No. 11/04

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 with us.

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

1. Bamboo: Mexican farmers eyeing international bamboo market
2. Bushmeat: Fewer fish means more bushmeat eaten in Ghana
3. Bushmeat: Hunting to extinction: addressing the threat of the bushmeat trade to wildlife in the Upper Guinea Forest
4. Bushmeat: Beware, that juicy meat could be from the bush!
5. Ecotourism: Damming Belize
6. Medicinal plants: Treating malaria with herbal medicines
7. Medicinal Plants: Cancer bush has medicinal properties
8. Sandalwood: India bugs trees in high-tech crackdown on illegal logging

9. Australia: Aboriginals warn against locking forests away
10. Azerbaijan: Memorandum of Understanding between Azerbaijan Government and WWF
11. Brazil: over 2 million hectares declared protected in Brazilian Amazon
12. Georgia: Forest reforms seek to curtail catastrophe
13. India: Greener pastures for forest tribals
14. Philippines: Common tropical plants yield new natural dyes
15. Singapore¿s wildlife trade seizures highlight regional enforcement challenges
16. Tanzania: Mkapa slams multinationals over biopiracy
17. Uganda: Kabale gets ready to export honey

18. Eucalyptus: Insect attacks popular eucalyptus
19. Evaluation of FAO Forestry Sector Outlook Studies
20. Forests and conflict
21. Taiga Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs)

22. The Third International Medicinal Mushroom Conference

23. Proceedings of International Workshop on Bamboo Industrial Utilization
24. Sudan Silva
25. Other publications of interest
26. Web sites and e-zines

27. Can biodiversity loss and poverty be tackled together?
28. AviBase ¿ The World Bird Database


1. Bamboo: Mexican farmers eyeing international bamboo market

Source: Linkages Update, 13 November 2004

Mexican farmers are taking an interest in bamboo production, according to a recent Associated Press report. Bambuver, a private group in Mexico that was formed to promote the bamboo industry, receives government funds and coordinates its activities with private organizations and universities. It is also talking with private Mexican industries about using bamboo in construction and paper production and as a fuel. A type of grass that thrives in diverse climates, bamboo can grow into 100-foot timber stalks. It also grows quickly, taking only three years for a farmer to develop a bamboo plantation.

China currently claims about half the global bamboo market, which is valued at approximately US$10 billion. Analysts predict the market could be worth $20 billion by 2015, led by US demand for paper. Bamboo from Mexico could reach Europe in 11 days versus the 44 days required to transport imports from China and Thailand. Mexican bamboo producers also see their efforts as one way to reclaim US market share that has been lost to China over textiles, televisions, automobiles and computer parts.

2. Bushmeat: Fewer fish means more bushmeat eaten in Ghana

Source: Science, in SciDev.Net Weekly Update: 8 - 14 November 2004

Declines in fish catches lead directly to increased hunting and consumption of wildlife, according to a study published on 12 November in Science. The research shows that unsustainable fishing practices can have far-reaching consequences for poverty alleviation, food security and biodiversity conservation.

By comparing fish catches in Ghana between 1970 and 1998 with mammal populations in six of the country's nature reserves, researchers from Ghana, Canada, the United Kingdom and United States found that when fish was plentiful, mammal populations increased. When fish was scarce, numbers of mammals fell.

Fish supplies were highly variable during the study period ¿ varying by up to 24 per cent between consecutive years. Changes in the abundance of mammals could not be linked to other factors, such as rainfall, temperature, oil prices, and gross national product.

The researchers did, however, find other evidence of a link between fisheries and wildlife consumption. Sightings of hunters in nature reserves increased in years when fish supplies were low. Bushmeat sales in markets increased in months following a drop in fish supply and increase in fish price. And the link between declines in wildlife and reduced fish supplies was greatest in reserves nearer to the coast.

Increased consumption of bushmeat in apparent compensation for declines in other foods has long been suspected, but this is the first time this 'protein limitation hypothesis' has been tested. It suggests that wildlife is not consumed as a luxury good but as an essential source of protein in Ghana.

"Local, regional and foreign governments must look closely at their fisheries policies and work together to find sustainable levels of harvest to ensure a steady food supply in West Africa to maintain the millions of people in the region whose livelihoods are tied to fishing" says Justin Brashares, lead author of the Science paper. Brashares said that the researchers think their findings will apply in other countries.

"Bushmeat is an important contributor to household income and food supply not only in much of Africa but also South and Central America, and parts of Asia," says Brashares. "Ongoing work in other parts of West and Central Africa, and the Americas and Asia suggests a strong link between fish supply and people's reliance on wildlife on land for food and income."

Link to full paper by Brashares et al in Science

Reference: Science 306, 1180 (2004)

3. Bushmeat: Hunting to extinction: addressing the threat of the bushmeat trade to wildlife in the Upper Guinea Forest

Source: CEPF E-News, November 2004

Conservation International carried out the project ¿Hunting to extinction: addressing the threat of the bushmeat trade to wildlife in the Upper Guinea Forest¿ from January 2001 to April 2004.

This project, which was conducted over several years in Ghana, has been extremely successful in increasing the public¿s awareness of the crisis created by the bushmeat trade for biodiversity conservation in the country. The project established a National Stakeholders task force which mobilized stakeholders (chiefs, elders, NGOs, government officials, bushmeat traders, and representatives of development organizations) to adopt a concerted effort and a multifaceted approach to deal with the crisis. During the National Conference on the bushmeat crisis, stakeholders adopted a National Bushmeat Extinction Declaration as a guiding principle for the conservation of wildlife in Ghana, which is known now as the Accra Declaration. The project has been instrumental in the drafting of new legislation to control bushmeat trade and indiscriminate hunting which is currently under Parliamentary Review. It has also encouraged the government to take an active role in the protection of endangered species by empowering the Wildlife Division to enforce existing regulations. Due to research conducted by the project, and publicized results through the National media campaign, the general public is now alert as to public health implications of consuming bushmeat caught with pesticides which has reduced public demand. The project has produced a number of reports and resource documents, which are available upon request.

Extracted from the final project completion report of 25 August 2004. The full report is available at:

For more information about this project, please contact:

Jessica Donovan
Conservation International
1919 M Street, NW Suite 600
Washington, DC 20036, USA
Tel: 202-912-1706
Fax: 202-912-1026

4. Bushmeat: Beware, that juicy meat could be from the bush!

Source: The East African Standard (Nairobi), 10 November 2004

The chances of the sizzling, mouth-watering meat served Nairobi's residents being from wild game are as high as 30 per cent, a report revealed yesterday. And the experts who carried out the survey say they do not know from what animals the meats used in their sample were extracted.

The survey conducted by a youth lobby, Youth For Conservation (YFC,) and the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) showed that Nairobians unknowingly buy bushmeat from butcheries across the city.

According to the report, 25 percent of the meat being sold in the butcheries is bushmeat, while 19 percent is domestic meat mixed with bushmeat. It further says that only 42 percent of the meat is domestic meat, while 13 percent could not be identified.

The shocking report was developed and funded by the globally renowned Born Free Foundation of the United Kingdom.

The survey was conducted over a period of one month in three zones of the city - the shopping centres, informal settlements, and the Central Business District (CBD). It sought to establish whether bushmeat is sold in Nairobi and randomly selected 202 butcheries from the three zones.

Of the areas sampled, the shopping centres had the highest occurrence of bushmeat with 30 percent followed closely by the informal settlements at 23 percent then NCBD at 13 percent.

The report recommends that similar studies be carried out in other major urban centers to enable the government to articulate an effective national campaign against trade in wild game. It also says that the Attorney General should offer advice to the courts as to the severity of the penalties that would stop commercial poaching.

