No. 2/05

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.

Back issues of the Digest may be found on FAO's NWFP home page:


1. Bushmeat: Ebola virus outbreaks linked to infected wild animal carcasses
2. Bushmeat: West African confab on bushmeat begins
3. Bushmeat: Chimpanzee babies starved by rare animal smugglers
4. Bushmeat: Cruel world of trade in bushmeat
5. Ecotourism: Uttaranchal (India) tries to involve tribals in forest conservation
6. Ginseng: Biologist says deer threaten ginseng
7. Honey: Locusts threaten honey production in Guinea-Bissau
8. Honey: Accessing EU market for Zambian honey exporters
9. Medicinal Plants: Global trade in medicinal plants growing
10. Medicinal plants: ICRAF to conserve medicinal aloe plant
11. Medicinal plants: Indian Government to protect patents on medicinal plants
12. Medicinal plants: Certification not a cure for threats to India's medicinal plants
13. Mushrooms: Fungus studied as cancer fighter
14. Brazil: President creates massive forest reserves in Amazon
15. China to boost research into traditional medicine
16. Morocco: la forêt de la maâmora, un écosystème fragile à préserver
17. Nepal: International certification for NWFP
18. Peru: la shiringa nuevamente vale
19. Sri Lanka: 50,000 acres of Horowpathana Forest to be declared National Park

20. Certification of Non-wood Forest Products
21. Green inventor wins top honour
22. Training: RECOFTC Training Courses and Study Tours for 2005
23. Training: The International Association for Impact Assessment
24. World leaders must take action on Congo agreement

25. European Forest Institute: Director

26. The Second Annual North Carolina Natural Products Association Conference
27. Biodiversity and Conservation Biology in Plantation Forests
28. Small-scale Forestry in a Changing Environment
29. A Future Beneath the Trees
30. International training workshop on small bamboo daily product processing technologies and machines
31. Interactive forest and nature policy in practice - managing multi-stakeholder learning in sector-wide approaches and national forest programmes

32. Africa Environment Outlook. Past, present and future perspectives
33. Discovering a new source of income
34. Unasylva
35. Other publications of interest
36. Web sites and e-zines
37. Request for assistance: Training in India
38. Request for assistance: Association of medicinal plant scientist of India – proposal

39. El Perú se ubica entre los 20 países que mejor cuidan sus ecosistemas
40. MSc. in European Forestry – University of Joensuu, Finland
41. WOCAN: Announcement of a new global network
42. United Kingdom: New Forest national park date set



1. Bushmeat: Ebola virus outbreaks linked to infected wild animal carcasses

Source: News-Medical-Net, 14 February 2005

All recent Ebola virus outbreaks in humans in forests between Gabon and the Republic of Congo were the result of handling infected wild animal carcasses, according to a study by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and its regional partners. Appearing in the February edition of the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, the study found that many animal carcasses tested for Ebola between 2001 and 2003 produced positive results, and found direct links between the deadly disease in animal populations and humans.

"This research proves that hunting and consumption of great apes represent a serious health risk for people in Central Africa, and a risk that can be avoided," said Dr. William Karesh, field veterinarian for the Wildlife Conservation Society and a co-author on the paper. "What we need now is improved awareness of this risk in communities where bushmeat is still a source of sustenance and continued monitoring of wildlife in the region. We have identified a 'win – win' opportunity by using this information to both protect endangered apes from illegal hunting and to protect humans from deadly outbreaks."

The paper provides definitive proof for the assumption that Ebola moves from wildlife populations to humans through the consumption or handling of carcasses or bushmeat.

Specifically, the researchers found that Ebola infections in wild animals such as gorillas, chimpanzees, and occasionally duikers, move across the human-wildlife divide through hunters taking either sick animals or carcasses for meat. Hunters can then spread the disease to families and hospital workers, creating the conditions for an epidemic in the process.

Between August 2001 and June 2003, researchers noted that wildlife outbreaks occurred prior to five human outbreaks in the same relative locations. During this same period, 98 animal carcasses were discovered in the region straddling northeast Gabon and the northwest Republic of Congo. Of these carcasses, 21 gorilla, chimp and duiker carcasses were tested for the Ebola virus, with 14 samples being found positive. In 11 cases, instances of human infection were directly linked to gorilla, chimpanzee and duiker carcasses.

To prevent future outbreaks from becoming health crises, health officials and wildlife researchers must continue to work together in monitoring the region's wildlife for signs of Ebola.

Ebola hemorrhagic fever (Ebola HF) is a severe, often-fatal disease in humans and nonhuman primates (monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees) that has appeared sporadically since its initial recognition in 1976.

For full story, please see:

2. Bushmeat: West African confab on bushmeat begins

Source: GhanaWeb, 23 February 2005

A three-day West African conference on bushmeat dubbed “Taking the bushmeat crisis in West Africa” opened in Accra yesterday. Thirteen participants comprising bushmeat traders, traditional rulers, environmental groups and Government authorities are attending the meeting.

The conference is a result of a poorly managed and largely uncontrolled harvesting of wildlife, which is posing a threat to wildlife in the sub-region. In view of this, the stakeholders will, among other things, develop long term programmes to ensure effective implementation of wildlife strategies, enhance protection of endangered areas, reduce illegal hunting activities and sustainably manage wildlife harvest.

Prof. Dominic Fobih, Lands and Forestry Minister said that his ministry, through the Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission, has introduced a new concept to promote community participation in the conservation of wildlife resource. Known as the community resource management concept, it seeks to transfer ownership and management responsibility of wildlife back to rural communities under the establishment of community resources management areas (CREMA). According to the Minister, the aim is to encourage farmers to integrate wildlife management into farming and land management systems. It is also to enable them to have responsible ownership and authority for wildlife on their land.

For full story, please see:

3. Bushmeat: Chimpanzee babies starved by rare animal smugglers

Source: Independent – UK, 22 February 2005

Customs officials at Jomo Kenyatta Airport in Nairobi know to listen out for whimpers coming from crates that pass through the customs hall. As a transport hub for East Africa, animals flown illegally from one part of the world to another frequently pass through here.

Last week officials made the biggest seizure of its kind when they found five baby chimpanzees and four guenon monkeys crammed together in a tiny crate on a plane coming in from South Sudan. "The baby chimps were found in a pitiful state and were starving” said Richard Obanda, a senior official at Kenya Wildlife Services, which has taken charge of the animals.

The chimpanzees have a black market value of around $20,000 (£10,500) each, and Kenya Wildlife Services said it believed the animals were being taken to Nigeria from Egypt. The raid highlights the magnitude of the worldwide trade in chimpanzees, mankind's closest relatives. They are classified as a highly endangered species by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) and there are believed to be only 200,000 remaining in the world. They can only be transported for very specific reasons, but 32,000 primates annually are still bought and sold on the international market. One third go to America to be kept in zoos or used in laboratory research, where they are used to research infectious diseases such as HIV/Aids and hepatitis. Conservationists estimate that at least a quarter of the trade worldwide is illegal and that as many as eight chimpanzees are killed for every one exported alive.

Interpol, the international police agency, estimates that illegal wildlife trade is worth $5bn a year, second only to drugs in the worldwide black market. Within their native habitats, chimpanzees are sought for food. Around 6,000 are killed each year and eaten by rural populations in Africa who cannot afford any other source of meat. In the jungles of eastern Cameroon and Congo, gorillas and chimpanzees have long been considered a source of food, but the dense growth that surrounded their habitats often foiled hunters. Now European logging companies have opened up huge tracts of forests and carry bushmeat from the hunters directly to the towns, where gorilla and chimpanzee meat sells at three times the price of beef.

"Chimpanzees are threatened by humans who regard then as both pets and as food," Mr Obanda said. "Many people in the Middle East like to keep baby chimpanzees as pets but once they grow to full size they get very strong and powerful. They end up frightening their owners and then end up on someone's plate. It's double jeopardy."

For full story, please see:

4. Bushmeat: Cruel world of trade in bushmeat

Source: The Nation (Nairobi), 23 February 2005

We smelt her before we found her, a six-month old cheetah cub practically garrotted by the rusty wire snare. The leader of the de-snaring team run by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT) working with Kenya Wildlife Service and funded by the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) pulled her dusty, inert body out of the cunningly hidden trap from where she had innocently walked into and become ensnared.

That day the cheetah wasn't the only victim of the escalating but completely illegal bushmeat trade - it is considered by leading conservationists not only unsustainable, but on the verge of being a national disaster. In the Tsavo park, the de-snaring team came across three giraffes, or rather, their remains. The poachers had harvested their ill-got gains on-site and fled the scene.

