No. 09/04

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.

1. New FAO Technical Cooperation Programme Project Marketing system development for non-wood forest products in Lao PDR (TCP/LAO/3002)
2. Two new publications in the Non-Wood Forest Products series
3. Bioprospecting: Making bioprospecting a sustainable endeavour
4. Biopiracy: Brazil scolds foreign trademarks of Amazon products
5. Protecting the Amazon
6. Forests, safety nets for HIV/AIDS-affected households
7. FAO Announces HIV/AIDS-Forestry e-Forum and Listserv
8. Jungle medicine has already cured 800 diseases
9. Support for traditional medicine from African states
10. NTFP Curriculum Development
11. Brazil: Science in the heart of the forest
12. Japan¿s mountain forests imperilled by increase in deer population
13. Namibia: harvesting and processing of indigenous fruits shows promise
14. South Africa: New list of protected trees to protect biodiversity, ecosystems
15. USA: Ginseng gives surprising boost to state's agricultural economy
16. Zambia: Masuku jam, drinks coming
17. Açaí in Australia
18. Brazil Nuts: Why the Brazil nut business is shifting to Bolivia
19. Butterflies earn a living for mountain farmers in Tanzania
20. Ecotourism: Zambia, Malawi seal tourism deal
21. Ecotourism: UNEP and Central Asian IGO to collaborate
22. Fungi: Scientists discover largest fungus


23. Sri Lanka: Volunteers sought for Sri Lanka ecotourism project
24. Writing Team: Earth Negotiations Bulletin
25. Program Technician, Forest Ecology


26. he second Alaska non-timber forest products conference, Hidden Forest Values II
27. Expert meeting on traditional forest-related knowledge and the implementation of related international commitments:
28. The 17th Commonwealth Forestry Conference
29. Seventeenth Session of the FAO Committee on Forestry (COFO)
30. Ninth North American Agroforestry Conference ¿ 2005¿


31. Agriculture becomes forestry
32. Commercial ¿Moss¿ Harvesting
33. The Overstory: Urban trees and forests
34. The Little Green Data Book 2004
35. Community Forests. Equity, Use and Conservation
36. Interactive Historical Atlas of the Old World since 500bce
37. Fact sheets on medicinal herbs and insects
38. Other publications of interest
39. Web sites and e-zines


40. Venezuela: Declining dung beetles could affect ecosystem



1. New FAO Technical Cooperation Programme Project ¿Marketing system development for non-wood forest products in Lao PDR (TCP/LAO/3002)

From: FAO's NWFP Programme

Upon request of the Government of Lao PDR, FAO assists the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute in its efforts to reduce rural poverty in the country and to promote the sustainable use and management of forest resources through the development of appropriate NWFP marketing systems.

In Lao PDR, non-wood forest products (NWFP) such as rattan and bamboo bring 50-55 percent of cash income to rural villages, where 80 percent of the Lao population lives. At the national level, domestic use of NWFP accounts for 20-30 percent of the gross national product, while NWFP bring 2-4 percent of the annual revenue to the Government through exports. Despite their economic importance, marketing and marketing support systems for NWFP are weak and considered as main constraints for the development of the NWFP sector. The lack of reliable information on prices, demand and supply leads to inadequate economic benefits for local producers, who sell products at unreasonably low prices and unsustainable harvesting rates in order to gain short-term profits. In addition, local producers miss opportunities to produce and sell most promising and profitable commodities.

The "NWFP Marketing Project" aims to strengthen capacities in Lao PDR on NWFP marketing on the national and local level using the "Market Analysis and Development" (MA&D) approach developed by FAO. The project will, based on a thorough analysis of the national NWFP sector, develop models for sound NWFP marketing in order to assist the Government of Lao PDR in its efforts to reduce rural poverty in the country and to promote sustainable forest management through the environmentally friendly, socially equitable and economically viable use of NWFP.

Expected project outputs are:

- The national NWFP sector in Lao PDR is assessed.

- Promising priority NWFP and their markets and marketing opportunities are analysed.

- A model approach for NWFP market development is developed and pilot marketing activities are conducted at the village level to verify the NWFP marketing model.

- Linkages among national and international organizations and the private sector are established.

- Training for local communities and other key actors is provided to strengthen their capacity in MA&D and the sustainable use and management of the NWFP resources.

As a result, the project will contribute to the promotion of income generation for rural farmers through the sustainable management, use and marketing of NWFP.

For more information, please contact:

Mrs Leena Kirjavainen,
FAO Representative,
Vientiane, Lao PDR,


Mr Sven Walter,
Technical Supporting Officer,
FAO NWFP Programme,
Rome, Italy,

2. Two new publications in the Non-Wood Forest Products series

From: FAO¿s NWFP Programme

Rattan glossary and Compendium glossary with emphasis on Africa

Non-wood Forest Products no. 16

This publication contains a glossary on terms and terminologies used in the rattan sector. The glossary is structured according to the following major sections: rattan resources (biology, management, plantations, harvesting); rattan as a raw material (transport, storage, grading and post-harvest handling, rattan trade); rattan processing (for local artisanal use and for industrial level furniture manufacturing); and trade in raw rattan, furniture and other products. In order to give special emphasis to the emerging rattan sector in Africa, a separate compilation of terms specifically focusing on those used in Africa is provided.

This publication is available online at the following address:

Copies of this publication can be purchased from FAO¿s Sales and Marketing Group

For information or comments, please contact:

Wild edible fungi. A global overview of their use and importance to people.

Non-wood Forest Products no. 17

Wild edible fungi are an important group of non-wood forest products: they are used as both food and medicine and provide income to many forest users and traders. This publication reviews the characteristics of fungi biology and ecology, as well as fungi management and their importance to people. Information is provided that will help forestry technicians, nutritionists, natural resource planners, policy makers and other stakeholders concerned appraise the opportunities and constraints in promoting the sustainable use of wild edible fungi.

This publication will shortly be available online at the following address:

Copies of this publication can be purchased from FAO¿s Sales and Marketing Group

For information or comments, please contact:

3. Bioprospecting: Making bioprospecting a sustainable endeavour

Source: Biological Conservation Newsletter, September 2004

"What's in it for us?" seems to be the question asked by all parties involved in drug discovery in developing countries, and too often the answer is "not enough." The 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro resulted in the Convention on Biological Diversity, which intended to make conservation a win-win proposition for governments, commercial companies, and scientists. Governments of biologically diverse developing nations, however, remain suspicious of private interests, and companies seemingly do not reap sufficient compensation for the significant wading through local regulations that establishing cooperative programs involves.

Panama's bioprospecting project ¿ the Panama International Cooperative Biodiversity Group, or ICBG ¿ is featured in the June 10 issue of Nature as one of the few programs "getting it right." The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) houses and administers ICBG. In its sixth year, ICBG employs ten senior scientists in six laboratories representing a consortium of international and local research organizations to discover novel compounds to control cancer, AIDS, and other diseases.

The project yields immediate rewards for developing countries: training local microbiologists, creating jobs, and promoting conservation. Unlike many projects, in which a share in the royalties for products that make it to the market is the only reward for local researchers and governments, Panama's ICBG was designed to make bioprospecting a sustainable endeavour.

4. Biopiracy: Brazil scolds foreign trademarks of Amazon products

Source: Agência Brasil, 15 September 2004 (in BIO-IPR resource pointer)

The Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (Organização do Tratado de Cooperação Amazônica) (OTCA), which met at the foreign minister level in Manaus, in northern Brazil, this week, says it is studying the possibility of inviting countries outside the region to join the organization as observers. The eight members of the OTCA are looking for countries that have a genuine interest in the Amazon region. According to Brazilian Foreign Minister, Celso Amorim, one candidate is France because of its links with French Guiana.

