No. 6/04

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. Acai used to create orthodontic solutions
2. Bamboo: money that grows as you watch
3. Armenia Tree Project
4. Botswana communities rehabilitate arid rangeland, save livelihoods
5. Brazil: Amazonia hype
6. Brazil: Amazonia¿s cosmetics conquer the world
7. Cameroon: Poverty alleviation ¿ Non-Timber Forest Products work
8. Colombia debt swap yields $10 million for tropical forest conservation
9. Ghana's forest resources under threat
10. Kenya: Kwale residents living on wild food
11. Kenya: Nation staff plant trees to mark World Environment Day
12. Malaysia: Nomadic Malaysian tribe tells of life in the forest
13. Melanesia: Community-based ecoforestry protecting forests
14. Namibia: US $7.1m World Bank grant for community-based ecosystem project
15. Namibia seeks to commercialize hoodia
16. South Africa: Law now protects South Africa's biodiversity
17. South Africa: Taking the sting out of beekeeping
18. Uganda: Fruits to help fight poverty in the north
19. Uganda: Ecotourism gets a boost
20. Vietnam: Natural resources protection and biodiversity conservation
21. Zambia: North western bee products gets German fair certificate
22. Zambia: State launches K3bn forestry credit facility
23. Zimbabwe: Animal, plant life dwindling
24. Can 'plant passports' put bioprospecting back on track?
25. CBD forest web portal

26. Request for information: boreal plants
27. Request for information: medicinal plants
28. Request for assistance: bamboo publication

29. Sustainable tourism
30. Workshop on Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) Networking in Lao PDR
31. International Scientific Conference
32. Environmental assessment and sustainable forest management
33. Evaluating forestry incentive and assistance programmes in Europe ¿ challenges to improve policy effectiveness
34. International symposium on the role of forests for coming generations: philosophy and technology for forest resource management (FORCOM2004)
35. I International Fair and Forum: ¿Non-Timber Forest Products ¿ Culture of Use¿
36. International conference on ecotourism planning and management in protected areas
37. 17th Commonwealth Forestry Conference
38. Global conference on indigenous knowledge and traditional medicine

39. Fact sheets on medicinal herbs
40. Other publications of interest
41. Web sites and e-zines
42. Volunteer staff sought
43. Environmental Sciences Fulbright Scholar Program
44. Worms combat toxic wasps that threaten SA pines
45. Mini-livestock ¿ BEDIM



1.Acai used to create orthodontic solutions

Source: O Estado de S.Paulo, 21 May 2004 (in Amazon News, 27.5.04)

From the natural dye of the açaí, a typical Brazilian fruit, researchers form the Brazilian Company of Agri-business Research (EMBRAPA) have developed a substance that will be useful for revealing the existence of bacterial plaque on teeth. In addition to its being natural, the orthodontic substance is easy to remove, tasteless and not harmful to one¿s health.

The researchers stated that the next step is to construct a factory to process açaí, which will contribute to new job sources in Amazonia.

2.Bamboo: money that grows as you watch

Source: The Nation (Nairobi), 10 June 2004

A giant bamboo introduced into the country last year which achieves the phenomenal growth rate of one metre per day, could be a possible money spinner for local farmers.

The World Agroforestry Centre has already distributed more than 800 seedlings of the giant bamboo,Dendrocalamus giganteus, to farmers in Kericho, Kisii, Nandi South, Nyamira, Nyando, Siaya, and Vihiga Districts. The giant bamboo is nature's fastest growing woody plant. Its culms (poles) are the strongest, lightest natural material known to man. A square metre of flooring derived from this plant will sell for as much as Sh8 000, while in Southern Asia it is used for reinforcing concrete and for scaffolding on skyscrapers.

It absorbs water faster than most plants and is used in some parts of the world for cleaning sewage. Even more important, it soaks up heavy metals. It is a potential answer to polluted waters in Kenya, including Lake Victoria whose shores are dotted with large urban centres that discharge domestic and industrial waste into its waters. Working with municipal authorities, ICRAF has plans to introduce the bamboo for waste water treatment in Kisumu and Kakamega. Further afield, ICRAF is also looking at local authorities in Nairobi, Mwanza and other towns dotting Lake Victoria's shores.