Working together with KWS who provide back-up in the form of armed patrols/rangers, the de-snaring teams comprise dedicated, well-trained professionals. There are six teams operating in and along the borders of Tsavo East and West, who seek out and dismantle numerous snares as well as an alarming number of wildlife corpses on a daily basis.

In the Tsavo West National Park, poachers have set thousands of illegal snares that indiscriminately kill everything, including the cheetah we came across. Some 151 snares were dismantled in the eastern border of the park (near Maktau Gate) in December alone, a conservative figure due to the late rains. The peak culling period is the dry season between June and October when people and wildlife are struggling for survival.

Particularly depressing are some of the tactics used. As we walked, we came across fencelines a metre or more high built from cut branches, and especially thorn bush that extended for miles. Craftily hidden within the thick web of branches are steel wire snares. Wildlife is then chased into the barrier, often by dogs, and in their attempt to escape, the animals are caught up in the traps set in the crude structures.

What is surprising is that poachers operate – and are discovered – miles inside national park boundaries. They come under the cover of darkness, blinding dik-dik with torches and then simply cutting their hamstrings with a scythe or bludgeoning their spinal chords so that the helpless creatures cannot run away. Donkeys pulling cartloads of carcasses have been found deep within the parks, especially the neglected corners such as Maktau, where there are few roads and hardly any visitors.

The poachers themselves are not always from poor communities, struggling to make a living. The bushmeat trade has become an increasingly commercial market and those involved include businessmen, opportunists and even shifta. They employ traditional hunters good at tracking – and money has upped the ante. A giraffe can sell for Sh10, 000, while a zebra sells at Sh2, 500, so traditional hunters are no longer killing wildlife just to supplement their own diet with extra protein, but poaching and selling game meat for profit.

Carcasses and selected cuts are available fresh in practically every village in Kenya - mostly in seedy kumi-kumi joints. But as the rapacious trade becomes ever more commercial, the meat is turning up in towns and cities, disguised as ng'ombe [beef] and mbuzi [goat meat], filleted and presented as choice cuts.

Hunting was banned in 1978, and wildlife is officially protected under the Wildlife Act. But Punishments handed down by current judiciary practice are exceedingly lenient. Six months is a typical sentence and sometimes the poachers are even acquitted. This is a real blow to the morale of the KWS rangers/de-snaring teams working to apprehend poachers, because they are the ones who witness the slaughter on a daily basis and put their lives at risk in the process.

On the other side of the border, the Tanzanian Government takes poaching seriously and the punishment is imprisonment for 15-20 years. So it is no wonder that we now have an influx of poachers from Tanzania helping themselves to Kenya's natural resources.

The combined efforts of KWS and the DSWT-funded teams save 3,000 animals each year on average from prolonged and agonising death. The de-snaring teams run educational projects in communities targeting school-children.

Unless something is done, the wildlife is going to be decimated. It is estimated that in just one area of Tsavo Park there are ten groups of poachers working 15 days of the month killing numerous animals on each mission. The levels of animals being poached has become so serious an issue that unless it is challenged, it will create problems in the delicate balance of the ecosystem.

Ms Winnie Kiiru of BornFree says. "We as Kenyans will have to take a critical look at our value system with regard to the conservation of our wildlife. The notion that we have abundant resources and that we can continue to harvest with impunity is false. We have to address rural poverty to ease the dependence on wildlife meat for subsistence. Poaching for commercial purposes must be stopped through consistent and effective policing and law enforcement. Consumers of wildlife meat must also be made aware of the dangers of eating meat that has not been inspected."

For full story, please see:

5. Ecotourism: Uttaranchal (India) tries to involve tribals in forest conservation

Source: New Kerala, 12 January 2005 (in Community Forestry E-News 2005.01)

Uttaranchal is trying to involve in thousands of tribals and villagers living in the state’s forests to help woo ecotourists to its remote area. The government is attempting to provide livelihood strategies for the tribals by training them to conserve the forests and to practise sustainable community-based tourism. Revenues generated are to be distributed to the people who actually reside in those areas.

Encouraged by the response to similar packages in states like Sikkim and Assam, authorities are now trying to get locals to adopt their traditional lifestyles – a distinctly forest culture – to bring in the millions of foreigners fascinated by it to the region. The government has also set up a four billion rupees master plan to develop lesser-known hill stations and an institute of eco tourism would be set up to train villagers to boost community-based tourism.

For the full story, please see

6. Ginseng: Biologist says deer threaten ginseng

Source: Associated Press, 11 February 2005, in CFRC Weekly Summary 2/17/05

American ginseng, sister of the Asian wonder herb and a seasonal cash crop in Appalachia, West Virginia, has two obstacles to long-term survival in the United States: Man and deer. That's the conclusion of West Virginia University biologist James McGraw, who says that since humans aren't going anywhere, it's time to do something about the deer.

In Friday's edition of Science, the journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, McGraw says natural, slow-growing ginseng could be extinct within 100 years if deer keep grazing at current rates. He contends there are two ways to ensure its survival: Reintroduce mountain lions, wolves or other natural predators to the Appalachians, or loosen hunting restrictions to reduce the deer herds.

Curtis Taylor, chief of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources' wildlife section, laughs at what he calls a "totally unrealistic" suggestion.

Buddy Davidson, spokesman for the state Department of Agriculture, says it's also unnecessary. "Don't worry about the ginseng," he says. "The coyotes will take care of the deer."

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports an explosion in the number of coyotes, a non-native species that has migrated eastward, in West Virginia. The agency suspects there are 20,000 to 50,000 coyotes in the state.

Ginseng is a protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, a global treaty to which the United States has agreed. The federal government must certify each year that harvesting the root will not threaten its existence.

"So if deer keep lowering the population sizes, eventually, it will definitely curtail any harvesting," argues McGraw. "In one sense, we have a legal mandate to protect this species. But more importantly, that wild harvest provides an important economic supplement to many people in rural Appalachia. It provides a cushion of sorts when times are rough."

Commercial demand is huge for ginseng, touted as a cure-all for everything from headaches and insomnia to sexual dysfunction. Even beer and soda makers are now adding it to their drinks.

The state Division of Forestry says some 10,000 West Virginians enter the woods each fall to dig them up. Last year, they collected more than 6,400 pounds worth more than $2 million.

McGraw and research associate Mary Ann Furedi studied ginseng in seven locations from 2000 to 2004, examining 800 plants every three weeks. In some spots, deer grazed on as little as 11 percent of the plants. In others, they ate every one.

Though mathematical formulas suggest West Virginia has 95 million ginseng plants, McGraw says they're seldom found in large clumps. Ginseng takes 18 months to germinate, then eight to 15 years to mature.

Although McGraw and Furedi studied ginseng, they don't think deer are going out of their way to eat it. They believe the animals are destroying many understory plants, including oak saplings, wild orchids and trilliums, a perennial in the lily family.

Hunting may be the control method that makes sense to most people, and McGraw says states should work harder to educate hunters about the downside of a large deer herd.

But Taylor, at the DNR, says people still pose the greater threat. "Deer get blamed for everything," he says. "Deer and ginseng have coexisted in the Appalachian Mountains ever since there were Appalachian Mountains.

For full story, please see:

7. Honey: Locusts threaten honey production in Guinea-Bissau

Source: IRIN, 21 Feb 2005 (in Reuters AlertNet, 21 February)

Swarms of locusts have invaded western Guinea from neighbouring Senegal and Guinea-Bissau and are devouring the foliage of flowering trees, threatening the region's honey production, agricultural experts told IRIN.

Honey, which accounts for 40 percent of farmers' cash earnings in central Guinea, is particularly threatened in the Labe and Mamou areas, in western Guinea, Abdulkarim Camara, Director of the Agriculture at the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forests, told IRIN by telephone from the Guinean capital Conakry.

Mohamed Lemine, an expert of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) who recently visited Guinea to evaluate the locust infestation, agreed that honey was an important industry in the area. He told IRIN that the authorities would have to choose carefully the pesticides used to control locusts so as not to kill bees at the same time in this sensitive environment.

The locusts are also viewed as a potential threat to tree crops in Guinea-Bissau, whose plantations of cashew nut trees are currently in flower. Cashew nuts are the country's biggest export and the main cash crop of the country's peasant farmers.

For full story, please see:

8. Honey: Accessing EU market for Zambian honey exporters

Source: The Times of Zambia (Ndola), 24 February 2005

Zambia is one of the countries in the region which is able to trade its honey on the basis of it being organic in nature. However, despite its organic status, the honey is unable to access the European market and so gain the benefits attracted by honey products from a developing country. This is due to outlying factors, which honey producers should overcome to increase the honey exports from the current levels of over 500 tonnes annually.

Honey composition is an important determinant of the quality to be exported to the European Union (EU). It is obligatory to carry out laboratory tests for all the honey being exported to ensure that there is compliance with the quality standards required by the EU regulations.

