife.org.uk

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REQUESTS

28. Request for contributions to the next issue of Non-wood News

From: FAO’s NWFP Programme

We are actively seeking contributions to the next issue of Non-wood News, which can cover any aspect of non-wood forest products. We are particularly interested in receiving any NWFP research results and abstracts from Ph.D. candidates, as well as information on any new books on NWFP and/or your book reviews.

Contributions can be in French, Spanish or English and should be no longer than 500 words. Previous issues of Non-wood News are available from the NWFP home page: www.fao.org/forestry/FOP/FOPW/NWFP/nwfp-e.stm

Contributions should be sent to non-wood-news@fao.org by 15 December 2005.

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EVENTS

Forest Market (Mercado Floresta)

5-8 November 2005

São Paulo, Brazil

This year, Brazil assumed that it needs to invest in the economic use of its forests, also in order to avoid definitively compromising its incomparable heritage. It is a time to really do business, with long-term perspectives.

Organized by Friends of the Earth this fair will highlight hundreds of non-timber forest products, FSC-certified timbers and related services from the Amazon, Atlantic Rainforest, Caatinga, Savannah Forest (Cerrado) and other forest ecosystems. The fair will be an unprecedented opportunity for new types of business or to make traditional business dealings more sustainable. Brazilian forests are important for the whole world. They also provide an amazing array of products and services, such as cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, food, furniture, textiles, tourism, research, decoration, handicrafts.

Our forests matters for our local communities and their sustainable use is an important form of preventing their conversion to other uses. At Mercado Floresta, you can reach the local communities from virtually all of the most remote regions of Brazil. Not just their products, but their people, too. And rely on interpreters as well as a suitable environment for negotiations.

For more information, please contact:

Roberto Smeraldi

Director

Amigos da Terra - Amazônia Brasileira

Rua Bento de Andrade, 85

04503-010 - São Paulo – SP, Brazil

Tel.: (55-11) 3887-9369

Fax: (55-11) 3884-2795

E-mail: info@amazonia.org.br

http://english.mercadofloresta.org.br/

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Introducing Community Forestry: Innovative Ideas, Practices and Methodologies

28 November-9 December 2005

Kathmandu, Nepal

This international training course, jointly organized by ForestAction and RECOFTC, will identify and analyze key community forestry concepts, practices and methodologies. The course will utilize the extensive experience of community forestry in Nepal as a building block to explore the issues, but further case studies and experiences from throughout the region will also be incorporated into the course to expand the discussions.

The course is designed for middle managers involved in forestry, agriculture, and NRM both from government and NGOs.

Application forms can be downloaded from the websites of both organizations, www.forestaction.org or www.recoftc.org

For more information, please contact:

Mani Ram Banjade

ForestAction Nepal

P. O. Box 12207, Kathmandu, Nepal

Phone: 977 1 5550631 (O)

Fax: 9771 5552924

Email: mrb@forestaction.wlink.com.np

www.forestaction.org

or Bal Krishna Kattel at forestaction@wlink.com.np

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Non-timber forest products and managing woodland for wildlife

3 December 2005

Minnesota, USA

The University of Minnesota Extension's "Woodland Advisor" program is offering a joint course in non-timber forest products and managing woodland for wildlife. One or both topics may be attended.

For more information, please contact:

Susan Seabury at 01-888-241-0724, ext. 6466 or sseabury@umn.edu

or visit http://www.cnr.umn.edu/cfc/wa/Support/wasess.htm

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Frontiers in Forest Information: a centenary conference/workshop

5-7 December 2005

St Anne's College, Oxford, UK

This workshop is being organised by Oxford University Library Services in conjunction with the International Union of Forest Research Organizations, CAB International and other partners

There are many frontiers in sight in today’s information society. Many are not directly related to forests and trees, but will nevertheless define and shape the way we create and use information in future in this subject area, which matters to an increasingly diverse cross-section of society. So in this conference we want to explore, in workshop format, what those frontiers are, how they will impact the way we work, and how we should prepare to cross them. A panel of speakers drawn from both the forestry and wider communities will outline the key frontiers in four thematic areas: global needs for forest-related information; information needed for development; new publishing paradigms; and the impacts of changing technologies. Delegates will add examples from their own experience, in the form of short papers, posters or informal debate; then in group discussions attempt to prioritise those issues which need action by the information community – data providers, publishers, libraries etc. These findings will be synthesised in plenary sessions so by the end of the conference we have a ‘task list’ which the sponsoring organisations can use in future planning – in the case of the Oxford Forest Information Service, giving us a good idea of how to set off on our second century!