No other woody plant matches the bamboo's versatility in environmental conservation and commerce. It is a viable replacement for both hardwoods and softwoods. Its growth rate is three times that of eucalyptus, and it matures in just three years. Thereafter, harvests are possible every second year for up to 120 years.

India has some 20 million acres of commercial bamboo that account for 60 percent of the country's massive paper requirements and much of its commercial timber needs. Over two million tons of edible bamboo shoots ¿ rich in vitamins and low in carbohydrates, fats and proteins - are consumed around the world every year, mostly in Asia.

However, bamboo remains an untapped resource in Africa, a state of affairs ICRAF is addressing through a pilot project in Kenya. The project aims to create awareness on the environmental and economic benefits of bamboo in the Lake Victoria Basin, and hopefully popularize it throughout the region.

Interestingly, bamboo, a member of the grass family, is not new in Kenya. According to Prof Chin Ong, a hydrologist with ICRAF, Kenya's water catchments were once covered in bamboo, but most of these forests have since been cleared.

This commercially attractive species can grow in areas traditionally used for sugar cane and coffee cultivation, thus providing an alternative or additional cash crop.Arundinaria alpina, a species of bamboo native to Kenya, will yield as many as 20 000 culms per hectare per year ¿ with each culm growing to a height of 12m. Most species in fact grow to over 30m at full maturity.

Kenya has few privately owned commercial timber plantations. Most of the country's timber comes from government forests managed by the Forest Department. However, these forests have been severely over-exploited with only limited replanting. Timber firms are now reportedly forced to import timber from the Congo and Tanzania to manufacture hard and soft board. The country's leading paper manufacturer, PanPaper of Webuye, is also reportedly using plantation softwoods to fuel its boilers and make paper pulp. With its rapid growth and high woody fibre production, bamboo would supply both industrial needs.

At the household level, bamboo would be a valuable source of firewood and charcoal. It yields more than 7 000 kilocalories per kilogram, equivalent to half the yield from an equivalent amount of petroleum. Some species of the plant have large thorns, making them ideal for security hedges. Others grow tall straight culms that form ideal windbreaks that can be sustainably harvested annually. And of course edible bamboo shoots would be a nutritious addition to the family table. These shoots, mild and very crunchy, can be eaten raw or cooked. The Kenya Forestry Research Institute already grows several high quality edible varieties.

Bamboo rhizomes anchor topsoil along steep slopes and riverbanks, very effectively controlling erosion. Bamboo leaves, sheaves and old culms that die and fall to the ground decompose and create a thick humus layer that enriches the soil. Studies in South East Asia and Kenya have also shown that natural bamboo forests have excellent hydrological functions that promote soil health. Some species of bamboo absorb as much 12 tonnes of atmospheric carbon dioxide per hectare, a valuable asset to deploy against global warming.

Bamboo can be propagated from seeds, though most species flower just once every 15 to 120 years. More viable mass propagation techniques include tissue culture.

3.Armenia Tree Project

Source: Press Release, 17June 2004 (in CENN ¿ 22 June 2004 Daily Digest)

The Armenia Tree Project (ATP) is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1994 with the vision of safeguarding Armenia's future by protecting its environment. Funded by contributions from Diasporan Armenians, the ATP has planted and rejuvenated 531 000 trees at more than 400 sites ranging from Gyumri to Goris.

ATP has just celebrated its ten years of greening Armenia. During the celebration, ATP Executive Director Mr. Jeff Masarjian said that ATP has planted and restored over half a million trees in Armenia, while providing jobs for hundreds of people. Plans for the next decade include expanding community reforestation programs in partnership with villagers and other organizations, which will also provide social and economic development opportunities. ATP¿s new tree nursery in Vanadzor will produce over one million saplings each year to begin reforesting the devastated landscape of Armenia.