The report says it is vital to educate Kenyans on the impacts of bushmeat trade and its effects on people's health and the wildlife.

Addressing a news conference, YFC Director Josphat Ngonyo appealed to the Government to crack down on the trade to save the tourism industry from collapse and to ensure Kenyans lived a healthy life. He said chances of disease transmission from the animals to humans were very high because no doctors conducted tests to verify if the meat was safe. "We don't want our people to get anthrax. An outbreak of the disease will also be a big blow to the tourism industry," he said.

He said his lobby would next move to identify the specific animals from which the meats are extracted in order to determine the areas from which the animals were poached.

For full story, please see:

5. Ecotourism: Damming Belize

Source: Our Planet, E/The Environmental

Belize¿s western mountains are an ecotourist¿s dream: a largely uninhabited region of dense tropical forests, wild rivers, cave complexes, Maya ruins and bountiful wildlife. While many of its Central American neighbours were clearing forests to make way for slash-and-burn agriculture, Belize has been making far more money keeping the trees in place. Today tourism¿almost all of it nature-based¿accounts for a fifth of the nation¿s economic activity and employs a quarter of its workforce. The mountainous Cayo region is one of the main draws.

But Belize¿s government is dead-set on building a dam on the upper Macal River, smack in the heart of Cayo. The $30 million Chalillo dam will flood 2,800 acres of tropical forest that is home to jaguars, ocelots, tapirs and the country¿s only known flock of the rare and colorful scarlet macaw. ¿This is the prettiest river in the country,¿ says Mick Fleming, who owns the Chaa Creek Lodge, an ecotourism resort set in the jungle 20 miles downstream from the dam site. ¿We¿re going to lose something incredibly valuable in return for an extremely small amount of power.¿ Plenty of people in Cayo agree with Fleming¿s assessment. The city council in the district capital, San Ignacio, opposes the dam.

Belize is extremely short on electricity, but it¿s unclear whether Chalillo is the best way to meet the shortfall. Fortis Inc., the big Canadian company that will build, own and operate the $30 million dam, says it will double generating capacity on the Macal River. ¿We believe hydroelectricity is the most environmentally friendly type of energy out there and the most cost-effective for Belize,¿ says spokesperson Donna Hynes.

But while the dam will substantially boost domestic electricity production, most of the power will be generated at times of day when it is more expensive than importing it from Mexico. A 2000 study by the California-based Conservation Strategy Fund estimated the project would be a net drag on the Belizean economy. The dam is also being built near an active fault line, and Fortis admitted that it mischaracterized the geological properties of the site.

For full story, please see:

6. Medicinal plants: Treating malaria with herbal medicines

Source: British Medical Journal in SciDev.Net Weekly Update: 8 - 14 November 2004

More than 1 200 plants are used to treat malaria and fevers, and the two main sources of anti-malarial drugs used today are derived from plants that have been used traditionally for hundreds or thousands of years.

In an article in the British Medical Journal, Merlin L Willcox and Gerard Bodeker provide an overview of research on herbal medicines used to treat malaria. Few trials of anti-malarial plants have been conducted, and studies often do not have enough detail on how medicines are prepared or sufficient data on the efficacy of such plants. Although most studies provide little information on side effects, some patients in one trial stopped the treatment because of minor side effects.

Prioritizing species for future research can be facilitated using the researchers' 'IVmal' index of how widely used different plants are. This allowed the identification of 11 species of plants used to treat malaria in all three tropical regions ¿ Latin America, Africa and Asia. Although such plants may be the best targets for future research, the authors suggest that variations between formulations of individual remedies ¿ rather than the species they are derived from ¿ should also be considered.

Link to full article in the British Medical Journal

7. Medicinal Plants: Cancer bush has medicinal properties

Source: Sapa, 15 November 2004

An indigenous plant used for centuries as a tonic and cancer treatment has been scientifically shown to have medicinal properties, researchers said on Monday. Two independent studies at South African universities have demonstrated the stress-relieving and anti-oxidant properties of Sutherlandia frutescens, otherwise known as Cancer Bush", said Phyto Nova, a company that produces medicines from the plant. It is known in Zulu and Xhosa as Unwele (hair) because it is believed to stop you "pulling out you hair" from distress. San cultures call it Insisa: "the one that dispels darkness".

"The plant is very variable. It grows wild all over the country," said botany professor and medicinal plant expert Ben-Erik van Wyk. He said the particular strain used in the research had been developed by his company from plants that had been cultivated for medicine for many generations. This strain (Sutherlandia SU1) is already available at pharmacies and health stores, costing about R35 to R50 for a month's treatment. It had been tested and shown to be safe by the Medical Research Council, Van Wyk said.

Medicines made from the small red-flowered legume are used by people from many different cultures, and there are several companies that produce, and even export Sutherlandia products.

However, until these two studies, and another study by Canadian researchers were accepted for publication earlier this year, there was no scientific evidence of the plant's curative effect.

For full story, please see:< /A>

8. Sandalwood: India bugs trees in high-tech crackdown on illegal logging

Source: The Independent (Delhi), 12 November 2004

The state of Kerala (India) is resorting to drastic measures to defend its dwindling forests of rare sandalwood trees from illegal logging. Its Forest Department is planning to use satellite tracking to protect the trees. Under the plan, microchips will be embedded inside the trees. Forestry officials will then be able to use a satellite to monitor the trees. Not only will any attempt to cut them down be detected ¿ the Forest Department will be able to trace the movements of any smugglers who try to take timber out of the area.

The trade in contraband sandalwood is one of the most lucrative in India.

Amid the money and greed, India's precious reserves are in increasing danger. Just three years ago, there were 62 000 sandalwood trees in Kerala's Marayur Forest. This year, there are 55 000. The last sizeable sandalwood forests in the world are in southern India, spread across Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

Deforestation is a serious problem for India's people. The stripping away of the forests has contributed to several successive years of drought and farmers are known to have committed suicide due to ruined crops.

A properly managed and sustainable trade in sandalwood is vital to the region's economy. The sandalwood tree has been prized for its natural scent for centuries and its oil is used in the manufacture of perfumes all over the world. Sandalwood is also used in incense ¿ an esoteric buy in the West, but a staple in much of Asia. And the soft, scented wood is prized for carving and it is used in some Indian medicines.

All this puts sandalwood in big demand - but there are relatively few sources.

Sources elsewhere have been overexploited. In Australia, most of the little that is left is protected and Indonesia's stocks are almost exhausted.

With its huge reserves, India has done more than anywhere else to set up a sustainable trade in sandalwood, with strict laws on when trees can be felled and planting to replenish the forests. But the implementation of the laws is poor. Local politicians are often paid by smugglers and the huge forests are too big to patrol.

Satellite tracking will enable officials to monitor the forests and hopefully, with publicity, shame the politicians into action.


9. Australia: Aboriginals warn against locking forests away

Source: ABC Tasmania, 2 October 2004 (in Community Forestry E-News 2004.10)

Logging in old-growth forests is on the election policy agenda. The Tasmanian Aboriginal Land Council (TALC) has warned the federal government and opposition against locking away any more of the State's old-growth forests. The council has placed full-page advertisements in the State's three newspapers asking the major parties not to interfere in the forests. The advertisement says that locking away forests in national parks and conservation reserves does not necessarily meet the interests of the Aboriginal community. The manager of the TALC, Glenn Shaw, says the aboriginal community resents conservationists claiming they know what is best for the land.

For the full text, see

10. Azerbaijan: Memorandum of Understanding between Azerbaijan Government and WWF

Source: Info CENN , CENN 73, 28.10.04,

A memorandum of Understanding has been signed between the Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources Protection of Azerbaijan Mr. Gusain Bagirov and WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) Europe and Middle East Program Director Mr. Magnus Sylven.

