No. 07/04

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. 2005-2006 Kleinhans Fellowship, Rainforest Alliance Research in Tropical Non-Timber Forest Products
2. First ever fair of Non-Timber Forest Products to take place in Moscow
3. Bamboo cultivation and bamboo furniture & handicrafts making workshop
4. IUFRO World Congress ¿ Voluntary presentations
5. Storm in a coffee cup
6. Indigenous knowledge and rights must be protected
7. Local people 'to preserve nature'
8. Research project on medical and aromatic plants
9. Democratic Republic of Congo: Stop the carve up of the Congo forests
10. Ghana: Government to initiate bill on traditional medical practice
11. Kenya: Traditional medicine action plan
12. Kenya: Firm starts forest project
13. South Africa builds market for traditional foods
14. Uganda: German farmers to buy moringa
15. Uganda: Forestry gets Sh550m boost

16. From: FAO¿s NWFP Programme
17. Second worldwide symposium on gender and forestry
18. The management of non-wood products and the biodiversity conservation
19. Scientific symposium on European forests in ethical discourse

20. Environment: EU launches book on African Rainforests
21. Caucasus Environment: Call for papers on biodiversity
22. Fact sheets on medicinal herbs and insects
23. Minilivestock
24. The Overstory: "Hungry season" food from the forests
25. The Overstory: Recent issues
26. Other publications of interest
27. Web sites and e-zines

28. FAO is looking for consultant in microfinance
29. Gorillas face extinction



1. 2005-2006 Kleinhans Fellowship, Rainforest Alliance Research in Tropical Non-Timber Forest Products

From: Deanna Newsom, Rainforest Alliance,

The Rainforest Alliance will be accepting applications for the Kleinhans fellowship until 31 December 2004. This fellowship provides US$15 000 per year for two years to one individual conducting research to better understand and improve the impacts of non-timber forest product (NTFP) harvest and marketing on rural livelihoods and tropical forest ecosystems.

The fellowship area is restricted to Latin America. Applicants should have at least a master's degree in forestry, ecology, botany, environmental science or an appropriate related field.

For more information about the fellowship including application guidelines, please consult our webpage:

Fellowship proposals should be submitted

Application deadline: 31 December 2004.

2. First ever fair of Non-Timber Forest Products to take place in Moscow

Source: IUCN 25 June 2004 (in CENN ¿ 28 June 2004 Daily Digest)

The IUCN Office for Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States, in collaboration with an array of local and international partners, is organizing the first ever fair of non-timber forest products (NTFP) in Moscow's most prestigious exhibition centre in October this year.

Non-timber forest products - such as berries, mushrooms, and herbal medicines - are among the most important forest resources for local communities around the world, even though the actual 'products' may vary from place to place. Interest in these products has grown enormously in recent years, and NTFPs are increasingly viewed as a key part of local sustainable livelihood strategies. However, better information on marketing opportunities, equipment and technologies and sustainable harvesting practices is needed to ensure the sector's sustainability.

IUCN has been working with local communities in Far-Eastern Russia on developing sustainable NTFP-related businesses since 1998, and the NTPF fair is expected to boost similar initiatives across the country and beyond.

3. Bamboo cultivation and bamboo furniture & handicrafts making workshop


This November and December INBAR will organize a Bamboo cultivation and bamboo furniture & handicrafts making workshop in Addis Ababa mainly for Ethiopian participants (selected by Ethiopian government), if other organizations have interest to join our workshop, please let me know.

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)
Beijing 100102-86, P. R. China
Tel: +86-10-6470 6161 ext.208
Fax: +86-10-6470 2166

4.IUFRO World Congress ¿ Voluntary presentations

From: Jim Chamberlain, Coordinator, Research Group 5.11 (Non-Wood Forest Products),

The organizers of the upcoming IUFRO meeting are requesting abstracts for voluntary presentations that could be inserted into current sessions. They may be designated at oral or poster presentation. I would encourage anyone interested to submit an abstract. Even if you are unable to attend the meeting, I can help to arrange for posters to be presented. If you send me the poster, I will get it displayed.

There are three sessions (that I know of) that focus on NTFPs. Though each have already designated speakers, there may be room to get a few more presentations (oral) in the agenda. Please enquire with the session organizers. Also, there will be room for posters.

In addition, the organizers of the three sessions are planning on combining presentations into a proceedings. I will advocate to include extended abstracts of poster presentations for those who choose to use that form of media. Plans are to have the presentations peer reviewed so that you will get more recognition for your work. Please consider this when you think about sending an abstract. But, do not think too long as thedeadline is 2 September.