ISO Certification provides a harmonized set of generic quality assurances, standards applicable to any organization regardless of size, activity or status. Honey consumers are becoming increasingly quality conscious and demand that these standards are met as a minimum requirement. Certification can be carried out through organizations affiliated to the European Union, such as Ecocert International and British Soil Association.

Honey colour is an important aspect in the setting of the value for marketing of honey and determination of its use. Normally, darker coloured honeys often have a strong taste and are used for industrial application. The lighter colours, which have a less strong taste, are used for direct consumption. Colour as a single important aspect determines import and export prices.

The honey exported to the EU is normally shipped in steel drums of 205 or 210 litres and weigh about 300 kg. The honey imported by the EU is expected to meet certain standards of marking. The minimal information required on the steel drums are the contact details of the seller (importer) in the importing country, contact details of the producer, type of honey, gross and net weight, drum number, lot number, name of organic certifying organisation and country of origin.

Exporting countries use Eco-labels to indicate that the honey produced has a reduced impact on the environment. Eco-labels are not compulsory, as the market share for them remains relatively low.

In light of the foregoing, most honey producers lack the financial resources for an infrastructure that ensures that honey is produced in an organized manner.

Production of honey to meet the required parameters requires tracing the honey production from the time when the beehives are set to the time of harvesting and processing.

ISO certification is an important aspect when it comes to exporting to the European Market. Once a product is certified and accepted in one place by accredited certifying bodies, it would be the accepted standard elsewhere.

There is need to embark on an expansion programme for tree varieties that are used in honey production, as well as planting other varieties of trees to ease pressure on trees used by bees for honey production.

This increases the production of different types of honey such as monoflora, which sell for higher prices as they are consumed directly. Currently, most Zambian honey used is industrial honey in food preparation after the rediscovery of honey’s valuable food ingredients.

Zambian exporters require a form of training to be able to understand the importance of labelling and marking as an important tool when selling to the European Union. Once all the markings are correct, it creates confidence with the importers.

For full story, please see:

9. Medicinal Plants: Global trade in medicinal plants growing

Source: The Times of India, 14 February 2005

Despite its inherent strength in Ayurveda and other ethnic systems of medicine, India accounts for only a small portion of the world trade in medicinal and aromatic plants which is dominated by China.

While China held a handsome 40 percent share in the $60 billion world trade in medicinal plants, India accounted for just US$100 million, according to Kerala's annual Economic Review.

The global market for medicinal plants has been growing at a brisk pace of 7 percent annually, capitalizing on the growing awareness of herbal and aromatic plants worldwide. The United States accounted for nearly 50 percent of the export of Indian medicinal plants and products. India's share in US imports of pharmaceutical preparations had steadily been increasing since 1998.

The National Medicinal Plants Board had prioritized 32 plants for development, formulating schemes and guidelines for financial assistance applicable both for governmental and non-governmental agencies.

One of the problems faced by the sector is destructive harvesting and inefficient, imperfect and informal marketing by pharmaceutical firms, the review noted.

Out of the annual consumption of raw drugs, 50 percent are from roots, 15 percent fruits/seeds, 12 percent wood, 9 percent whole plants, 7 percent bark/stem, 4 percent leaves and 3 percent flowers.

For full story, please see:

10. Medicinal plants: ICRAF to conserve medicinal aloe plant

Source: The East African Standard (Nairobi), 15 February 2005

The International Centre for Research and Agro Forestry (ICRAF) has started a project in Nyando District (Kenya) to conserve the endangered Aloe Vera plant. The plant will then be exported to pharmaceutical firms in Australia.

Mr David Nyantika, an ICRAF research extension officer, yesterday said a pilot project to conserve the medicinal plant has been launched in Jimbo east sub-location within the district.

"The Aloe plant is threatened with extinction due to heavy destruction of forest cover in Nyakach, land degradation and harvesting by local residents," Nyantika said. He added that aloe has a variety of uses. Its most important value is medicinal and some residents use it for treatment of skin ailments." The plant is also used for making hair conditioners and gels, among other beauty products.

Nyantika said due to the high demand for the plant by local pharmaceutical and cosmetic firms, it was quickly getting depleted.

For full story, please see:

11. Medicinal plants: Indian Government to protect patents on medicinal plants

Source: Financial Express, Bombay, 13 February 2005

Integration of unani systems of medicine with modern medicine in health delivery systems would benefit more people, Union health and family welfare minister Anbumani Ramadoss said.

The government is taking all steps to protect the country’s vast reservoir of traditional knowledge and has initiated a project to record detailed information about the plants of medicinal value, Mr Ramadoss said.

The project of traditional knowledge digital library of unani medicines has been initiated recently and a team of experts were busy transcribing 77,000 formulations which exist in 14 classical texts of unani medicines, the minister said. He added that the database would go a long way in scientific development of the system and help protect patents of medicinal plants in favour of the country.

For full story, please see:

12. Medicinal plants: Certification not a cure for threats to India's medicinal plants

Source: Press Release, TRAFFIC

Certification programmes such as those being promoted for timber are unlikely to be of much help for India's threatened medicinal plants in today's markets, according to a recent TRAFFIC report. A lack of consumer demand, combined with complex and informal trading structures, make it unlikely that voluntary certification would significantly reduce unsustainable harvests and trade. "With regulatory approaches failing to ensure sustainability, we wanted to see if certification approaches like those used for European and North American markets might work for markets in India," said Teresa Mulliken of TRAFFIC International. "Unfortunately, the answer seems to be no, at least not yet."

TRAFFIC's report “Certifying Certification: Can Certification Secure a Sustainable Future for Medicinal Plants, Harvesters and Consumers in India?” found that programmes to promote the production and sale of environmentally friendly products within India had not met with much success. Certification programmes focusing on products for export, e.g. organic and 'fair trade' products, may be meeting with greater success.

Despite the current lack of a domestic market for certified products, TRAFFIC's research documented a growing interest in identifying new ways to bring the medicinal plant trade within sustainable levels. "The government, conservation groups and industry are all keen to learn from the certification approaches developed and used so far," said Pushp Jain, the author of the report.

The report calls for the establishment of a multi-disciplinary certification working group to consider sustainability standards and monitoring programmes appropriate to harvest and trade structures within India. It also urges consultation with international certification bodies such as the Forest Stewardship Council in the development of certification-type approaches.

A further recommendation highlights the need to develop 'good collection practices,' especially for species known to be at risk, in conjunction with industry 'good sourcing practices,' application of the World Health Organization guidelines for field collection of medicinal plants and national laws on good manufacturing practices.

"The future of India's highly developed traditional medicine systems depends on finding a way to produce medicinal plants in a sustainable manner," Jain concluded. "The challenge now is for all the different stakeholders to act in a concerted way before it is too late to secure a future for India's medicinal plants."

The full TRAFFIC Online report (No.9) is available at:

For more information, please contact:

Teresa Mulliken
Research and Policy Coordinator
TRAFFIC International
219c Huntingdon Road
Cambridge CB3 0DL
United Kingdom
Phone: 44 1223 277 427
Fax: 44 1223 277 237

13. Mushrooms: Fungus studied as cancer fighter

Source: Los Angeles Times, 21 February 2005

Ganoderma mushrooms come in six species — each with its own distinctive colour — but it's the red species, Ganoderma lucidum, that's cultivated throughout Asia and North America for its rumoured healing powers. Known popularly as reishi, the mushroom thrives in decaying logs and tree stumps in coastal regions. Reishi's richly coloured caps, which are high in fiber, vitamins and amino acids, are too tough for culinary purposes but have been used medicinally for thousands of years.
Uses: In traditional Chinese medicine, reishi is taken to enhance memory, fight fatigue and increase longevity. Recently reishi has been touted as a remedy for cancer, HIV, Hepatitis B, herpes, altitude sickness, high blood pressure and diabetes.
Most of the research on reishi has been conducted in China, Japan and Korea, where the mushroom has been used for millenniums. Reishi hindered the growth of bladder, colon and breast cancer cells in lab experiments and has provided promising results in animal cancer studies. Animal research also suggests the mushroom can treat peptic ulcers. Such studies suggest reishi acts by increasing the number of so-called natural killer cells, one of several types of cells in the body's immune system. Clinical trials are still lacking, though so far they suggest reishi is effective in reducing high blood pressure.

For full story, please see:,1,3203322.story?coll=la-headlines-health&ctrack=2&cset=true


14. Brazil: President creates massive forest reserves in Amazon

Source: Associated Press, 17 February 2005 (in ABC News International, 22.2.05)

Brazil's president ordered the creation of two massive new rain forest reserves Thursday amid increasing pressure to protect a lawless Amazon region from violent loggers and ranchers after the killing last weekend of an American nun who fought to protect the jungle.

