No. 5/05

Welcome to FAO’s NWFP-Digest-L, a free e-mail journal that covers all aspects of non-wood forest products. A special thank you to all those who have shared information.

==============================================================

PRODUCTS

1. Bamboo: India, China and their contrasting bamboo stories
2. Bark: Making bark cloth for 75 Years
3. Bark: New research on pine bark and childhood asthma
4. Devil’s claw in pain treatment
5. Fiddleheads (Matteuccia struthiopteris)
6. Gum arabic: Karamoja's only cash crop saviour
7. Gum arabic: Uganda to boost gum arabic stocks
8. Honey, Kibaale's Gold
9. Maple syrup and climate change
10. Moringa oleifera: Novel project to purify water
11. Mushrooms: Alaska's forest fires spark hopes of a mushroom bonanza
12. Naval stores: Long leaf pines and turpentine
13. Prunus africana: Bark for money
14. Prunus africana: Prostate cancer tree endangered
15. Resin: Environmentalists fear loss to Chir forests

COUNTRY INFORMATION

16. China: East China province to expand gene base for rare plants
17. India: Bamboo Fest
18. India: Road to prosperity
19. Malaysia: Permit required for research on Sarawak's biodiversity
20. Nigeria: 'Look inwards for malaria cure'
21. Vietnam: Central province to build bamboo museum, eco-resort
22. Vietnam pioneers the development of a comprehensive NTFP curriculum
23. Vietnam: World Bank aid for Viet Nam’s biggest forestry project
24. Yemen: Bukhur (Agarwood)

NEWS

25. Bioprospecting: Struggle over (Green) Gold Rush
26. Boreal Forest Garden at the 2005 Chelsea Flower Show
27. Catalogue of life
28. Good news, bad news from parched Amazon
29. Lack of conservation will bring mayhem for monkeys
30. TRP EC Agarwood Project
31. The Goldman Environmental Prize
32. UNEP-WCMC Chevening scholarships in biodiversity

RECENT EVENTS

33. Workshop for Promoting Ethiopian Bamboo Development

34. International Symposium Guadua 2004

FORTHCOMING EVENTS

35. From Source to Shelf: Sustainable Supply Chain Management (SSCM) of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants
36. The use of Medicinal Plants in the Tropics
37. The United Nations Environment Programme Tunza International Youth Conference
38. Second International Agarwood Conference

LITERATURE REVIEW AND WEB SITES

39. In search of excellence: exemplary forest management in Asia and the Pacific
40. NTFP Newsletter of the Vietnamese NTFP Network
41. Proceedings of the International Workshop on Bamboo Industrial Utilization
42. Research articles
43. Other publications of interest
44. Web sites and e-zines

REQUESTS

45. Request for information on genetic engineering of NWFP

MISCELLANEOUS

46. Angola: rare sable antelope survives the war
47. Put a cork in it

BACK TO TOP

PRODUCTS

1. Bamboo: India, China and their contrasting bamboo stories

Source: The Financial Express, India, 17 April 2005

From toothpicks to baskets, furniture to lacquer ware, mats to musical instruments, from toys to walking sticks, bamboo can make it all. Bamboo’s natural elegance and easy workability makes it a choice material for handicrafts. That is why China manufactures over 8 000 items made of bamboo and earns $130 million through exports, an official study shows.

Moreover, bamboo, the study says, is an ideal raw material for industries and about half of India’s bamboo consumption is for making paper pulp. Bamboo is also used in the production of rayon, activated charcoal, flooring and paneling products, and now serious efforts are being made to take the bamboo straight to rural areas of the country for the benefit of farmers in particular. A headstart was made two years ago when the Badrinath temple committee began distributing ‘prasad’ in baskets of slick ringal (a bamboo species) to generate income for the local Rudia community of Chamoli district. Hesco, an NGO which is actively working in the Himalayan region, provided the technical know-how to the Rudias in this regard.

The Forest Research Institute (FRI) has also come forward to contribute its expertise in the bamboo sector. Nearly 40 farmers from Himachal Pradesh and Uttaranchal have attended a six-day course in the FRI campus on setting up a modern bamboo nursery, raising seeds through vegetative methods and tissue cultures. They were also shown technologies pertaining to long duration preservation and utilization as well as methods to control diseases emanating from fungus and insects in order to safeguard the bamboo crop. “Till date, bamboo is synonymous with the northeast. What we are doing now is to take its advantages to the rest of India,” says FRI.

The Uttaranchal government has also launched major efforts in making bamboo play a major role in the socio-economic life of the people of the hill state which is under 65% forest cover. According to its chief secretary, “We should learn a lesson from China whose per unit production is 6 to 7% more than ours. China earns a lot of foreign exchange through export of bamboo.” Replicating the Chinese experiment, the state government is now inviting investments in this sector. Delhi-based Eland International Pvt Ltd has pledged an investment of Rs 265 crore for promoting plantation of bamboo and manufacture of its products in Uttaranchal.

For full story, please see: www.financialexpress.com/fe_full_story.php?content_id=88182

BACK TO TOP

2. Bark: Making bark cloth for 75 Years

Source: The Monitor (Kampala), 5 April 2005

Mzee Eriyazali Kaganda, 85, from the village of Busowe, has done no other business all his life except bark cloth making and hunting in the forest. He started serious bark cloth making at the age of eight alongside his late father.

One of his sons now helps him to carry on the profession of bark cloth making, and is teaching people who visit the village (from Rwanda and other countries like China and Japan) how to make bark cloth.

Bark cloth is made from the species of a tree called mutuba or muserere. Both tree species take up to nine years to mature. A check needs to be made of the amount of water that the tree contains before peeling off the top layer of the stem, ending at the point where tree branches begin. This enables the tree to develop another layer for the next season. After cutting off the second layer, it is wrapped with banana leaves for a week. It is then boiled in a saucepan, covered with banana leaves and kept like that until the next morning. It is then beaten for about eight hours with a bottle-shaped piece of wood (called ensamo). The now long and wide piece of cloth is stretched and put out in the sun to dry. It is then sewn together and sold.

According to Mzee Kaganda, his items are always bought by many buyers from Kampala and Masaka at a minimum price of Shs 10 000/piece, while others are taken to weekly rural markets and sold at Shs 7 000/piece. He sells about seven pieces a week.

For full story, please see: http://allafrica.com/stories/200504050375.html

BACK TO TOP

3. Bark: New research on pine bark and childhood asthma

Source: Natural Health Science Inc, 20.1.05 (in Non-timber Forest Products News Digest, 15.4.05)

A new clinical study found children and teenagers with mild to moderate asthma who supplemented with French maritime pine bark extract Pycnogenol® experienced improvement in pulmonary function and a significant decrease in asthma symptoms. The double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in the November/December issue of the Journal of Asthma found that 60 children aged six to 18 years old were able to significantly reduce or discontinue their use of rescue inhalers with Pycnogenol® more often than the placebo group.

Pycnogenol® is a natural plant extract originating from the bark of the Maritime pine that grows along the coast of southwest France. Its unique combination of procyanidins, bioflavonoids and organic acids enhances overall circulation and offers extensive natural health benefits to individuals suffering from inflammation. The extract has been widely studied for the past thirty-five years and has more than 130 published studies and review articles ensuring safety and efficacy as an ingredient.

For full story, please see: www.npicenter.com/anm/templates/newsATemp.aspx?articleid=11498&zoneid=24

BACK TO TOP

4. Devil’s claw in pain treatment

Source: Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Pittsburgh, PA, USA, 5 April 2005

A perennial plant called Devil's claw (Harpagophytum procumbens) that is native to South Africa, Botswana and Namibia has been in use for 50 years in Europe for digestive problems, fevers and allergic reactions and as a pain reliever.

A review of research on the plant's properties published last fall found that evidence supports the use of devil's claw to treat chronic lower back pain and osteoarthritis. According to Prevention magazine, the review was conducted by scientists from universities in Toronto, Sydney, Maryland and Freiburg, Germany. Most of the studies they reviewed had a placebo group and were blinded -- meaning neither doctors nor participants know who was getting devil's claw or a placebo.

The pain-relieving compound derived from the plant is called harpagoside and research revealed a daily dose of 60 mg relieved back pain as effectively as a standard dose of commercial pain relievers.

For full story, please see: www.post-gazette.com/pg/05095/482769.stm

BACK TO TOP

5. Fiddleheads (Matteuccia struthiopteris)

Source: The Courier Journal, Kentucky, USA (in Non-timber Forest Products News Digest, 15.4.05

Fiddlehead is a wild vegetable intrinsically connected with spring. The tender young shoots of ostrich ferns poke through the humus of the forest floor when the last snows melt, appearing as bright green curls of future stalk and fronds wrapped into themselves in a tight spiral reminiscent of the scrollwork at the pegbox end of a violin -- hence the name "fiddleheads."

They must be harvested at this early stage, for once they unfurl into mature ferns, they become a lovely carpet in the forest understory, with their feathery foliage adding delicate texture to a shade garden, but they are inedible.

As tightly wound young fiddleheads, however, they are delicious, tasting to some like asparagus, or fresh spinach, or artichokes.

Northern woodland Indians appreciated this wild bounty, as did early European settlers in New England.

Today fiddleheads are commercially harvested from forests in the Maritime Provinces of Canada, New England, Michigan and Oregon, and can sell for US$10 a pound.

For full story, please see: www.courier-journal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050401/FEATURES02/504010308

BACK TO TOP

6. Gum arabic: Karamoja's only cash crop saviour

Source: New Vision (Kampala), Uganda, 7 April 2005

The wild growing Gum arabic trees of Karamoja may be the answer to the Karimojong's debilitating poverty, but to cash in, issues of insecurity in an area notorious for its bloody inter-tribal and cross-border cattle raids need to be addressed. The Gum Arabic world market is a $100m industry, which experts say Uganda has the potential to dominate. The local gum has already passed the functionality test.

Gum arabic is drawn from the sap of the Acacia senegal and Acacia seyal trees and is used mainly to manufacture water-soluble adhesives as well as in food, pharmaceutical and printing industries.

A variety of species grow wild in the area, many of which mature from five to 25 years, but a campaign to grow the trees and sensitise locals to desist from using them for food, charcoal or fencing material needs to be instituted.