Dr. Nora Gabrielyan, who is the author of over 16 books on Armenia's diverse plant life, spoke about Armenia's unique and varied ecosystems and identified examples of rare and endangered flowering plants that rely on rapidly disappearing forest habitats. "The forests, which recently covered only 10 percent of the territory of our country, now cover even less," Dr. Gabrielyan explained. "If trees are chopped down without any plan or thoughtful system, the consequences will affect everything ¿ underbrush with rare plants immediately disappears, the rain washes away soil, springs dry up, the biodiversity becomes impoverished, and the climate changes."

For more information, please contact:

Armenia Tree Project
65 Main Street
Watertown, MA 02472, USA
Phone: 617-926-8733

4.Botswana communities rehabilitate arid rangeland, save livelihoods

Source: UNDP Newsfront, 2 June 2004

Standing atop a sand dune, Klaas Matthuis can see more dunes almost surrounding Struizendam, his village in Botswana on the border with South Africa. They are bare of vegetation except the one he stands on, which has large clumps of grass, trees and shrubs.

Mr. Matthuis, vice-chairperson of a new community resource management committee, is showing visitors from Kenya, Mali, and the University of Oslo in Norway the dune that has been stabilized by fencing out goats and cattle and planting various indigenous species.

People in most remote villages in Botswana, as elsewhere in the arid zones of Africa, depend heavily on natural resources for their livelihoods, as there are few alternatives other than government welfare. But poverty often pushes them to over-exploit resources to meet immediate needs.

Mr. Matthius dreams of seeing the sand dunes stabilized so they no longer threaten to engulf houses. Through a regional project to restore indigenous vegetation implemented by UNDP and theUnited Nations Environment Programme(UNEP) with support from other partners, he and his neighbours are beginning to turn that dream into reality.

One of the committee's first priorities was to help the community to draw up an action plan to reverse environmental losses and improve livelihoods. The project covers steps to conserve the whole spectrum of local resources, including wildlife and products such as firewood; grass for grazing and thatching; medicinal plants like devil's claw (sengaparile [Harpagophytum procumbens]), sold to European markets, particularly Germany, to make medication to control high blood pressure; a caterpillar known asphane, a local delicacy sold widely in the region; and the morula tree (Sclerocarya birrea), whose nuts are used for oil and sweets, fruit for jam and beverages.

Thirteen other villages hard-hit by environmental degradation have recently completed similar plans. In addition, villages in two areas in Kenya and two sites in northern Mali are following a similar strategy.

All the local plans benefit from indigenous knowledge and traditional land management systems. A key element is for community members to take the lead role in conserving biological diversity and bettering income-earning opportunities.

TheGlobal Environment Facilityis providing US$8.7 million for the five-year pilot initiative through UNDP and UNEP, and another US$3.5 million comes fromGerman Technical Cooperation(GTZ), the University of Oslo, and the governments of Botswana, Kenya and Mali.

5.Brazil: Amazonia hype

Source:Jornal do Brasil, 6 June 2004 (in Amazon News, 11.6.04)

It is tapicoquinha here, boi-bumba there and priprioca over there. The Amazonian influence and the crafts of its indigenous people are everywhere and have begun to win over trendsetters.

To obtain attention internationally, Brazilian fashion promotes the national identity line: necklaces created with guarana, coco and acai seeds can cost up to R$490 in New York City.

In addition, Epoca Cosmetics has the Amazonic Boat line that includes soap made from copaiba and andiroba. A tendency explored by the very Brazilian Natura, which not only was the first to present products with the face of Amazonia, it is also involved in sustainable development in the region.

6.Brazil: Amazonia¿s cosmetics conquer the world

Source:O Estado de S.Paulo, 22 April 2004 (in Amazon News, 29.4.04)

Shampoos, conditioners, hair dyes and cosmetics made from Amazonian fruits and plants have begun to occupy the competitive international market, offering great business opportunities for national manufacturers. Mixing cupuaçu, guaraná, copaíba and buriti, cosmetic companies have conquered clients in Europe, Asia and the US by¿ offering genuine Brazilian products and opening doors for export growth in this sector.