The key objectives of the Memorandum is to elaborate mutual initiatives in environment protection and natural resources sustainable use in Azerbaijan and development of cooperation between the Ministry and international environmental organizations.

The Memorandum of Understanding addresses the following directions: biodiversity conservation, establishing and expansion of protected territories, natural resources sustainable use, legislative, social and economic sides of environmental activity, protection of flora and fauna, combating against deforestation and desertification, climate change, forest policy, restoration of forest areas, programs for international environmental education and experience exchange.

11. Brazil: over 2 million hectares declared protected in Brazilian Amazon

Source: Linkages Update - 13 November 2004

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva created two new environmental reserves in the Amazon on 9 November 2004. The reserves are to be classified as ¿extractavist¿ reserves, meaning that the local population will be allowed to remain in the area to tap rubber, pick fruits and nuts and extract regenerating goods from the forest. The new reserves will protect over 2 million hectares in the Amazon state of Para.

Greenpeace¿s Amazon campaign coordinator Paulo Adario expressed pleasure with ¿the government¿s decision to honour its commitment to protect the planet¿s biggest tropical forest and the communities that live in them.¿

The announcement came on the heels of the release, at the October meeting of the Latin American and Caribbean Forestry Commission, of FAO projections that the region will see less natural forest cover but more protected areas and forest plantations by 2020.

For full article, please see:

12. Georgia: Forest reforms seek to curtail catastrophe

Source: The Messenger, 4 November 2004 (in CENN v 5 November 2004 Daily Digest)

The Georgian Forestry Department together with the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources has drafted a new legislative reform for managing Georgia's forests. According to specialists, the main points of the reform should be urgently passed or else an ecological catastrophe will become unavoidable.

Although rich with forests, Georgia has seen its trees viciously harvested over the last 15 years with little attention towards reforestation or management of natural resources. And despite frequent discussions of the issue, little has been done to improve the sector.

Local residents cut trees for firewood and to sell to neighbours; larger regional clans have taken root that illegally log and sell timber abroad for tremendous profits, especially since they pay virtually nothing for the wood.

According to the law, foresters and law enforcement are responsible for stopping the illegal logging, but limited resources make their mission unachievable. As a result, corruption has flourished and illegal logging has become a mainstay for numerous individuals at the expense of the state budget and Georgia's timber resources.

The forest industry as a business has lost most of its aboveboard presence, largely as a result of the lack of an effective national forestry policy. Ideally, the forest management should be financed by the proper use of its resources, and state income should be reinvested in the forests via replanting.

One proposed solution foreseen in the new draft law is privatization. However the head of the Forestry Department has stated that before laws are passed, it would be inappropriate to comment on the issue but that it would be beneficial if the forests are leased out and the government introduces the principle of long-term use of forests.

According to the paper 24 Saati, the aim of forestry reform is to develop such a plan, to solve the problems of environment protection, to increase budget revenues, to support private industry and to establish new technologies in the sector. The paper adds that the draft borrows from the experience of developed countries like Australia, which implemented reforms in 1996, as well as Finland, Estonia, Switzerland and Slovenia. How Georgia will manage the reforms, and its forests, remains to be seen.

13. India: Greener pastures for forest tribals

Source: News Today, 12 October 2004 (in Community Forestry E-News 2004.10)

Amidst the thick growth of vegetation in the forest ranges of Krishnagiri district, stirrings of a silent socio-economic change are felt. A change in attitude and approach of the forest department personnel has changed the lives of tribals and landless poor for the better. People from about 120 villages, who have been adopted by the forest department in Krishnagiri district under two schemes, no longer listen to the Naxals, or Maoist rebels, but alert the forest staff on the movements of Naxals and poachers alike.

A group of journalists from Chennai who visited some obscure villages in the forest ranges of Denkanikotta, Krishnagiri and Royakotta and interacted with the tribals saw the multi-faceted programmes, primarily aimed at afforestation and covering all aspects of development like food security, water, education, health, housing and employment.

The recent announcement of the State government allotting all minor forest produce ¿ like herbs, lichens, honey, tubers tamarind, fruits etc ¿ free of cost for the tribals has given a boost to the development works by providing livelihoods for the people and preventing them from degrading the forests in the manner they had been doing for generations.

By coopting villagers in the task of forest and environmental protection, the forest department has helped to expand their horizons.

When the first moves were made to reach out to the villagers over two years ago, forest and government officials of the districts were shocked at the living conditions of the tribals. In the interim, their living standards (while still behind those of people in the plains) have improved.

For the full text, see

14. Philippines: Common tropical plants yield new natural dyes

Source: SciDev.Net Weekly Update: 25 to 31 October 2004

Common plants could help cut the Philippines's reliance on imported synthetic dyes and reduce the pollution they cause, according to researchers there.

The scientists, from the Philippine Textile Research Institute (PTRI), have identified 26 species of plants ¿ including mangrove trees, a type of onion, and guava and cashew nut trees ¿ that could be used to produce high-quality natural dyes. The PTRI ¿ an institute of the Philippine Department of Science and Technology ¿ has also developed techniques for efficiently extracting the dyes.

The species are widely distributed in the Philippines and in other tropical countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Zenaida de Guzman, who led the research, told SciDev.Net the plants can be easily cultivated in humid regions.

The textile industry discharges toxic waste into water systems and, according to the Philippines Department of Environment and Natural Resources, is one of the main sources of environmental pollution. This is due in part to the use of synthetic dyes, which are more abundant, cheaper and easier to apply than natural dyes. The Philippines has been importing most of its dyeing, tanning and other colouring materials because of the absence of local manufacturers of either synthetic or natural dyestuffs, PTRI reported.

To address this problem, PTRI has been collaborating with other agencies to develop technologies for extracting and applying natural dyes. "The government should continue its efforts to revive the natural dyeing technology ¿ not only in order to cut down the country's reliance on synthetic dye imports but also to explore benefits that can be derived from indigenous sources," PTRI director Carlos Tomboc told

The Philippine Textile Research Institute is compiling a book containing information about the plants and their applications. They expect the book will be available in January 2005.

For full article, please see:

15. Singapore¿s wildlife trade seizures highlight regional enforcement challenges

From: Maija Sirola , Press Briefing, 15.11.04

Seizures of smuggled CITES-listed species by Singaporean authorities in recent weeks illustrate exactly why there is a need for greater regional and international co-operation to combat the persistent illegal wildlife trade, according to TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network.

Singapore¿s interception of marine turtle eggs, reptile skins and sandalwood illustrate the variety of challenges facing law enforcement officers in South-east Asia as wild animal and plant products move through the trade chain of export, import, domestic sale and re-export. Not only do authorities have to monitor compliance with the various national and international trade regulations, including the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), but detecting smuggled cargoes concealed with other commodities makes the job even more difficult.

¿The illegal trade in wild animals and plants has been shown to be a critically important force contributing to localised species extinctions,¿ says Chris R. Shepherd of TRAFFIC Southeast Asia. ¿Singapore¿s commendable enforcement actions are the sort of efforts that are needed to increase the deterrents to organized smuggling in South-east Asia.¿

TRAFFIC Southeast Asia works with Singapore and other governments in the region to ensure trade in wildlife is carried out in a legal and sustainable manner.

Three seizures of the CITES Appendix II-listed Red Sandalwood, an aromatic wood found only in India, have been made by Singaporean authorities in 2004. The shipments, totalling 56 tonnes, were all intercepted by Customs officers after arriving from India ¿ and two out of the three shipments were concealed with other commodities including cereals and coconut husks.