For more information, please contact:

Jim Chamberlain


Dr. John Innes
Chair, IUFRO World Congress Scientific Committee
Department of Forest Resources Management
Faculty of Forestry
University of British Columbia
Forest Sciences Centre
2045, 2424 Main Mall
Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z4
Tel: 604-822-6761
Fax: 604-822-9106

5. Storm in a coffee cup

Source: Reuters (in SciDev.Net Weekly Update: 12 - 18 July 2004)

This month's discovery of naturally decaffeinated coffee plants has prompted disputes over who owns them. Although the plants were discovered in Brazil, they had been grown from seeds collected in Ethiopia, where officials are demanding an explanation.

Paulo Mazzafera, the Brazilian scientist who reported the finding, says that the plants were grown from seeds collected during UN-sponsored research in the 1960s ¿ with the permission and participation of Ethiopian officials and scientists. Duplicate seed collections from the expedition were stored in Costa Rica, Ethiopia, India and Portugal, with Brazil acquiring samples from the Costa Rican collection in 1973.

The dispute exemplifies debates about the ownership of and rights to benefit from genetic resources. But the coffee beans in question were collected before the existence of international regulations covering the international movement of biological materials with commercial potential. Both parties now hope to find a solution where both would benefit from the find. Resolving the dispute could help solve the problem of compensating developing nations for native plants discovered by researchers from rich countries.

For full story, please

For more information, please also see:

Reese Ewing, "Scientist calls decaf coffee row tempest in teacup", Reuters, 13 July 2004

Mike Shanahan, "Natural 'decaf' coffee discovered by Brazilian scientists", SciDev.Net, 24 June 2004 (with links to the original "Nature" article).

Richard Black, "GM decaf coffee plant created", BBC News, 19 June 2003.

6. Indigenous knowledge and rights must be protected

Source: LA Press (in SciDev.Net Weekly Update: 12-18 July 2004)

Indigenous knowledge of biodiversity is important to the lives of millions, not least through the provision of food and medicine. But according to Alejandro Argumendo, director of Peru's Quechua-Aymara Association for Sustainable Communities International, intellectual property laws foster the privatization of such knowledge, rather than its protection.

He says that the definitions and uses of traditional knowledge are affecting indigenous rights. International frameworks, he says, are not able to establish or protect the rights of those who are the very source of traditional knowledge.

Argumendo highlights the importance of conserving both biodiversity and the traditional systems of knowledge transfer and exploitation that are central to its sustainable exploitation.

For full story please see:

7. Local people 'to preserve nature'

Source: BBC, 22 July 2004 (in Amazon News, 22.7.04)

The potential for indigenous people to help curb the destruction of forests is being overlooked by the international community, according to a report. When forest communities are given legal control over their own lands they are at least as effective in conserving wildlife as national governments. The study argues that local people should be given more access to financial incentives to protect nature. The group Forest Trends launched the report during talks in Geneva.

In countries as diverse as Brazil, India and Thailand, local communities have been given the right to control forest regions, sometimes after long legal battles. Where this has happened, the report says people make great efforts to protect the plants and animals of the forest. This is often because of traditional beliefs about the sacred status of the wildlife, or the importance of natural products such as herbal medicines in their cultures.

In contrast, many areas officially designated as "protected" by national governments exist as parks on paper only, because poorer countries lack the resources to enforce environmental protection and prevent illegal logging or other forms of damage.

When the time, labour and financial resources used by community groups to protect forests are added up, the report estimates that it amounts to between $1.2bn and $2.6bn. This is about the same as the annual budget developing countries spend on protected areas, and two to three times the worldwide aid budget directed at forest conservation.

The study gives the example of 80 indigenous reserves in the Brazilian Amazon. Satellite imagery of the area shows that conservation of the forest is at least as effective as officially protected areas, even though the Indian lands are often closer to the threats posed by expanding agriculture.

It also points to the ecological importance of sacred groves in Ghana, thought to be the living places of gods, where traditional taboos forbid farming or the cutting down of trees.

Forest Trends argues the efforts of these communities could be further strengthened if they were helped to reap financial rewards from products obtained from the forest in a non-destructive way. This could be done through the marketing of wood or botanical products made in a sustainable way which could attract a premium amongst consumers in richer countries.