"The locals should be sensitised and trained on collection of the right gum. The local business community should be empowered to buy from the locals and sale to the giant dealers”, said Jimmy Lomakol of the Karamoja Private Sector Development Promotion Centre. "We should ensure effective participation of the local community.” He said the major hindrance to investment and development in the area was insecurity. "Once this is addressed, the project will succeed. Most trees are in no go areas. We need collective support of all communities and security agencies".

The gum oozes out of the trees as a result of natural reaction, injury or inducement. A kilo of Gum arabic costs $4 (about sh7 000) on the world market, while a tonne costs $4 000 (sh7m). Nwachukwu said between $1 and $2 could be paid for the local gum.

The gum dries into rough spheres, which are manually collected. Collection takes place at intervals during the dry season from November to May and two main harvests are taken in December and April. Karamoja's relatively high temperatures are ideally suited to greater production of gum. However, the yield from each tree rarely exceeds 300 grammes per harvest.

The previously cow-rich Karimojong reeling from recent raids have sunk further into poverty with at least eight of every 10 Karimojong living below the poverty line. Gum arabic could turn these dismal figures around.

Anthony Nwachukwu, the president of Atlantic Gums Corporation, the largest gum buyers in the US, toured the region. The tour was coordinated by Susan Muhwezi, the special presidential assistant on AGOA, and was organised by Gum Arabic Uganda, the firm formed to kick start gum exports from Uganda. "The material is always on demand. Uganda will readily fill that gap. We are doing what it takes to bring the product to the market," Nwachukwu said. He said if properly mobilised, Uganda could initially export three to 500 tonnes per annum, with a potential yield of up to 5 000 metric tonnes. Nwachukwu said he would buy any gum produced.

Muhwezi said President Yoweri Museveni would launch the project in June. She said testing laboratories and collection centres would be built in the region so that the right gum is exported. The first exports are expected in December or January. She added that the project would improve Karimojong livelihoods, create employment, develop infrastructure, industrialise the region and bring revenue to the Government.

For full story, please see: http://allafrica.com/stories/200504070606.html

Additional story: http://allafrica.com/stories/200504040918.html

BACK TO TOP

7. Gum arabic: Uganda to boost gum arabic stocks

Source: Food production daily, 1 April 2005

Global supplies of gum arabic could rise by 20 000 tonnes a year as Uganda announces plans to export this popular confectionery ingredient.

Used widely by international food and drink manufacturers, gum arabic is produced from acacia trees growing in the arid climatic conditions of the African gum belt.

In 1998 95 per cent of world exports came from three countries: Sudan (56 per cent), Chad (29 per cent) and Nigeria (10 per cent).

The US is the largest market for gum arabic, for both processing and consumption.

At about $4 000 tonne, and pitching at the full potential, Uganda could earn $80 million a year on gum arabic exports; more than coffee, currently its leading commodity.

In addition to the beverage industry, acacia gum (E414 in the EU) is widely used in the food industry, in particular for confectionery industry where food makers favour its ability to delay or prevent sugar crystallisation and to emulsify fat.

The gum is derived from two acacia species; Acacia senegal (about $3 a pound) and Acacia seyal, used extensively in the confectionery industry and costing about $1.50 per pound.

For full story, please see: www.foodproductiondaily.com/news/news-ng.asp?n=59114-uganda-to-boost

BACK TO TOP

8. Honey, Kibaale's Gold

Source: New Vision (Kampala), 13 April 2005

Women in Kibaale (Uganda) have discovered the secret in bee-keeping. Five years ago, women in Kisiita sub-county started an apiary project, which they say has helped them fend for themselves. "For instance, I have spent five years without asking for salt, soap and clothing. I use the money from honey. I also help my husband to pay school fees for our children," says Sarah Turyasingura, a resident of Nyamirama, Kisiita sub-county, who has spent years in bee-keeping.

These women are tapping the honey gold using traditional hives woven with small twigs. The complete hive is smeared with cow dung mixed with ash. A dry bee comb is burnt inside the new hive, producing a sweat scent, which keeps in the hive to bait bees for colonization.

"In 2000, I forgot two baskets covered in the bush under a tree, where I had gone to collect some mushrooms. When I went back the following year to check on my mushrooms, I was overwhelmed to find bees in my baskets. I then made two more, and placed them in the bush. After three months, they were also colonized," explains Turyasingura of how they started using local hives.

She says she harvested three jerrycans of honey and sold them at Sh.120 000. Farmers say more than 15 litres of honey can be harvested from one hive.

An established market still eludes these enterprising women. They use local markets, which prompt them to hawk the honey.

The National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) is now promoting beekeeping as an alternative enterprise for farmers. Nineteen people have been trained under the NAADS programme to help these women and other bee-keeping groups, on how to feed and trap bees. They are also providing the women with modern hives, like Kenya Top Bar and Lang Stroth hives, and are also training them on how to prevent swarming.

Sub-county marketing associations are being formed to help in looking for markets and to have a communal bargaining power. A contract called the Uganda Rural Development Training should be signed shortly to establish how much honey is being produced in order to design a marketing plan.

For full story, please see: http://allafrica.com/stories/200504131014.html

BACK TO TOP

9. Maple syrup: Climate change could sour US maple sugaring

Source: Christian Science Monitor, 6 April 2005

In the predawn darkness of Putney's maple-studded hills, Don Harlow begins his mornings by coaxing his truck down a rutted forest path. At the end is a cylindrical tank twice his height into which hundreds of gallons of sweet maple sap have flowed, siphoned through 11 000 taps and 40 miles of plastic tubing. Mr. Harlow carts the sap up to his sugaring house to boil it down to syrup. It's a ritual Harlow loves, and one his family has performed for more than 100 years – albeit with horses and metal buckets in earlier days.

Despite having one of the most coveted labels in the industry – "pure Vermont maple syrup" – on their products, Harlow and other sugarmakers in the state are struggling to compete with Canada, where maple syrup production has more than tripled since the 1970s.

While much of Canada's syrup boom can be attributed to generous subsidies from the government, as well as its aggressive promotion of maple products, some researchers believe another factor may be coming into play: climate change. As temperatures rise and weather patterns become more erratic, New England's maple trees are facing growing threats that may eventually force syrup aficionados and leaf-peepers out of the region and into Canada.

When Harlow took over the farm in the 1950s, the US produced 80 percent of the world's maple syrup, with Canada supplying the remaining 20 percent. Now the countries' market shares have flip-flopped, with Quebec alone providing over three-quarters of the global supply.

"Due to changes in both sap collection technology ... and climate ... the maple syrup industry is migrating from New England into Canada," concluded the New England Regional Assessment Group in a 2001 report. The study, spearheaded by University of New Hampshire researchers, also predicted that if current climate projections hold true, New England forests will be dominated by oak and hickory trees – not maples – by the end of the century.

Admittedly, maple trees won't flock northward one spring like Canada geese. Rather, the transformation of New England forests will come by a gradual change in the competitive balance of one species over another, says Timothy Perkins, who is nearing completion of a research project on the impact of global change on the maple sugar industry.

A projected rise in temperature of 6 to 10 degrees F. over the next century could heighten drought conditions, air pollution, and pests – stress factors that affect maples more than oaks or hickories. But it's difficult to tell the degree to which climate change is affecting New England maples at the moment, says Dr. Perkins, director of the University of Vermont's Proctor Maple Research Center. But a change that does present an immediate threat to the industry, he says, is a temperature-driven trend toward shorter sugaring seasons in New England but not in Canada.

At Morse Farm in Montpelier, Vermont, that meant the sap "crop" was only one-third its usual size this year. The season started late, but winter morphed into spring practically overnight, reducing the number of freeze-thaw cycles that propel sap flow. Just as air whistles out of a pierced car tire, sap flows out of a tree because the pressure on the inside of the tree is greater than the pressure outside the tree. When the air temperature drops below freezing, a maple acts as a giant suction system, bringing the sap out of its branches and back down to its roots. When the temperature rises above freezing, the action is reversed, sending sap surging through the branches – and out of any "wound" in the tree, such as the holes drilled for taps.

Traditionally, northern New England's climate has provided the optimal freeze-thaw patterns for sugaring. But in recent years, the transition from winter to spring has accelerated. In Canada, however, warmer daytime temperatures have increased the number of freeze-thaw cycles there.

Technological improvements have also changed the season's timing in both countries. Back in the day of metal buckets, sugarmakers were wary of tapping their trees too early, when temperatures were liable to drop significantly below freezing for long periods. "If [the sap] freezes hard, it can bust your bucket," explains fifth-generation sugarmaker Rick Marsh.

But now, with plastic tubing, sugarmakers can tap weeks earlier and get more out of their taps. This is especially true for those who have installed vacuum systems that draw more sap than would drip into a bucket. In Canada, tubing has facilitated greater sap collection in areas where deep snows make it difficult to reach individual trees for daily collection.

In recent years, Canada's booming syrup production flooded the global market, driving prices down and putting the squeeze on US sugarmakers. Five years ago, Harlow ended the season $30 000 in the red, but couldn't raise his prices to cover costs because of the low prices of Canadian syrup. Harlow's acknowledges his biggest competition comes from Canada. Is he worried? "Oh no, we can sell Vermont syrup anytime," says the fourth-generation sugarmaker. "The worst Vermont syrup I ever had was fantastic."

For full story, please see: www.csmonitor.com/2005/0406/p11s01-sten.html

BACK TO TOP

10. Moringa oleifera: Novel project to purify water

Source: The Hindu, India, 17 April 2005

A simple and down-to-earth technology very much in the reach of the common man has come to nothing for villagers in Tirupati, for the urge and drive to apply it in one's own life and for one's own good are missing.

At a time when water-borne diseases like diarrhoea and cholera are posing a grave threat, the project on `water purification' taken up by N. Srilatha, a food science and nutrition student in Sri Padmavathi Women's University (SPMVV), has the potential to help villagers tide over the crisis, as the input used as a coagulant here is the commonly-available drumstick (Moringa oleifera). Though the idea evoked a great response in the villages where it has been introduced on a pilot basis, residents are not keen on using it in their routine.

The process is to remove the kernel, grind the pods to a fine powder and make a paste by adding little water; 75g of this material has to be added to a litre of water and stirred for two minutes.

The water is ready to drink in an hour with no change in taste or smell. By attracting the fine particles and microbes, the powder settles down. It acts similar to the commonly-used chemical coagulant, aluminium sulphate, vis-à-vis chemical parameters like chlorides, alkalinity, acidity and pH.