Interested but can’t make it? Then please get in touch and share with us your ‘frontiers’ so we can include them in the discussion and ensure we are tackling real issues which matter to real people! E-mail the conference secretary, roger.mills@ouls.ox.ac.uk, with your comments.

For more information, please contact:

Frontiers in Forest Information Conference
Oxford Forest Information Service
Oxford University Library Services
Plant Sciences Library, South Parks Road, OXFORD OX1 3RB, UK

tel.: +44 1865 275080; fax: +44 1865 275095
E-mail: fifi@ouls.ox.ac.uk
http://www.plantlib.ox.ac.uk/forestry

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Plants to cure man and his environment. 2nd International Symposium

6-7 December 2005

Yaoundé, Cameroon

For more information, please contact:

Pr. Bernard-Aloys Nkongmeneck, BP: 812 Yaoundé, Cameroon.

Tel :(237) 223 02 02 (H) (237) 999 54 08.

Email : nkongme@uycdc.uninet.cm or cenrce@yahoo.fr

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Spirit of Healing: Traditional Medicine, Fair Trade and Health For All

16-18 June 2006

Pennsylvania, USA

This conference is being co-sponsored by Herbalists Without Borders and Penn State's Interinstitutional Consortium for Indigenous Knowledge. It will explore the role of herbal medicine in primary health care and poverty alleviation. How can traditional medicine serve the primary health care needs of the majority of people who have little or no access to conventional medicine? How can medicinal plants bring in more income for poor communities? What type of regulatory and policy approaches help or hinder the provision of health care and a higher standard of living for the poor?

Conference tracks include:

--Making Trade Fair in the Botanicals Industry

--Intellectual Property Rights, Access, and Benefits-Sharing

--Organic Certification

--Agricultural Extension and Genetic Resources

--HIV/AIDS

--Diseases of Industrialization: Diabetes Mellitis, Heart Disease, and Cancer

--Malaria and Other Tropical Diseases

--Poverty and Access to Health Care in the United States

We are accepting proposals for presentations through 15 December 2005. Proposals which include traditional people as presenters and health care providers working on the ground in clinical and agricultural extension environments will be given preference. We encourage presenters from countries outside the US to submit their proposals as early as possible, as the process for acquiring visas can be long and challenging for some travellers.

Proposals should include a description of the presenter(s) and his or her qualifications in 300 words or less. Please also include name, title, address and phone number, plus email and fax number if applicable. An abstract of the presentation in 300 words or less should include comment about which track or tracks the presentation addresses. Workshop sessions are 1 hour 20 minutes, we advise allowing time for Q & A.

For more information, please contact:

Jennifer Chesworth

Program Director,

Herbalists Without Borders

153 South Allen Street

State College, Pennsylvania 16801, USA

Tel. +1-814.234.3424

E-mail: jc@herbalistswithoutborders.org

www.herbalistswithoutborders.org

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LITERATURE REVIEW AND WEB SITES

35. Environment and Poverty Times

Source: UNEP/GRID-Arendal Newsletter, 21 September 2005

The United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) has released a new issue of the Environment and Poverty Times. This publication in newspaper format covers a wide range of articles and graphics related to environment, achieving the millennium development goals (MDGs) and governance. The paper focuses on the vital role of environment in poverty reduction. It tries to raise critical/constructive voices that point at pitfalls, but also propose solutions.

The Environment and Poverty Times is available online at http://www.environmenttimes.net/

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36. The Overstory: recent issues

From: FAO’s NWFP Programme

Recent issues of The Overstory have covered:

• Mycoforestry (issue no. 155)

• Collection of Botanical Specimens (issue no. 159)

• Women's Indigenous Knowledge (issue no. 160)

Past editions are available from the Overstory home page.

For more information, please contact:

Craig R. Elevitch

Editor

P.O. Box 428, Holualoa, Hawaii 96725 USA

Email: overstory@agroforestry.net

http://www.overstory.org

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37. Women, Forests and Plantations. The Gender Dimension

Source: World Rainforest Movement, 2005. U Montevideo, Uruguay (in Community Forestry E-News 2005.08.31)

Forests provide the source and means of survival for millions of people, who find their firewood, medicinal plants, food, fibres, housing materials, and a full range of other uses. They are also vital for the healthy state of our global environment. Though the historical contribution of women to forest conservation has often been made "invisible" - as in many other areas - it has been them, the indigenous and peasant women, with an intimate knowledge of the forest, who have been the principal caretakers and guardians of the forests.