Amorim says that the main topic of discussion at the meeting was Amazon security and the question of biopiracy. Traditional knowledge of local inhabitants should be considered a source of wealth for local inhabitants, said Amorim as he pointed out that many Amazon products are registered trademarks abroad. "We have to protect our intellectual property," said the minister.

Manoel Rodrigues, the Peruvian Foreign Minister, declared that sustainable development in the Amazon had to focus on the local population. He also urged the participants to act with what he called responsible sovereignty.

The OTCA meeting came to an end with the organization's secretary-general, Rosalia Arteaga, calling for the harmonization of legislation dealing with the Amazon. The next OTCA meeting is scheduled for September 2005 in Iquitos.

Easy Prey

Native products and genuinely Brazilian natural resources end up being licensed commercially by other countries. With its extensive borders, precarious surveillance, and poor populations in the regions of greatest biodiversity, Brazil becomes an easy prey to bio-piracy.

Last year, the head of Itamaraty's (Foreign Ministry) Division of Trade Policy, Piragibe Tarragô, met with representatives of the Ministry of Environment's Amazon Work Group (GTA) and legislators from states of Amazonas, Acre, and Pará, to exchange information about the steps that the federal and state governments are taking to combat biopiracy and the improper appropriation of Brazilian raw materials by some European countries, the United States, and Japan. Special attention was paid to the commercial licensing of the cupuaçu fruit by a Japanese firm, Cupuaçu International Inc.

Biopiracy consists in the appropriation and monopolization of knowledge belonging to traditional communities with respect to the use of natural resources. This is not a new situation in the Amazon region. In recent years, as a result of advances in biotechnology, facilities in the international context for the registration of trademarks and patents, and international agreements on intellectual property, such as the treaty on Intellectual Property Rights Related to International Trade (TRIPs), the opportunities for this type of exploitation have multiplied.

In the Cupuaçu case, the GTA filed an administrative suit in Japan against Asahi Foods and its subsidiary, Cupuaçu International Inc. According to Tarragô, the Brazilian government is supporting the initiatives of these sectors to invalidate trademarks in these countries.

Tarragô stated that the solution to biopiracy depends upon a coordinated action by various Executive organs, especially the Ministries of Environment, Development, and Agriculture, regional institutions in the Amazon area, and the legislature, to create, in the first place, adequate legislation to protect the country against the improper licensing of native products and traditional knowledge belonging to communities in Amazônia, and second to extend Brazilian initiatives to international forums, so that Brazilian efforts on behalf of this type of protection can gain multilateral settings. "It is important that all countries unite to protect native products, biodiversity, and traditional knowledge to be respected," he said.

Brazil wants patents for products or processes derived from genetic resources or traditional knowledge not only to comply with the three conditions required by the law (novelty, inventability, and industrial applicability) but also to adhere to the division of benefits with communities in the states of origin, prior and well-disseminated communication with the communities, and, finally, the identification of the origin and the material.

5. Protecting the Amazon

Source: VOA News, 14 Sep 2004

Ministers from eight South American countries have gathered in the Brazilian city of Manaus to consider a pact for preserving the Amazonian rain forest.

The foreign ministers of Brazil, Peru, Venezuela, Colombia, Bolivia, Ecuador, Guyana and Surinam are meeting as members of the Amazonian Cooperation Treaty Organization. They are reviewing a strategic plan drafted for 2004 to 2012.

The plan is designed to reduce deforestation and promote sustainable use of the region's natural resources. It includes a scheme for regional economic integration that would reduce harmful development of the Amazon forest.

6. Forests, safety nets for HIV/AIDS-affected households

From: Christine Holding Anyonge, FAO,

Forests provide emergency income, food and medicine for rural households affected by HIV/AIDS.

Households affected by HIV/AIDS rely on forest resources such as fuelwood, medicinal plants, wild foods, for income and food, according to a recent study commissioned by FAO in five communities in Malawi and Mozambique. ¿We are talking about households whose livelihoods have been devastated by the loss of a family breadwinner, unexpected and excessive healthcare expenses, and distress sales of household assets. We are talking about rural orphans and widows, households which have very few options but to make do with what resources are available ¿ including forests where forests are accessible.

Households experiencing the loss of an HIV/AIDS-affected working-age adult are five times more likely to have increased fuelwood collection, the study reports. Because fuelwood can be collected with minimal and unspecialized capital input, robust markets for fuelwood provide affected households with a year round opportunity to generate cash.

Sixty percent of affected households also relied on the use of medicinal plants as a primary response to illness. Herbal remedies have been observed to be effective in managing HIV/AIDS-related infections such as oral thrush, herpes and shingles, and in relieving appetite loss, nausea, fever, diarrhoea, and cough.

Nearly a quarter of the households suffering the recent death of a working-age adult stated that the sale and consumption of medicinal plants, wild foods, and other products such as reed mats and baskets, had become a more important source of income and food following the loss, with some households entering such activities for the first time. They were also twice as likely to have had a major forest products collection trip in the previous month.

Where forests provide a safety net for rural households coping with the short- and long-term impacts of HIV/AIDS, inadequate forest management is threatening the viability of these coping strategies.

Indicators of forest quality in two affected communities with similar access to forest resources revealed that in the community with a high level of HIV prevalence, forest resources were being depleted at a faster rate.

This is not to say that there is a causal relationship between HIV prevalence and deforestation but this research does indicate that, for households in those rural communities most affected by HIV/AIDS, their ability to cope with the epidemic is undermined if forest resources are depleted.

The availability of medicinal plants used in the treatment of HIV/AIDS-related illnesses also decreased in affected communities. According to local herbalists, at least 13 species used in treating one or more of these illnesses have decreased in availability over the last five years.

FAO studies in Malawi and Mozambique indicate that the sustainable management of forest resources is a mitigation strategy in itself.

The loss of forest resources not only undermines rural coping strategies, but aggravates the labour burdens of households constrained by sickness and care-giving.

During the illness of a working-age adult, 36 percent of surveyed households decreased their collection of fuelwood. Households adapted to fuelwood shortages by reducing consumption and six percent of surveyed households in Malawi skipped a meal due to lack of fuelwood.

In addition to the health consequences at the household level, scarcity of forest resources for subsistence can create situations of vulnerability that perpetuate the epidemic in rural areas. Interviews revealed that where fuelwood is scarce, transactional sex is common.

The lines between health and the environment are not distinct. It is necessary that responses to the HIV/AIDS crisis comprehensively address the realities of the affected rural communities.

FAO recognizes that empowering local institutions is key to building and maintaining local resilience in HIV/AIDS prevention, care and impact mitigation. It is facilitating national forestry departments to integrate HIV/AIDS coping strategies into their programming.

FAO recommends policy and field programme implementation that ensures affordability, quality, sustainable management, domestication and use of medicinal plants; improved accessibility and availability of fuelwood; subsistence collection and domestication of nutritionally valuable foods for dietary diversification with an emphasis on micronutrient intake; and developing low capital income-generating activities from forests.

An online discussion-forum on the topic may be found at

7. FAO Announces HIV/AIDS-Forestry e-Forum and Listserv

From: Marc Barany, FAO (

FAO¿s Forestry Department is developing a series of responses that address the interface between HIV/AIDS and forestry. This interface involves a variety of issues ranging from the effects of forest policies and programmes on vulnerability to HIV infection, to the impacts of HIV/AIDS on forestry institutions, to the role of forests in the coping strategies of AIDS-afflicted households. In this context, the Forestry Department seeks to ensure the viability of woodlands as economic safety-nets, increase the resiliency of farming systems and rural livelihoods, reduce the labour burden of afflicted households, and reinforce formal and informal institutions responsible for the management of forest resources.