Farmaervas decided to explore the export potential with cosmetics made from Brazilian herbs and fruits and today sells its products in Europe, Japan and South Africa. At the moment, 5% of their production is exported, with this percentage scheduled to increase to 15% during the next two years. The company manufacturers 550 000 bottles of shampoos each month; their Green and Amazonia Lines use Para nut, pequi, copaíba, andiroba, jaborandi and other typical Brazilian plants. During the last Cosmoprof, a worldwide cosmetic trade fair, Farmaervas¿ products drew a lot of international attention.

Surya Henna, a Brazilian cosmetics manufacturer, presented its line of hair dyes produced from Brazilian fruits and herbs from India during the Cosmoprof. International sales represent 20% of Surya Henna¿s total sales and it plans to double its exports this year.

7.Cameroon: Poverty alleviation ¿ Non-Timber Forest Products work

Source:Cameroon Tribune(Yaoundé), 17 June 2004

The panacea for rural communities in forest zones in Cameroon is spelt out in three recent publications.

Research has intensified to enable local forest communities and small farmers to gain their rightful share from forest resources. Recent research concerns Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFP), with an emphasis on increasing the production, transformation and the value of the products. The Centre for International Forestry Research, CIFOR, which is committed to conserving forest resources and improving the livelihoods of people in the tropics, has been undertaking research in this field for over ten years.

One of CIFOR's recent publications is titled "Forest Products, Livelihoods and Conservation; Case Study of Non-Timber Forest Products Systems, Volume 2 Africa". The 333-page book highlights the importance of NTFP in poverty alleviation and livelihood improvement. In presenting the book, the regional representative of CIFOR to Cameroon, Dr Ndoye, said that the study had been carried out in ten African countries, Cameroon included. Focus was on medicinal plants, fruits and oils, wood carving and wood, fibre and weaving products, and animal products. The researchers compared and contrasted individual and collective cases of NTFP basing on production, processing and trade. The case studies offer an invaluable resource for researchers, development practitioners and conservation workers interested in understanding the links between commercialization, livelihoods and forest conservation.

The second publication "Riches of the forest: For health, life and spirit in Africa". Edited by Citlalli Lopez and Patricia Shanley, this 115-page document brings to light the crucial role of NTFP in providing resources for local livelihoods. The research was conducted in Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya and Zimbabwe. Studies on animals and insects focused on bushmeat; studies on fruits centred on bitter cola, dried kernels, bush plum and shea butter; as for medicinal plants, focus was on prunus medicinal bark. The researchers were equally interested in wood products such as woodcarving, chewing stick and fuelwood. A special study was carried out on rattan and palm in Cameroon. The study helped to bring to life the people and products behind the research and the importance of drawing up policies for the sustainable management of the resources to improve the livelihood of the local communities. It presents the diverse opportunities and problems gatherers and traders in NTFP face and their manner of responding to change.

The third publication, "Nature wealth and power: emerging best practices for revitalising rural Africa NWP", presents principles and practices to guide investment in rural areas of Africa.

For full story, please see:

8.Colombia debt swap yields $10 million for tropical forest conservation

Source: CEPF E-News, June 2004

Colombia unveiled a debt-for-nature swap with the United States that will allow it to invest at least US$10 million over the next 12 years to protect nearly 11 million acres of its tropical forests. Under the agreement, the U.S. Department of the Treasury will contribute US$7 million to the deal, while Conservation International's (CI) Global Conservation Fund, The Nature Conservancy and (World Wildlife Fund) WWF will contribute an additional US$1.4 million.

The funds will go toward canceling part of Colombia's debt to the United States. In exchange, Colombia will invest at least US$10 million to protect tropical forests in key areas of the Andes, the Caribbean coast and the Llanos, or plains, along the Orinoco River. Colombia is one of the five most biologically diverse countries on the planet, harbouring one of every ten species of plants and animals in the world.

Under the agreement, Colombia will destine half the funds toward financing local environmental organizations that are working in selected areas. The other half will go toward the Fondo Patrimonial, or Heritage Trust, which the government expects to use to leverage additional loans of up to US$40 million that will guarantee the long-term financial sustainability of Colombia's existing protected areas.