At present, the encroachment of global commerce and "development" projects into the forests - such as plantations, oil exploitation, logging, mining, shrimp farming, dams and others - have not only destroyed nature but also distorted ancestral relationships of forest peoples between them and with the forest. Such forest change or loss has not been gender neutral and has had a double and differentiated impact on women, depriving them of their traditional rights to and link with the forests while reinforcing a patriarchal society model.

With this book we aim at generating awareness on the issue, as a way of contributing positively to the struggles women carry out to defend the forest and to highlight their positive role in forest conservation.

Non governmental organizations and indigenous people’s organizations can ask for a free copy of the book. To do so, please contact WRM International Secretariat at: bookswrm@wrm.org.uy and send your postal address.

For more information, please contact:

World Rainforest Movement

Maldonado 1858 - 11200 Montevideo - Uruguay
tel: 598 2 413 2989 / fax: 598 2 410 0985

wrm@wrm.org.uy

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38. Unasylva: Latest issue covers poplars and willows

From: FAO’s NWFP Programme

A look at the versatile members of the family Salicaceae. Includes: contributions of a private poplar industry (J. Ulloa and L. Villacura) and small-scale basket willow industry (M.I. Abalos Romero) to sustainable rural development in Chile; conserving native black poplars in Turkey (F. Toplu); poplar and willow resources in the Russian Federation (A.P. Tsarev); biodiversity in poplar plantations in France (A. Berthelot et al.); use of willows to clean contaminated soils in Sweden (I. Dimitriou and P. Aronsson) and the United States (L.B. Smart et al.); assessing risk in Canadian poplar plantations (W.J.A. Volney et al.); challenges of fighting desertification with poplars in China (J. Carle and Q. Ma); and poplars in biotechnology (H. Marchadier and P. Sigaud). With an overview by J. Ball, J. Carle and A. Del Lungo.

Now online: Unasylva 221– Poplars and willows

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39. Other publications of interest

From: FAO’s NWFP Programme

Bhagwat, S.A., Kushalappa, C.G., Williams, P.H., and Brown, N.D. 2005. The role of informal protected areas in maintaining biodiversity in the Western Ghats of India. Ecol. Soc. [Online] 10(1):8

Dudley, N., et al.2005. Measuring biodiversity and sustainable management in forests and agricultural landscapes. Philos. Trans. R. Soc. London. [Biol.] 360(1454):457-470. (Abstract) http://www.journals.royalsoc.ac.uk/app/home/contribution.asp?wasp=2749fa6df0e84f509c2dea2756ad29d6&referrer=parent&backto=issue,18,19;journal,4,109;linkingpublicationresults,1:102022,1

Gilg, Olivier. 2005. Old-growth forests: Characteristics, Conservation and Monitoring. ATEN/RNF 96 pages.

Available in pdf from http://www.reserves-naturelles.org/upload/CAHIER74bis.pdf

Hard copies are available from danielle.trivier-rnf@espaces-naturels.fr

For more information, please contact:

Olivier Gilg, PhD, Réserves Naturelles de France, 6bis rue de la Gouge, BP 100. F-21803 Quétigny / France

Tel: +33 3 80 48 91 05

http://www.helsinki.fi/science/metapop/english/People/Olivier.htm
http://www.reserves-naturelles.org

El-Keblawy, A., and Ksiksi, T. 2005. Artificial forests as conservation sites for the native flora of the UAE. Forest Ecol. Manag. 213(1-3):288-296.

European Environment Agency. 2005. European Environment Outlook (EEA Report No 4/2005). ISBN: 92-9167-769-8

Protecting our environment is a key element in ensuring sustainable livelihoods for today's and future generations. Indeed, the most recent Eurobarometer surveys show that as Europeans we regard the protection of our environment to be one of the six key priorities for the European Union.

http://reports.eea.eu.int/eea_report_2005_4

Mackay, Richard. 2005. Atlas of endangered species (Revised Edition). Earthscan, UK. Paperback 1844072886

This revised and updated edition of the bestselling Atlas of Endangered Species provides the most current, comprehensive and easy-to-use reference to the species under threat and their habitats. It has more than 50 full colour global maps, regional maps to illuminate key aspects, colour photos of rare creatures and detailed case studies.