The overall goal of this e-forum is to facilitate and develop the forestry sector¿s responses to HIV/AIDS through dialogue and the exchange of information.

Specifically, this forum seeks to:

    - Facilitate awareness of the linkages between AIDS and forestry;

    - Share experiences and lessons-learned from the field;

    - Identify best practices;

    - Serve as a referral system for technical forestry support to agencies and organizations working with affected communities;

    - Disseminate documents/reports/proceedings and other resources including calls for proposals and grants;

    - Foster development of the language, knowledge, and frameworks related to HIV; and

    - Develop a database of practical and institutional knowledge.

This forum is primarily intended for communication of practical experiences and needs from 1) community-based, non-governmental, and faith-based organizations specifically targeting HIV/AIDS populations, and 2) forestry offices working in heavily impacted regions. Participation is open and invited from people living with HIV/AIDS, field practitioners, researchers, and policy makers.

Please join us at:

Additionally, you can join the accompanying email discussion group by sending an email to with ¿subscribe HIV/AIDS-forestry listserv¿ in the subject header.

8. Jungle medicine has already cured 800 diseases

Source: Página 20, 10 September 2004 (in Amazon News, 16.9.04)

Two scientific investigations carried out recently in Para and Sao Paulo State show0 how 800 health problems are treated in Amazonia, using almost 1800 animals and plants. The research was carried out by the Museum of Emilio Goeldi's Ethnology Department and the Sao Paulo's School of Medicine.

The researchers form the Goeldi Museum went to 18 localities in eight Para State municipalities, where they identified 200 diseases treated with popular recipes, as they are called. They interviewed 65 curanderos and identified 23 mammals, 10 birds, 8 types of reptiles, fish and 15 invertebrate, in addition to 500 plants that used in the remedies. Of the 1800 investigated, 30 are of indigenous origin, 25% came from Africa and the rest of varied origin.

A reason why cures with traditional medicines continue to be marginalized is also because international laboratories want to continue earning billions of dollars through biopiracy, practiced in the tropical forests throughout the world. By robbing herbs and plants and the knowledge of the traditional populations, these laboratories earn millions when their new products are introduced into the market.

9. Support for traditional medicine from African states

Source: SciDev.Net, 3 September 2004

A number of African leaders last week used the second African Traditional Medicine Day (31 August) to confirm their commitment to national efforts aimed at ensuring the safety, efficacy and quality of traditional medicines. In a statement, for example, the African Union (AU) Commission called on its member states to ensure that research on traditional medicine is integrated with HIV/AIDS control programmes, as well as with all aspects of development policy.

Similarly the newly established ministerial committee on traditional medicine of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) stressed the importance of traditional medicine in addressing health challenges.

The decision to observe a Traditional Medicine Day was made by African health ministers in 2000 as part of a strategy to boost the role of traditional medicine in national health systems.

Since 2001, when the Summit of the Organization of African Unity declared 2001-2010 as the Decade for African Traditional Medicine, African countries have been developing both research programmes on traditional remedies and legislation regulating their use.

South Africa, for example, has set up a Traditional Medicines Database containing medical and botanical information on plants with healing properties, intended as a step towards setting safety standards. Earlier this year, the country's Medical Research Council started investigating seven traditional remedies to determine whether anecdotal claims of cures for several diseases ¿ including HIV/AIDS ¿ can be supported scientifically.

Some Africa countries, such as Tanzania, already have legislation regulating the use of traditional medicine. The South African Parliament is expected to follow suit with the adoption of a bill setting up a Traditional Health Practitioners Council, as well as a regulatory framework for traditional health practitioners and services.

The South African proposal has run into criticism from organizations such as Doctors For Life, who oppose the use of medicines that, they claim, have not been scientifically validated.

In Kenya, however, a similar bill ¿ now awaiting debate in parliament ¿ has been given a cautious welcome by the medical community, even though physicians continue to express reservations about the ethical basis on which some traditional medicines are administered.

Ghana chose the second African Traditional Medicine Day to launch a code of ethics for traditional medicine practitioners, developed by the Ghana Federation of Traditional Medicine Practitioners Associations.

And in Senegal, it was announced that the fourth International Conference on Traditional Medicine, which will have a particular focus on HIV/AIDS, will take place in the capital Dakar from 4 to 6 October.

For full story, please see:

10. NTFP Curriculum Development

Source: Kathryn A. Lynch (through Jim

The Institute for Culture and Ecology has recently received funding from the National Commission on Science for Sustainable Forestry to develop undergraduate curriculum materials regarding non-timber forest products (NTFPs) and their relationship to overall forest health, sustainability and biodiversity conservation.

Our objective is to create materials that provide students with knowledge regarding: a) the ecological, cultural, and economic importance of NTFPs; and b) the role of NTFPs in ecosystem management. Therefore, this year we will be developing a set of modules with different foci (e.g. ecology, history, management, certification, agroforestry, economics, etc.) that can be either incorporated into already existing courses or used as the foundation for new courses or workshops.

It is our goal to create materials that faculty will find useful and easy to use. If you know of any faculty who might be interested please feel free to share their names with me. I want to be as inclusive as possible.
For more information, please contact:

Kathryn A. Lynch, Ph.D.
Institute for Culture and Ecology
PO Box 6688
Portland, OR 97228, USA
Tel: +1-503.331.6681

11. Brazil: Science in the heart of the forest

Source: O Estado de S.Paulo, 12 September 2004 (in Amazon News, 16.9.04)

The Centre for Amazonia Biotechnology (CBA) and the first seven researchers initiated one of the most challenging scientific adventures in Brazil¿s history. Ten years after being first conceived, the centre takes its first steps with this one objective: to conduct and promote science in the heart of the world¿s largest tropical forest. On Wednesday, the first step was made to populate the centre. Dozens of aspiring scientists arrived to get to know the CBA. They are candidates for the 72 scholarships to become researchers with studies in chemistry, biology, pharmacy, and medicine among other areas. They will be the first to occupy the positions in the centre¿s 10 laboratories.

The CBA was created to develop Amazonia products with certification and scientific validation. To do this, the multi-disciplinary team intends to place value on many products sold indiscriminately with the "Amazonia" label. If this can be accomplished, it will open a market for bio-business. ¿We want to stop selling nuts and leaves¿, summed up the centre¿s co-ordinator, Imar César de Araújo.

12. Japan's mountain forests imperilled by increase in deer population

Source: CFRC Weekly Summary 9/23/04

Mountain forests across Japan are being endangered by an increased number of deer feeding on grass and trees. Huge trees are dying in the Tanzawa mountain area, a famous hiking spot, after deer gnawed off their bark. In many areas of the forest, there are now sweeping vistas unbroken by any trees. Bamboo and other bottom grasses covering the land were also devoured.

Global warming and animal protection are considered the main causes of the increase in the deer population. Damage caused by deer could lead to secondary damage such as soil erosion, and some local governments are considering lifting the ban on hunting to control the number of deer.

For full story, please see:

13. Namibia: harvesting and processing of indigenous fruits shows promise

Source: FAO Newsroom

FAO project helps improve use of wild fruit trees to supplement diets and incomes in rural communities.