Funds from the debt swap will be focused in three areas key for tropical forest conservation. In the tropical Andes, funds will go toward 1.7 million hectares that are home to some of the nation's last remaining stands of oak. In the Llanos of the Orinoco River basin, the funds will go toward the 1.4 million hectare Tuparro National Park and its buffer zone. A UNESCO Natural Biosphere Reserve since 1979, the park is also home to dozens of unique species. Along the Caribbean coast, conservation efforts will focus on 1.3 million hectares, including the world's highest coastal mountain, the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.

Funds from the debt swap will go toward establishing private and public protected areas and reserves, and restoring and maintaining existing protected areas. Funds will also be used for capacity building among researchers, individuals and organizations involved in local conservation. The agreement will be managed by an oversight committee composed of representatives from the governments of Colombia and the United States, as well as the Conservancy, WWF and CI.

"Increasingly, there are indications that we are going to lose our natural heritage if we don't dedicate ourselves to protecting it," said Fabio Arjona, the director of Conservation International in Colombia. "This debt swap is a perfect example of how the conservation community needs to work ¿ hand-in-hand with government to protect our biological riches. We hope this swap sets an example for other organizations and other nations."

Debt-for-nature swaps were established under the Tropical Forest Conservation Act (TFCA) of 1998 to allow nations to reduce their foreign debt burden in exchange for making local-currency investments in conservation work. In the past, Bangladesh, Belize, El Salvador, Panama, Peru and Thailand have benefited from the TFCA.

For full story, please

9.Ghana's forest resources under threat

Source:Ghanaian Chronicle(Accra), 17 June 2004

The country's loss of over 75% of its original high forest cover and other valuable structures and resources through wildfires has been blamed on human activities and climatic hazards. The remaining 25% of the forest resources still faces enormous threat due to rapid population growth, general disregard of environmental conservation, improper disposal of industrial and domestic waste, illegal and uncontrolled logging and the annual ritual of wild and bush fires.

At the recent regional Consultative workshop on the National Wildfire Management Policy, the Executive Director of the Forest Service Division, Mr. John Ekow Otoo, expressed the need for all Ghanaians to defend and respect the Policy to prevent the country from further devastating annual wildfires, which have had a significant negative impact on the socio-economic and environmental well being of the country. He said that the annual incidence of wildfire ranges from 30% in the high forest and transitional zones to over 90% in the dry Northern Savanna zones.

The Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Nana Kwadwo Seinti, said that the right enforcement of the Policy would significantly benefit the region since it has a large number of ecotourism sites, which have a great potential for the tourism industry in the country.

For full story, please see:

10.Kenya: Kwale residents living on wild food

Source:The Nation(Nairobi), 14 June 2004

Residents of Kwale have resorted to eating wild tubers and fruits as famine ravages the district. A spot check byTheNationin the worst-hit areas of Samburu, Kinango and Lungalunga divisions, found most of the homes deserted, as some villagers were said to have fled to others parts of the district due to famine caused by prolonged drought.

For full story, please see:

11.Kenya: Nation staff plant trees to mark World Environment Day

Source:The Nation(Nairobi), 6 June 2004

The Nation Media Group staff yesterday planted 1 000 trees at the Karura Forest, Nairobi, to mark the World Environment Day. So far it has planted 2 000 trees on more than five acres of land here. The planting at Karura also affirms Nation Media Group's commitment to corporate social responsibility programmes. Last month, its Chief Executive Officer Mr Wilfred Kiboro led another group in planting 1 000 indigenous trees in the same forest.

The Nation Media Group is working in partnership with Dr Pravin Shah of the Millennium Trees who plans to plant 10 million trees all over the country in his lifetime. This part of the forest will be known as the Nation Millennium Tree Forest.

Dr Mark Nicholson, who joined the Nation staff in the tree-planting exercise, said that while people can make money from planting trees, indigenous trees were also important for hard wood and medicine properties. He called upon people to plant ten trees for every tree cut.