The group is calling for the 59 countries currently negotiating the renewal of the International Tropical Timber Agreement to include indigenous people in the incentives available for forest conservation, from which it is claimed they have so far been excluded.

A co-author of the study, Sara Scherr, said: "Support for the conservation efforts of indigenous peoples and forest dwellers can help protect ecosystems and biodiversity across biological corridors and political boundaries.¿The people who live on the land are committed for the long-term, particularly if they develop the professional capacity and enterprise skills that can help them earn a better living while continuing to protect the forests that make it possible to do so."

8. Research project on medical and aromatic plants

From: Manish

I have been working in the Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal in the faculty area of Ecosystem management and technical forestry since 1997. I am currently engaged in research in areas like medicinal and aromatic plant management, ecosystem & NTFP management etc. I have a Master of Science degree in botany and a doctoral degree in forestry and have already published several articles and case studies in Indian as well as foreign Journals on medicinal and aromatic plant conservation and management in central India.

Recently I have been given a research project on medicinal and aromatic plants, funded by IIFM. The work and objective of the project is to collect data on cultivation practices of selected medicinal and aromatic plants at Indore, Ujjain and Neemuchh area. In this regard, if your organization is working on a similar topic or any other forestry topic, kindly send us your organization address, e-mail, phone etc.

The project has one position of Project Associate for one year in Botany/Forestry (see

For more information, please contact:

Dr. Manish Mishra
Faculty of Ecosystem Management and Technical Forestry,
Indian Institute of Forest Management,
(IIFM) Nehru Nagar
P.O Box 357,
Bhopal (M P).
India. 91+0755+2775716/2773799
Resid: 91+0755+2772212

9. Democratic Republic of Congo: Stop the carve up of the Congo forests

Source: Community Forest Resource Center

New laws and 're-zoning' of Congo's forests being developed during 2004 threaten millions of hectares of rainforest and the rights of the people living in them. Improvements in Congo's forests laws could be an opportunity to ensure that local forest communities' rights are properly protected. However, there is a real danger that it will only be the logging companies that are the winners.

'Pygmy' peoples urged World Bank President James Wolfensohn to halt plans that could unleash a wave of destruction on the rainforests of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) where they live. The 'Pygmys' put their case directly to Mr Wolfensohn during a video conference organized by the Rainforest Foundation UK, which is challenging Bank plans for a massive increase in industrial logging in the Congo. The Bank is pushing through new laws and a 're-zoning' of the Congo forests ¿ the second largest in the world ¿ that could see up to 60 million hectares (an area the size of France) handed out to logging companies.

"You must not forget that the lives of indigenous peoples depend on the forest," Adolphine Muley of the Congolese Union of Indigenous Women (UEFA) told the World Bank President. According to the Bank's own estimates, as many as 35 million of the Congo's 50 million people depend on the forests for their very survival.

Responding to these pleas, James Wolfensohn pledged the Bank to further discussion with Congolese people and non-governmental organizations about the future of the of the country's rainforests.

The Rainforest Foundation first raised its fears about the threatened 'carve-up' of Congo's rainforests with the World Bank in early December 2003. The UK All Party Parliamentary Group on the Great Lakes Region and Genocide Prevention (APPG), which has a membership of 148 MPs and Peers, has said that it "intends to follow closely" the World Bank's response to the concerns of the Foundation and Congolese campaigners.

For full Rainforest source story, please see:

10. Ghana: Government to initiate bill on traditional medical practice

Source: (in BIO-IPR Resource pointer, 21.7.04)

The Government will consider initiating a bill for the Parliament to pass into law to guide and regulate traditional medical practice and healing in the country. Such legislation will cover bioprospecting, biodiversity and intellectual property rights to enable traditional medical practitioners to offer efficient service and to derive more benefits from their practice.

Mr David Yakubu, Upper West Regional Co-ordinating Director, announced this at a workshop on medicinal plants for 30 traditional healers from the Region at Wa on Monday. The participants were taught how to plant medicinal plants and handle, package and market traditional medicine.

Mr Yakubu said workshops were being organized for registered members of the Ghana Traditional Healers Association in the Northern, Upper West and Upper East Regions, under the Northern Savannah Biodiversity Conservation Project. Mr. Yakubu, who is also the immediate past administrator of the project, expressed regret that though foreigners obtained information from local traditional medical practitioners for the manufacturing of orthodox drugs and medicines they did not pay royalties.