Green, fertile floodplains and perennial wetlands mark much of the Caprivi, an extremely narrow, flat strip of land jutting out from north-eastern Namibia, wedged between Angola, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The region comprises 500 kilometres of grass and forests, irrigated by the Okavango and Zambezi Rivers whose seasonal flooding forces people to evacuate their homes and lands each year. The north-eastern communities cultivate sorghum, millet and maize on the fertile ground, but the nearby bush and forests have always been an important source of nutritious wild fruits. In the regions of Caprivi and Kavango, about 66 wild fruit tree species have been identified that contribute daily to the diets and income of the local communities, mostly during the rainy season when the crops are not ready for harvest.

"The Kavango and Caprivians have beyond a doubt accumulated sound traditional knowledge and understanding on the utilization of their indigenous fruit tree species," recognizes Syaka Sadio, an FAO forestry expert, who initiated and supported a two-year community-based project to assist the Namibian Government in enhancing the contribution of indigenous fruit trees to food security.

The project, "Domestication, post-harvest handling and marketing of selected indigenous fruit tree species," implemented from 2002 to 2004 by the Namibian Government with technical support from the Forest Conservation Service of FAO's Forestry Department, aimed to provide local communities and national institutions with improved technologies for wild fruit tree domestication and processing for sustainable livelihoods.

"One of the major objectives of the project was to identify three preferred fruit tree species to be propagated throughout the region. Therefore, first, it was essential to assess the potential of the resource and select the species most preferred by the various communities living in the forest areas," says Michelle Gauthier, an FAO Agroforestry Officer.

According to Mr Sadio, project activities included transfer of technology and capacity building through exchange of knowledge and training for professional staff and communities in the selection and domestication of fruit tree species and in harvesting, storage, processing and marketing of fruit products.

"Further attempts should be made, however, to improve genetically and propagate the three selected fruit trees [marula (Sclerocarya birrea), eembe or bird plum (Berchemia discolour) and monkey orange (Strychnos cocculoides)] most preferred by local communities for their fruit quality and other desirable characteristics," Mr Sadio says. "Moreover, attention should also be paid to research on pest and disease control and quality fruit product processing, including establishment of small-scale rural enterprises," he adds.

Through training, the project enhanced the skills of local women in harvesting and processing the fruit. "We used to only eat them fresh and throw the seeds away," recalls Dorothee Manyemo-Maluta, a women's group leader in Kasheshe, near Katima, Caprivi Region. "Now, with the training here and a study tour I made last year in Malawi, where I learnt from other women, I can make juice, jam, jelly or drinks from marula," she says. "I can even bake an eembe-marula cake for my children."

Dorothee sells pots of eembe jam to her neighbours for N$10 (US$4) each. "Now, we know how to do it, but we would need our own house for our activities, and to be able to grow more fruit trees in our gardens and produce more," says Olivia Nshimwe, who is a member of the Egunda women's group in Rundu, Kavango Region, 700 km northeast of Windhoek, the capital.

John Sitwala, Senior Forestry Officer at the Katima Regional Office of the Namibian Directorate of Forestry, agrees that it will take some time before women's groups become independent of the Directorate of Forestry and rent their own location for fruit processing and marketing activities. "We appeal to all local stakeholders to invest in indigenous fruit tree species for the benefit of local communities, domestic trade and environment protection through the preservation of the plant biodiversity," he adds.

According to Esther Lusepani-Kamwi, Deputy Director of Forestry, Namibian Ministry of Environment and Tourism, who is also the project coordinator, the participation of small communities and farmers in fruit tree propagation activities should be intensified, as well as the involvement of more non-governmental organizations (NGOs). "The Indigenous Fruit Tree Task Force, at the national level, helps us to develop expansion strategies," she notes.

The task force was established by the government to allow members from various sectors dealing with indigenous fruit tree species to share their experiences and coordinate their activities. In this context, the Directorate of Forestry in the Namibian Ministry of Environment and Tourism is working with other ministries to put in place a strategic framework to promote sustainable use of indigenous fruit trees.

"Our partners in Agriculture have a good number of people based in rural areas doing extension work, and we are working together to make sure that the information is disseminated properly," says Namibian Director of Forestry Joseph Hailwa, noting that he also cooperates with the Namibian Ministry of Trade and Industry in setting up mechanisms to support small- and medium-scale businesses.

"We also work closely with a Namibia-based NGO, the Centre for Research Information and Action for Development in Africa (CRIAA-South African Development Community), and the Food Science Technology Division at the Namibian University," Mr Hailwa adds. The project partners agree that the transfer of small-scale technologies within the Southern African Development Community for processing indigenous fruits would greatly improve their production and marketing beyond villages.

For full story, please see:

14. South Africa: New list of protected trees to protect biodiversity, ecosystems

Source: BuaNews (Pretoria), 14 September 2004

A new national list of protected tree species has been declared to contribute towards the protection of biodiversity and ecosystems. The Department of Water Affairs and Forestry says in a statement the protection of biodiversity and ecosystems has become a high priority following South Africa's ratification of the Convention on the Protection of Biological Diversity.

In terms of the declaration, tree species listed as protected may not be cut, disturbed or damaged and their products transported or sold without a licence.

Listing certain species as protected is not primarily aimed at preventing the use of a tree species, but to ensure sustainable use through licensing control measures, explained the department.

South Africa is home to more than 1 700 indigenous species of trees and shrubs, some of which are currently threatened on account of their rarity as well as the pressure of commercial and subsistence use.

The department said the new list, which appeared in the Government Gazette No. 1012 on 27 August, followed a comprehensive three-year review of the old list which had been in place since 1976. The criteria to list trees as protected related to the rarity of species, the importance of species in the maintenance of an ecosystem (keystone species), the utilization pressure on a species (timber, fuelwood or other uses) as well as the cultural or spiritual value of species (including landscape value), said the department. "An important consideration was also the degree to which species already enjoy protection under provincial ordinances and other legislation," it added.

A Protected Tree Task Team has meanwhile been set up within the department to develop national policy and guidelines for the management of protected tree species.

The department said detailed guidelines had already been developed for the handling of licence applications to cut Camel thorn trees (Acacia erioloba) following extensive research and consultation with a variety of stakeholders. It also said large scale felling of Camel thorn for commercial braaiwood had made proper control, based on scientific criteria, a matter of urgency.

Other protected species under threat include the rare Pepperbark tree (Warburgia salutaris), which is widely used for medicinal purposes and the Marula tree (Sclerocarya birrea), which is one of the most highly valued trees in the country. A large industry is based on products derived from Marula fruit, including beauty products and a famous brand of Marula liqueur. It is also a vital source of income and subsistence to many rural people. The Tsonga people also celebrate the Feast of the First Fruits by pouring an offering of fresh Marula juice over the graves of deceased chiefs.

Trees are mainly threatened by commercial harvesters, while some ecologically important forest trees are also under pressure from coastal development.

For full story, please see:

15. USA: Ginseng gives surprising boost to state's agricultural economy

Source: National Network of Forest Practioners¿ Non-timber Forest Product News, Digest Issue 3, 31.8.04.

In recent years, between 1 700 and 4 200 pounds of dry ginseng root have been exported annually from Pennsylvania ¿ mostly to Asian markets ¿ according to State Department of Conservation and Natural Resources estimates.

At an average price of US$300 per dry pound, ginseng has generated at least US$11 million for Pennsylvanians over the past decade.

For full story, please see:

16. Zambia: Masuku jam, drinks coming

Source: The Times of Zambia (Ndola), 20 September 2004

CODIBA, a new firm engaged in agro-processing, has started producing jams and drinks using indigenous fruits on the Copperbelt. In an interview yesterday, International Executive Services Corps (IESC) Zambia country director, Nathan DeAssis, said the formation of the company would also create employment in the province.