This `green alternative' definitely has an edge, especially when studies are indicating that alum could be carcinogenic. A study conducted by the Coimbatore-based Avinashilingam University with water sample collected from Bhavani river found drumstick as a better coagulant than similar natural agents like vettiver, fenugreek, ginger and cumin.

The seed powder was distributed to residents of Nennuru in Ramachandrapuram mandal and Gutthivaripalle of Renigunta mandal at an NSS camp two months ago. A survey conducted in Nennuru has revealed that none of the residents evinced interest in using the technology for their own good, even while expressing satisfaction at the positive change brought about by it. Many explained that villagers were too busy with agriculture, while others say they preferred to sell the drumsticks grown in their backyard for a price.

For full story, please see: www.hindu.com/lf/2005/04/17/stories/2005041704620200.htm

BACK TO TOP

11. Mushrooms: Alaska's forest fires spark hopes of a mushroom bonanza

Source: The Independent on-line, 18 April 2005

The furious fires that devastated millions of acres of forest in Alaska last summer may be about to deliver an unexpected harvest. Ecologists say the state's scorched lands will soon be quivering with morel mushrooms, prized by chefs around the globe.

Scientists know that where fire has scorched the earth, morels are likely to spring up. The hotter the fire and the more soot and ash there is on the ground, the more plentiful the morels. It is a happy consequence of a most unhappy season last year when wildfires consumed 6.5 million acres of forests, and state officials are hoping a plethora of morels will offer financial relief to the region's inhabitants.

Because they are such a delicacy, the demand for morels is enormous. They are also notoriously difficult to cultivate on farms. For that reason they can fetch as much as £53 a pound (450 grams). In New York, fans of good gastronomy will pay about £9 for just two ounces of the fungus flesh (57g).

Unlike other fungi, morels do not grow on decaying vegetation, but more often on open patches of ash-covered terrain. There are so many different kinds of fungi growing in Alaska that some have not even been named.

For full story, please see http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/story.jsp?story=630516

BACK TO TOP

12. Naval stores: Long leaf pines and turpentine

Source: The Neshoba Democrat, USA, 13 April 2005

Older Mississippians who grew up South Mississippi towns remember turpentine stills. They remember the sheds, furnaces and copper kettles which dotted South Mississippi and were used in the manufacture of “naval stores”.

By 1930, second growth pine timber in South Mississippi provided one of the few alternative cash crops for the area. The process for gathering resin or tar required several steps. First, the outer bark of a tree was chipped in the shape of a chevron and an oblong tip cup or a round clay cup was attached to the tree to collect the gum. Next came the dipping. A man moved from tree to tree with a metal paddle and scraped the gum from the cup into a bucket. When full, the contents of the bucket were poured into a barrel, and the barrel was hauled to the turpentine still.

The work was not easy. The trees had to be chipped on a regular basis in order to keep the gum flowing. The collected gum is extremely heavy and has to be carried to a collection point. The job required a great deal of walking, and rattle snakes were always a threat. Snakes were such a threat that some turpentine companies paid workers for the rattle snakes they killed.

Stills produced two products, turpentine, which among other things was considered a cure-all for ailments ranging from a bruise to a sore throat. The other product, resin, is that sticky substance which gives baseball players a better grip and keeps violin strings taut. In fact, the term “naval stores” comes from the fact that pine tar and pitch were used to caulk seams in sailing vessels and to protect a ship’s rigging from the elements. Chemicals extracted from pines are still used today in adhesives, disinfectants and perfume.

And how does a turpentine still work? The pine tar is collected from the cups attached to trees and brought to the still in barrels. These barrels of tar are emptied into a huge copper kettle. Fire is ignited under the kettle, and as the tar heats the steam is pushed through a tank of water where it is cooled and becomes liquid turpentine. The tar that is left in the kettle is released into long vats and dipped into barrels where it solidifies.

North Carolina became a prime producer in the 1800s. As the Carolina trees were exhausted, production shifted to South Georgia and then to other Southern states as far west as eastern Texas.

The production of naval stores was one industry which remained active throughout the Depression years. Jobs were much sought after, no matter how exhausting and dirty the work. Employment was year round because the trees required constant attention. In winter when the sap flowed stopped, work continued because a circle extending four to six feet from the tree had to be raked clear of dead grass and pine straw. This raking is done to protect the tree from fire. Trees will die if the face that has been chipped catches fire.

Two of these turpentine stills continue to operate in South Georgia.

For full story, please see: www.neshobademocrat.com/Main.asp?SectionID=6&SubSectionID=301&ArticleID=10042

BACK TO TOP

13. Prunus africana: Bark for money

Source: New Vision, Kampala, Uganda, 13 April 2005

THE Kalinzu forest reserve in Bushenyi (Uganda) has been invaded by people stripping bark from the tree Prunus africana, also known as Omugoote.

The bark is on high demand by western pharmaceutical companies who use it to prepare a drug to treat prostate cancer. There is an increasing global shortage as forests in Africa have been stripped of their bark.

This is an excellent market opportunity. Enterprising farmers should plant seedlings of Prunus africana that are available at many nurseries.

For full story, please see: www.newvision.co.ug/D/8/14/428832

BACK TO TOP

14. Prunus africana: Prostate cancer tree endangered

Source: New Vision (Kampala), 12 April 2005

A National Forestry Authority (NFA) spokesperson said that Prunus africana was in high demand by large pharmaceutical companies for commercial exploitation in Western countries. Sources in research institutions said Prunus africana was sustainably harvested widely in other countries, especially Cameroon, for export to the Western countries.

The tree is listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of wild flora and fauna (CITES) as an endangered tree. The authorized trade in Prunus africana is restricted under CITES and is sanctioned after clearance by the country of origin and recipient country.

Research in Uganda indicates that it occurs in parts of central and western Uganda, but the contents of the bark from trees growing in western Uganda were superior.

Under CITES, Prunus africana is listed on Appendix Two, meaning that it would become extinct if commercial exploitation is not controlled.

Some of the habitats of Prunus africana are also under intense encroachment and conversion into timber.

For full story, please see: http://allafrica.com/stories/200504130114.html

BACK TO TOP

15. Resin: Environmentalists fear loss to Chir forests

Source: GreaterKashmir.com - Srinigar, India, 5 April 2005

The rampant extraction of resin from Chir trees is threatening the very existence of this tree. According to high placed sources, the extraction of resin from Chir tree has reached an alarming stage and it has threatened the existence of this species.

Resin, a viscous substance, is extracted from standing green Chir (Pinus roxburghi) that form the sub-tropical forests of Jammu region. It is an important raw material used in manufacture of rosin and turpentine oil, which are further used for manufacture of soap, cosmetics, paints and varnishes.

Resin tapping is a seasonal operation carried out between April and November. The forest department gets the extraction work done through wage-mates by open auction of each lot containing mature trappable Chir trees.

The state government passed a decision in its cabinet meeting wherein government imposed a 20 percent cut each year on blazing of Chir forests in the state from the financial year 2003-4, keeping in view the deteriorating condition of Chir forest and to re-rationalize the drying Chir forests and safeguard environment standards. The cabinet decision was followed by a formal order by the forest ministry. However, according to the sources field staff and senior bureaucrats aren't following the orders.

Jammu and Kashmir occupies the northwest tip of India and has a forest cover of 9.85 percent. Sources revealed that despite continuous resin extraction the state hasn't gained much financially. The Audit Report for the year ended 31 March 2000 reveals that in the financial year 1998-99, the short yield of resin and illicit tapping of blazes resulted in non-recovery of Rs 1.11 crore. Further, lack of proper facilities for storage and safety including comprehensive insurance cover of resin stocks resulted in a revenue loss of Rs 81.76 lakh and non-realization of revenue of Rs 15.37 lakh in the same year.

For full story, please see: www.greaterkashmir.com/full_story.asp?ItemID=2786&cat=6

BACK TO TOP

COUNTRY INFORMATION

16. China: East China province to expand gene base for rare plants

Source: China View, 10 April 2005

East China's Jiangxi Province has set aside 180 million yuan (US$21.7 million) to expand a gene base for rare plants between now and 2020, the provincial government said. The move aims to better protect rare subtropical botanical species along the lower and middle reaches of the Yangtze River, China's longest waterway.

The existing botanical gene base, a botanical garden in Jiujiang, was established in 1989. It covers 20 hectares and holds110 endangered botanical species, 22 percent of the country's total. The base has used asexual propagation technologies to breed rare plants and has provided thousands of stems to botanical gardens and research institutes nationwide.

After the expansion, the base will cover 231 hectares and conserve at least 30 000 species, according to the general plan for the Jiujiang Preservation Base for Rare and Endangered Species of Flora, adopted by the provincial government on Saturday.

Jiangxi Province, which abounds in subtropical evergreen broad-leaved trees, has approximately 5 000 species of trees, 26 of which are listed among the nation's rarest wild plants. The province is also home to clusters of rare quadrate bamboo, a variation of local mountain bamboo caused by special climatic factors.

For full story, please see: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2005-04/10/content_2811833.htm

BACK TO TOP

17. India: Bamboo Fest

Source: The Telegraph, Calcutta, 17 April 2005

Experts in the bamboo sector from throughout the country will deliberate on projecting bamboo as an essential substitute for timber in future, at the forthcoming bamboo festival, “Bamfest 2005”, to be held in Shillong.

The possibility of providing a brand name and a common platform for the bamboo crafts groups from the Northeast will also be discussed at the festival.

Bamfest 2005 has been accorded recognition by the World Bamboo Organisation (WBO) as an international event under its charter. The event, being organized by the Cane and Bamboo Technology Centre, with support from the Meghalaya government and the North Eastern Council, will be held from May 2-5.

For full story, please see: www.telegraphindia.com/1050418/asp/northeast/story_4623426.asp

BACK TO TOP

18. India: Road to prosperity

Source: GreaterKashmir.com - Srinigar, India, 18 April 2005

Economic experts have come out with startling revelations at a seminar held at Regional Research Laboratory Monday. Kashmir can become an economic powerhouse if the potential aromatic and medicinal plant sector is exploited and marketed effectively.

The experts dwelt at length on many potential sectors in the state. Kashmir is known for its beauty and handicrafts, but it also has a tremendous potential to produce large quantity of aromatic and medicinal plants (AMP). With the recent global trends witnessing an increase in the demand for AMPs, Kashmir can become the leader in the field of essential oils. The production could boost Kashmir’s economy and generate employment.