¿Singapore¿s role as a regional import-export emporium makes it a logical place to concentrate increased law enforcement efforts to intercept illegal wildlife trade,¿ Shepherd said. ¿But it won¿t be long before smugglers start using other routes to avoid Singapore due to the increased chance of detection. It is therefore vital that all countries in South-east Asia work together to counter illegal wildlife trade,¿ he added.

However, progress has been made towards greater co-operation with CITES in South-east Asia with a framework agreement, the ASEAN Statement on CITES, announced last month by the 10 countries which make up the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Successful implementation of this set of commitments will include an increase in co-ordinated law enforcement responses to wildlife trade in the region. TRAF

For further information, please contact:

Chris Shepherd,
TRAFFIC Southeast Asia
Regional Programme Officer in Kuala Lumpur,
tel +603 7880 3940,


Maija Sirola,
TRAFFIC Communications Co-ordinator in Cambridge, UK
tel +44 1223 277427.

16. Tanzania: Mkapa slams multinationals over biopiracy

Source: The Guardian, Dar es Salaam, 21 October 2004 (in BIO-IPR, 11.11.04)

President Benjamin Mkapa criticized multinational corporations for their tendency to engage in biopiracy of indigenous African knowledge in order to reap huge profits. President Mkapa made the remarks when speaking at the launch of the World Bank publication Indigenous Knowledge (IK): Local Pathways to Global Development in Dar es Salaam yesterday.

The President said: ¿The global intellectual property rights regime must prevent bio-piracy that seeks to patent biological materials, especially plants, known throughout our generations for their value and altered in laboratories to claim an invention and win a patent.¿ He added: ¿¿ multinationals make huge profits from exploiting African biodiversity. It is imperative, therefore, that the IK within the intellectual property rights regime be reappraised to allow communities and countries to also lay claims to the intrinsic knowledge extracted from IK without recompense.¿

President Mkapa also said Africans had in many cases been losing their own property based on IK as a result of ongoing biopiracy. ¿In many cases, we have lost what has been ours but which has been exploited by others and ultimately even rendered inaccessible to us as original contributors to the value chain of what turned out to be commercially available products,¿ he said.

Explaining on the crucial role of IK, he said over 4 000 HIV/Aids patients in Tanga who had missed out on antiretroviral drugs were still alive because of treatment they had been receiving from traditional healers equipped with IK.

¿The IK notes have proven that Africa has rich reservoir of trans-generational knowledge and practical experiences that can be exploited to complement our development efforts,¿ he said and added that IK was an important tool for fighting poverty through locally based innovations.

President Mkapa said Tanzania¿s goal for developing IK was to embark on a programme aimed at fostering community propagation of IK achievements, supporting IK innovations and mainstreaming IK into professional training in health, agriculture and livestock-keeping.

17. Uganda: Kabale gets ready to export honey

Source: The Monitor (Kampala), 15 November 2004

The government is to invest in a honey processing plant in Kabale. The Kabale Woman MP and the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Ms. Hope Mwesigye, said the decision is based on the large supply of honey from the district. She said the plant would process honey for export, provide market for honey farmers and create employment.

Mwesigye called on farmers to produce more honey to sustain the processing plant through the years. She said market for the processed honey has been identified in the Great Lakes Region and within Uganda. "Use local and modern methods of keeping bees to have increased production of honey so that you can sustain the processing plant. Plant trees and flowers to act as food centers for the bees if they are to make for you enough honey," she said.

She advised farmers to get loans from the banking institutions to boost their business enterprises.

For full story, please see:


18. Eucalyptus: Insect attacks popular eucalyptus

Source: The Nation (Nairobi), 18 November 2004

The now popular hybrid Eucalyptus tree faces destruction (in Kenya) by an insect that invaded the country from Uganda. Scientists estimate that about 40 percent of Kenya's forests could be destroyed. Eucalyptus trees form the single biggest family of plantation species in Kenya's forestry.

Scientists liken the threat to the 1990 massive destruction of cypress trees by an alien pest in Kenya. The blue gum chalcid is an insect in the bee-wasp family and like the eucalyptus, it is a native of Australia. It has extensively damaged the Eucalyptus in Iran, Israel, Morocco, Italy and Uganda. In Kenya, it entered from the western direction where it is doing great damage.

According to Eston Mutitu, a senior researcher at the Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI), the country is yet to come up with a solution to counter the destructive insect. However trials are underway to introduce a biological control. Addressing a scientific conference at KEFRI earlier this month, Mutitu said the most affected are the now popular tissue culture species compared to traditional ones that have been in the country since the early colonial days.

The chalcid kills the tree by feeding on the leaves, especially in its larval and adult stages.

There are over 800 species of Eucalyptus worldwide, with Kenya hosting some 600 of these. Where scientific evaluations are done in an exercise called species-site matching, the tree can be used to support local biodiversity. The sunbirds and many insects for example, find Eucalyptus forests a very conducive home due to plenty of food in form of flower nectar.

The tea and tobacco industries find it ten times cheaper to cure their leaves using Eucalyptus firewood in their furnaces compared to fuel oil. Not surprisingly, the different tea farms in the country and the Tea Research Foundation have the biggest acreages of Eucalyptus forests, even surpassing those of the Forest Department (FD).

Eucalyptus is also widely used in the pharmaceutical industry especially in making nose-unblocking sticks and skin rubbing ointments. Sweets, toothpastes and confectionaries are also blended with Eucalyptus oil for flavour. Honey made by bees feeding on Eucalyptus flowers is also recognised as one of the best in the world. As a result, Australia is a leading honey producer.

Thirty percent of paper made in Kenya comes from Eucalyptus pulpwood. The other 70 per cent is from pine which was introduced by the colonial government from New Zealand.

If properly pruned, Eucalyptus grows in a straight posture (stand) making very good poles. The local telephone and electricity companies find the tree very useful in the extension of their landlines.

Where the tree is needed for firewood, it is not pruned but is instead allowed to grow in multiple-bushy branches. The tree can yield big wood volumes in a relatively short time of about five years.

Scientists at KEFRI say that it may take time to contain the blue gum chalcid since they are yet able to identify its natural enemy. They say that although the local spider feeds on the chalcid, it is not effective enough. Any biological agent imported to fight the chalcid will first need to undergo strict quarantine conditions to ensure that it does not have negative secondary effects on other local plants and animals.

The problem of tree pests in the country is bound to affect the forestry sector more in future as new organisms imported through germplasm (plant material) attack local plants. This will need a lot of surveillance both in terms of manpower and many geographic monitoring sites.

For full story, please see:

19. Evaluation of FAO Forestry Sector Outlook Studies

From: Adrian Whiteman,

During the last six years, FAO has produced forestry sector outlook studies or projection studies at the global level and for Africa and the Asia-Pacific region.

In the more distant past, we have also produced studies for Europe and North America (with the UNECE) and we are currently finalizing a new study for Europe and one for Latin America. Copies of these studies can be obtained from me or from the FAO website at:

As part of our efforts to improve our work on forestry sector outlook studies, we are evaluating our past work in this area. It would help us greatly if you would take the time to participate in our survey. We are using an on-line (internet) questionnaire for this survey and you can access this by clicking on: (in ENGLISH), (in FRENCH), (in SPANISH).

Alternatively, if you would like to get the survey by e-mail please contact Adrian Whiteman at Adrian.Whiteman@FAO.ORG.

20. Forests and conflict

Source: Forest Policy Info Mailing List, 4 November 2004

ARD, Inc. has been working with USAID's Asia and Near East Bureau on examining the links between forests and conflict. Following is a brief description of the issue and our project's background.