11. Kenya: Traditional medicine action plan

Source: SciDev.Net Weekly Update: 28 June to 4 July 2004

Kenya is to develop a national strategy for both promoting and regulating the use of traditional medicine, and providing alternative forms of treatment to the country's poor.

The new arrangement will boost research into the use of both traditional knowledge and modern medicines to curb major diseases such as HIV/AIDS and malaria. It will also encourage the conservation of biological resources from which traditional medicines are drawn.

Representatives of the ministries of health, agriculture, environment and national planning met last week in Nairobi with their counterparts from other countries in the eastern Africa region to discuss ways of incorporating traditional medicine into national health programmes. The meeting was organized by the National Council of Population Development and the US National Institutes of Health, and included participants from Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Zambia.

Kenya's move to regulate traditional medicine coincides with a draft bill on regulating traditional knowledge currently awaiting debate in parliament. Also, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has just published guidelines on the proper use of traditional medicines, following recent increases in reports of adverse effects (see WHO issues traditional medicine guidelines). Earlier attempts to regulate the industry, including requiring the registration of traditional healers, have failed as a result of bitter rivalries between conventional doctors and traditional practitioners.

"A multi-sectoral approach will allow health systems to be built that guarantee access to both modern and traditional medicine for more than 80 per cent of the population," says Charity Ngilu, Kenya's health minister.

Peter Eriki, the WHO representative in Kenya, says that one of the priorities of the organization's Africa office is to advise on the development of policies, legal frameworks, and the local production of traditional medicine. "Because the majority of the African population depends on traditional medicine in one way or another, there is a need to involve authorities responsible for conserving natural resources," he says. "The recent surge of public interest in the use of plants as medicine has been based on the assumption that the plants will be available on a continuing basis," adds Eriki. "Today many medicinal plants face extinction, but detailed information is lacking."

Newton Kulundu, Kenya's environment minister, suggested at last week's meeting that increased research into developing traditional medicines for the poor could be used to encourage communities to conserve biological diversity. For example, he emphasised the need to preserve one of the most endangered tree species,Prunus africana,whose bark contains medicinal compounds. Kenya has already banned the tree's export in order to protect it.

For full story, please see:

12. Kenya: Firm starts forest project

Source: The Nation (Nairobi), 6 July 2004

A multinational tea company has started a forest conservation programme. Brooke Bond's Trees 2000 project aims at protecting the environment, especially the Mau forest catchment area. The chairman of the project, Mr John Cheruiyot, said the programme recognized the importance of forests.

Last month, the Brooke Bond conservation week was launched at Jamji estate, Kericho, with the aim of planting over 30 000 indigenous trees. This followed a similar initiative in December in which more than 100 000 trees were planted. Egerton University of Njoro has received 40,000 seedlings for planting, which will boost the conservation effort.

This year, Brooke Bond targets to propagate 130 000 seedlings of indigenous trees out of which 33 000 would be planted within company's land.

For full story, please see:

13. South Africa builds market for traditional foods

SciDev.Net Weekly Update: 28 June to 4 July 2004

Samp, African ground nuts, mealies, sorghum potele, isithwalaphishi, ditlhakwana, mutuku and inkobe are some of the indigenous foodstuffs featured in a cookbook that has been compiled in South Africa as part of the Department of Science and Technology's (DST) 'Indigenous Food Poverty Alleviation Project'. Among the recipes are morogo (an indigenous green leafy vegetable), semphemphe (wild melon pudding) and masonja (a dish featuring mopani worms and ground peanuts).

The project, which is being undertaken by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), aims to find ways of marketing indigenous foods. The cookbook, an unintended output of the project, brings together about 80 recipes from rural areas of five of South Africa's nine provinces ¿ Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, North West, Limpopo and Eastern Cape. Many are generations old, and form part of the traditional knowledge of these communities.

Isaac Lusunzi, general manager of technology for poverty reduction in the DST, explains that the aim of the project is to find ways of using indigenous knowledge to help communities generate income. Since 2000, more than 12.3 million rand (US$1.8 million) has been put into the project, which seeks to set up small businesses and develop the technologies needed to produce indigenous foods in significant quantities.

Nelson Mampuru, who manages part of CSIR's technology for development programme, says that the project was initiated in the most needy parts of the country, and that the organization consulted extensively in the rural communities to collect indigenous recipes. These then formed the basis for selecting indigenous foods with commercial potential.

Mampuru says that processing centres are currently being established in the five provinces in which the foodstuffs will be produced. Other companies will supply ready-made products. "With four processing centres in three of the provinces, and others to open shortly, these foods are starting to appear in the local market," says Mampuru.