Kashmir has abundant resources of essential oil plants and a viable place to establish an essential oil industry by processing high value MAPs. Essential oils are being used as ingredients in soaps, perfumes, pharmaceuticals and confectionery. Three years ago when this newspaper published a report on the aromatic plants and herbs, the people were surprised to know that these plants could bring the Valley revenue of $3 trillion annually. But the report was totally ignored by the government, the experts and the farmers. No measures were taken, maybe for political reasons, to encourage the farmers to undertake this activity. Most of the farmers here opt for orchards (Kashmir is known for its apples, almonds, walnuts, pears etc.) and all these fruits earn the state good money.

The new option, if adopted, can be maintained at a very low cost and the product sold at exorbitant prices.

The farmers in Kashmir do not know about the aromatic plants. The government should have launched a massive awareness campaign to promote the activity. But till date nothing has been done. The seminar held Monday is the only activity, which has been undertaken by the experts in this regard. Besides holding seminars, the experts must go to the farmers and educate them about bio-business and essential oils. This is in the best interests of the government as well. This is the road to prosperity and this alone can help the state in these difficult times.

For full story, please see: www.greaterkashmir.com/full_story.asp?ItemID=2758&cat=10

BACK TO TOP

19. Malaysia: Permit required for research on Sarawak's biodiversity

Source: New Straits Times - Persekutuan, Malaysia, 18 April 2005

Foreign scientists who want to conduct research on Sarawak’s biodiversity must obtain research permits from Sarawak Biodiversity Centre (SBC), State Secretary Datuk Amar Aziz Husain said today. He said this would enable SBC to monitor their activities and ensure they do not steal any genetic material from the State’s forests. “We also want to ensure that the State will benefit from the research conducted by foreign scientists.”

For full story, please see: www.nst.com.my/Current_News/NST/Tuesday/NewsBreak/20050412172706/Article/indexb_html

BACK TO TOP

20. Nigeria: 'Look inwards for malaria cure'’

Source: This Day (Lagos), 14 April 2005

Chief Medical Director/CEO of Iris Medical Foundation, Dr. Paul Ojeih, has called on the Federal Government and all stakeholders in the healthcare delivery system in Nigeria, to look inwards in the search for first line drug for the treatment of malaria.

Ojeih disclosed that the Federal Ministry of Health at the instance of Global Fund for HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis came out with a draft anti-malaria drug policy, which recommended the use of a Chinese herbal drug as first line drug for malaria treatment. He noted that the particular formulation has been used by the Chinese people for over 200 years.

"It is indeed unfortunate that while the WHO and other countries are recognising and encouraging the development and use of indigenous medicinal plant, our country is doing the direct opposite. Why we have failures in many years of policy and control of malaria is that our government has not recognised the essence of encouraging the development of indigenous medicine in the country. We have many fine medicinal plants that are capable of destroying malaria parasites in all ramifications and without side effects", Ojeih stated.

The herbal medical practitioner, whose anti-malaria drug, Lisamos, recently won Nigeria's Most Effective Herbal Malaria Treatment Medicine of the Year 2005, noted that if fully harnessed, herbal drugs could become a veritable source of foreign exchange earner for the country. He said the volume of income could rival the oil industry with the potentials of beating the Chinese drugs effectively. He said the drug, which was manufactured here, have been recognised as the most effective herbal malaria treatment, ahead of the Chinese equivalence, which have been favoured by the government.

He suggested that the draft National Policy should take into consideration the array of anti-malaria herbal drugs in the interest of the people.

For full story, please see: http://allafrica.com/stories/200504150575.html

BACK TO TOP

21. Vietnam: Central province to build bamboo museum, eco-resort

Source: Thanh Nien Daily, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, 3 April 2005

A unique bamboo museum and ecological tourist resort costing about 50 billion VND will be built in central Quang Nam province in the near future, said officials recently. Under the project, which was recently approved by the provincial People’s Committee, a 50-ha ecological resort and bamboo museum will be constructed 20 km south of Hoi An.

Project initiator Phuoc Tien Trading Company said the museum would include a display of bamboo-made tools used in daily, farming activities; a workshop where souvenirs made of bamboo are produced; and a man-made forest containing all types of Vietnamese bamboo trees.

The ecological resort will have luxurious guesthouses, water sports and a countryside cultural zone. Construction of the resort is expected to begin in 2006

For full story, please see: www.thanhniennews.com/travel/?catid=7&newsid=5944

BACK TO TOP

22. Vietnam pioneers the development of a comprehensive NTFP curriculum

Source: NTFP Media Release: April 15, 2005

A workshop was organized at Vietnam Forestry University (VFU) on April 14-15 to refine the framework for the development of a national curriculum on Non-timber Forest Products (NTFP). The workshop was hosted by the VFU with support from the NTFP Sub-sector Support Project (the NTFP Project) funded by The Royal Netherlands Government and co-implemented by the World Conservation Union (IUCN).

Representatives from five cooperating universities (Tay Nguyen, Thai Nguyen, Hue, Thu Duc, and Vietnam Forestry University) of Vietnam, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), NTFP Project, and various forestry technical experts have participated.

In February and March, a National Training Needs Assessment (TNA) on this curriculum was conducted. The TNA team has compiled and analyzed information derived from questionnaires, interviews and group discussions with university lecturers, students, future employers, state forest enterprises, extension staff as well as policy makers and researchers nationwide. The TNA has resulted in a draft curriculum framework that was presented, consulted upon, and revised at the workshop.

According to the draft framework, the curriculum will concentrate on the following five major themes: 1) NTFP taxonomy; 2) Ecology, biodiversity and sustainable NTFP management; 3) NTFP silviculture; 4) NTFP harvesting and processing; 5) NTFP marketing, socio-economy, gender and sustainable livelihood.

The two day session defined a plan for the implementation of the Curriculum Development Programme on NTFPs that will take place over the next three years. The curriculum will then be utilized and tested at the Vietnam Forestry University and the other cooperating agro-forestry universities in Vietnam.

The work will involve a wide range of NTFP stakeholders, from national experts to ordinary farmers, small producers and forestry students. “We need to develop an integrated, multi-disciplinary curriculum that is reflective of and adaptable to the reality, and can also be used by other countries in the region”, Dr. Nguyen Dinh Tu, the Rector of the Vietnam Forestry University emphasized to the participants. International cooperation has also been sought through the European Union-Asia link programme, by which means international experts will have additional inputs in the curriculum development.

NTFPs have in recent decades increasingly received appreciation and recognition as important natural resources of high biological and economic value. “We have to admit that NTFPs have been overlooked for a long time in Vietnam, even by forestry professionals,” said Dr. Pham Duc Tuan, Deputy Head of the Forestry Department of MARD. “It is now seen as one major spearhead of the forestry sector, which contributes substantial revenue through trade and export”. Yet, there’s no systematic methodology and materials so far for the education of forestry students. These young students will gradually replace the present senior expert generation to work in this burgeoning sector in the coming years.

The need for a national NTFP curriculum was identified in 2004 by the NTFP project. “One way to protect this treasure of Vietnam is to develop an educational curriculum for the next generation of teachers, researchers, policy-makers, and field workers,” said Mr. Keith Metzner, the NTFP Project Chief Technical Advisor. “This is a strategic task of high priority”. The initiative of developing this curriculum has been created under the umbrella of a Memorandum of Agreement between the NTFP Project and the Vietnam Forestry University, with the other four national agro-forestry universities as cooperative partners.

Such a comprehensive NTFP curriculum is unique in the world. In this respect, “Vietnam’s NTFP’s curriculum is a pioneering and very significant work in the field of NTFP education and training because it is comprehensive and will integrate best international practices at all levels of society”, Mr. Metzner added.

For more information, please contact:

Nguyen Thi Bich Hue (Ms.)
Communications Officer
Non-timber Forest Products Sub-sector Support Project
Address: 8 Chuong Duong Do street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi, Vietnam
Tel: (844) 9 320 970/1, Ext 114
Fax: (844) 9 320 996
Email: hue.nguyenbich@ntfp.org.vn or huelong@fpt.vn

www.ntfp.org.vn

BACK TO TOP

23. Vietnam: World Bank aid for Viet Nam’s biggest forestry project

Source: Viet Nam News - Hanoi, Vietnam, 5 April 2005

An agreement for the US$74.6 million Viet Nam Forest Sector Development Project was signed between the State Bank of Viet Nam Governor Le Duc Thuy and the World Bank’s Country Director for Viet Nam Klaus Rohland yesterday.

Under the agreement, the World Bank will provide a total of $59.5 million as credit and grants, the Government and local communities will contribute $16 million, with donors accounting for the rest. The bank will provide $39.5 million as credit and $19 million as grants will come from the Global Environment Fund, Finland and the Netherlands.

The project, the largest on forest development in Viet Nam, aims for the sustainable management of forest plantations and the conservation of biodiversity in special use forests.

Governor Le Duc Thuy said the project would boost the Government’s efforts in poverty reduction and economic growth.

The project conceived under the framework of the Forest Sector Support Partnership Programme, initiated by the Government, seeks to improve the management of special use forests, rich in biodiversity.

A Viet Nam Conservation Fund, to disburse small amounts for specific programmes of conservation and management of forests, has been set up under the project. It will also mobilise international and local technical assistance for capacity building in Special-Use Forest Management Boards and local communities, and implement priority conservation programmes with a focus on developing and promoting the use of latest eco-management methods.

As per the project, around 66,000ha of barren land in Binh Dinh, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, and Thua Thien-Hue provinces will be turned into forest plantations. These plantations will use different crop varieties, including fast-growing trees, mixed forestry and agriculture crops, and fruit trees. The project will also promote small-scale plantations by poor rural communities, and pay special attention to improving productivity in existing plantations.

"Linking tree planting to land tenure and forest land management is one of the most innovative features of this project," said Klaus Rohland.

An estimated 19,000 poor to medium income households, including ethnic minorities, from 120 communes in 21 districts are expected to benefit from the project. — VNS

For full story, please see: http://vietnamnews.vnagency.com.vn/showarticle.php?num=05ECO050405

BACK TO TOP

24. Yemen: Bukhur (Agarwood)

Source: Yemen Times, 18 April 2005

Bukhoor is the smoke of fragrance created by the burning chips of Agarwood or pieces of mix fragrant ingredients bind by sugar-syrup. When burnt slowly it produces a more concentrated smell. These chips are burnt in Bukhur burners to perfume the surrounding and clothing specifically on occasions of all seasons.