The company would be using traditional fruits ¿ masuku and impundu ¿ to produce jams and juices. According to Mr DeAssis, the use of the traditional fruits would add variety to the market while increasing the usage of indigenous resources that have been going to waste. "We would like to take advantage of various wild fruits including intungulu to make jam and juices," he said. The company was already producing jam from water melons and intungulu, on a small-scale basis, for the local market.

The agro-processing firm was still trying to raise K60 million as initial capital injection to start large-scale production.

Mr DeAssis said CODIBA would work with the Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS) to ensure the products were of high quality. Full-scale production is expected to start in the next two months.

Kitwe CODIBA interim chairperson, Barius Chalwe, said the company to be based in Ndola would comprise 25 shareholders who would buy shares according to their capacity.

Mr Chalwe said the purpose of the company would be to fill the vacuum created by the demise of jam-making companies and would later start exporting its products to other countries.

For full story, please see:

17. Açaí in Australia

Source: O Estado de S.Paulo, 26 August 2004 (in Amazon News 2.9.04)

At the beach, parties and bars, açaí is becoming popular in Australia. Behind the fascination of this dark-skinned fruit is Amazon Mix, created three years by a Brazilian and Australian. Moises Rodrigues Oliveira and Richard Jardine today sell 1.5 tons of açaí per month, principally in Sydney and the Gold Coast region.

Oliveira believes that part of the success should be credited to the product's social marketing. "Our açaí is bought from rural communities in Igarape-Mirim, Para State, which are supported by Amazonia's Environmental and Poverty Program (POEMA)".

Oliveira was surprised by the success of their strategy, which occurred by chance. During his post-graduate work, he introduced this fruit to Australia, which transformed him into a partner and supplier. Now, he is analysing other fruits' potential.

18. Brazil Nuts: Why the Brazil nut business is shifting to Bolivia

Source: The New York Times, 26 August 2004 (in Amazon News, 26.8.04)

Marabá. Throughout the 20th century, most of the Brazil nuts consumed around the world came from the jungle surrounding this bustling river market town in the eastern Amazon. But the bitter joke here these days is that the only place you can still find a Brazil nut tree is on the municipal seal.

To the chagrin of Brazilians, exports of the nuts that bear their country's name have fallen precipitously to about 7 000 metric tons in 2003 from nearly 19 000 metric tons in 2000, allowing neighbouring Bolivia to become the market leader. Groves of Brazil nut trees are disappearing all over the Brazilian Amazon, and the question of who bears responsibility for that sharp decline and resulting deforestation has become the subject of a heated and growing debate.

Economists, scientists and other scholars tend to point to a single family, based here, that has dominated the industry for three generations and controls hundreds of thousands of acres in this region at the junction of the Araguaia and Tocantins rivers. But members of the influential family, called Mutran, say they are being unjustly attacked and complain of unfair competition and contraband.

A decade ago, Bolivia barely figured as a supplier of Brazil nuts. But in an effort to wean peasants from cultivating coca leaf for conversion into cocaine, the Bolivian government encouraged farmers in its northern Amazon region to grow, process and export the nuts.

"The industry in Brazil is confronting a huge crisis because we don't enjoy the same kind of subsidies and tax exemptions the Bolivians do, not because of something that the Mutran family has done," complained Benedito Mutran, president of the Brazilian Association of Nut Growers. Members of the Mutran family do not deny their domination of the Brazil nut trade, but argue they have also brought prosperity to the region. "We provide jobs to many people and create wealth for Brazil."

Critics tell a different story. "Because of their monopoly, the Mutrans paid a price so low that production dropped off the map," said Zico Bronzeado, a former Brazil nut harvester who now represents Acre in the lower house of Congress. The low prices drove growers to abandon the business, the critics say, selling their lands to loggers and cattle ranchers in a process that deforested vast stretches of the Amazon and further enriched the Brazilian elite.

To help break the Mutrans' domination, the Acre state government has supported construction of a nut processing factory, which recently began operating, to compete with plants in Bolivia.

By Mr. Bronzeado's calculations, the price paid to local nut producers in Acre has tripled since 2000, thanks to Bolivia's challenge to the Mutrans' monopoly. As a result, former rubber tappers and nut harvesters are abandoning cattle ranches and returning to the jungle to resume their trade, which has in turn slowed the rate of deforestation in the region. Here in the Mutran family's traditional redoubt, however, where there is no competition from outsiders like the Bolivians, production has dropped to almost nothing. Like most landowners in the region, the Mutrans have expanded into cattle ranching, cutting down the jungle and its Brazil nut groves to make way for pastures and to prevent squatters from seizing land and claiming title on grounds that it is unproductive.

Under Brazilian law, owners of Brazil nut groves that originally belonged to the state can cut down only those trees that have been certified as dead or "non-productive." But in the rush to convert Brazil nut groves to pasture, that restriction has been little observed or enforced.

Here and there along a highway busy with trucks carrying logs and cattle, a few Brazil nut trees still stand alone in pastures, forlorn and scorched. But without the protection of other trees around them, and with the bees that pollinate them driven away by heavy smoke, they are easily toppled by the heavy winds and rainstorms that often rip through the area.

"The problem is that there is not even one monitor to keep an eye on this," said Alfredo Kingo Oyama Homma, a biologist at the government-run Brazilian Enterprise for Agricultural Research in Belém, the state capital. "So it's a virtual invitation to destroy."

19. Butterflies earn a living for mountain farmers in Tanzania

Source: Peak to Peak, The Mountain Partnership Newsletter, September 2004

A group of some 300 farmers in the East Usamabara mountains of Tanzania have abandoned subsistence farming and meagrely-paid work on tea estates to become small-scale cash crop entrepreneurs. Their new venture? Butterfly farming. The farmers collect unhatched butterflies and send them on to Europe and the USA where there is considerable demand for butterfly exhibits.

This initiative is being undertaken within the framework of the Amani Butterfly Project which seeks to promote conservation by providing communities in the East Usambara Mountains with a sustainable income that is directly dependent upon healthy forests. An estimated 61% of earnings go directly to the butterfly farmers, 7% to community development, 25% for project running costs, and 7% to the Tanzania Wildlife Division.

To learn more about the project and how butterfly farming works visit:

20. Ecotourism: Zambia, Malawi seal tourism deal

Source: The Times of Zambia (Ndola), 7 September 2004

Zambia and Malawi have signed a historic agreement that will see the creation of a new trans-frontier conservation area (TFCA) covering a total of 33 000 km2.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed at Chilinda, on Malawi's remote Nyika Plateau by Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources Minister Patrick Kalifungwa and Malawian minister of Information and Tourism, Ken Lipenga. According to a statement released in Lusaka yesterday by Mr Kalifungwa, the agreement was reached after a series of bilateral meetings facilitated by Peace Parks Foundation (PPF).

Mr Kalifungwa said the proposed TFCA would consolidate Zambia's Nyika national park, Lundazi forestry reserve and Lukusuzi national park and Malawi's Nyika national park, Vwaza Marsh wildlife reserve and Kasungu national park.

TFCAs are areas comprising two or more conservation areas that border each other across international boundaries. Some TFCAs already created in Southern Africa are the Great Limpompo trans-frontier park between Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe, the Kgalagadi trans-frontier park between Botswana and South Africa, and the Ai/Ais/ Richtersveld trans-frontier park between Namibia and South Africa.

The Zambia/Malawi TFCA covers a large diversity of habitats and eco-systems ranging through Afromontane forests and high altitude grasslands on the Nyika plateau to marsh and wetlands, Miombo brachystegia and acacia woodlands and classical African Bushveld.