Forest Conflict: A Critical Development Issue: Conflict that is financed or sustained through the harvest and sale of timber, or conflict that emerges as a result of competition over timber or other forest resources hinders equitable development, impoverishes local communities and contributes to instability in many countries in Asia. Strong links exist between conflict over timber and poor, inequitable systems of governance. The situation is further exacerbated by ambiguous resource tenure and loose financial oversight, which can generate incentives for powerful individual actors (military, police, politicians) to engage in conflict timber activities.

Project Background: The Technical Support Office of the Asia Near East Bureau of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) developed two projects, "Conflict Timber: Dimensions of the Problem in Asia and Africa," and "Managing Conflict in Asian Forest Communities" that examines causes and effects of forest-related conflict. ARD, Inc. was contracted to develop both country case studies and analytical overviews from which there is a strong body of data on the severity of forestry-related conflict.

We would like to invite interested individuals to view work that we and others are developing for this topic. These periodic products can also be found online at

If you would like to receive more information on this topic, please contact

21. Taiga Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs)

Source: Damien Lee

An NTFP workshop, held during the Taiga Rescue Network (TRN) 7th Biennial Meeting, took place on 21 September 2004 in Vladivostok, Russian Far East.

The top outcomes of the Session were:

1. Nature tourism will reduce logging and save NTFPs

2. Growing medicinal plants for sale - protect wild plants.

3. Need to protect NTFPs from over-harvesting for profit.

4. Wild plants are needed for medicinal and spiritual practices.

5. Map critical areas of NTFPs for government land use planning and protection from logging.

Other notes taken during the Session

¿ Tomsk Oblast assessment of profits from NTFPs found that all the needs of the communities around larger towns could be covered by the sale of NTFPs, but not communities in more remote areas 300-400 km away. The study was completed when the harvest was high. When the harvest was lower, it did not work. So, the government decided to log the area.

¿ In Western Siberia, Bracken Fern is widespread. Japanese people asked locals to harvest it in the spring and sell it to them. The Siberian people did so and it was profitable, so the government taxed it heavily, to such a point that it was no longer profitable. However, it continued to be an improved source of food for local Siberians.

¿ In Russia there is a growing interest in medicinal plants. People used to use traditional harvesting methods. Now people come from afar to harvest, sometimes in teams, and do not respect traditional ways, leading to over-gathering, unsustainable use and endangered status of plants. A solution is to grow medicinal plants for sale. In the past, there were successful enterprises but the marketing fell apart during perestroika. So, it can work. There is a need to educate people about the rarity of medicinal plants and how to harvest them sustainably.

¿ Need initiatives to support local NTFP business.

¿ The right of local people to gather plants in their local area needs to be legislated to protect them from greedy profiteers.

¿ Honey and other highly valuable products from bees must be protected. Logging Linden threatens honey production. Linden needs to be protected from logging.

¿ Russian nuts are sold to Japan and China where they are deeply processed. Need technology in Russia for deep processing prior to sale.

¿ Potential market for fir and pine oils is being explored in Khabarovsk.

¿ The frog population in Russia is dangerously reduced because Chinese food market is over consuming them.

¿ The real alternative to logging is tourism. This will stop logging and save NTFPs. People in the recreation country will eat and gather berries and mushrooms and desire to buy them. There is a growing demand in Russia for spiritual retreat and a hunger for the forest itself. Every year it grows.

¿ Canada: the Ojibwa say logging is reducing NTFPs. They are disappearing or being contaminated. Plants are used for spiritual practices and medicines. They are mapping plants for governmental protection. Abitibi Consolidated asked the Grassy Narrows First Nation to map locations of NTFPs so logging operations can avoid them, but NTFPs are everywhere so they log anyway.

¿ In the 1990's there were NTFP projects in the Russian Far East (RFE) looking to reduce logging pressure, some looking at the US as a market. Few remain. There are many sales to China, but no US buyers.

For more information, please contact:

Damien Lee
Information Coordinator
Taiga Rescue Network
Box 116
96223 Jokkmokk
Tel: +46 971 17039
Fax: +46 971 12057


From: FAO¿s NWFP Programme

22. The Third International Medicinal Mushroom Conference

12-17 October 2005
Port Townsend, Washington, USA

In the past few years, the body of evidence confirming the medicinal properties of mushrooms has expanded significantly. Researchers are discovering the mushroom genome is surprisingly complex in its molecular constituents and the manner with which they interact with human and environmental health. As sources for new antibiotics (both antibacterial and antiviral), immunomodulators, enzymes, enzyme-inhibitors and other medicines, mushrooms play a unique role in complementary therapies.

For more information, please contact:

Fungi Perfecti, LLC
PO Box 7634
Olympia, WA 98507, USA
Tel: +1-(800) 780 9126 or +1-(360) 426 9292,
Fax: +1-(360) 426 9377
e-mail :


23. Proceedings of International Workshop on Bamboo Industrial Utilization

From: Fu Jinhe, INBAR,

The Proceedings of International Workshop on Bamboo Industrial Utilization in Xianning, Hubei, China, October 2003 are now available.

Part 1 Bamboo Industrial Utilization

Structures of a Bamboo Culm Affecting its Utilization. Walter Liese

Recent development on bamboo utilization. Zhang Qisheng

Development of sustainable building and new bamboo construction material. Chen Xuhe

Technical Innovation to Increase the Competitive Capability of Bamboo Products. Jiang Zhengchan and Yu Gang

Technology of pigmentation of bamboo strips by carbonizing and dyeing treatment. Xie Manhua and Guangjie Zhao

Bamboo in Construction. Lionel Jayanetti

Bamboo, a sustainable building material in Western Europe. Pablo van der Lugt, Andy van den Dobbelsteen & Jules Janssen

Technology of Sawing Bamboo Veneer. Li Li,Yang Yongfu & Guo Jianfang

Technological Innovative Course and Prospect of Bamboo-based Panel of China. Zhao Renjie, Chen Zhe & Zhang Jianhui

Study on Properties of Bamboo and Manufacture. Wang Zheng, Guo Wenjing & Gao Li

Part 2 Bamboo Resources, Environment and Trade

Bamboo Resources, Uses and Trade: The future? Ian Hunter

Studies on technical systems and comprehensive benefits of converting agricultural land into Bamboo in Sichuan. Chen Qibing & Sun Jun feng

Implement the Ecosystem Management in Bamboo Plantation to Improve the Synthetical Benefits. Xiao Jianghua

Present Situations and Development Countermeasures of Paper-pulp Bamboo Resources in Hubei Province. Xiong Deli

Promote Xianning Bamboo Industry and Develop Regional Economy. Zou Jizhou

Evaluation on Shoot Quality of Excellent Sympodial Bamboo Species and Hybrids. Wang Yuxia & Zhang Guangchu

Bamboo product processing industry and income of bamboo farmers. Chen Suijun

Silviculteral Technique of Dendrocalamus farinosus on Returning Steep Slope Cropland to Forestland. Dong Wenyuan, Gao Yanping & Liu jun

Study on In-vitro Rapid Propagation of the Clumping Bamboo. Zhang Guangchu, Wang Yuxia, Tan Yuanjie, & Li Xingwei

Why giant panda became extinct in Central China: An appraisal of mountain bamboos in Shennongjia. Zhaohua Li, Manfred Denich & Thomas Borsch

A Study on the Conservation and Development of Dendrocalamus sinicus, A Giant Bamboo from Yunnan. Hui Chaomao, Chen Fang, Zhang Guoxue, & Yang Yuming

The Retrospective and Prospective of China's Bamboo Industry. Wang Shudong

For more information, please contact:

Fu Jinhe Ph. D.
Program Officer and Coordinator of IUFRO
5.11.05 Bamboo and Rattan
International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR)
Mailing Address: Beijing 100102-86,
Beijing 100102, P. R. China
Tel: +86-10-6470 6161 ext.208
Fax: +86-10-6470 2166
Email: or

(See below for full citation.)