Through the powerful Prophethood institution this Sunnat was largely promoted firstly in Arabia and afterward in the vast territory of the Muslim world. It is a tradition in the Arabian Peninsula to pass Bukhoor around to guests.

Bukhur preparation originated exclusively from the beautiful region of Yemen. It comes from the highest peak of Yemen, Shibaam.

Recently scholars of the West reported that Bukhur provided the right mood for a person, enabling them to concentrate for long periods at a time. Regular Bukhur users burn it in the morning to set the mood and freshen the atmosphere. It also relaxes people after a meal.

Each Bukhur formula has a different cleansing, healing or purifying effect. Using Bukhur is a powerful science or art of cultivating positive states of mind. Bukhur is not just a way of masking unpleasant smells, but a way to refresh your heart and mind. Scent has a deep subconscious impact, bringing back positive memories, or cultivating good thoughts and feelings.

The Bukhur recipes are hundreds and even centuries old created from natural plant ingredients. Agarwood is prized as one of the finest aromatic woods burned for Bukhur purposes. There is nothing like Agarwood chips. It grows and is harvested in the wild in Southeast Asia. It is also known as Oud, Eaglewood, Jinko, or Kyara. One ounce of wood chips, chunks or larger pieces lasts a long time.

For full story, please see: http://yementimes.com/article.shtml?i=834&p=health&a=3

BACK TO TOP

NEWS

25. Bioprospecting: Struggle over (Green) Gold Rush

Source: Wired News – USA, 19 April 2005

Bioprospectors head into the deepest parts of the jungle, scale the highest mountains and, generally, brave extreme conditions in their quest for "green gold" -- plants and animals with commercially valuable properties. With the Amazon alone harboring medicinal plants capable of treating anything from parasite infections to malaria, toothaches to diabetes, the potential rewards are astronomical. But who will reap them?

There is some controversy over who will benefit from any discoveries. For example, if a cure for, say, cancer is found in the Amazon, how much credit – and payment – will go to tribal people who might have provided expert help?

If a contract is made, then the spoils will be divided accordingly. But if not?

"If not," said Padmashree Gehl Sampath, a researcher at the Institute for New Technologies in the Netherlands, "then the interesting questions that arise are: Did the drug company get the government's permission to access the genetic resources? Did the company have the prior informed consent of the (indigenous) communities?" Without such permission, the parties will have to come to an agreement after the discovery, which is unlikely to be fair. "This is why efficient national frameworks for bioprospecting assume so much importance," said Gehl Sampath.

And so, on April 19, an expert panel discussion will take place at U.N. headquarters in New York to debate strategies that developing countries can adopt to attract investments in drug research based on genetic resources.

The concept behind bioprospecting is not new. It could be argued that the first bioprospector was Alexander Fleming, who noticed that a piece of mold that had fallen into his Petri dish killed his bacteria culture. The discovery landed him a Nobel Prize – and the world got penicillin. That was before it became routine to apply for patents for biological and chemical discoveries, and before multinational drug companies became quite so large.

One of the first major deals was in 1991, when the pharmaceutical giant Merck made an agreement with Costa Rica's National Biodiversity Institute to collect and prepare specimens for inventory. The first payment was $1 million, but it was far from clear how any future monies generated from pharmacological discoveries would be shared with indigenous peoples.

This is one reason the U.N. meeting has been called. Another is to discuss Gehl Sampath's new book, Regulating Bioprospecting. Gehl Sampath focuses on the economics of the contracting process. She argues that potential investors have been put off by the poor regulatory environment in source countries (usually developing countries), and by the limitations of international processes designed to govern regulation. Those "limitations" are meant to protect indigenous peoples' rights to ownership of the traditional knowledge associated with their land, and to promote sustainable development.

The most important is the Convention on Biological Diversity, which came into effect in 1993, but which the United States has yet to ratify. And then there is the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, commonly known as the TRIPS Agreement. But not surprisingly, all that bureaucracy does not work well.

"National regulations on bioprospecting should be more attuned to the drug R&D processes, the contributions of the resources -- that is, the actual contribution of traditional medicinal knowledge to drug research programs -- and have to be enforceable," said Gehl Sampath. If the regulations are not enforceable, researchers or companies can exploit traditional medicinal knowledge and gain access to genetic resources unfairly.

"One of the major reasons why companies have been discouraged from investing in the past is the legal uncertainty caused by lack of regulatory frameworks on bioprospecting at the national levels, or frameworks that recognize rights on traditional medicinal knowledge and (give) access in an extremely bureaucratic way," said Gehl Sampath.

Of course, it's important to sort out the bioprospecting frameworks for the sake of fairness, but also because it gives a hard financial incentive to conserve the environment. With some governments, that's the only argument that holds water. "Bioprospecting can offer market incentives for the protection of biodiversity if laws are well-designed," said Gehl Sampath. "A caveat, though, is that this may be true only for those ecosystems which host species that have non-marginal inputs to the drug R&D process."

For full story, please see: www.wired.com/news/medtech/0,1286,67244,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_4

BACK TO TOP

26. Boreal Forest Garden at the 2005 Chelsea Flower Show

From: Damien Lee, Taiga Rescue Network [info@taigarescue.org]

The world’s most prestigious horticultural event, the Chelsea Flower Show will take place in London, England, 23-28 May 2005, when the grounds of the Royal Hospital in Chelsea are host to the finest collections of plants, trees and flowers and the renowned Chelsea Show Gardens. Representatives of the aboriginal peoples of the Siberian Taiga and the Boreal Forest of northern Saskatchewan, Canada, will be at this year’s Show to explain the traditional values of the many plants growing in the specially created Boreal Forest Garden.

This unique project is a collaboration between the Taiga Rescue Network, the world’s biggest international network of NGOs working to protect the boreal forests, and LandLab, a group of artists, ecologists and landscape architects based in Scotland. The objective of the Garden is to raise awareness of the importance of sustaining the world’s boreal forests with specific focus on Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs), drawing upon the expertise of aboriginal peoples in promotion of traditional forest products.

Visitors to the Boreal Forest Garden will learn from representatives of aboriginal peoples who live in and depend on these northern forests for food, medicine, hunting and economic viability and will learn of the threats to the forests and their way of life. The garden will feature a variety of NTFPs, which are of vital economic and health value not only to the people living in and around these forests but also to the wider global community.

“The forest provides tons of food in the form of berries, mushrooms, nuts and herbs, and in their sale, a source of income. It also provides, medicines, woven furniture, baskets, toys and souvenirs, all additional sources of income in a local economy that has been hit hard with an oil bonanza that has taken the investment away from the forest,” says Alexei Zhukov, Head Forester, Timovsk region, Island of Sakhalin, Far Eastern Siberia, producer of Wild Herb Teas.

“....it's true, - even fish grow on trees! Fish is the main diet of the indigenous peoples of Sakhalin, who fish in the rivers that are in turn dependent on the forests to protect their banks and their climate. Fish is also the main diet of the majority of the other 500,000 islanders…“says Mr. Zhukov. Unfortunately, these valuable NTFPs are often destroyed by unsustainable forest management practices common throughout the boreal region to feed the growing demand for timber, pulp and paper of European consumer countries (the UK being one of the major importers), the US and a rising Asian market.

Raising public awareness about the boreal forest, its people, and what role NTFPs play for aboriginal peoples will aid in the protection of this threatened ecosystem. Those who visit the exhibit will be able to talk to representatives with a variety of backgrounds and connections to the world’s boreal forests and its products to hear first hand accounts of why this forest is so important to all of us.

For more information, please contact:

Damien Lee

Information Coordinator

Taiga Rescue Network

Box 116

96223 Jokkmokk

Sweden

Tel: +46 971 17039

Fax: +46 971 12057

E-mail: info@taigarescue.org]

www.taigarescue.org

TRN official Boreal Forest Garden webpage: www.taigarescue.org/chelsea

TRN's partner in this project: www.landlab.co.uk/

TRN’s listing on the official Royal Horticultural Society's website: www.rhs.org.uk/chelsea/2005/exhibitors/show_gardens/landlab.asp

BACK TO TOP

27. Catalogue of life

Source: Taipei Times, 8 April 2005

Scientists in Taiwan have established the Taiwan Biodiversity National Information Network (TaiwanBNET), the island’s first "yellow pages" cataloguing its diversity of species.

The database, which has been linked to others internationally, will help researchers worldwide learn about the richness of Taiwan's biodiversity. Although it occupies only 0.0025 percent of the planet's area, Taiwan has one of the world's highest ratios of native species. So far, the number of known species accounts for 2.5 percent of all species known globally, and is about 100 times the average number of species that other countries have.

More than 450 000 endemic species have been systematically categorized by more than 500 taxonomists and biologists in the newly-completed database. Scientists' efforts in building the catalogue of native species is regarded as a contribution to the global project, known as the Catalogue of Life.

The international collaboration intends to catalogue every life form on the planet according to a standardized taxonomy, and to organize that information into a comprehensive and universally accessible database system.

The project is being conducted as a joint effort of the North American Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) and two international organizations, the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) and Species 2000, along with input from a variety of other contributors.

For full story, please see: www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2005/04/08/2003249579

BACK TO TOP

28. Good news, bad news from parched Amazon

Source: Science, 15 April 2005 (in SciDev.Net Weekly Update: 11 to 17 April 2005

For five years, Daniel Nepstad and his team have been monitoring a very special corner of the Amazon rainforest.

In the largest experiment of its kind, they suspended 5 600 large plastic panels between one and four metres above the ground. As a result, a one-hectare plot is deprived of 80 percent of rainfall, mimicking the conditions of a prolonged and severe drought.

In a recent article in Science, Erik Stokstad describes Nepstad's unprecedented experiment, and its emerging results.

The good news, says Stokstad, is that the rainforest has remarkable tricks for dealing with low levels of rainfall. For instance, the team found that trees push some roots deep into the ground and redirect water to shallower roots. Some trees also take in rainwater through their leaves.

The bad news, however, is that after four years the trees had been pushed to their limits and began to die. With the trees dying, more sunlight reached the ground, drying the fallen leaves and greatly increasing the risk of fire.