For more information, please see: http://shop.earthscan.co.uk/ProductDetails/mcs/productID/665/

Mery, Gerardo, et al. 2005. Forest for the new millennium – making forests work for people and nature. 36 p. Contact: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland, Box 176, 00161 Helsinki, Finland.

Nagendra, H., Karmacharya, M., and Karna, B. 2005. Evaluating forest management in Nepal: views across space and time. Ecol. Soc. [Online] 10(1):24.

Pain, D.J., Fishpool, L., Byaruhanga, A., Arinaitwe, J., and Balmford, A. 2005. Biodiversity representation in Uganda's forest IBAs. Biol. Conserv. 125(1):133-138.

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40. Web sites and e-zines

From: FAO’s NWFP Programme

Carpathian Convention

The Carpathians -- which span the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovak Republic and Ukraine -- are one of Europe’s largest mountain ranges, harbouring a unique natural and cultural heritage, providing a haven for wildlife and acting as an ecological link within Europe. The Carpathians are a living environment for millions of people and also one of the most dynamically developing regions of Europe, yet they face similar challenges to those of other mountain areas of the world: rising unemployment and poverty, unsustainable development patterns, overexploitation of natural resources, pollution, deforestation, excessive hunting and habitat fragmentation.

In May 2003, the inter-regional agreement known as the Carpathian Convention was adopted and signed by the seven neighbouring countries of the Carpathians. The Convention provides the framework for cooperation and multi-sectoral policy coordination, a platform for joint strategies for sustainable development and a forum for dialogue between all involved stakeholders. As such, the Carpathian model of regional cooperation holds valuable lessons for other transboundary mountain regions of the world.

Visitors to this new Web site (in English only) can discover more about the global significance of the Carpathians, learn about the background to the Convention and read its text in full, download publications and access links to national authorities. The site was developed by the European Academy (EURAC) in Bolzano, in cooperation with the United Nations Environment Programme Vienna Office -- Interim Secretariat of the Carpathian Convention (UNEP Vienna-ISCC), both Mountain Partnership members, and is part of a project of the Italian Ministry of the Environment and Territory that supports the implementation of the Carpathian Convention.

www.carpathianconvention.org

Department of Forest Research and Survey, Nepal

www.dfrs.gov.np

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MISCELLANEOUS

41. Chopsticks: National standards for disposable chopsticks issued

Source: Xinhua – China, 10 October 2005

China's national standard watchdog issued compulsory standards for the production of disposable chopsticks here on Monday.

The standards for producing wood and bamboo disposable chopsticks respectively are enacted to ensure product quality and save wood, said an official with the Standardization Administration of China (SAC) at a press conference held on Monday. According to the standards, wood disposable chopsticks could only be made of birch, poplar and other widely-planted trees. And the standards encourage makers to use bamboo which grows much faster than trees.

The standards limit the water content ratio of the bamboo chopsticks within 10 percent to prevent must and ban the use of chemicals that are harmful to human health.

Li Zhonghai, head of SAC said that as most of the disposable chopsticks in China are made of leftover materials of the lumber industry, it is not necessary to ban their production and use.

China produces around 45 billion pairs of chopsticks a year.

.a href="#TopOfPage".http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2005-10/10/content_3602684.htm./a. -->

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42. Christmas tree growers in Pennsylvania, USA benefit from IPM

Source: Pennsylvania Integrated Pest Management Program, 27.9.05 (in ENN Daily Newsletter, 28.9.05)

Christmas tree growers in southeastern Pennsylvania are reducing their pesticide use up to 50 percent a year while eliminating a devastating pest, say researchers at Penn State and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA).

Christmas and other ornamental tree sales is an over $41 million per year industry in Pennsylvania, making the state fifth in the nation. The White Pine Weevil (WPW) is the major pest of many of these trees, including the eastern white pine, Colorado spruce, Norway spruce and Douglas fire. According to Cathy Thomas, Pennsylvania Integrated Pest Management Coordinator at PDA, the weevil is native to Pennsylvania forests and prefers nurseries because of the large fields planted with a single species of trees. “Across the state, WPW causes major financial injury to Christmas tree growers each year,” says Thomas.