For full story, please

14. Uganda: German farmers to buy moringa

Source: New Vision (Kampala), 17 July 2004

German cattle keepers have expressed willingness to import moringa powder worth billions of shillings from Uganda.

"This is a big relief to our moringa farmers, especially those in the Rwenzori region, where hundreds of families are engaged in moringa growing and had no market for the crop," Maate Kajumba, the Rwenzori Vanilla Growers Co-operative Society chairman, said recently.

Kajumba said the German cattle farmers were willing to buy any quantity of moringa powder depending on quality. He declined to reveal the price per kilogramme at which the Germans would buy the moringa and when they expressed interest. "They will buy plenty of it. They said they will make cakes for their cows from the moringa powder. It is up to us to ensure that the quality of our produce is of the required standard," he said.

For full story, please see:

15. Uganda: Forestry gets Sh550m boost

Source: New Vision (Kampala), 5 July 2004

THE forest sector has received a boost of over Sh550m (US$300,000) to carry out capacity building workshops for district leaders and local communities in five pilot districts.

The principal inspector in the Ministry of Water, Lands and Environment, Salvatoris Byarugaba, said the money was part of the National Forest Programme Facility hosted by the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations, as a grant. "A bigger chunk of this money has gone to non-governmental organisations because they are closer to the people than us," he said.

Byarugaba said forests that covered half of the country by 1901, now covered only 24%.

For full story, please see:


16. From: FAO¿s NWFP Programme

Fourth European conference on the conservation of wild plants

17-20 August 2004
Valencia, Spain

Organized by Planta Europe, the network of organizations for the preservation and sustainable use of wild flora in Europe, this conference aims to contribute to the implementation of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation in Europe. Its key topics are progress in plant conservation in Europe, and development of the European Strategy for Plant Conservation.

For more information contact:

Planta Europa
c/o Poeta Monmeneu
16 - 1 E-46009 Valencia
Tel: +34-9632-79932;;

17. Second worldwide symposium on gender and forestry

1-10 August 2004.
Arusha, Tanzania

This event will focus on women and forestry, gender, poverty and sustainable development, forest resource use and income generating activities for local people, ideology, religion and environmental responsibility.

For more information contact:

Merete Furuberg
Hedmark University College
2480 Koppang, Norway;
Tel: +47-90-163092;
Fax: +47-62-945753;;

18. The management of non-wood products and the biodiversity conservation

24 September 2004
Solsona (Lleida) Spain

This seminar is oriented to all the Mediterranean countries in order to share the experiences and projects in management of non-wood forest products.

For more information, please contact:

Roser Cristóbal
Responsable de l'Àrea de Productes Secundaris del Bosc
Centre Tecnològic Forestal de Catalunya
Pujada del Seminari s/n; 25280-Solsona; (Spain)
Tel. 00-34-973-481752/481681;
Fax. 00-34-973-481392;

19. Scientific symposium on European forests in ethical discourse

18-19 January 2005
Berlin, Germany

This research symposium, organized by Finland¿s University of Joensuu, Faculty of Forestry, and Germany¿s University of Freiburg, Faculty of Forest and Environmental Sciences, in collaboration with the Finnish Institute in Germany, the SILVA Network and the European Forest Institute, will consider: ethics and forestry: sustainability, values in conflict; forests, culture and religions; codes of professional ethics; and forest sector: corporate responsibility, fair globalization.

For more information contact:

Antti Erkkilä,
University of Joensuu,
tel: +358-13-251-3628;
fax: +358-13-251-3590;;


20. Environment: EU launches book on African Rainforests

Source: Inter Press Service (Johannesburg), 6 July 2004

Besides holding one of the most difficult jobs in the European Union, the president of the European Commission Romano Prodi has also put his name to a book about African rainforests. Or at least he has penned his support for a new book 'Forests of Central Africa, Nature and Man' by Jean Pierre Vande Weghe. The book was launched in Brussels on 6 July.

Recognising the global importance of central Africa's tropical forests, the European Commission, the European Union (EU) executive, launched several major regional initiatives to support forest conservation and management in 1992.

The book, which was written with the support of the European Commission, is based on the experience and knowledge gained in the framework of these programmes. It describes the origins and main characteristics of the African tropical forests, their dynamics and ways of functioning. A summary of the present state of the forests is given, and perspectives are suggested, emphasising the sustained support which is needed to ensure the survival of the forests.