Although the experiment is a "worst-case scenario", researchers believe it will help make predictions of the effects of climate change.

Link to full article in Science

BACK TO TOP

29. Lack of conservation will bring mayhem for monkeys

Source: Environmental Data Interactive – UK, 15 April 2005

Primates around the world face increasing danger from human activities such as deforestation, and some are at risk of disappearing altogether, according to a group of scientists.

Around one in four of man's closest living relatives are currently at risk of extinction, according to the report, Primates in Peril: The World's 25 Most Endangered Primates, compiled by experts in deforestation, commercial bushmeat hunting and the illegal animal trade from all over the world. The report warns that failure to respond and act on its findings will bring about the first primate extinctions in around 100 years. "More and more of mankind's closet relatives are being cornered into shrinking areas of tropical rainforest," president of Conservation International (CI), Russell Mittermeier warned. "This is especially true of Madagascar, one of the planet's biodiversity hotspots, which has lost most of it original forest cover."

According to the report, the biggest threats to primates are hunters killing them for food and to sell the meat, traders capturing them for live sales, and loggers, farmers or land developers, who systematically destroy their habitats. "Southeast Asia's primates are subject to relentless poaching because of the profits to be made from this illegal trade," said Chantal Elkin, manager of CI's threatened species programme. "Although some of the region's threatened primates are taken as pets - notably orangutans and gibbons - they are most often hunted and traded for use in traditional medicines. And most of this trade appears to be international - primarily to China."

Non-human primates are vital to the health of their surrounding areas, she added, helping to support a wide range of plant and animal life that make up the Earths' ecosystems through the dispersal of seeds and other interactions.

The report was conducted by the World Conservation Union's (IUCN) Species Survival Commission (SSC) and the International Primatological Society (IPS), in collaboration with CI.

For full story, please see: www.edie.net/news/news_story.asp?id=9780&channel=0

Related story: “Our primates are in danger”, Independent Online, South Africa, 11 April 2005, www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=14&click_id=143&art_id=vn20050411131718590C288902

BACK TO TOP

30. TRP EC Agarwood Project

Source: The Rainforest Project Web site

The main objectives of the TRP EC Agarwood Project are to establish economic and environmentally sustainable Agarwood production, to prevent extinction of forest trees, to support socio-economic development by improving rural people’s income, and to build a socio-economic and agro-forestry development model that can be applied worldwide.

In particular the objectives of this project in Viet Nam are to plant Aquilaria crassna trees and provide protection for this endangered species, find the best method to optimize resin production in plantation-grown trees, and assist the population and authorities to accomplish future independent and profitable Agarwood production. The successful implementation of this project will yield not only directly benefit project participants and the Agarwood market, but also will be a showcase for other projects. Nature conservation can only be truly successful when local inhabitants are closely involved in the planning and implementation of such projects. This can alone be done when conservation efforts are combined with socio-economic development. One of the most important objectives of this project is to present a model and a methodology for similar efforts.

For more information, including project results, please visit: http://therainforestproject.net/toc.htm

BACK TO TOP

31. The Goldman Environmental Prize

Source: Sustainable Africa Newsletter [info@conserveafrica.org.uk], 20 April 2005

The Goldman Environmental Prize is given each year to six environmental heroes - one from each of six continental regions: Africa, Asia, Europe, Island Nations, North America and South/Central America. Initially each recipient received a $60,000 award from the Goldman Environmental Foundation. The award stipend has been raised three times since and currently stands at $125,000.

www.goldmanprize.org/newsletter/newsletter.html

BACK TO TOP

32. UNEP-WCMC Chevening scholarships in biodiversity

Source: UNEP (in CENN – 19 April 19, 2005 Daily Digest)

The UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre, in collaboration with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office of the British Government and the British Council, is offering six UNEP-WCMC Chevening Scholarships in Biodiversity, beginning in October 2005.

The scheme aims to help young researchers prepare for a role in national and regional policy development and decision-making to resolve biodiversity-related challenges. Over a period of one year, and with support from the Centre's staff, they will:

Analyse an aspect of the status of the world's living resources, from plant and animal species to ecosystems. The topic should be relevant to biodiversity conservation and/or sustainable management and should link to the policy needs of the scholar's region and;

Develop reports, tools, and other outputs relevant to the chosen area of work with specific recommendations for their implementation and use by policymakers and practitioners.

As with all Chevening scholarships, candidates are expected to be of a high academic calibre. Applicants for this prestigious award will be expected to prove their commitment to a future working in national and regional policy development and resolving biodiversity-related challenges.

Application guidelines and forms can be accessed on UNEP-WCMC's website: www.unep-wcmc.org

For more information, please contact:

Kaveh Zahedi

Officer in Charge

UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre

219 Huntingdon Road, Cambridge CB3 0DL, UK

Tel: +44 1223 277314

Fax: +44 1223 277136

BACK TO TOP

RECENT EVENTS

33. Workshop for Promoting Ethiopian Bamboo Development

From: Dr. Fu Jinhe, International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR) jfu@inbar.int

The “Workshop for Promoting Ethiopian Bamboo Development” was held on 11 March, 2005 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It was organized by INBAR, UNIDO and supported by Ethiopian Ministry of Trade and Industry, Chinese Embassy in Ethiopia.
More than 50 participants from different sectors attended the workshop. Mr. Tadesse Haile, the State Minister of Ministry of Trade and Industry and Mr. Tekalign Mamo, the State Minister of Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. Lin Lin, the Chinese Ambassador, Mr. Yi Zonghua, the Chinese Counsellor of Economic and Commercial office, Dr. Geoffrey Mariki, Head of UNIDO regional office attended the Workshop as VIP guests. Other participants included officials from the Ethiopian Government, including Mr. Abi Woldemeskel, the Commissioner of Ethiopian Investment Commission, from international organizations such as GTZ (German Technical Cooperation), SNV (Netherlands Development Organization), FAO, EU, Italian Embassy, Austrian Development Cooperation, USAID, and bamboo professionals, companies, journalists, etc.

Mr. Tadesse Haile chaired the Workshop and made opening remarks. Mr. Lin Lin, the Chinese Ambassador gave an opening speech, stressing that the Chinese government will continue to cooperate with other institutions and the Ethiopian government to promote Ethiopian bamboo development.
Dr. Fu Jinhe of INBAR gave a presentation on “The Importance and Potential of Ethiopian Bamboo Development and Future cooperation between Ethiopia, China and International Organizations”. This was followed by an INBAR multi-medial video "INBAR in China and the World”. Afterwards Ms. Song Shuang from INBAR introduced a ‘Success story’ on the development of the bamboo industry in rural areas in China and its impact on poverty reduction. During the tea break, bamboo products from the ongoing Bamboo Utilization Training Workshop were exhibited.
The participants were very impressed by the information presented at the Workshop. Active and substantive discussions about the future development, cooperation and priority area of Ethiopian bamboo sector were chaired by Mr. Tadesse Haile.

This workshop has ignited the passion to develop bamboo in Ethiopia and will promote Ethiopian bamboo development greatly.

For more information, please contact:

Fu Jinhe Ph. D.

Program Officer, International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR), Beijing 100102-86, Beijing 100102, P. R. China

Fax: +86-10-6470 2166

Email: jfu@inbar.int

www.inbar.int or www.iufro.org/iufro/iufronet/d5/hp51105.htm

BACK TO TOP

34. International Symposium Guadua 2004

From: Walter Liese, Wliese@aol.com

The International Symposium Guadua 2004 took place at the Technological University of Pereira, Pereira, Colombia, from 27 September to 2 October 2004, and was attended by 250 participants from more than 20 countries (Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Germany, Guatemala, Holland, England, Italy, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Spain, Switzerland, United States, and Venezuela).

The Symposium covered four main topics: Silviculture and environmental services, Harvesting and post harvesting processes, Applications and industrial uses, and Institutions and Socioeconomic frame; 45 oral reports and 21 posters of national and international experts and researchers were presented.

The participants evaluated the Symposium as excellent in all aspects and one of the most important at worldwide level

There was also the possibility of undertaking the following field trips:

• Structures in Guadua, offered by The Colombian Bamboo Society: two visits to constructions and structures in Guadua-bamboo (pavilion, social interest houses, public building, schools and center of education).

• Silvicultural handling of natural guaduas and plantations of guadua, offered by Faculty of Environmental Sciences of the Technological University of Pereira with its project Guadua-Bamboo.

• Industrial processing and socio-economical framework: Sustainable handling of guadua and the sale of products made from Guadua.

There were also handicraft and art made from Guadua; many of the participants could learn about the products and make important contacts for international marketing.

The proceedings of the Symposium are available. The CD costs $12.000 Col. or US$5, plus delivery. The book (564 pages) costs $80.000 Col. or US$35, plus delivery.

For more information, please contact: luzma@utp.edu.co

BACK TO TOP

FORTHCOMING EVENTS

From Source to Shelf: Sustainable Supply Chain Management (SSCM) of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants

21-22 July 2005

Vienna, Austria

This session is a two-day side event of the XVII International Botanical Congress (IBC).

The increasing demand in medicinal and aromatic plants (MAP) results in a trade worth US$60 billion globally. Out of an estimated 40 000 to 50 000 MAP used worldwide, 4 000 are threatened; mainly due to habitat loss and unsustainable harvesting levels and practices. Although cultivation of MAP is playing an increasing role in the supply, the majority of MAP species will continue to come from the wild in the foreseeable future. Management practices need reform along all stages of the supply chain.

To ensure sustainable use of MAP to the benefit of nature and people requires standards, an integrated approach, and partnerships, ranging from botanical expertise to business planning. This session will highlight the challenges and potential solutions along key stages of the supply chain from source to shelf.

Registration until 15 June 2005

Up-dated information about the side event as well as registration form, abstracts etc. can be found at www.floraweb.de/map-pro/ibc.html .

or please contact:

Susanne Honnef, WWF Germany, Rebstöcker Strasse 55, 60326

Frankfurt a.M.; e-mail: MAP-Standards-Criteria@wwf.de; Fax: ++49/ (0)69/79144-231.

www.ibc2005.ac.at .