Decrees signed by President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva will form a reserve of 8.15 million acres and a national park of 1.1 million acres in the state of Para, where 73-year-old Dorothy Stang was shot to death in a dispute with a powerful rancher.

The decrees were announced after more than 60 groups signed a letter to the president demanding strong moves to curb "violence and impunity associated with the illegal occupation of lands and deforestation" in the Amazon and especially in Para, nearly twice the size of Texas.

Though environmentalists were pleased with the decrees, they said they have lobbied Silva's administration for similar moves for two years and were dismayed they came only after Stang's death.

Logging companies and wealthy landowners have steadily pushed deeper into the world's largest rain forest, which sprawls over 1.6 million square miles and covers more than half the country, vying for its abundant natural resources. Development, logging and farming have destroyed as much as 20 percent of the rain forest.

For full story, please see:

15. China to boost research into traditional medicine

Source: China Daily, 4 February 2005 (in SciDev.Net Weekly Update: 31 January-6 February 2005)

The Chinese government plans to increase funding of research into traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) to improve the health of its rural population. (TCM uses Chinese yew trees to make an alcoholic drink used to prevent cancer) As part of this plan, the country will increase international cooperation in TCM research.

Fourteen billion yuan (US$1.7 billion) has so far been channelled into TCM's development in the past two years. Commission Deputy Director Qi Chengyuan, in charge of high-tech industry planning, said TCM was already a priority for development in the government's five-year plan for 2006 to 2010.

China's rural areas — with 70 per cent of the country's population — have access to just 20 per cent of its medical resources. Vice-minister of science and technology Li Xueyong said the low cost of TCM made it ideal for use in poor regions, and the Ministry of Health has encouraged the opening of private TCM hospitals in these areas.

Protection of the intellectual property rights relating to TCM is still a concern, however, and the government has been advised to find ways of addressing this before the production of TCM is scaled up.

For full story, please see:

16. Morocco: la forêt de la maâmora, un écosystème fragile à préserver

Source : Menara, 3 February 2005

La forêt de la Maâmora, l'une des plus grandes suberaies au monde se trouve actuellement menacée, en raison des multiples actions néfastes causées par les aléas climatiques et surtout par l'Homme, principal prédateur de cet environnement complexe.

La superficie en chêne-liège de cette forêt légendaire, arbre qui la peuple en majorité, a connu durant ces quatre dernières décennies une diminution de 40 pc, à cause d'une exploitation irréfléchie et cet écosystème s'en trouve fragilisé voire menacé, ce qui nécessite une réaction urgente des autorités compétentes et de la société civile.

La Maâmora a contribué de manière déterminante à la prospérité des cités de Rabat et de Salé ainsi que de leur région, en fournissant du bois, du charbon, du tannin pour les artisans, du liège et des glands doux prisés par les populations locales.

La suberaie est exploitée depuis des décennies pour la production du liège.

En 2004, la récolte du miel a été de l'ordre de 1.000 t, celle des plantes médicinales de 5.000 t et celle des champignons de trente tonnes, selon les derniers chiffres de la Direction du développement forestier.

La forêt est surtout mise en valeur comme un vaste espace d'élevage, de même qu'elle offre de nombreuses opportunités d'emploi, en assurant quelque 300.000 journées de travail par an.

Selon la même source, les recettes forestières engendrées annuellement sont estimées à 100 millions de dhs. La forêt assure 50 pc de la production nationale du bois industriel (300.000 m3), 70 pc de la production nationale de liège (9.000 tonnes), 87 pc de bois de feu des besoins de la zone (600.000 m3/an) et 75 pc des besoins alimentaires du cheptel de la région.

Régression de la superficie du chêne-liège de 40%

Ces ressources sont exploitées par 50 entreprises forestières, 150 exploitants du bois et 16 coopératives forestières.

Après des années de surexploitation, la Maâmora s'est fragilisée, sa densité s'est éclaircie et elle n'est plus formée que d'arbres centenaires dont le sous bois est quasi-détruit.

Les multiples actions néfastes causées par les aléas climatiques et surtout par l'Homme, ont contribué à rendre cette suberaie plus vulnérable. Sa capacité à se régénérer pour faire face aux différents assauts dévastateurs et répétés, s'en trouve dès lors diminuée.

Ainsi, la superficie du chêne-liège a connu une régression estimée à 40 pc, passant de 102.000 ha en 1951 à 60.000 ha en 1992. D'autres plantations artificielles introduites durant la période du protectorat français, comme l'eucalyptus, le pin et l'acacia occupent désormais la place au détriment du chêne-liège.

Cette régression, souligne M. Mohamed Benziane, chef de la division de l'inventaire et de l'aménagement des forêts (Direction du développement forestier), s'explique principalement par la déprise du marché du liège dans les années 60 et la forte demande en produits spécifiques, notamment la pâte à papier, le bois industriel et le tanin naturel.

La régénération naturelle garante de la pérennité de la suberaie est absente pour diverses raisons principalement le surpâturage et le ramassage des glands, a ajouté, dans une déclaration à la MAP, M.Benziane.

En effet, l'effectif du cheptel pâturant dans la forêt est de l'ordre de 250.000 têtes d'ovins, dépassant de quatre fois la possibilité herbagère de la suberaie.

La pollution, principal facteur de dégradation

Le chêne-liège connaît également des dépérissements couvrant de larges surfaces. Les prospections relatives au dépérissement montrent que 30 à 50 pc des arbres sont atteints. Outre les causes liées à la sécheresse, les attaques des insectes et des champignons aggravent l'état de santé de cette forêt. Cette dégradation est de nature à entraîner la détérioration de l'environnement et favoriser l'ensablement. En effet, la disparition du couvert végétal accentuera davantage les phénomènes d'érosion liés aux sols sablonneux de la Maâmora.

Le recul de la forêt aura également des conséquences négatives sur l'économie régionale et nationale et entraînera un flux migratoire des populations vers les grandes agglomérations avec les problèmes que cela engendre.

Les causes de cette situation sont multiples. L'homme demeure le principal acteur. Les incendies, le démasclage (opération consistant à écorcer l'arbre du chêne-liège pour en extraire le liège), le défrichement, la pollution, le surpâturage, le manque du savoir-faire sont autant de facteurs qui favorisent la dégradation de cet espace vert.

L'extraction du bois de feu et du tannin est aussi considérée parmi les facteurs essentiels qui sont derrière la détérioration rapide de ce patrimoine forestier. La production du charbon de bois et du tannin s'est intensifiée pendant la deuxième guerre mondiale, suite à la cessation de l'arrivage du charbon minéral d'importation. De nos jours, le phénomène est toujours d'actualité. En effet 300.000 riverains se servent directement de la forêt pour satisfaire leurs besoins en bois de chauffe et en charbon.

La pollution est également signalée comme étant un facteur de dégradation.
La forêt est aussi prise d'assaut par les citadins de Salé et de Rabat à la recherche de repos. Leurs actions ne sont pas toujours sans effet sur la forêt: piétinement de la flore, dérangement de la faune, pollution et brûlis.

Conscient du rôle que joue cette suberaie, les pouvoirs publics ont pris un certain nombre de mesures en vue d'atténuer ces dégradations. Le rajeunissement et l'aménagement de cette forêt a été le but principal de ces efforts tendant à sauver la suberaie des effets nuisibles de l'Homme.

Ainsi, des traitements sylvicoles visant l'amélioration de l'état de santé des peuplements du chêne-liège par des coupes sanitaires sont menés sur une superficie moyenne de 12.000 ha par an.

Pour limiter et atténuer les effets des prélèvements délictueux de bois, l'Administration des Eaux et Forêts a encouragé la création de quelque 55 coopératives forestières.

Des conventions de partenariat ont été par ailleurs conclues avec l'ensemble des communes riveraines de la Maâmora pour la mise en uvre d'un plan de sauvegarde et du développement de la forêt et ce, dans le but d'impliquer directement les communes avoisinantes dans la protection de cette richesse nationale.

D'immenses efforts restent toutefois à consentir pour sauver ce poumon de la région qui, au fil du temps et telle une peau de chagrin, ne cesse de se rétrécir et risque de priver le pays d'un patrimoine forestier dont la valeur est inestimable.

For full story, please see :

17. Nepal: International certification for NWFP

Source: Nepali Times, 10 January 2005 (in Community Forestry E-News 2005.01)

Nepal’s community forests have been awarded an international certification for sustainable extraction of herbal and medicinal products. The Rainforest Alliance is to award the first community based non-timber forest products certification in Asia to the Federation of Community Forestry Users of Nepal (FECOFUN) whose members supply herbal products to the international market. The Forestry Stewardship Council certification will help stem the destruction of herbal products in the Himalaya and the exploitation of villagers who extract them. Eleven community forest user groups in Bajhang and Dolakha covering 10 500 ha of community forests will get the certification.