The dense humid forests of central Africa represent the second largest block of rainforest left on earth - second only to the Amazon forest in Latin America. The forests, which stretch over about 670 000 square kilometres of the Congo, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, are among the richest wilderness areas on earth in terms of biodiversity. Over 10 000 plant species occur there, of which 40 percent are found only in the sub- region. Fauna is also abundant and varied, with some 263 mammal species.

The book outlines the challenges facing the forests.

Although humans have for long been shaping the landscape of the central African forests, population densities remain low throughout the region and forests have remained generally intact until fairly recently. However this situation has started to change rapidly over the past 20 years with the emergence of a major threat to biodiversity -- the bushmeat trade supplying the urban centres where the majority of central Africa's people live. The rapid emergence of this threat has been made possible by the extensive network of roads, many opened by logging companies, which now penetrate deep into the most remote corners of the forest.

Unlike Southeast Asia, where wholesale forest destruction has occurred as a result of logging, logging in central Africa is relatively selective. The changes caused to forest structure are therefore limited, but the impact is nevertheless devastating as forests are emptied of their wildlife.

Launching the book, Prodi said that addressing the needs and aspirations of local populations has been a "major preoccupation" for the European Commission. "I am proud to say that this book is an indication of the importance that the countries of central Africa, with the support of the Commission, have attached to tropical forests over the past decade of cooperation," he said at the launch. "We would do well to remember that the safeguard of these forests must be a vital element in our united strategy to reduce poverty," he added.

Between 1992 and 2004 the Commission contributed approximately 87.9 million dollars to ECOFAC (Conservation et utilisation rationnelle des écosystèmes forestiers d'Afriques centrale) through its European Development Funds (EDF) which support developing countries. The ECOFAC programme combines two basic and complementary principles: conservation and development. It also fully involves the forest dwelling people in its activities.

Henri Djombo, Minister of Forests and the Environment in the Democratic Republic of Congo, thanked the Commission for its support and contribution to the book, saying it showed a "different side to Africa than the one that is usually shown in the press." While welcoming the partnership between the European Commission and his country, he said he hoped that "further cooperation would be possible in the future."

For full story, please see:

21. Caucasus Environment: Call for papers on biodiversity

Source: CENN 21 April 2004 Daily Digest

A future issue of the "Caucasus Environment" magazine will be dedicated to the Mountains, Sustainable Development and Tourism of the Caucasus. (Caucasus - meaning not only Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, but also southern regions of Russia, Iran and Turkey.)

Articles should be submittedlatest 5 August 2004.

For more information and for guidelines on how to submit articles, please contact:

Catherine Nakashidze
Caucasus Environment Magazine
Caucasus Environmental NGO Network
Tel: +995 32 92 39 46
GSM: +995 99 51 67 09
Fax: +995 32 92 39 47

22. Fact sheets on medicinal herbs and insects

From: Pankaj Oudhia []

Over 100 new research articles based on traditional medicinal knowledge about medicinal herbs and insects have been added to:

These articles include:

1.Sagon (Tectona grandisLinn.)

2.Hadjod or Hadjora [Cissus quadrangula (L.)]

3.Bemchi or Bawchi (Psorolea corylifolia Linn.)

4.Muskdana or Ambrette (Abelmoschus moschatus): Aromatic and Medicinal

5.Keukand (Costus speciosus Koen ex. Retz.) Sm.

For more information, please visit:

23. Minilivestock

From: Maurizio

Paoletti, Maurizio G. (ed.):2004.Ecological Implications of the Use of Minilivestock (Insects, Rodents, Frogs and Snails). Science Publishers, Inc., USA,ISBN 1-57808-339-7.

Although there are more than 15 million species of plants, animals and microbes on earth, more than 90 percent of the world¿s food supply comes from just 15 crop species and eight livestock species.

One way to augment the human food supply is to increase the diversity of plant and animal species used as food. This book provides stimulating and timely suggestions about expanding the world food supply to include a variety of minilivestock. It suggests a wide variety of small animals as nutritious food. These animals include arthropods (insects, earthworms, snails, frogs), and various rodents.