24. Sudan Silva

From: FAO¿s NWFP Programme

Sudan Silva is a specialized journal published bi-annually by the Sudanese Forestry Society and the Forests National Corporation. It publishes original research and critical reviews in all areas of forestry and related fields. Articles submitted must contain original work and will be peer-assessed by at least two competent assessors.

For more information, please contact:

Sudan Silva
Forests National Corporation
PO Box 658
Khartoum, Sudan
Fax: +249-11-472659

25. Other publications of interest

From: FAO¿s NWFP Programme

Ashish, Ghosh; Ghosh, A . 2004. Plant and clay dyes used by weavers and potters in West Bengal. Natural Product Radiance, 3: 2, 91.

Abstract: The plants used by weavers and potters in West Bengal, India, for extracting natural dye includes Acacia catechu (heartwood), Albizia lebbeck (fruit), Butea monosperma (flowers), Camellia sinensis (leaves), Ceriops decandra (bark), Ceriops tagal (bark), Citrus aurantifolia [Citrus aurantiifolia] (juice mixed with Palash), Daucus carota (roots), Mimusops elengi (bark), Punica granatum (fruit rind), Rhizophora apiculata (bark), Rhizophora mucronata (bark), Rhizophora stylosa (bark), Swietenia mahagoni (fruit), Tagetes erecta (flower), Ziziphus jujuba (ash of twig) and Ziziphus oenoplia (ash of twig). Diospyros peregrina fruit extract is smeared on the thread to increase its longevity and the bark extract of Mimusops elengi is used in textiles to increase the lustre.

Catling, P.M; & Small, E. 2003. Blossoming treasures of biodiversity. 10. Neem ¿ an economic and environmental wonder plant. Biodiversity, 4: 4, 25-28.

This paper briefly describes the morphology, geography, ecology, economic value (as sources of plant-based insecticides, fuel, inexpensive medicine and health aids, inexpensive birth control substances, food, lubricant and building materials) of neem (Azadirachta indica). The role of neem in erosion control is also mentioned.

Costa, A; Pereira, H; Oliveira, A. 2004. The effect of cork-stripping damage on diameter growth of Quercus suber L. Forestry Oxford, 77: 1, 1-8.

For more information, please contact the author: Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Departamento de Engenharia Florestal, Tapada da Ajuda, 1349-017 Lisboa, Portugal.

The Mediterranean cork oak (Quercus suber L.) agro-forestry system is oriented towards cork production, with cork being extracted from tree stem and branches as planks by cutting with an axe and stripping off. The effect of damage to the tree during cork stripping was studied in cork oaks, weakened by wounding, by following the diameter growth and its seasonality during a 9-year production cycle, and comparing them with healthy cork oaks. The study area is located in the south-west of Portugal in the region of Benavente with a Mediterranean-type climate with some Atlantic influence.

Endress, B.A., Gorchov, D.L., and Noble, R.B. 2004. Non-timber forest product extraction: effects of harvest and browsing on an understory palm. Ecol. Appl. 14(4):1139-1153.

Foote, A.L.; Krogman, N.T.; Grundy, I.M.; Nemarundwe, N.; Campbell, B.M.; Gambiza, J.; & Gibbs, L. 2003. Ilala palm (Hyphaene petersiana) use in Southern Zimbabwe: social and ecological factors influencing sustainability. Forests, Trees and Livelihoods, 13: 4, 275-296.

ABSTRACT: A dynamic ecological model, calibrated with field data from the communal lands of southern Zimbabwe where Shangaan and Ndebele people live, shows the ilala palm (Hyphaene petersiana) to be resilient to a wide range of harvesting regimes. The degree of use determines the plant population structure but not the palm's continued existence. Ilala palm sap for wine and leaves for crafts provide an important source of income at the village level. Shangaan households generally regulated palm use, with the manual workers usually being Ndebele. Despite the designation of the region as a communal area there are clearly social conventions limiting access to resources. The use of the plant for sap is more closely regulated than its use for leaves. Leaf harvests appear less ecologically destructive than tapping for sap. Although social rules reduce harvesting, the ecology of the palm is such that intensive harvesting may actually increase the available products by changing the ilala palms into more accessible and useful growth forms.

Gordon, J.E., et al. 2004. Assessing landscapes: a case study of tree and shrub diversity in the seasonally dry tropical forests of Oaxaca, Mexico and southern Honduras. Biol. Conserv. 117(4):429-442.

Kelly, B.A.; Bouvet, J.M.; Picard, N.; & Teklehaimanot, Z. 2004. Size class distribution and spatial pattern of Vitellaria paradoxa in relation to farmers' practices in Mali. Agroforestry parkland systems in sub-Saharan Africa. Selected papers from an international workshop held in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, 13-16 January 2003. Agroforestry Systems. 60: 1, 3-11.

For more information, please contact: Institut d'Economie Rurale, Programme Ressources Forestieres Centre Regional de la Recherche Agronomique de Sikasso, BP 178 Sikasso, Mali.

Leakey, R.R.B.; Tchoundjeu, Z.; Smith, R.I.; Munro, R.C.; Fondoun, J.M.; Kengue, J.; Anegbeh, P.O.; Atangana, A.R.; Waruhiu, A.N.; Asaah, E.; Usoro, C.; & Ukafor, V. 2004. Evidence that subsistence farmers have domesticated indigenous fruits (Dacryodes edulis and Irvingia gabonensis) in Cameroon and Nigeria. Agroforestry Systems, 60: 2, 101-111;

Abstract: Ten fruit and kernel traits were measured in 152 Irvingia gabonensis and 293 Dacryodes edulis trees from 6 villages in Cameroon and Nigeria. Frequency distribution curves were used to examine the range of variation of each trait of each species in each village and aggregated into national and regional populations. There were differences between the village sub-populations, with regard to the normality (e.g., mean kernel mass of D. edulis) or skewness (e.g., mean flesh depth of D. edulis) of the distribution curves and in the degree of separation between the individual village populations along the x axis, resulting in the development of a bimodal distribution in the regional population. For all traits, populations of both species differed significantly between countries, but only in D. edulis were there significant differences between the Cameroon populations. On the basis of the results of this study, D. edulis can be said to be virtually wild in Nigeria but semi-domesticated in Cameroon, while I. gabonensis is wild in Cameroon and semi-domesticated in Nigeria. These results are discussed with regard to a hypothesis that the range and frequency of variation in the different populations can be used to identify five stages of domestication. From a comparison of the frequency distribution curves of desirable versus undesirable traits, and statistically identifiable changes in skewness and kurtosis, it is concluded that as a result of the farmers' own efforts by truncated selection, D. edulis is between Stages 2 and 3 of domestication (with a 67% relative gain in flesh depth) in Cameroon, while I. gabonensis in Nigeria is at Stage 2 (with a 44% relative gain in flesh depth). In this study, genetic diversity seems to have been increased, and not reduced, by domestication.

Lokendra, Singh; Khan, M.H.; Singh, L . 2004. Status and potential of Chiuri (Aesandra butyracea) in Nepal. Plant Archives, 4: 1, 203-204;

Abstract: Chiuri (Aesandra butyracea [Diploknema butyracea]) trees produce good fuel wood, hard and durable timber, and the leaves are used as tree fodder in many areas in Nepal. The seeds produce fatty acid oils that are mainly used as vegetable butter. The oilcakes are used as manure with pesticidal properties, as fish poison and as feed for animals after detoxification. The vegetable butter is also used in lighting lamps. In addition, Chiuri has a very important cultural value in Nepal where the people of the Chepang community give Chiuri seedlings as dowries to daughters indicating its significance in the livelihood of the Chepang community. The biology and establishment of Chiuri are also discussed.