It is expected that the final treaty establishing the Zambia/Malawi peace park would be signed in December next year by heads of state of the two countries. The two governments would approach international donor organisations to support the TFCA.

Dr Lipenga said TFCAs had potential to promote ecological, cultural and political processes. He also noted that the occasion marked a significant step towards activating the SADC protocol on wildlife conservation and law enforcement to which the two countries were signatories. He said the Zambia/Malawi FTCA would help improve joint tourism opportunities, skills transfer and promotion of goodwill between the two countries.

And PPF chief executive officer, Professor Willem van Riet said the signing of the MoU signified the beginning of a complete new era in conservation in Zambia and Malawi.

Zambia/ Malawi TFCA coordinator Humphrey Nzima cited the potential in terms of institutional support, natural attractions and existing infrastructure to conservation.

For full story, please see:

21. Ecotourism: UNEP and Central Asian IGO to collaborate

Source: Earth Negotiations Bulletin, Linkages Update - 27 August 2004

UNEP and the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) have jointly committed to enhance environmental management in the Central Asian region.

Headquartered in Tehran, ECO is an intergovernmental regional organization aimed at promoting the socio-economic development of member states, including through regional cooperation in the field of environment. Member States include Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Turkey, and Uzbekistan.

The agreement, forged in the form of a Memorandum of Understanding, identifies the potential for joint activities in areas of renewable energy, environmental law making, environmental education and training programme, ecotourism, and environmental monitoring and assessment.

For full story, please see:

22. Fungi: Scientists discover largest fungus

Source: Associated Press quoted in Daily Times (Pakistan), 28 September 2004

Swiss scientists have discovered what they believe is Europe¿s biggest fungus, stretching wide under an Alpine forest. The Honey Mushroom, also known by its Latin species name Armillaria ostoyae, was found lurking in the Engadine national park in the eastern Swiss Alps, said the Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research. Spanning 35 ha (86 acres), the fungus it believed to be 1 000 years old, the institute added.

The underground fungus is only visible in the fall, when its mushrooms break through the earth and grow around the roots of trees, the institute said.

Although harmless to humans ¿ its mushrooms are edible ¿ the parasitic fungus can colonize trees, killing off swaths of pine forest.

In terms of size, the Swiss fungus is beaten hands down by another Honey Mushroom growing in the United States. Found in the Malheur National Forest, in eastern Oregon, that fungus covers 890 ha (2 200 acres) ¿ making it the largest living organism ever discovered.


23. Sri Lanka: Volunteers sought for Sri Lanka ecotourism project

Source: eTurbo News, 30 August 2004 (in Community Forestry E-News 2004.08

A Sri Lankan non-governmental organization, the Center for Eco-cultural Studies (CES), is seeking volunteers to assist in a community-based ecotourism project in the Rekawa, Ussangoda and Kelemetiya area (RUK). It is offering a limited number of volunteer programs per year for research students and those seeking work experience in eco-cultural related disciplines. Volunteers will be provided training in botany, zoology, wildlife conservation and management, community development, ethnology, sociology, ethnoarchaeology and speleology, among other related fields.

The interdisciplinary fields of community development will provide insight into the multifaceted ways of life of agricultural forest-based communities in buffer zones of the Sigiriya World Heritage Site and wildlife sanctuary.

Interested students should send their curriculum vitae and a self-written essay (of not more than one A4 page) describing the specific interest in obtaining work experience in eco-cultural-related disciplines.

For more information, contact Renton de Alwis at

For the full text, see

24. Writing Team: Earth Negotiations Bulletin

From: Langston James "Kimo" Goree VI, Director, IISD Reporting Services

The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) Reporting Services will be adding six new writers to the team of freelance consultants who write and edit the Earth Negotiations Bulletin, Sustainable Developments and ENB on the Side (the ¿ENB Team¿

We will be accepting applications from qualified candidates only until 1800 GMT on Friday, 1 October and hope to conclude the interviewing of finalists by 8 October. During this round of recruiting we will then offer our finalists ¿virtual try-outs¿ and plan to train the six new writers in late October or early November.

For more information, please contact:

25. Program Technician, Forest Ecology

Source: H. Gyde Lund, Forest Information Update, FIU 27.9.04

This position assists Arkansas Forest Resource Center scientists at the University of Arkansas-Monticello in research activities assessing impacts of forest management on soil productivity, water quality, and forest productivity. The individual will organize and participate in field work, manage and summarize research data, perform statistical analyses, and cooperate with scientist in preparing publications and presentations for professional outlets and extension activities.

The complete job announcement is at: or contact Dr. Hal Liechty, 870/460-1452.

To apply, send a cover letter, resume, and three references to Rhonda Parris, School of Forest Resources, P.O. Box 3468, UAM, Monticello, AR 71656 USA.

Review of applications will begin 15 October.


From: FAO¿s NWFP Programme

26. The second Alaska non-timber forest products conference, Hidden Forest Values II

1-2 October 2004
Sitka, Alaska, USA

The purpose of this conference is to exchange information, cooperate and raise awareness of issues on sustainable and equitable, environmentally and economically viable opportunities for non-timber forest products in Alaska. This discourse seeks a balance of development and sustainability, with respect for traditional uses. It will accomplish this by bringing together a diverse assemblage of local, state and federal agencies, tribal governments, traditional users, landholders, cottage enterprises, and other NTFP related businesses, scientists and NTFP experts. This conference will address traditional values, income opportunities, and sustainability issues related to NTFP in Alaska.

For more information, please contact:

Al White, Coordinator
Mat-Su RC&D
1700 E. Bogard Road, Suite 203
Wasilla, Alaska, 99654, USA
Tel: +1(907) 373-1062 ext. 102
Fax: +1(907) 373-1064 FAX

27. Expert meeting on traditional forest-related knowledge and the implementation of related international commitments:

6-10 December 2004
San José, Costa Rica

This meeting is being organized by the International Alliance of Indigenous Tribal Peoples of Tropical Forests. Central to discussions in this event are national government actions related to their international commitments to protect and promote TFRK.

The meeting will commence with a two-day preparatory meeting open to indigenous experts, holders of traditional knowledge and representatives of forest dependent and/or indigenous communities in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Pacific to discuss the promotion and protection of Traditional Forest Related Knowledge.

From 8 to 10 December indigenous and local community experts will join government and international agency delegates in a three-day official Expert Meeting of the United Nations Forum on Forests which is being organized by the International Alliance of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples of the Tropical Forests and Associación Ixacavaa, with support from the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity and forest-related support NGOs.

The meeting will provide a valuable and timely opportunity for indigenous and other experts to discuss the extent to which governments have implemented international commitments related to the protection, promotion and support of Traditional Forest Related Knowledge.

Outcomes from this meeting will be introduced into the 5th Session of the United Nations Forum on Forests, and will feed into discussions on the Convention on Biological Diversity and other relevant international and national forest policy processes.

For more information contact: Annabel Pinker; tel: +66-53-904037; fax: +66-53-277645;


28. The 17th Commonwealth Forestry Conference

28 February to 5 March 2005
Colombo, Sri Lanka

The theme of the Conference, which is being hosted by the Forest Department and Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources of Sri Lanka, will be Forestry's contribution to poverty reduction.

The conference will be structured around the following sub-themes:

¿ Ensuring the supply security of forest goods and services

¿ Building good governance in the forestry sector

¿ The role of forestry in improving people's lives

¿ Ensuring stakeholder participation at all levels

29. Seventeenth Session of the FAO Committee on Forestry (COFO)

15-19 March 2005
Rome, Italy

This 17th biennial session of COFO will convene at FAO headquarters, bringing together heads of forest services and other senior government officials to identify emerging policy and technical issues and advise FAO and others on appropriate action.