The major advantage of minilivestock is that they do not have to be fed on grains thus saving many crop species for human consumption. The book suggests technologies for harvesting these small livestock

24. The Overstory: "Hungry season" food from the forests

From: FAO¿s NWFP Programme

The latest issue of the Overstory (no. 119) covers forest foods and has been written by Julia Falconer. Forest foods are widely consumed in most agricultural communities and even in many urban areas, particularly in the developing world. In some cases, they provide a regular supplement to the diet; in others they represent a primary source of food. Most often, however, forest foods are consumed when cultivated food supplies are in short supply at the end of the agricultural season, during crop harvesting when there is little time for food preparation, or during emergencies such as famines and wars. Although few studies systematically examine the seasonal importance of forest foods, a number of case-studies from around the world but primarily from Africa illustrate the critical role of forests in reducing seasonal imbalances in food supply, particularly for the rural poor.

For more information, please contact:

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

25. The Overstory: Recent issues

From: FAO¿s NWFP Programme

Recent issues of the Overstory of relevance to NWFP include:

No. 135: Medicinal and Aromatic Plants in Agroforestry by M.R. Rao, M.C. Palada and B.N. Becker

No. 136: Underutilised Indigenous Fruit Trees by Angela Hughes and Nazmul Haq

No. 137: Bamboos by Soejatmi Dransfield and Elizabeth A. Widjaja

26. Other publications of interest

From: FAO¿s NWFP Programme

Barooah, C; Borthakur, S.K.. 2003.Diversity and distribution of bamboos in Assam. Bishen Singh Mahendra Pal Singh (BSMPS); Dehra Dun; India

This book contains four chapters providing detail accounts of taxonomic circumscription of bambusoid grasses, historical perspective of bamboo taxonomy, global distributional pattern and uses of bamboos. Data are based on seven years of fieldwork during 1994-2000. A total of 40 species, one variety and one forma belonging to genera of bamboo were found to be occurring in Assam, India. Taxonomic treatment includes explicit keys to genera and species in the world and in India with critical notes on distribution and nomenclature is also provided. The book is illustrated with three maps, 42 line drawings and 47 coloured photographs. Discussions on the distribution, usage, rare and endangered elements and strategies worked out for the conservation of rare and endangered bamboos of Assam are also given.

Bystriakova, N.; Kapos, V.; Lysenko, I.; Stapleton, C.M.A.2003. Distribution and conservation status of forest bamboo biodiversity in the Asia-Pacific Region.Biodiversity and conservation. v.12, no. 9 p. 1833-1841.

Coomes, O.T.2004. Rain forest 'conservation-through-use'? Chambira palm fibre extraction and handicraft production in a land-constrained community, Peruvian Amazon.Biodiversity and conservation. v. 13, no. 2 p. 351-360

Ferroukhi, Lyes (ed.)2003.Municipal forest management in Latin America. Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR).

This text uses case studies from Bolivia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua to analyze the trend among local municipal governments to establish offices and commissions to address forestry and environmental issues. The contributors illustrate that local governments and populations are becoming increasingly involved in decision-making on issues that affect forest use and management, and that decentralization ¿from below¿ has taken root. The book concludes, however, that real decentralized forest management ¿is still an incipient process that will require much more time, political will and institutional and social agreements if its positive effects are to become generalized.¿

Hamilton, A.C.2004. Medicinal plants, conservation and livelihoods.Biodivers. Conserv.13(8):1477-1517

Lewington, A.2003.Plants for people. 2003, 304 pp. Eden Project Books; London; UK

This well-illustrated book, first published a decade ago, has been completely rewritten and updated. It is intended for a non-specialist readership, the aim being to show how plants support our lives in practical ways, whilst at the same time giving examples of the costs of plant use to people and the environment. It covers issues such as genetic modification, patenting, loss of biodiversity, organic crop production, bio-piracy, global markets and the Fairtrade movement. The seven chapters cover plants that are used to care for, clothe, feed, house, cure, transport and entertain us.

Mapinduzi, Arnold L. et al.2003. Use of indigenous ecological knowledge of the Maasai pastoralists for assessing rangeland biodiversity in Tanzania. African Journal of Ecology 41(4)

Polansky, Cecilia; Heermans, John.2004. Developing forest management plans with high-tech tools and traditional knowledge in Zambia. Journal of Forestry 102(5): 46-51.

Schwartz, M.D. 2003.Non-timber forest products in a development context: NTFPs and migrant women in the Cochabamba tropics of Bolivia. Student report; MSc thesis Wageningen Universiteit, Tropical Forestry. Library Wageningen University and Research Centre, Postbus 9100, 6703 BK Wageningen ub.library@wur.nl; No:1708498.