Lombard, C. 2004. PhytoTrade Africa and Fair Trade -- constraints to conventional agricultural production in Southern Africa. London and South-East Region Seminar on Fair Trade Organisations, held at the Linnean Society, London, UK, 28th October 2003. Tropical-Agriculture-Association-Newsletter, 24: 1, 26-29.

Abstract: Steps that individuals from rural areas can take in commercializing indigenous non-timber forest products (including wild woodland resources, food resources and medicinal plants) in order to supply the natural products industry are enumerated. Economic and environmental issues in medicinal plant cultivation are briefly addressed, and the organization and goals of PhytoTrade Africa (a representative body for small-scale producers in the natural products sector operational in Botswana, Malawi, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe) are discussed. Concerns with regard to Fair Trade and Fair Trade certification are raised.

Macia, MJ. 2004. Multiplicity in palm uses by the Huaorani of Amazonian Ecuador. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 144: 2, 149-159.

ABSTRACT: An ethnobotanical study of the palms used by the Huaorani in the Yasuni National Park and Huaorani Ethnic Reserve in Amazonian Ecuador was carried out. In this inventory, 37 palm species were found; all were used by the Huaoranis. One hundred and ninety-one different uses were recorded in eight ethnobotanical categories. Most species (64.9%) were used for house construction and human food. More than half of the species were used for domestic utensils (59.4%) and hunting and fishing implements (54%). A comparison is made between these data and past studies for the other six indigenous communities from Amazonian Ecuador. This paper shows the highest diversity of useful palm species and the highest number of different uses ever recorded for an indigenous group in Amazonian Ecuador. The data combine quantitative and qualitative approaches.

Maximous, S.L. 2004. Effect of harvest date and steam distillation time on essential oils of three Eucalyptus species growing in El-Kassasin region. Bulletin of Faculty of Agriculture, Cairo University, 55: 1, 71-84;

For more information, please contact the author: Forestry Department, Horticulture Research Institute, Agriculture Research Center, Giza, Egypt.

In Egypt Eucalyptus species are presently used as poles, windbreak and firewood but not for oil extraction. Egyptian imports of eucalyptus oils are increasing from year to another. This study was conducted to increase the value of Eucalyptus species as non-wood products by determining the suitable harvest date and the time of steam distillation on yield and contents of the essential oils of Eucalyptus species. This work was carried out in 2001 on 13 year-old trees irrigated by drip irrigation in soil under reclamation. The yields of essential oils extracted from dried leaves of E. citriodora, E. gomphocephala and E. camaldulensis growing at the Experimental Farm of El-Kassasin, East of Cairo were studied. The highest oil yields were obtained in summer, followed by spring and winter with the lowest yield in autumn for both E. citriodora and E. gomphocephala, while, the highest yield of E. camaldulensis was obtained in spring followed by autumn and summer, with the lowest yield in winter. The results indicated that it is possible to use Eucalyptus species grown in reclaimed land in El-Kassasin region to produce essential oils of high economic value with E. citriodora as an interesting source of citronellal. The oil of E. gomphocephala is a potential source of 1.8-cineole and P-cymene, while, E. camaldulensis is rich in 1.8-cineole and alpha-pinene.

Miah, D; Mohammad Shaheed Hossain Chowdhury. 2004. Traditional forest utilization practice by the Mro tribe in the Bandarban region, Bangladesh. Schweizerische Zeitschrift fur Forstwesen, 155: 3-4, 65-70;

Abstract: A study was conducted during June-October 2002, focusing on the tribe's dependence on the forest. The Mro are totally dependent on the forest and the extent of their dependency is reflected in their ethno-botanical knowledge. Human nutrition, fuel, timber and cultural festivals depend heavily on the use of forest products. A total of 27 fruits, 13 energy-producing products and 12 timber species were recorded. The overall quality of life of the Mro could be considerably upgraded if ethno-botanical issues and their own indigenous knowledge were complemented with scientific knowledge. The extreme dependence of the Mro on forests has compelled them to save forests from degradation. The conservation of indigenous knowledge of the Mro tribe should be used in forest conservation and is an important tool in this tribal area of Bangladesh.

Mpeck, M.L.N.; Asaah, E.; Tchoundjeu, Z.; Atangana, A.R. 2003. Strategies for the domestication of Ricinodendron heudelotii: evaluation of variability in natural populations from Cameroon. Journal of Food ¿Agriculture and Environment, 1: 3-4, 257-262; 27

Ricinodendron heudelotii, a fruit tree species indigenous to humid lowlands of West and Central Africa, has been identified through user surveys to have high potential for improving the nutrition and income of rural poor. Kernels from the fruit of the species, commonly known as "ndjanssang", constitute one of the most traded non-timber forest products in Cameroon. As a result, the species is currently subject of considerable domestication research in Cameroon. In an attempt to assess the variability available in natural populations, R. heudelotii fruits were collected from 64 trees in 3 villages (Elig-Nkouma, Boumnyebel and Ngoulemakong) in the humid lowlands forest zone of Cameroon. The measurement of fruit, nut and kernel characteristics revealed that the species exhibited considerable morphological (fruit, nut and kernel) variability throughout the studied areas. The results of this study open opportunities for selecting cultivars of this local fruit species and have important implications for the domestication of the species.

Nadeau, I.; Olivier, A. 2004. Review of the biology and production of American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius L.) in Canadian forests. (Original non-English title: Revue de la biologie et de la production du ginseng a cinq folioles (Panax quinquefolius L.) en milieu forestier au Canada. 2003. Canadian Journal of Plant Science, 83: 4, 877-891

The root of the American ginseng, a plant that is native in the deciduous forests of the Eastern part of North America, is in demand on the Asian market because of its numerous medicinal properties. Since the natural populations of this species are now endangered, the satisfaction of the demand of the consumers depends on cultivation. Almost all American ginseng is produced in the field, at very high densities, under shade cloths. In the past few years, however, more and more growers have started to produce this species in forests, where trees provide the necessary shade for the plants. This kind of approach, which is less expensive, allows growers to obtain roots of higher quality and of higher retail value. Appropriate forest management allows adequate light intensity. Leaf litter limits the risk of root damage due to frost. A light, well-drained, lightly acidic or neutral and calcium-rich soil allows for better yields and survival rates of the plants. The protection of natural populations is of prime importance to preserve the genetic diversity which is essential to the success of the production in the future.

Nakazono, E.M.; Bruna, E.M.; & Mesquita, R.C.G. 2004. Experimental harvesting of the non-timber forest product Ischnosiphon polyphyllus in central Amazonia. Forest Ecology and Management,190: 2-3, 219-225;

Abstract: The harvesting of non-timber forest products has been proposed as an alternative to timber harvesting that can increase rural income while having a reduced impact on forest structure. However, surprisingly little is known about the biological consequences of harvesting these products. We conducted a 3-year experiment in which we simulated the stem harvesting of the Amazonian plant Ischnosiphon polyphyllus, which is used by traditional and indigenous populations in the Amazon for the construction of baskets, mats, and other handicrafts used in manioc cultivation. We found that plant mortality is limited in all except the most extreme harvesting treatments. However, we also found that plants recuperate extremely slowly from experimental harvesting. These results suggest that current harvesting strategies may not be conservative enough to ensure long-term population survival.

New, T.R., and Sands, D.P.A. 2004. Management of threatened insect species in Australia, with particular reference to butterflies. Aust. J. Entomol. 43:258-270.

Okullo, J.B.L.; Hall, J.B.; Obua, J.; Teklehaimanot, Z. 2004. Leafing, flowering and fruiting of Vitellaria paradoxa subsp. nilotica in savanna parklands in Uganda. Agroforestry parkland systems in sub-Saharan Africa. Selected papers from an international workshop held in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, 13-16 January 2003. Agroforestry Systems. 60: 1, 77-91.