For full story, please see:

18. Peru: la shiringa nuevamente vale

Source: Revista Bosques Amazónicos virtual Segunda Quincena Febrero 2005

El jebe o shiringa (Hevea brasilensis) ha sido utilizado tradicionalmente por los nativos de la Amazonía, teniendo una importante demanda mundial derivada de la Revolución Industrial y el transporte por carreteras, que influyó decisivamente en el poblamiento, ocupación y fronteras amazónicas. Un segundo auge o "boom" se produjo durante la segunda guerra mundial.

La producción peruana en bolas y láminas alcanzó las 5.000 toneladas anuales y representó el 20% del PBI nacional a principios del siglo XX, y ha desaparecido totalmente poco después de la Segunda Guerra Mundial.

La demanda nacional se ha incrementado e importamos aproximadamente 10 millones de dólares anualmente en 9,000 toneladas de jebe natural y 150 millones de dólares en manufacturas de jebe. Exportamos aproximadamente 20 millones de dólares en manufacturas de jebe. Toda la industria está concentrada en Lima.

El mercado mundial demanda en promedio 1,120 kilos de jebe per cápita anual, 40% como jebe natural y 60 % como sintético, siendo la producción mundial de 7 millones de toneladas anuales de jebe natural.

Los precios internacionales permiten plantear la reactivación de la producción extractiva de la Amazonía peruana, y las nuevas tecnologías probadas ya en el Perú permiten el incremento de mas del 50 % del rendimiento del shiringuero, y la posibilidad de que la actividad extractiva sea sustentable así bajen los precios en el mercado internacional.

Miles de puestos de trabajo se pueden incorporar fácilmente, en una actividad no depredadora de aprovechamiento de los recursos naturales, orientada a satisfacer la demanda interna peruana.

En el futuro se debe pensar en el desarrollo de plantaciones en zonas que tengan un periodo de "verano" prolongado para escapar de la Enfermedad Sudamericana de las Hojas (SALD). Igualmente se debe pensar en el desarrollo de industrias de jebe tanto para producir el Jebe Técnicamente Especificado (TSR) que es necesario para la industria de llantas y neumáticos, como para producir otras manufacturas de jebe y artesanías en la Amazonía.

19. Sri Lanka: 50,000 acres of Horowpathana Forest to be declared National Park

Source: Columbo Daily News - Columbo, Sri Lanka, 16 February 2005

Fifty thousand acres of the Horowpathana Forest will soon be declared as a National Park on the instructions of Environment and Natural Resources Minister A. H. M. Fowzie.

The Minister told the Daily News that he has instructed the Director General (DG) of the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWLC) Dayananda Kariyawasam to initiate immediate action to declare this new National Park in consideration of the rich biodiversity in the area consisting of valuable medicinal herbs, timber, tanks and waterways, migrant birdlife and natural plants freely available as food stocks for the animals within the forest.

This forest receives the highest rainfall in the Anuradhapura District and is a natural habitat of leopards, elephants and other small animals such as deer, sambur, bear, rabbits and mouse-deer which can be seen moving freely in this area. DWLC officials estimate that around 400 wild elephants use the Horowpathana Forest area as their habitat.

Minister Fowzie also said that this valuable forest has been by-passed for a considerable period of time and that he has instructed Kariyawasam to start work on the roadways leading to the forest so that visitors could visit the park in addition to generating income as a new tourist destination. Moreover declaring Howrowpathana as a new National Park will help in minimising the human-elephant conflict in the area, protect villagers' cultivations and put a stop to illicit game-meat trade.

Fowzie said that during the recent past illicit timber logging and poaching has been rampant and to stop these activities the DWLC has been instructed to open two beat offices, one at the Trincomalee entrance and the other at the Horowpathana entrance. The whole area leading to Vavuniya and Seruwila will be brought under the development programme.

The proposed new Horowpathana National Park extends to Kantale Tank Bund on one side and to Kinniya in Trioncomalee on the other side.

For full story, please see:


20. Certification of Non-wood Forest Products

Source: The Green Guide, 8 February 2005

Where Fair Trade Certification works to ensure fair wages and labour practices, Rainforest Alliance Certification works to transform land-use and business practices as well as consumer choices to protect ecosystems.

In 2004 the non-profit group Asia Network for Sustainable Agriculture and Bioresources (ANSAB) contacted the Rainforest Alliances SmartWood program to help establish sustainable farming of wild herbs in Nepal. Every year 15 000 tons of medicinal plants are harvested from Nepal's Himalaya highlands. Local communities derive much of their income by selling the plants and their derivatives—oils and resins—on the world market.

According to Richard Donovan, the director of the SmartWood program, "it is not typical for us to certify non-timber forest products (NTFPs), most of our certifications focus on wood as the primary product. But we have certified maple syrup, brazil nuts, chicle, medicinal plants, and a few other NTFPs. NTFPs are part of the SmartWood system on a global level, so the potential to do more NTFPs is there."

Working with the personal care company Aveda, SmartWood is helping ANSAB turn wild herb harvesting into a sustainable industry. They hope to have two Rainforest Alliance certified community forests by the end of the year. Aveda will be responsible for sourcing the wild-crafted oils from these forests, beginning with two medicinal and aromatic essential oils. Anthopogon, a species of Rhododendron, is said to help treat gouty rheumatic conditions. Xanthoxylum, known commonly as Winged Prickly Ash, has many aromatherapeutic uses.

For full story, please see:

21. Green inventor wins top honour

Source: ic NorthWales, UK, 18 February 2005

A North Wales woman last night picked up a top prize for her sapling-protection invention.

Adrianne Jones, 40, thought up the bio-degradable tree shelter and seedling cover. She was among last night's winners at the British Female Inventors and Innovators Awards in London. Adrianne was named the top female innovator of the year for her improvements to traditional tree protectors.

The covers, sold through her company, Biocycle, are designed to protect young trees and shrubs and then rot harmlessly. The shelters are already being used across North Wales, and the company expects to do big business in Germany, Sweden and Holland.

The revolutionary product is the first environmentally friendly alternative to plastic tree shelters, which protect young trees and shrubs from the elements for the first few years but have to be removed and disposed of at great cost. Adrianne, who runs the company with husband David, came up with the idea after losing a contract to plant 40,000 trees in Delamere Forest in Cheshire, because of the cost of shelters.

The Biotube is made from a material derived from a non-edible crop called flax, similar to hemp, and a natural resin extracted from a plant grown in Brazil.

Adrianne is also using European cash to carry out research into using the biodegradable materials in everything from disposable nappies to carrier bags.

For full story, please see:

22. Training: RECOFTC Training Courses and Study Tours for 2005

From: RECOFTC Information

We are pleased to announce our open subscription international courses and study tours for 2005.

The international training courses are:

• Managing Conflict for Natural Resource Management (21 March-5 April). (see

• Participatory Management of Protected Areas

• Community-based Enterprises

• Participatory Action Research

• Good Governance and Decentralization in the Natural Resource Sector

The open subscription study tours are:

• Community Forestry Networking (26 April-3 May)

• Participation in Protected Areas Management (5-12 July)

• Sustainable Livelihoods and Community Forest Management (16-23 August)

For questions related to courses or study tours, please contact the Capacity Building Services Program at or or


P.O. Box 1111
Kasetsart University
Bangkok 10903, Thailand
Tel: 66-2-9405700; Fax: 66-2-5614880

23. Training: The International Association for Impact Assessment

Source: Sustainable Africa Newsletter [], 15 February 2005

The International Association for Impact Assessment ( is currently running a program of work on 'Capacity Building for Biodiversity and Impact Assessment' with funding from the Dutch Government. Under this program a limited number of bursaries are available for students and early career professionals with an interest in environmental impact assessment and biodiversity to attend IAIA's annual conference in Boston, USA from 31 May to 3 June 2005. Opportunities to attend training on biodiversity and impact assessment and on Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) will also be available from 27 to 30 May 2005 in association with the conference. Interested individuals should contact Napoleon Tiapo ( for further information about how to apply.

24. World leaders must take action on Congo agreement

Source: edie newsroom,, 11 February 2005

African heads of state and French President Jacques Chirac have jointly pledged to protect the Congo Basin's forests at the Brazzaville Forest Summit this week.

However, African governments and the international community made the same statement at a ministerial conference in Cameroon, October 2003, and without doubting their good intentions, environmental group Greenpeace has voiced its continuing concern that these words may still not be followed by solid actions.