BACK TO TOP

The use of Medicinal Plants in the Tropics

9-11 September 2005

Worcester, England

The seminar, which is being organized by Action for Natural Medicine (anamed), will be a practical interactive experience including the following:

• The scientific and cultural basis for using medicinal plants

• Self reliance in health using plants for nutrition and medicine

• Treatment of common health problems e.g. malaria, diarrhoea, wounds, burns and HIV/AIDS

• Preparation of teas, tinctures, oils and ointments

• Storage of seeds, dried products and food

• Use of specific plants, including Artemisia annua, Neem, Moringa, Garlic, Pawpaw

Anamed is a small German based charitable organization that helps communities and health centres in the Tropics to become more self-reliant in preventing and treating the most common diseases and health complaints by utilizing and developing their own locally available resources. In this way, in even the poorest communities, many lives can be saved, and health centres can become less dependent on imported medicines.

For more information, please contact:

Dr S Challand

55 Sturdee Gardens

Jesmond

Newcastle NE2 3QU

UK

E-mail: s.challand@surefish.co.uk

Tel: +44-0191 2845357

or

Dr Keith Lindsey

Anamed

Berglenstr. 10

71364 Winnenden

Germany

Tel: +49 (0)7195 74572

Email: anamed@t-online.de

www.anamed.net

BACK TO TOP

The United Nations Environment Programme Tunza International Youth Conference

12-18 October 2005

Bangalore, India

The Tunza International Youth Conference is a biennial event held by the United Nations Environment Programme that brings together 150-200 young people (15-24 years old) from around the world to foster environmental dialogue and strengthen their capacity for community-based environmental action. Partners for this year's Conference include the Indian Ministry of Environment and Forests, the Centre for Environmental Education (CEE), India and Bayer AG.

The Tunza International Youth Conference provides a forum for youth representatives to examine how UNEP and other UN agencies are working with young people for sustainable development both regionally and globally, to learn new skills and to forge new global partnerships for sustainable development. This year's Conference includes a range of optional activities, including field visits, nature camps, and exposure to local art and culture, meditation, yoga and ayurveda, which are strengths of the region.

A number of participants from Asia & the Pacific will be selected to participate. Selected participants will have their travel and accommodation costs covered fully by the UNEP. To be eligible, candidates must:
* Be born between 1 October, 1981 and 30 October, 1990.
* Be nominated by an environmental/sustainable development organization that they work with, and of which they are an active member. Organizations must nominate both a male and a female candidate.
* Be able to work and communicate effectively in English.
Application deadline: 15 May 2005

Apply at: www.unep.org/Tunza/youthconference2005/

BACK TO TOP

Second International Agarwood Conference

November 2006

Bangkok, Thailand

The successful First International Agarwood Conference was held in Vietnam in November 2003. This Second International Agarwood Conference will include presentations, workshops and field trips in Thailand, co-organized and sponsored by Kasetsart University and The Rainforest Project Foundation.

This conference will include a strong focus on trade and products, plantation management, and opportunities for agarwood product manufacturers to display their product lines. Cultivated Agarwood will remain high on the agenda as well as a continued focus on conservation and related issues.

For more information, please see: http://therainforestproject.net/conf2.htm

BACK TO TOP

LITERATURE REVIEW AND WEB SITES

39. In search of excellence : exemplary forest management in Asia and the Pacific

From: Miyuki Ishikawa, FAORAP, Miyuki.Ishikawa@fao.org

Another week, another bad news story in the litany of irresponsibility, greed and corruption that seem to characterize forestry in Asia and the Pacific. But, is the actual situation as bad as things are usually painted?

If a new study by FAO and the Regional Community Forestry Training Center for Asia and the Pacific (RECOFTC) is correct, then predictions of the imminent demise of the region’s forests may be premature. In search of excellence: exemplary forest management in Asia and the Pacific highlights the brighter side of forestry in a much-maligned region. A widespread call for nominations identified 172 forests in 21 countries that were perceived to be “well-managed.” After careful vetting, 28 forests were selected for detailed case study analysis.

The result is a kaleidoscope of ideas, approaches, inspiration and perspiration that tell the stories of people dedicated to building sustainable livelihoods through careful management of their forests. These “Chicken Soup for the Forests” stories encompass a broad spectrum of management challenges. From the “miracle” of the Kalibo mangrove reforestation project, which describes the conversion of a bare mudflat into a mangrove ecotourism site, to the “minimal impact” helicopter logging operations of Forever Beech in New Zealand, these case studies lend hope for the future of forests.

Patrick Durst, FAO’s Senior Forestry Officer in Asia and the Pacific and lead editor of the new study, certainly doesn’t believe the outlook for Asia-Pacific forests is all doom and gloom. “My work brings me into contact with large numbers of people doing incredible work in managing the region’s forests. The pity is that the knowledge, skill and commitment of these people are usually buried beneath the horror stories of wanton logging, purposely-set forest fires and the exchange of large envelopes stuffed with cash in dark and smoke-filled rooms.”

Durst acknowledges that the study is likely to cause controversy. “We haven’t backed away from including some contentious exemplars, and there will be plenty of people who will disagree with this. The Diamond Raya timber concession in Indonesia and Australian forests in Tasmania and Southwestern Australia are flashpoints for forest controversy.”

The management of Tasmanian forests, for example, was a major issue in the recent Australian election – there was speculation that the forests issue could decide the balance of political power. But, controversy doesn’t preclude exemplary forest management. The book argues that open debate over forest management is a healthy sign; one of its conclusions is that perceptions of excellence are usually in the eye of the beholder.

The macro-environmental statistics continue to paint a damning portrait of forestry in many Asia-Pacific countries with more than 2.5 million hectares of the region’s forests (excluding China) cleared each year. However, at local levels, positive change is occurring as some governments, forestry communities and private companies seek sustainable livelihoods and effective forest management.

“We wanted to show that there are some good things happening in the forests,” says FAO Assistant Director-General, He Changchui. “There are many people devoting their lives to improving forest management, but they rarely receive the credit they deserve.” Nonetheless, He perceives a gradual shift in the forest debate. “People are recognizing that collaborative efforts are the most constructive – where governments, environmentalists, communities and forest industry all work together. This is an important lesson emerging from the In search of excellence study,” He concludes.

RECOFTC Executive Director Yam Malla says that the most striking thing about the new study is the emergence of common themes among well-managed forests. “Strengthening property rights, attention to the livelihoods of local people, and the development of societal consensus are specifically identified by the analysis as key components of effective forest management. These elements are at the core of RECOFTC’s mandate – it reinforces our belief that our approach is on the correct path.”

In search of excellence: exemplary forest management in Asia and the Pacific provides answers for all the people who have asked, “Why don’t they do something?” It is dedicated to the many forest managers who are making a difference.

In search of excellence: exemplary forest management in Asia and the Pacific

Edited by Patrick B. Durst, Chris Brown, Henrylito D. Tacio and Miyuki Ishikawa

You can download the entire book as PDF files at:
http://www.fao.org/documents/show_cdr.asp?url_file=/docrep/007/ae542e/ae542e00.htm

For more information and to obtain copies, contact:

Patrick Durst
Senior Forestry Officer
FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific
39 Phra Atit Road
Bangkok, 10200 THAILAND
Tel: (66-2) 697-4139
Fax: (66-2) 697-4445
E-mail: Patrick.Durst@fao.org

or

Ms. Lay Cheng Tan
Manager, Information Management and Communication
RECOFTC
P.O. Box 1111
Kasetsart University
Bangkok 10903, THAILAND
Tel: (66-2) 940-5700 Ext: 1213
Fax: (66-2) 561 4880
E-mail: info@recoftc.org or otan@ku.ac.th

BACK TO TOP

40. NTFP Newsletter of the Vietnamese NTFP Network

From: FAO’s NWFP Programme

The next issue of the NTFP Newsletter will cover NTFPs and Poverty Alleviation in Vietnam. Contributions on this subject should be sent before 15 May.

For more information, please contact:

Nguyen Thi Bich Hue (Ms.)
Communications Officer
Non-timber Forest Products Sub-sector Support Project
Address: 8 Chuong Duong Do street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi, Vietnam
Tel: (844) 9 320 970/1, Ext 114
Fax: (844) 9 320 996
Email: hue.nguyenbich@ntfp.org.vn or huelong@fpt.vn
www.ntfp.org.vn

BACK TO TOP

41. Proceedings of the International Workshop on Bamboo Industrial Utilization

From: Walter Liese, Wliese@aol.com

On the occasion of the 4th China Bamboo Cultural Festival 11-13 October 2003, Xianning, Hubei Province, an International Workshop on Bamboo Industrial Utilization was organized by INBAR. The proceedings are now available online.

In the opening address Professor Jiang Zehui, President Chinese Academy of Forestry, outlined the main progress in China’s bamboo industry development and bamboo industrial utilization.

The bamboo forest area is 7.2 million hectares (from 22 million hectares worldwide), with 4.2 million hectares of plantations and 3 million hectares of natural stands in high mountains. China’s bamboo industrial utilization made significant advancements in: bamboo panel products; bamboo laminated board furniture; bamboo pulp and paper; bamboo fibre development and utilization; and bamboo charcoal and vinegar.

In the new historic period of forestry development, the bamboo industry should aim at sustainable development with the strategy of eco-construction, eco-security and eco-civilization. It should also:

-pay attention to the construction of the bamboo forest resource base

-enhance the upgrading of the bamboo industry structure

-enhance scientific innovation

-enhance macro-guidance and trade management

-further international exchange and cooperation.

Altogether 22 papers were presented with 18 from Chinese authors. They were grouped into two sections I. Bamboo Industrial Utilization and II. Bamboo Resources, Environment and Trade.

Proceedings of a Conference in Xianning, Hubei, China, October 12, 2003.

Ed. Chen Xuhe, Luo Yiping, Hao Ying, 179 pages, numerous figures. INBAR, Beijing, 2004.

Available free online at: http://www.inbar.int/publication/pubdetail.asp?publicid=129

BACK TO TOP

42. Research articles

From: Pankaj Oudhia, pankajoudhia@yahoo.com

The following research articles are now available on the Web.