For more information, please contact: Department of Forest Biology and Ecosystems Management, Faculty of Forestry and Nature Conservation, Makerere University, P.O. Box 7062, Kampala, Uganda.

Paini, D.R. 2004. Impact of the introduced honey bee (Apis mellifera) (Hymenoptera: Apidae) on native bees: a review. Austral Ecol. 29(4):399-407.

Rymer, R. 2004. Saving the Music Tree. Smithsonian 35 (1): 52-63.

Silvertown, J. 2004. Sustainability in a nutshell. TREE 19(6):276-278

Sustainable exploitation is widely advocated as a strategy for reconciling economic pressures upon natural habitats with nature conservation. Two recent papers examine different aspects of the sustainability of the nut harvest on wild populations of Brazil nut trees Bertholletia excelsa in Amazonia. Peres et al. find that many populations of the Brazil nut tree lack juvenile trees and are not regenerating. In a socioeconomic study, Escobal and Aldana find that nut-gathering provides insufficient income on its own to support nut-gatherers and that their other income-raising activities damage the forest. The existence of a market for rainforest products is, therefore, not sufficient on its own to prevent habitat destruction or the overexploitation of the resource and a more sophisticated approach to sustainability is required. Development of a market in ethically traded Brazil nuts might be one solution.

Article available on line at:

Singh, H.B., Puni, L., Jain, A., Singh, R.S., and Rao, P.G. 2004. Status, utility, threats and conservation options for rattan resources in Manipur. Curr. Sci. 87(1):90-94.

Stewart, K.M. 2003. The African cherry (Prunus africana): from hoe-handles to the international herb market. Economic Botany, 57: 4, 559-569.

Abstract: I studied the uses of the African cherry (P. africana) by 4 ethnic groups (Fulani, Kom, Nso and Oku) who live near the Kilum-Ijim Forest Preserve on Mount Oku, Cameroon. P. africana is valued for its timber, which is used for tool handles and for fuel, and it is an important wildlife food. However, its greatest value is for traditional medicines. Healers use the bark and leaves to treat more than 30 human ailments and several animal diseases, and it is the most important plant used in their practices. This study is the first to document this importance, particularly for animal medicines. I also examined the growing worldwide herbal use of P. africana to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia. Market demand has caused resource depletion and an erosion of traditional resource protection practices. The preservation of the species will depend on sustainable harvesting methods and on cultivation.

Taylor, D. 2004. Abuse, scarcity and insecurity. Environmental Health Perspectives. Vol.112, No.3, 172-175.

Tudor, O., Dennis, R.L.H., Greatorex-Davies, J.N., and Sparks, T.H. 2004. Flower preferences of woodland butterflies in the UK: nectaring specialists are species of conservation concern. Biol. Conserv. 119(3):397-403.

Vantomme, P. 2003. Compiling statistics on Non-Wood Forest Products as policy and decision-making tools at the national level. International Forestry Review, Vol. 5:2, 156-160.

Wang, J.X., Liu, H.M., Hu, H.B., and Gao, L. 2004. Participatory approach for rapid assessment of plant diversity through a folk classification system in a tropical rainforest: case study in Xishuangbanna, China. Conserv. Biol. 18(4):1139-1142.

Wang, JiYong; Wang, WenQuan; & Liu, Yong. 2003. Effects of tree and medicinal plant intercropping system on medicinal plants' yield. Journal of Beijing Forestry University, 25: 6, 55-59.

A study was conducted to investigate the effects of tree (Populus tomentosa) and medicinal plants (Glycyrrhiza uralensis, Platycodon grandiflorum and Pinellia pedatisecta) intercropping system on the yield of the medicinal plants.

Wetterwald, O.; Zingerli, C.; & Sorg, J.P. 2004. Non-timber forest products in Nam Dong district, Central Vietnam: ecological and economic prospects. Schweizerische Zeitschrift fur Forstwesen, 155: 2, 45-52;

Abstract: This article analyses the ecological and economic prospects of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) and examines the importance of NTFPs for the livelihoods of local forest dwellers. It gives a brief review of NTFPs and the expectations and limitations associated with their use and extraction from natural forests. It argues that when looking at wild NTFPs only, they offer only limited opportunities for the development of local rural livelihoods. The empirical part of the article draws on a case study of NTFP extraction in Nam Dong district, central Vietnam. It provides insights into local NTFP use patterns and the importance of NTFPs for local households. Finally, it assesses the ecological and economic prospects of NTFPs in Nam Dong district. The article concludes that the supply of primary NTFPs in the natural forest is usually insufficient to meet market demands and ecological and economic requirements. If the primary aim is to develop rural households, it is necessary to enrich NTFPs in the natural forest or to cultivate them in man-made systems.

Wolf, Achim R. 2004. Guide to the identification of some acacia species indigenous to Namibia. NFT-News, 7: 1, 1-2.

For more information, please contact the author: Spreestrasse 60, 42697 Solingen, Germany.

Xuhe, Chen et al. (eds.) 2004. Proceedings of International Workshop on Bamboo Industrial Utilization. Xianning, Hubei, China, October 2003. International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR). 179 p.

26. Web sites and e-zines

From: FAO¿s NWFP Programme

Cambodia Food Security and Nutrition Web site

Google Scholar

Google launched a search engine restrict to academic text. Google Scholar enables to search specifically for scholarly literature, including peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, preprints, abstracts and technical reports from all broad areas of research. Use Google Scholar to find articles from a wide variety of academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories and universities, as well as scholarly articles available across the web.

Just as with Google Web Search, Google Scholar orders your search results by how relevant they are to your query, so the most useful references should appear at the top of the page. This relevance ranking takes into account the full text of each article as well as the article's author, the publication in which the article appeared and how often it has been cited in scholarly literature. Google Scholar also automatically analyzes and extracts citations and presents them as separate results, even if the documents they refer to are not online. This means your search results may include citations of older works and seminal articles that appear only in books or other offline publications.

A test version of the search engine is available at : A library search tool was created to help everyone who ever has to find books in libraries, either close by or anywhere in the world. It searches 120 million books to find the best matches to what you're looking for.


27. Can biodiversity loss and poverty be tackled together?

Source: Science in SciDev.Net Weekly Update: 8 - 14 November 2004

Biodiversity loss and poverty are often closely linked problems in developing countries. There is increasing concern that efforts to address these issues may not be compatible. Creation of protected areas can, for instance, have negative social and economic impacts for communities living nearby.

In this article in Science, William M. Adams and colleagues review attempts to integrate conservation and poverty alleviation programmes. Evidence of lasting positive outcomes from projects that link conservation and development is rare. Such 'win-win' solutions may only be possible under specific conditions and, in most cases, it will be necessary to choose between one goal and the other, say the authors.

Making such choices will require a full appreciation of the relationships between poverty reduction and conservation. To help clarify these links, Adams and co-authors compare four diverse ways of viewing them, from considering them as separate policy issues to considering biodiversity conservation as being central to poverty reduction. All four approaches are consistent with calls for conservation to take account of social impacts and for poverty alleviation efforts to consider impacts on biodiversity.

Link to full article by William M. Adams et al in Science

Reference: Science 306, 1146 (2004)

28. AviBase ¿ The World Bird Database

Source: CFRC Weekly Summary 11/04/04

Searchable database provides extensive information about the birds of the world. Includes distribution information, taxonomy and more. Site available in ten different languages and is hosted by Bird Studies Canada, the Canadian copartner of Birdlife International.


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last updated:  Monday, August 24, 2009