"The time for talk is over. If we are to save the great forests of the Congo Basin, Africa needs actions, not words," head of Greenpeace's international political unit Jean-Luc Roux warned. Despite the new agreement, Mr Roux confirmed that Greenpeace would intensify its campaign over the coming months to get countries of the G8 and European Union to move from declarations to action and intensify efforts to promote transparency, fight corruption and clean up the African timber trade.

Corruption and a lack of political will have repeatedly been cited as the principle obstacles to protecting the Congo Basin's forest resources.

According to Mr Roux, illegal logging is widespread in the area and often takes place with complete impunity. It also causes great damage to fragile ecosystems and brings widespread social conflicts, while also causing significant costs to state treasuries.

Most of the African timber that ends up on the international market, half of which is sold in the EU, is sold with no guarantee of legality or sustainability.

Director of WWF for Africa and Madagascar, Dr Richard Carroll, agreed that the people of Central Africa - from the indigenous groups living in the rainforests to the heads of state - needed the full support of the international community to help them protect this globally important natural heritage. "There has never been a time in history when so much attention, money and commitment to conservation has been focussed on Central Africa's forests, its indigenous people and the brave park guards who have protected its wildlife," he stated.

"Leaders need to be eternally vigilant because each year the Congo Basin loses an area larger than Connecticut, and poaching, smuggling and the illicit bushmeat trade continue to decimate wildlife populations."

He added that bold measures needed to be taken, and political decisions needed to be followed up with robust funding in order for conservation efforts to succeed.

Along with other environmental groups, Greenpeace says leaders urgently need to support political reform and capacity building in the forestry sector, with the active involvement of civil society.

"Poor governance and lack of transparency need to be tackled as a priority to reduce poverty in the Congo Basin and protect and manage its forests in a sustainable manner," Mr Roux urged.

For full story, please see:


25. European Forest Institute: Director

The European Forest Institute (EFI) is an independent non-governmental organisation with headquarters in Joensuu, Finland. EFI has currently 137 member organisations from 38 European countries, thus providing an extensive research network throughout Europe.

EFI conducts problem-oriented and multi-disciplinary forest research at the Pan-European level in order to serve the needs of policy-making and decision-making bodies in Europe, as well as those of its members.

EFI has also developed research networks and cooperative research projects, called Project Centres, with its members.

Core funding for the Institute is provided by the Finnish Government. Further funding is sought from other sources, in general through research contracts. The staff of the Institute comprises 40 persons.

EFI is undergoing a process to become an international organisation established by an international convention. This process is expected to be completed during the year 2005. The new status will create new possibilities for EFI to develop, and requires high quality management.

Deadline for applications: 15th April 2005.
For more information, please see:


From: FAO’s NWFP Programme

26. The Second Annual North Carolina Natural Products Association Conference

4-5 March 2005
Asheville, North Carolina, USA

The conference is presented by the North Carolina Natural Products Association. Conference attendees will gain the information and resources necessary to tap into a growing worldwide marketplace for natural products such as Echinacea, medicinal mushrooms, ginseng and goldenseal.

For more information, please contact:

Jackie Greenfield
NCSU Dept of Horticultural Science
455 Research Drive
Fletcher, NC 28786
828-684-3562, ext 157

or Pam Daubert, Conference Coordinator

Conference brochure is available online at

27. Biodiversity and Conservation Biology in Plantation Forests

26-29 April 2005
Bordeaux, France

Jointly organized by IUFRO Divisions 1 & 8, INRA, IEFC and WWF.

For more information, please contact:

28. Small-scale Forestry in a Changing Environment

30 May to 2 June 2005
Vilnius, Lithuania

IUFRO RG 3.08.00 Small-scale Forestry

For more information, please contact:

Stasys Mizaras,
Conference Chair,
Lithuanian Forest Research Institute,
Liepu 1, Girionys, LT-53101, Kaunas distr.,
Fax: +370 37 547446;

29. A Future Beneath the Trees

25-27 August 2005
Victoria, Canada

The Centre for Non-Timber Resources at Royal Roads University is organizing an international symposium on non-timber forest products, community economic development and forest conservation.

A Future Beneath the Trees will address the opportunities and challenges of commercial development of non-timber forest products and the impacts of development on rural communities and forest ecosystems.

For more information, please visit: .

Call for Papers

The deadline for submissions is March 15, 2005 with confirmations of acceptance issued April 15, 2005. The call for papers can be downloaded by following the link to the symposium at at

Other NTFP events in 2005

The symposium is one of a series of events at Royal Roads University in August to address the future opportunities of the non-timber forest products sector. A separate Industry Conference (Buy BCwild) and Trade Show (Shop the Wild) will take place August 27-29, 2005. These industry-focussed events are an opportunity for businesses to benefit from the latest research within the NTFP sector and participate in skill-building workshops to help grow their enterprises and their market share nationally and internationally. The Trade Show (August 28) will be open to the public and provide an opportunity to sell products while educating the public about the NTFP sector.

For more information on these events, visit .

For more information, please contact:

Centre for Non-Timber Resources
Royal Roads University
2005 Sooke Road
Victoria, B.C. V9B 5Y2
Phone: +1-(250) 391-2600 ext. 4328
Fax: +1-(250) 391-2563

30. International training workshop on small bamboo daily product processing technologies and machines

6-20 September 2005
Zhejiang, P. R. China

The workshop is being organized by MOST, INBAR and INFORTRACE.

Bamboo is a non-timber evergreen plant that is mainly distributed in sub-tropical and tropical zones. It is widely distributed, grows fast and has a high regenerating rate. Once planted, bamboo has new shoots every year and can usually be harvested for culm purposes in the third and following years. A bamboo plantation, therefore, can bring annual profits to its manager. In addition, bamboo is a desirable plant for sustainable management; it has important direct and indirect economic and ecological benefits such as providing food (shoots), housing, furniture, artisan products and soil and water conservation. The above characteristics make bamboo an important non-timber forest resource for most developing countries in Asia, Latin America and Africa.

In addition to the above, certain characteristics of bamboo are similar to wood, which makes it an ideal substitute of timber material for many kinds of products. As a substitute of wood, bamboo can play an important role in the reduction of timber consumption, environmental and forest protection, poverty alleviation and sustainable development of rural economy. Bamboo is especially welcomed by rural manufacturers of small daily products for its low costs, easy management and simple processing machines.

Since 1999, the China Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR) and the International Farm Forestry Training Center (INFORTRACE) has been cooperating in holding six annual training workshops on bamboo and rattan. There have been a total of 224 participants from 44 nations in these workshops, mainly bamboo and rattan experts, related government officials and entrepreneurs. These workshops provided knowledge on bamboo and rattan in a wide range of areas: biodiversity, cultivation and management technologies, processing of different products, the purposes of the workshops are awareness raising and enhancing international exchanges and cooperation.

This year’s workshop introduces the processing techniques and machines of small bamboo daily products, including: toothpicks, skewers, curtains, mats, decorative boards, daily handicrafts, etc. Participants will be provided with an opportunity to practice on the machines in factories to get familiar with the processing techniques and the performances of the machines.

The Workshop will invite experts in China to give courses and instruction and will invite skilful masters to demonstrate the processing techniques and the operation of the machines. At the same time, the workshop will provide an opportunity for participants to exchange knowledge and experiences from their own countries.

Workshop Organizers

MOST is a central governmental agency under the state Council and it is responsible for the nation's science and technology activities. One of the important missions of MOST is to strengthen international cooperation in science and technology.

INBAR (International Network for Bamboo and Rattan) is a non-profit international organization that develops, provides and promotes appropriate technologies and other bamboo and rattan based solutions to improve the well-being of producers and users of bamboo and rattan within a context of a sustainable bamboo and rattan resource base.

INFORTRACE (International Farm Forestry Training Center) is a part of CAF (the Chinese Academy of Forestry) and a center of excellence in the fields of farm forestry/agroforestry and integrated rural development. More than 550 people, including scientists, land use managers, entrepreneurs and policy-makers from more than 40 countries all over the world have been trained since the funding of the institute. INFORTRACE offers a series of training workshop in the field of rural land use, forestry, non-timber forestry products and sustainable management.


Through practical training, get the trainees familiar with the production techniques of small bamboo daily handicrafts and the performance of the relative machines. Enhance the technology exchange in related fields among developing countries and improve the bamboo development and ecological environment of these countries.


This training workshop will combine courses with practices in factories. The main courses will include:

1) A general introduction to China's bamboo development
2) Requirements regarding the quality of different bamboo products
3) Bamboo preservation technologies
4) Bamboo processing machines
5) Processing techniques and machines for bamboo daily products: bamboo tooth picks, bamboo skewers, bamboo curtain, bamboo mats, bamboo decoration boards, etc.
6) Management model of bamboo processing enterprises

The Workshop will start with in-door courses in Zhejiang Province, and then practices in factories will be carried out in Lin'an and Anji of Zhejiang Province. The participants will practice on different bamboo daily products.