Tchatat, M; Nasi, R; Ndoye, O. 2003. Produits forestiers autres que le bois d'oeuvre (PFAB): place dans l'amenagement durable des forets denses humides d'Afrique Centrale. (Forest products other than timber [NWFP]: place in the management of the dense rain forests of Central Africa.)Gestion durable des forets denses d'Afrique centrale et occidentale: Un panorama du projet FORAFRI. Centre de Cooperation Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Developpement (CIRAD); Montpellier; France.

Zhu, H., Xu, Z.F., Wang, H., and Li, B.G.2004. Tropical rain forest fragmentation and its ecological and species diversity changes in southern Yunnan.Biodivers. Conserv.13(7):1355-1372

27. Web sites and e-zines

From: FAO¿s NWFP Programme

Biodiversity Information Sharing Service (BISS)

Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF)

A newly updated and expandedResource Centeris now available on the CEPF Web site.

The center offers four special sections:

· Partner Gateway: A gateway to the CEPF donor partners and more than 100 of the civil society groups that the initiative supports.

· Publications: A library bringing together all CEPF publications available online, including annual reports, ecosystem profiles and final project completion reports.

· Related Programs: Summaries of CEPF small grants programs managed by local organizations, CEPF-supported conservation funds and other related resources.

· E-News Subscribe: An easy-to-complete, online subscription form for their newsletter.

The site also now includesCEPF News, a new section consolidating all the news on the site and offering pages with news and features sorted by hotspot.

Portal de Productos Forestales No Madereros en Chile

Commission on Intellectual Property Rights, Innovation and Public Health

Newsletter on intellectual property


28. FAO is looking for consultant in microfinance

From: Anna Springfors, FAO,

FAO is carrying out a study to assess the role of microfinance institutions and service providers in the forestry sector and its impact on local livelihoods. The lack of financial inputs to local producers has been identified as a bottleneck for many forest projects, in particular when dealing with forest-based small-scale enterprises. Therefore, the study will review and analyse the existing support mechanisms for local entrepreneurs who depend on forest products, such as wood products, non-wood forest products and forest services.

Accordingly, the FAO Programme "Forests for Sustainable Livelihoods" is looking for an expert in microfinance to provide guidance and technical input to carry out the above study. The expert should be available in autumn 2004 for 20 working days.

For more information, please contact Anna Springfors atanna.springfors@fao.orgwith copy

or write to:

Anna Springfors
Forest Products and Economics Division
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla
00100 Rome, Italy
Tel (39) 06 570 55421
Fax (39) 06 570 55137

29. Gorillas face extinction

Source: New Vision (Kampala), 13 July 2004

The United Nations urged Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo last week to protect vital ape habitats on their borders after a huge swathe of forest was cut down on the Congolese side.

The UN was responding to reports that over 1 500 ha of mountain gorilla habitat had been cleared in the Congo part of Virunga National Park, threatening one of the planet's rarest and most magnificent wild animals. There are only about 700 mountain gorillas left in the world in the lush mountains straddling Rwanda, Uganda and the anarchic Congo, and any loss of remaining habitat could push one of humanity's closest relatives to extinction. In all of Virunga, there is only about 425 sq km of suitable gorilla habitat and so the loss of even 15 sq km is huge.

"Reports of extensive forest destruction and human encroachment in Virunga have profound implications for the future viability of this eco-system," Klaus Toepfer, head United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), said in letters to the environment ministers of the three neighbouring countries. "Evidence from satellite, aerial and ground surveys indicate that habitat destruction has occurred in some areas at a rate of up to two sq km per day," said Toepfer, the environmentalist.

Reports said settlers had illegally cleared the forest in Virunga, a World Heritage Site, between April and June. The border area has been a scene of tension in recent weeks after Congo accused Rwanda, which has twice invaded its giant neighbour in the past eight years, of backing renegade troops who briefly seized an eastern Congolese town. Rebel groups have used the gorillas' forest home for bloody incursions into all three countries.

But Toepfer said the gorillas had improbably thrived in the face of war. "Despite the more than 10 years of armed conflict in the region, the population of the mountain gorilla has increased by 17% since 1989 and their habitat has largely been protected throughout this period," he said.

Mountain gorillas, reclusive but massive animals, which live in family groups, are one of the very few tourist attractions in the war-torn area and generate an estimate US$2m annually for the region. The gorillas' plight was brought to world attention by murdered primatologist, Diane Fossey, whose work was featured in the film "Gorillas in the Mist."

for full story, please see:


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last updated:  Monday, August 24, 2009