For more information, please contact:

Douglas Kneeland
FAO Forestry Department
Tel: +39-06-5705-3925
Fax: +39-06-5705-5137;
E-mail: ;

30. Ninth North American Agroforestry Conference ¿ 2005¿

12-15 June 2005
Rochester, Minnesota, USA

The theme for this conference, ¿Moving Agroforestry into the Mainstream,¿ is intended to attract those people interested in the production and environmental benefits of agroforestry. The event is being coordinated by the Center for Integrated Natural Resources and Agricultural Management (CINRAM) at the University of Minnesota and the Southwest Badger Recourse Conservation and Development Council in Southwestern Wisconsin

A print and CD-Rom version of the proceedings will be published.

For more information, please contact:

Dean Current,
115 Green Hall,
1530 Cleveland Ave. North,
St. Paul, MN 55108-6112,


31. Agriculture becomes forestry

Source: David Kaimowitz, Polex, 15.9.04 (CIFOR) []

Durst, P.B., W. Killmann, and C. Brown. 2004. Asia's New Woods. Journal of Forestry 102 (4): 46-53.

It has never been easy to say where agriculture stops and forestry starts. Many governments call some areas "forest land" even though there aren't any trees and farmers grow crops there. Most people consider livestock part of agriculture, but millions of farmers graze cattle in forests. Agroforestry is stuck somewhere between agriculture and forestry and has never found a real home in either.

Now things are getting even fuzzier. People increasingly use "agricultural" crops to make "forestry" products. Each year Malaysia and Thailand export almost $1.5 billion of furniture made from rubber trees, and coconut palms supply more than an eighth of the timber used by Filipinos. Fruit trees like mangos, tamarinds, and jackfruits provide much of the wood in Sri Lanka and the Indian state of Kerala. In the future, a significant share of Asia's particleboard and fiberboard may come from tree crops, bamboo, straw, and sugar cane.

Admittedly, this phenomenon is not entirely new. The Chinese have made most of their paper from straw and other crop residues for centuries. Nonetheless, we are likely to see more of this as natural forests run out of wood, old tree crops need replacing, and new processing techniques open up all sorts of fresh possibilities for using raw materials. Right now Southeast Asia has enough old rubber trees to be able to harvest more than 6.5 million cubic meters of wood each year. That practically equals the entire timber harvest of Central Africa.

You can read about all this in "Asia's New Woods", by Pat Durst, Wulf Killmann, and Chris Brown from the FAO, published recently in the Journal of Forestry. As they tell the story, any day soon people may start making doors and windows from tomatoes!

To request a free electronic copy of this article in a pdf file, you can write Janice Naewboonnien at: You can send comments and queries to Patrick Durst at:

32. Commercial ¿Moss¿ Harvesting

From: Susan J. Alexander, USDA Forest Service,

Muir, Patricia S. 2004. An Assessment of Commercial ¿Moss¿ Harvesting from Forested Lands in the Pacific Northwestern and Appalachian Regions of the United States: How Much Moss is Harvested and Sold Domestically and Internationally and Which Species are Involved?

Forest bryophytes (mosses and liverworts, hereafter, ¿moss¿) are a non-timber forest product whose commercial importance is increasing. However, little is known about how much harvest is legally permitted, how much is actually being harvested, how harvest rates compare to reaccumulation rates, and whether species of concern are harvested. In addition, while the importance of moss in forest ecosystems is widely acknowledged, no studies have addressed whether commercial harvest has an impact on any of these ecosystem functions. Informed management of this resource depends on answers to these questions.

We focused on moss harvest in the Pacific Northwestern (PNW) and Appalachian regions of the US, surveying land managers, botanists, and moss dealers for information and opinions on moss harvest issues. We also purchased moss from a variety of outlets, and sent the material to bryologists for species identifications. Approximately 48% of 372 land managers, 51% of 88 botanists, and only 21% of 105 businesses responded to surveys. Thirty five percent of land manager respondents indicated that they had received requests to harvest moss commercially from their lands within the past 5 year, and these reported that permits were issued for 87,740 kg (air dried) of moss in 2002. More harvest permits were issued for lands in the PNW than in the Appalachians, and reported harvest quantities were also larger for PNW lands than for Appalachian lands.

Reported harvest quantities are conservative estimates of total harvest for several reasons. (1) Some land managers allow harvesting without permits or allow unlimited harvest under a permit. (2) Some land managers do not maintain records on numbers of permits granted or quantities of harvest allowed. (3) Many land managers indicated that illegal harvesting is widespread and probably accounts for more harvest than is legally permitted. (4) Our sample of land managers was incomplete, in part because many did not respond to surveys.

Estimates based on export data suggest that the value of moss exports from the U.S. over the past 6 yrs has ranged between US$16.5 million and 1.1 million. These dollar values convert to an estimated 0.17 to 3.7 million kg (air dried) per yr of moss exports. Least well resolved were domestic sales quantities, as most dealers would not divulge sales information. We estimated total domestic sales quantities conservatively, based on export data, ratios of domestic to international sales provided by moss dealers and other assumptions; the resulting estimate for domestic sales was between 0.7 million and 33.7 million kg (air dried) per yr over the past 6 yrs. The sum of estimated total domestic and export sales quantities gave yearly totals between ~0.87 million and 37.4 million kg (air dried) kg per yr over the past 6 yrs, quantities that are orders of magnitude greater than reported permitted harvests. Approximately 64 % of botanist respondents believed that current harvest volumes are of concern, but only 16 % of land manager respondents believed that harvest regulations are not sufficiently protective of the resource.

Most of the moss samples that we purchased were comprised primarily of three to seven species, however many ¿incidental¿ species were also included. The 34 samples from the PNW contained a total of 34 moss and liverwort taxa, while a total of 28 moss and liverwort taxa were found in the 20 samples of Appalachian material. The most prevalent species in PNW material included Antitrichia curtipendula, Eurhyncium oreganum, Isothecium myosuroides/spiculiferum, Porella navicularis and Rhytidiadelphus loreus, while the most prevalent species in Appalachian material included Dicranum scoparium, Hypnum curvifolium, H. fertile, H. imponens, H. cupressiforme, and Thuidium delicatulum. No species of special concern were found in either the PNW or Appalachian material, however species composition of harvested material should be monitored over time, as sensitive species may be included in some harvests.

Recommendations that could enhance sustainable management of the moss harvest industry are provided in the report.

For more information, please contact:

Patricia S. Muir,
Department of Botany and Plant Pathology,
Cordley Hall 2082,
Oregon State University,
Corvallis, OR 97331-2902,
Telephone: +1-(541) 737-1745
Fax: +1-(541) 737-3573

33. The Overstory: Urban trees and forests

From: FAO¿s NWFP Programme

The latest issue of the Overstory (no. 142) covers Urban trees and forests and has been written by Guido Kuchelmeister.

For more information, please contact:

The Overstory
P.O. Box 428,
Hawaii 96725

34. The Little Green Data Book 2004

Source: Peak to Peak, The Mountain Partnership Newsletter, September 2004

This book by the World Bank provides a quick, user-friendly reference to key environmental data. Under the headings of agriculture, forests, biodiversity, energy, emissions and pollution, water and sanitation, and 'greener' national accounts, the Little Green Data Book presents 47 key indicators of the environment and its relationship to people for more than 200 countries.