Note: Detailed programs will be provided in the Agenda of the Training Workshop.


Expenses for food, accommodation and local transportation are 50 USD/person per day. All participants have to be responsible for their own travel to and from China, the in-China expenses for accommodation, food, local transportation as well as health insurance during the Workshop. To learn about details and other fees, please contact organizer.


Researchers, technicians from related sectors of governments and NGOs, technicians and engineers from enterprises, supervisors working in grass-root agencies whose works are related to the topics of this workshop, who should be able to provide effective information exchange, training activities after they return to their own country. Because the Workshop working language will be English, participants must have basic English listening and speaking abilities. Principally, participants of this workshop should at least be graduated from a professional school or have similar education background.

The Workshop will provide an opportunity for each participant to exchange information / knowledge / experiences with the other participants, Participants who would like to give a presentation during the workshop are required to send their presentation to us by email before August 10th, 2004 to facilitate editing of training materials.


An Application form is available at and should be completed and returned by 31 July 2005.

For more information, please contact:

International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR)
Coordinator: Zhu Zhaohua, Jin Wei
Tel: 86-10-64706161 ext. 309
Fax: 86-10-64703166


International Farm Forestry Training Center (INFORTRACE)
Coordinator: Jiang Chunqian
Address: INFORTRACE, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Beijing 100091, P. R. China
Tel: 86-10-62889094
Fax: 86-10-62888345

31. Interactive forest and nature policy in practice - managing multi-stakeholder learning in sector-wide approaches and national forest programmes

12 September 2005 - 1 October 2005

Wageningen, the Netherlands

This course aims to provide participants with insights, knowledge and skills for designing and managing interactive policy development and implementation processes in forest and nature management.

For more information, please contact:

International Agricultural Centre (IAC);
Tel: +31-317-495-495;
Fax: +31-317-495-395;
E-mail: training.iac@wur.NL;


32. Africa Environment Outlook. Past, present and future perspectives

Source: Sustainable Africa Newsletter, 21 February 2005

Africa Environment Outlook is the first comprehensive integrated report on the African environment. The AEO assessment methodology is derived from UNEP's cutting edge Global Environment Outlook (GEO) Process. It answers four consecutive questions that are key to effective decision making. They are;

• What is happening to the environment?

• Why is it happening?

• What can we do and what are we doing about it?

• What will happen if we don’t act now?

It brings together information and insight that is usually dispersed across disciplines and institutions. It is a tool to aid communication between science and policy. Africa Environment Outlook aims to provide comprehensive, credible environmental information in a way that is relevant to policy making. The structure, which combines comprehensive environmental information with policy analysis, within an overall context of socio-economic conditions and development imperatives, is thus ideally suited to this purpose. It provides recommendations for international cooperation and action and thus can be used by subregional organizations and national environment departments in developing national policies and international agreements.

Full Report:

33. Discovering a new source of income

Source: CIFOR-Polex Listserve, 23 February 2005

Twenty or thirty years ago people thought most poor rural families earned their living by farming. Then studies showed that off-farm income from wage labor, craft work, small-scale trading, and money sent be relatives was actually more important. That cast rural poverty in a rather different light.

Now, a new World Bank report called ‘Counting on the Environment, Forest Incomes, and the Rural Poor’ has highlighted a third major source of income – collecting fuelwood, wild foods, and other forest products. It says that, on average, such activities provide roughly one fifth of poor rural families’ income.

The report, by P. Vedeld, A. Angelsen, E. Sjaastad, and G. Kobugabe Berg from the Norwegian Agricultural University, synthesizes data from 54 household income studies from 17 countries, mostly in East and Southern Africa and South Asia. Wet, semi-humid, and dry forest areas were about equally represented among the studies, although most humid forest cases involved indigenous peoples in Latin America.

About two-fifths of the income from these activities comes from harvesting wild foods (bushmeat, insects, and wild fruits and vegetables), while another third comes from fuelwood. Fodder, medicinal plants, and timber provided much of the rest. The income is about evenly split between cash and products consumed directly. Wealthier families harvest more forest products. However, these activities generate a much higher proportion of poorer families’ total income. Villages farther away from markets and with lower educational levels get more of their income from forests.

The authors note that many of the studies reviewed had weak methodologies and say more high-quality work is needed. That will require additional funding. Nonetheless, based on what we know already there is little doubt that rural incomes are higher than existing statistics suggest. Poverty Reduction Strategies need to help ensure that rural households don’t lose this crucial source of income.

To request a free electronic copy of the report or a hard copy, you can write Liv Ellingsen at

You can send comments or queries to the authors by writing to Pål Vedeld at:

34. Unasylva

From: Andrea Perlis, Editor, Unasylva, FAO

The latest issue of Unasylva (no 218), which has the theme "Catalysing regional action", has just been published and will be available online shortly.

For more information, please contact:

Andrea Perlis
Publications and Communications Officer
Editor, Unasylva
Forestry Department
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla
00100 Rome Italy
Tel:+39 06 5705-2296
Fax:+39 06 5705-2151

35. Other publications of interest

From: FAO’s NWFP Programme

Borrini-Feyerabend, Grazia; Pimbert, Michel; Farvar, Taghi; Kothari, Ashish and Renard, Yves. 2004. Sharing Power: Learning by doing in co-management of natural resources throughout the world. IIED, ISBN: 184369 444 1, 350pp

Co-management (CM) agreements and partnerships are becoming more popular for the sustainable management of natural resources. This book supports professionals and other citizens who wish to develop collaborative management initiatives. CM is based on learning from past experiences of people-environment interactions. The concepts discussed emphasis how entitlements to manage natural resources are dynamic social constructs. Examples are drawn from agriculture, agriculture research, water management and pastoral societies, forest resources, fisheries and coastal resources, mountain environments, management of wildlife and protected areas. The components of co-management (CM) are also analysed, such as, the CM agreements and organizations and the social and policy context that make CM possible.

To read more visit:

Buitrón, X. 2004. Understanding the medicinal plant trade in South America. Med. Plant Conserv. 9/10:18-20.

Evans, T., Sam, R.J., and Duckworth, W. 2004. Management priorities amongst the harvested medicinal plants of Myohyang Mountains Protected Area, DPR Korea. Med. Plant Conserv. 9/10:28-38.

Evstatieva, L., and Hardalova, R. 2004. Conservation and sustainable use of medicinal plants in Bulgaria. Med. Plant Conserv. 9/10:24-28.

Fa, J.E., Ryan, S.F., and Bell, D.J. 2005. Hunting vulnerability, ecological characteristics and harvest rates of bushmeat species in afrotropical forests. Biol. Conserv. 121(2):167-176.

Finger, J.Michael and Schuler, Philip (eds). 2004. Poor people’s knowledge: promoting intellectual property in developing countries. World Bank and Oxford University Press.

ISBN 0-8213-5487-6

Online at:

Leaman, D.J. 2004. Conservation and sustainable use of medicinal plants in Latin America. Med. Plant Conserv. 9/10:9.

Linares, E., Bye, R., and Balcázar, T. 2004. The role of education in the conservation of medicinal plants. Med. Plant Conserv. 9/10:9-12.

Linderman, M., Bearer, S., An, L., Tan, Y.C., Ouyang, Z.Y., and Liu, H.G. 2005. The effects of understory bamboo on broad-scale estimates of giant panda habitat. Biol. Conserv. 121(3):383-390.

Nelson, Fred. 2004. The evolution and impacts of community-based ecotourism in northern Tanzania. (French: L’évolution et les répercussions de l’écotourisme de type communautaire dans le nord de la Tanzanie). IIED, ISBN: 1 84369 536 7, ISBN: 1 84369 532 4,

Can community based ecotourism in northern Tanzania contribute to both conservation and rural development? This paper explores themes relevant not only to development and conservation, but also to natural resource governance and rural livelihoods in East Africa. More and more rural communities in northern Tanzania are signing agreements with private companies to develop ecotourism businesses on their land. These agreements offer important new economic opportunities. But the ability of local people to benefit from them can be compromised. The struggles and conflicts that arise illustrate some of the fundamental governance challenges to community-based natural resource management and ecotourism in Tanzania.



Potvin, C., and Barrios, H. 2004. Conservation of medicinal plants in an Emberá community of Panama: property rights and knowledge transmission. Med. Plant Conserv. 9/10:14-18.