Present Status of Mucuna (Kevatch) Cultivation and Utilization in India: My observations.
http://botanical.com/site/column_poudhia/publish/journal.cgi?folder=journal&next=11315

Diseased Curcuma and Withania: Good News for the Traditional Healers.
http://botanical.com/site/column_poudhia/publish/journal.cgi?folder=journal&next=11312

Atteva fabriciella (Lepidoptera: Yponomeutidae) as Medicinal Insect in Chhattisgarh, India.
http://botanical.com/site/column_poudhia/publish/journal.cgi?folder=journal&next=11311

Vultures and Traditional Medicinal Knowledge about it both are in Danger in Indian State Chhattisgarh.
http://botanical.com/site/column_poudhia/publish/journal.cgi?folder=journal&next=11310

Additional Information on Traditional Medicinal Uses of Pipal Lac in Chhattisgarh, India.
http://botanical.com/site/column_poudhia/publish/journal.cgi?folder=journal&next=11309

White Flowered Bhatkatiya (Kantkari): Heavy demand is posing threat on Natural Population.
http://botanical.com/site/column_poudhia/publish/journal.cgi?folder=journal&next=11307

Can Mosquitoes help in treatment of Human Diseases?
http://botanical.com/site/column_poudhia/publish/journal.cgi?folder=journal&next=11306

Traditional Knowledge Can Help in Old Tree Transplantation: An Introduction to New Technology.
http://botanical.com/site/column_poudhia/publish/journal.cgi?folder=journal&next=11305

One Morning with Herbs of Devlapar Forest.
http://botanical.com/site/column_poudhia/publish/journal.cgi?folder=journal&next=11304

The Endless Search For Rare Yellow Flowered Parsa.
http://botanical.com/site/column_poudhia/publish/journal.cgi?folder=journal&next=11302

Is Dental Regeneration Possible?
http://botanical.com/site/column_poudhia/publish/journal.cgi?folder=journal&next=11301

Real Research on Stevia and Native Herbs: East Meets West.
http://botanical.com/site/column_poudhia/publish/journal.cgi?folder=journal&next=11300

The Meeting and Interaction with Enthusiastic Traditional Healers of Kanker Region, Chhattisgarh, India.
http://botanical.com/site/column_poudhia/publish/journal.cgi?folder=journal&next=11297

Maida is in Great Danger in Kanker.
http://botanical.com/site/column_poudhia/publish/journal.cgi?folder=journal&next=11296

The Search for Organic Alternatives for Pest Management in STEVIA.
http://botanical.com/site/column_poudhia/publish/journal.cgi?folder=journal&next=11295

Interactions with Parmal the Traditional Healer's Son.
http://botanical.com/site/column_poudhia/publish/journal.cgi?folder=journal&next=11294

Commercial Cultivation of Stevia: Some Field Observations
http://botanical.com/site/column_poudhia/publish/journal.cgi?folder=journal&next=11293

STEVIA in India: Ready to Make The Life Full of Sweet Experiences.
http://botanical.com/site/column_poudhia/publish/journal.cgi?folder=journal&next=11292

Why Internet is not a good source for the Information on Herbal Marketing?
http://botanical.com/site/column_poudhia/publish/journal.cgi?folder=journal&next=11319

Traditional Medicinal Knowledge about Herbs used in Treatment of Cancer in Chhattisgarh, India. IV. Interactions with Herb Vendors.
http://botanical.com/site/column_poudhia/publish/journal.cgi?folder=journal&next=11329

Traditional Medicinal Knowledge about Herbs used in Treatment of Cancer in Chhattisgarh, India. III. Interactions with Senior Traditional Healers.
http://botanical.com/site/column_poudhia/publish/journal.cgi?folder=journal&next=11328

Traditional Medicinal Knowledge about Herbs used in Treatment of Cancer in Chhattisgarh, India. II. Use of Kand.
http://botanical.com/site/column_poudhia/publish/journal.cgi?folder=journal&next=11325

Traditional Medicinal Knowledge about Herbs used in Treatment of Cancer in Chhattisgarh, India. I. Herbs for Cancerous Wounds.
http://botanical.com/site/column_poudhia/publish/journal.cgi?folder=journal&next=11324

BACK TO TOP

43. Other publications of interest

From: FAO’s NWFP Programme

Kusel, J. (Editor); Adler, E. (Reviewer). 2004. Forest communities, community forests: successes in rebuilding communities and forests. Regional studies; 38:7: pp.864-865

Sidaway, Roger. 2005. Resolving environmental disputes: from conflict to consensus. Earthscan. ISBN 1844070131

This book examines how and why conflicts occur and whether approaches to conflict resolution based on consensus building could be more widely applied. It differs from existing books by covering both environmental mediation and public participation and by analysing detailed case studies in Britain, the USA and the Netherlands.

BACK TO TOP

44. Web sites and e-zines

From: FAO’s NWFP Programme

Spotlight on traditional medicine

Traditional medicine is growing in popularity, making it urgent to address topics such as a lack of international standards, concerns over the quality of the medicines and the threat that the excessive use of medicinal plants can pose to biodiversity. This spotlight highlights key issues in traditional medicine, with two new policy briefs discussing global standards and legislation as well as the protection of indigenous medical knowledge in South Africa.

www.scidev.net/dossiers/index.cfm?fuseaction=specifictopics&dossier=7&topic=147&CFID=48326&CFTOKEN=60152541

The Aga Khan Agency for Microfinance

www.akdn.org/microfinance/index.html.

Wildlife Caught on Film – Camera Traps

WWF is using camera traps, armed with infrared sensors triggered by movement, to provide important data from the field. Now you have access to the same images that WWF uses in its efforts conserve species.

www.worldwildlife.org/cameratrap/

BACK TO TOP

REQUESTS

45. Request for information on genetic engineering of NWFP

From: Lynn Palmer, Canada, lynn@fallsbrookcentre.ca

I'm looking for information on genetic engineering of any NWFPs. Please contact me if you have any information on this. Thank you.

Lynn Palmer

Forestry Program Coordinator

Falls Brook Centre

125 S. Knowlesville Rd.

Knowlesville, New Brunswick

E7L 1B1 Canada

Tel: +1-(506) 375-7310/375-7383

E-mail: lynn@fallsbrookcentre.ca

www.fallsbrookcentre.ca

BACK TO TOP

MISCELLANEOUS

46. Angola: rare sable antelope survives the war

Source: UN Integrated Regional Information Networks, 7 April2005 (in allAfrica.com)

The rare giant sable antelope (Hippotragus niger varianien), unique to Angola and feared extinct after almost three decades of civil war, has survived.

A majestic but notoriously skittish beast, the 'Palanca Negra' is informally regarded as the country's national animal. The striking curved horns of the adult male, which can grow up to 165 cm long, appear on the logo of Angola's national airline and football team.

Many assumed that 27 years of fighting had wiped out the species because there had been no confirmed sighting since 1982. Even when peace reigned, poachers in search of commercial bushmeat or food for survival posed a serious threat.

Now a team from the Catholic University's Centre for Scientific Studies and Investigation, using remote cameras triggered by an infrared beam, have managed to catch a herd of giant sable on film in the Kangandala National Park in the northern province of Malanje. "We had been seeing droppings and tracks of the giant sable for around two years, but that was not good enough; we needed proof. This is the first definitive sighting backed with concrete evidence in more than 20 years," said Pedro Vaz Pinto, who led the project.

The photographs show young bulls and several cows with the white facial markings that distinguish the giant sable from more common antelopes. The regal adult male is missing from the pictures, but with at least two of the cows pregnant, Vaz Pinto was confident that the herd was thriving.

Vaz Pinto warned that rediscovering the Palanca Negra also brought a host of new challenges, not least putting in place some form of protection for the animal, which could fall victim to agricultural encroachment, unscrupulous breeders or trophy-hunters, and poachers.

Not only local people in Malanje but Angolans across the country view the antelope as a mystical, almost sacred creature, and had helped to protect it from poachers.

There is hope that proper protection and a comprehensive survey to determine how many are left could lead to much-needed employment and income generation in an area desperate for development. "This is a unique situation, in which you have something really special; where it doesn't matter how difficult it is to get here, people will come. Tourists will come running to Angola - this can really help local development," Vaz Pinto said.

Describing the giant sable's survival as "almost a miracle", the next step is to involve the Angolan government and international conservation organisations in developing a strategic plan to safeguard the animal, considered by many to be the most beautiful antelope in the world.

For full story, please see: http://allafrica.com/stories/200504070557.html

BACK TO TOP

47. Put a cork in it

Source: Globe and Mail, Canada, 16 April 2005

Cork is the wool of the plant world. Harvested annually from shaggy cork oaks in the Mediterranean, it is used in dozens of warm and comforting items for the home and wardrobe – everything from flooring to fishing rods to footwear.

It's also highly recyclable, so it seems silly to toss 100 million corks into the garbage. But that's how many are estimated to go to landfill every year in Ontario.

The good news is that the Girl Guides are starting a new recycling program called Bag-a-Cork (www.bag-a-cork.org).The first of its kind in North America, the program is a co-initiative of the Guides and Iron Gate Cellarage Inc., a Toronto fine-wine storage facility. With collection bins placed in participating hotels and restaurants, the corks are rounded up and sorted, then sold.

For full story, please see: www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/ArticleNews/TPStory/LAC/20050416/CORK16/TPEntertainment/Style

BACK TO TOP

QUICK TIPS AND INFORMATION FOR NWFP-DIGEST-L

This list is for information related to any aspect of non-wood forest products.

Cross-postings related to non-wood forest products are welcome.

Information on this mailing list can be reproduced and distributed freely as long as they are cited.

Contributions are edited primarily for formatting purposes. Diverse views and materials relevant to NWFPs are encouraged. Submissions usually appear in the next issue. Issues are bi-monthly on average.

To join the list, please send an e-mail to: mailserv@mailserv.fao.org with the message:

subscribe NWFP-Digest-L

To make a contribution once on the list, please send an e-mail to the following address: NWFP-Digest-L@mailserv.fao.org

To unsubscribe, please send an e-mail to: mailserv@mailserv.fao.org

with the message:

unsubscribe NWFP-Digest-L

For technical help or questions contact NWFP-Digest-L@mailserv.fao.org

Your information is secure--We will never sell, give or distribute your address or subscription information to any third party.

The designations employed and the presentation of materials in the NWFP-Digest-L do not necessarily imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

NWFP-Digest-L Sponsor:

Non-Wood Forest Products Programme

Forestry Department

FAO

Viale delle Terme di Caracalla

00100 Rome, Italy

Fax: +39-06-570-55618

Web site NWFP programme: www.fao.org/forestry/foris/webview/fop/index.jsp?siteId=2301&langId=1

last updated:  Monday, August 24, 2009