Read a pdf version on-line at:

35. Community Forests. Equity, Use and Conservation

Source: Community Forestry E-News 2004.08 (31 August 2004)

World Rainforest Movement, 2004. Montevideo, Uruguay

This publication (also available in Spanish and French) aims at supporting and promoting community-based forest management. The book is divided into two sections: the first presents a series of analytical articles on the subject, and the second consists of a selection of articles based on experiences of community forest management from different countries of the world.

Non-governmental organizations and indigenous people¿s organizations can ask for a free copy of the book. To do so, please contact WRM International Secretariat at: and send your postal address (please include detailed information).

For other organizations or institutions the cost is US$ 10 (shipment included). You can either send a cheque (against a U.S bank) payable to: "Fundacion Movimiento Mundial por los Bosques Tropicales" to the following address: Teresa Perez

36. Interactive Historical Atlas of the Old World since 500bce

Source: H. Gyde Lund , Forest Information Update, FIU 27.9.04

This Interactive Historical Atlas on CD contains over 2500 individual maps, one for each year, of the entire world in true colour SVG file format. These maps are interactive, scalable, and allow zooming and panning. Map layers can be turned on and off. Pop-up information is available for each country shown. The CD has an index page to allow for easy selection of maps, and a help page to assist in using the SVG format. Each map shows all countries of the Old world as they were at the beginning of each year. Interactive themes include forests, deserts, grassland, relief, rivers, borders, grids and labels.

See: and

37. Fact sheets on medicinal herbs and insects

From: Pankaj

Over 1800 new research articles (making a total of over 3800) based on ethhnobotanical surveys conducted in different parts of Chhattisgarh, India, and including information on traditional allelopathic knowledge, herbs used as bio-indicator, have been added to the following sites:

In addition, I have classified some important articles on herbs that are useful in treatment of common diseases (over 40 diseases). Readers may contact me for the list.

38. Other publications of interest

From: FAO¿s NWFP Programme

Alig, Ralph J.; Plantinga, Andrew J.; Ahn, SoEun; Kline, Jeffrey D. 2003. Land use changes involving forestry in the United States: 1952 to 1997, with projections to 2050. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-587. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 92 p.

Botha, J., Witkowski, E.T.F., and Shackleton, C.M. 2004. Market profiles and trade in medicinal plants in the Lowveld, South Africa. Environ. Conserv. 31(1):38-46.

Botha, J., Witkowski, T.F., and Shackleton, C.M. 2004. The impact of commercial harvesting on Warburgia salutaris ('pepper-bark tree') in Mpumalanga, South Africa. Biodivers. Conserv. 13(9):1675-1698.

Dalle, S.P., and Potvin, C. 2004. Conservation of useful plants: an evaluation of local priorities from two indigenous communities in eastern Panama. Econ. Bot. 58(1):38-57.

Dalton, R. 2004. Bioprospects less than golden. Nature 429(6992):598-600.

Durst, P.B., W. Killmann, and C. Brown. 2004. Asia's New Woods. Journal of Forestry 102 (4): 46-53.

de Lange, P.J., Norton, D.A., Heenan, P.B., Courtney, S.P., Molloy, B.P.J., Ogle, C.C., Johnson, P.N., and Hitchmough, R. 2004. Threatened and uncommon plants of New Zealand. New Zeal. J. Bot. 42(1):45-76.

Eilu, G., Hafashimana, D.L.N., and Kasenene, J.M. 2004. Tree species distribution in forests of the Albertine Rift, western Uganda. Afr. J. Ecol. 42(2):100-110.

Elevitch, Craig R. (ed.) 2004. The Overstory Book: Cultivating connections with trees. Permanent Agriculture Resources, Hawaii. ISBN 0-9702544-3-1

Fisher, M. 2004. Links between poverty alleviation and conservation: the debate continues. Oryx 38(2):119-120.

Kepe, T., Saruchera, M., and Whande, W. 2004. Poverty alleviation and biodiversity conservation: a South African perspective. Oryx 38(2):143-145.

Kim, C.H. 2004. Conservation status of the endemic fern Mankyua chejuense (Ophioglossaceae) on Cheju Island, Republic of Korea. Oryx 38(2):217-219

Medri, C., Ruas, P.M., Higa, A.R., Murakami, M., and Ruas, C.D. 2003. Effects of forest management on the genetic diversity in a population of Araucaria angustifolia (Bert.) O. Kuntze. Silvae Genet. 52(5-6):202-205.

Primavera, J.H.; Sadaba, R.B.; Lebata, M.J.H.; & Altamirano, J.P. 2004. The Handbook of Philippine Mangroves ¿ Panay.

Reid, S., Diaz, I.A., Armesto, J.J., and Willson, M.F. 2004. Importance of native bamboo for understory birds in Chilean temperate forests. Auk 121(2):515-525.

Roe, D., and Elliott, J. 2004. Poverty reduction and biodiversity conservation: rebuilding the bridges. Oryx 38(2):137-139.

Sheil, Douglas; Puri, Rajindra K; & Basuki, Iman. 2004. Exploring Biological Diversity, Environment and Local People's Perspective in Forest Landscapes. CIFOR, Bogor, Indonesia

This document is intended for those interested in gathering natural resource information that reflects the needs of local communities in the forest-rich landscapes of the Malinau watershed in East Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo). Price: USD 15.00.

Smith, W. Brad et al. 2004. Forest Resources of the United States, 2002. General Technical Report NC-241. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station. .

39. Web sites and e-zines

From: FAO¿s NWFP Programme


BAMBUTEC is system technology that provides efficient solutions for building and constructing with bamboo and log wood.

Friends-Mountains Web site and electronic mailing list

The Friends-Mountains list distributes monthly issues of the electronic newsletter, 'Peak to Peak', featuring news, announcements and information on the on-going development and initiatives of the Mountain Partnership, as well as information on other mountain-related issues around the world.

Launched at the World Summit for Sustainable Development in 2002, the Mountain Partnership is a voluntary alliance of partners ¿ countries, intergovernmental organizations and major groups (NGOs and civil society) ¿ dedicated to improving the lives of mountain people and protecting mountain environments around the world. The Partnership taps the wealth and diversity of resources, knowledge and expertise of its members to support collaborative action at all levels to achieve lasting change in mountains.

We would encourage you to visit the Mountain Partnership Web site at, where you can not only access an on-line illustrated version of 'Peak to Peak', but also learn more about the Partnership, download features and resources on a wide range of mountain-related issues and browse a calendar of mountain events around the world.

Comments, suggestions and contributions in the form of short articles to both the Web site and 'Peak to Peak' are welcome and can be sent to

INBAR Newsmagazine Vol.11 (1) is now available in English at

BOSQUES AMAZÓNICOS VIRTUAL Año 4 N° 15 is now available.

For more information, contact: Juan Mateluna Florián at

The fourth issue of the Mountain Partnership newsletter, ¿Peak to Peak¿ is now available.

For more information, please contact:


40. Venezuela: Declining dung beetles could affect ecosystem

Source: Science, 27 August 2004 (in SciDev.Net Weekly Update, 23-29/8/04)

Scientists are growing increasingly concerned that a declining population of dung beetles could spell trouble for the ecosystems of which they form an important part.

Dung beetles collect animal faeces and bury them, enriching the soil and helping plants to regenerate. But a study published in Science this week shows that in the forests of eastern Venezuela, dung beetles are disappearing.

The larger species, and those best at burying dung, have been the first to go. Alarmingly, related species did not become more abundant as a result. The authors of the study are concerned that the loss of even one or two species may have a greater impact than previously thought on ecosystems.

For full story, please see:

Reference: Science 305, 1230 (2004)


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

last updated:  Monday, August 24, 2009