Vedeld, P.; Angelsen, A.; Sjaastad, E.; and Kobugabe Berg, G. 2004. Counting on the Environment, Forest Incomes and the Rural Poor, Environment Economics Series Paper 98. Washington D.C. World Bank

Villamil, C.B. 2004. Conservation of medicinal plants in the southern cone of South American. Med. Plant Conserv. 9/10:12-14.

Villanueva, R., and Roubik, D.W. 2004. Why are African honey bees and not European bees invasive? Pollen diet diversity in community experiments. Apidologie 35(5):481-491.

36. Web sites and e-zines

From: FAO’s NWFP Programme


New Web site which offers a dynamic online resource specifically for those in the sustainable development and environment community. You can ask questions, offer advice, debate recent news items and provide valuable feedback to practitioners, researchers, policy-makers and NGOs, as well as our authors and readers, in our new online Forum.

FAO Terminology

Livelihoods Connect

Keeping you informed of developments in the area of sustainable livelihoods, including new resources from Livelihoods Connect, and opening a channel for you to share your news, views, reports and experiences. The purpose of Livelihoods Connect is to facilitate the practical implementation of sustainable livelihoods approaches.

Mountains of Eurasia

This Web site was launched on International Mountain Day (11 December 2004) with the aim to disseminate information about the challenges faced in the mountain regions of the northern part of Eurasia and post news of mountain development issues in Caucasus, Central Asia, Russia and Ukraine. (The site is available in Russian, English and French.)

Non-wood Forest Product Management and Livelihoods in the USA

Slide presentation prepared by the USDA Forest Service.

Pro-Poor Growth and Inequality

This Web site provides an introduction on how growth and changes in inequality together affect poverty reduction, as well as some of the necessary tools to better analyze the link between growth, inequality and poverty reduction

Rattan Project

World Bank Multilingual Terminology


37. Request for assistance: Training in India

From: Joseph Bouchet-Doumenq []

I am a French student in search of a training period in India on forest, or agroforestery management covering Non-wood forest products, landscape or environment.

Also please send me any contact addresses of organizations, associations or institutes of forest management in India.

Thank you for your help.


French Student taking a vocational bachelors degree of landscape (forest management and animation)

38. Request for assistance: Association of medicinal plant scientist of India – proposal

Source: PN Ravindran on the The Phytomedica Network Listserve

I would like to place before you a proposal: to start an association/society for scientists involved in medicinal plant work in India/ South Asia.

Many scientists do much non-organized research work in very many institutions, but there is no dedicated setup to bring them together once a year or so for effective interaction, cooperation and serving national interests in a more organized way. My idea is to form a scientific society for this purpose, register under the societies act and then function as an umbrella organization, gathering under it the various research scientists in this field.

Eventually a professional journal can also be started for rapid publication of research results. It can be something like “The South Asian Society/Association for Medicinal Plant Scientists”.

I request all medicinal plant workers in India and other South Asian countries to respond to this proposal. Based on the response, a meeting of the target group can be convened, possibly in Bangalore, to discuss further and to formally form the society.

Dear medicinal plant researchers – please respond to this proposal.

For more information, please contact:

PN Ravindran.
Centre for Medicinal Plants Research
Arya Vaidya Sala
Sathabdhi Nagar, Changuvetty
Kottakkal 676 503
Malappuram Dist. Kerala, India
E-mail: or or
Tel: 0495-2768007 (India)


39. El Perú se ubica entre los 20 países que mejor cuidan sus ecosistemas

Source: Diario El Peruano del 28 de enero de 2005 (in Revista Bosques Amazónicos virtual)

El Perú se ubica en el decimosexto lugar en el Índice de Sustentabilidad Ambiental, según un estudio sobre el cuidado del medio ambiente realizado en 147 países por las universidades de Yale y Columbia.

Para hacer esta investigación se analizaron variantes como las políticas gubernamentales sobre el ecosistema y la disponibilidad de recursos naturales.

Finlandia encabeza la lista de países con mejor desempeño en el área ambiental, mientras que Uruguay es el que más destaca en Sudamérica al ubicarse en el tercer puesto. El Perú supera en el ámbito latinoamericano a Chile (puesto 45), Ecuador (52) y México (95), y es seguido de cerca por Bolivia (20) y Paraguay (17).

Varios países industrializados, entre ellos Estados Unidos (45), Reino Unido (66) o España (76), se encuentran a mitad de la tabla.

Los que peor desempeño posee, de acuerdo con este estudio, son Corea del Norte (146), Taiwan (145), Turkmenistán (144) e Irak (143).

40. MSc. in European Forestry – University of Joensuu, Finland

Source: Forest Information Update, FIU 14 FEB 05

Students from non-EU countries (third-country nationals) can apply for an Erasmus Mundus scholarship. In particular, nationals coming from all countries other than the 25 EU Member States (Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, the UK, Sweden, Cyprus, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia), the EEA-EFTA states (Island, Liechtenstein and Norway) and the candidate countries for accession to the EU (presently Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey), who are not residents of any of the above countries, and who have not carried out their main activities (studies, work, etc.) for more than a total of 12 months over the last five years in any of the above countries are considered third-country nationals.

Deadline 28 February 2005

More info:

41. WOCAN: Announcement of a new global network

Source: Community Forestry E-News 2005.01

A new global network has been formed for women professionals working in agriculture and natural resource management around the world to build an alliance of women (and men who support them) to support a process of change for gender equality in programs and organizations, and to advocate for the same in governments, national and international agencies. A fundamental principle of this network is that organizations themselves need to become gender sensitive in order to promote sustainable development for rural communities.

The objective of Women Organizing for Change in Agriculture and Natural Resource Management (Wocan) is to address three major gaps that persist with regards to sustainable and rural development processes:

• policies regarding gender within the natural resource management sectors;

• roles of professional women in implementing policies for rural women’s empowerment and gender equality within these sectors; and

• organizational barriers that obstruct women from realizing positions of leadership and influence to take on such roles.

WOCAN members believe that the goal of improving gender sensitivity within organizations and their programs can best be addressed by a group of concerned women professionals who understand the obstacles faced by most women working in these sectors, who can develop a support network that provides: mentors, capacity building to act as facilitators of change, leadership development, a forum to share successful approaches and methods, and an alliance large and strong enough to challenge existing ways of doing things at all levels. And to, finally, enhance their effectiveness and service to rural women to assure their equal access to benefits of resources managed for sustainable development.

Membership in WOCAN is open to women who meet the following qualifications:

• have degrees or diplomas in natural resources related sectors, including agriculture, livestock management, water, forestry, environmental studies, etc.; OR

• have experience in the fields of agriculture or natural resource management (NRM); AND

• are committed to the goals of WOCAN and agree to its guiding principles;

• can contribute to the network’s goals (i.e., mentorship, training, proposal writing, access and share of information, research, influence/advocate, funding, etc.);

• pay annual dues (special provision made for lower income members).

We have a special category for MEN who are supportive of our goals as well, who meet the same qualifications as above.

With WOCAN membership, you can join this alliance and become either an individual or organizational member. Membership will bring you a regular newsletter with information, events, people in the news, a message board, reviews of books and articles, etc.

We are now offering free membership for a trial period through March, 2005. If you qualify for membership, agree with our Guiding Principles, and would like to join us in this endeavour, please go to our website, to complete the attached form, and return it by email or post to:

Jeannette D. Gurung, PhD, Director, WOCAN
26 Beckett Way, Ithaca, New York 14850, U.S.A.
Phone: 607-257-9795

42. United Kingdom: New Forest national park date set

Source: BBC News, 24 February 2005

The New Forest will become the UK's newest national park on 1 March, the government has revealed. The 900-year-old park will become the country's smallest national park, by area, but will have one of the largest populations: 34 000 people.

The decision comes after a seven-month inquiry, following years of campaigning by some environmental lobby groups. It was opposed by some farmers, who feared fresh restrictions and increased government interference.

The New Forest National Park Authority will receive an annual government grant of about £3.5m.

Many New Forest residents feared that the new authority would take the future of the area out of local hands. "The view of many people is that, if the New Forest needed more protection, it should have been done by way of special legislation rather than by the straitjacket of the national park model," said Dr Julian Lewis, the MP for New Forest East.

"What this does is remove a consensual system - a system of checks and balances - that has been in place for centuries and replaces it with a single overarching body."

Amongst the rarest species to be found on the forest's gorse and moorland are the Dartford warbler, nightjar and woodlark, as well as the threatened southern damselfly and stag beetle.

For full story, please see:


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: with the message:

subscribe NWFP-Digest-L

To make a contribution once on the list, please send an e-mail to the following address:

To unsubscribe, please send an e-mail to: with the message:

unsubscribe NWFP-Digest-L

For technical help or questions contact

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
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla
00100 Rome, Italy
Fax: +39-06-570-55618
Web site NWFP programme:

last updated:  Monday, August 24, 2009