Typically, large quantities of pesticides are used to control WPW. According to Thomas, this practice puts largely unnecessary pollutants into the environment and, increases the risk of pests developing resistance (immunity) to the pesticide and increases the cost of production. In addition, EPA’s Food Quality Protection Act is phasing many of the traditional pesticides used in growing Christmas trees. “Increasingly, growers are looking for alternatives to traditional pesticides, but often lack the training to implement new approaches,” Thomas explains.

One alternative to excessive pesticide applications is integrated pest management (IPM). IPM aims to manage pests — such as insects, diseases, weeds and animals — by combining physical, biological and chemical tactics that are safe, profitable and environmentally compatible. According to Thomas, growers using an IPM strategy to manage WPW will significantly reduce their pesticide applications.

Thomas and researchers from Penn State and PDA started working with 3 large Christmas tree growers totalling approximately 2,000 production acres in Schuylkill County earlier this year.

At the end of the first year of the two-year project, Thomas says the results are very promising. “We’ve been able to achieve excellent control with scouting and trapping WPW. The three growers were able to reduce their pesticide use by 50 percent and recorded a 20 percent reduction in tree damage. One grower reduced pesticide costs by over $200, 000,” says Thomas.

Thomas is hoping that by initially working with three of the largest and most respected growers in the region, widespread adoption by small growers through out Pennsylvania will occur.

Educational presentations of the data collected will be available for statewide use and additional training programs. The data is also available on the Penn State Christmas Tree Web site at http://ctrees.cas.psu.edu/.

For more information on Christmas tree pests, see PA IPM’s Christmas Tree Pest Problem Solver at http://paipm.cas.psu.edu/ProblemSolvers/ctreeProblSolv.htm.

Questions about the project can be directed to Thomas by calling +1-(717) 705-5857 or by e-mail at caththomas@state.pa.us.

For full story, please see: http://www.enn.com/aff.html?id=894

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43. Daffodils to help beat dementia

Source: Glasgow Daily Record - Glasgow, Scotland, UK, 17 October 2005

A chemical found in daffodils may help treat people struck down by Alzheimer's disease. Scientists working in Wales - where the daffodil is the national flower - believe the chemical in a special species of the bloom can help the symptoms of memory loss. And they want daffodil farms to be set up in the mountains of Wales to become a source of the drug galanthamine.

Researchers at Cardiff University are pushing for vast amounts of daffodils to be grown and harvested in the Black Mountains of mid-Wales. University marketing director Frank Marsh said: "The potential for Welsh hill farms is huge. The benefits are extensive, not only to Welsh bioscience and the pharmaceutical industry, but also to the ageing population."

Alzheimer's is the most common form of dementia.

The University's Manufacturing Engineering Centre is now helping the company Alzeim Ltd to develop the daffodil as a medicinal plant. The daffodil was brought to the UK by the Romans, who believed in its healing powers. But doctors have warned the bulb of the yellow flower is poisonous when eaten.

For full story, please see: http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/tm_objectid=16257071&method=full&siteid=66633&headline=daffodil-farms-to-help-beat-dementia--name_page.html

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44. Poll: Ginkgo is firm favourite

Source: China Daily – China, 13 October 2005

The ginkgo is all set to become the national tree of China.

According to a public opinion poll conducted by the Chinese Society of Forestry through mail and Internet voting, nearly 99 per cent chose the ginkgo, which is considered a "living fossil."

The nominees included davidia, also known as the "Dove Tree," eucommia and arborvitae, which are found around the world, and others, such as the gingko and metasequoia, Dawn Redwood, that are unique to China.

Ju Zhangwang, deputy to the 10th National People's Congress China's top legislature, has been advocating the ginkgo as the national tree since 2003. His reasons are simple: The ginkgo is unique to China, it looks splendid with its straight trunk and thick crown, and it also has medical and economic value.

Palaeobotanists say the ginkgo has an estimated age of 270 million years. The first reference to the ginkgo was found in an 18th century Chinese book on agriculture.

To Beijing resident Yan Bing, however, the choosing of a national tree is not a particularly significant issue. "China is so vast in territory and the plants it boasts are so diverse," he said. "So it's hard to say any kind of tree can represent the merit of the whole Chinese nation."

For full story, please see: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/english/doc/2005-10/07/content_482984.htm

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last updated:  Monday, August 24, 2009