For full story, please see:

12.Malaysia: Nomadic Malaysian tribe tells of life in the forest

Source: Miki Fujii,Daily Yomiuri, Saturday, 1 May 2004 (in Community Forestry E-News 2004.05 May 2004)

Aina Ikeda (not her real name) launched her oral history collection project in Sarawak near the border of Kalimantan, which is known as the place of origin of the Penans, said to be the last nomadic people on Earth. Only about 400 of the 10 000 Penans still follow their traditional nomadic lifestyle. Penan guardianship of the forest and its natural resources is reflected in the custom of "molong" that requires an individual or community to control the use of resources for the sake of future generations, and is visualized by a special symbol created by natural materials such as rattan.

The forest provides the Penans all their needs for survival: food, shelter and medicine, but it is threatened by logging activities. The village studied by Ikeda has already lost nearly half of its communal forest area and a road now crosses their land. The Penans have demanded that the government protect the forest, which they claim belongs to them as communal property and not to the concessionaires. Timber products are a major source of Sarawak¿s income, and according to the International Tropical Timber Organization, Japan imported 40 percent of its timber products from the state in 2002.

For full text, see

13.Melanesia: Community-based ecoforestry protecting forests

Source: Community Forestry E-News 2004.05 May 2004

Melanesia, which includes Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Kanaky (New Caledonia), Fiji, East Timor and West Papua (Indonesia), is unique in the world in that 95% of its land is still under community ownership by indigenous people. The forests they control are part of the largest remaining rainforest in the Asia Pacific region and the third largest tropical forest on Earth after the Amazon and Congo. Illegal and destructive industrial logging is rampant, mainly by Malaysian companies who have moved from Sarawak and elsewhere in Asia as the forests were exhausted. Associated with logging comes poor governance, corruption, lack of control and monitoring, and a situation where landowners receive very little financial benefit and suffer disastrous social and environmental impacts.

In response, for the last 15 years NGOs have targeted community forest management as a solution to the crisis in the forests and to support the customary forest owners. There is a wealth of successful examples of community forestry programmes as well as some that didn't last but were instructive in discovering the formula for success.

Most programmes have focused on training and marketing support. The Solomon Islands¿ Ecoforestry Programme has trained 56 landowning groups and is currently supporting 'ecotimber' production and exports providing a net value to communities of US$520,000 in the last 5 years, as well as protecting their 40 000 ha of forest from logging.

By: Grant Rosoman, Greenpeace Forests Campaigner, in: WRM Bulletin 82, May 2004

14.Namibia: US $7.1m World Bank grant for community-based ecosystem project

Source:UN Integrated Regional Information Networks, 3 June 2004

The World Bank this week approved a US $7.1 million Global Environment Facility (GEF) grant to Namibia for scaling up community-based ecosystem management to the benefit of rural people. The grant is a part of a total amount of US $32.43 million intended for the projec, with contributions from the Namibian government, the French GEF, USAID, and the German development bank, KfW, making up the balance.

The five-year initiative to improve rural livelihoods, promote sustainable environmental management, biodiversity conservation and sustainable land use will run as part of Namibia's "Community Conservancy" programme.

The project encompasses the development of community-based tourism facilities, including joint ventures with the private sector, trophy hunting, game meat production, the commercialization of indigenous plants and craft production.

For full story, please see:

15.Namibia seeks to commercialize hoodia

Source:The Namibian(Windhoek), 3 June 2004

NAMIBIA has requested CITES to list the Carrion Flower (Hoodia) in Appendix II, to enable it to sell the natural resource. Plants and animal species classified in the Convention on International Trade In Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Appendix II can be sold in controlled commercial trade. Appendix I contains highly endangered species and no trade on them is allowed.

Dr Pauline Lindeque, who deals with CITES-related matters at the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, said Namibia made the proposal as Hoodia was not at present listed at all. Botswana and South Africa have also made the same proposal.

Hoodia has appetite-suppressing properties and is found only in the arid regions of Namibia, Botswana and South Africa. It has dominated discussions in the pharmaceutical industry in Europe and the United States over the past five years.

In February, Environment Minister Philemon Malima told a CITES¿ Plants Committee in Windhoek that Namibia was conducting cultivation trials to get small-scale farmers involved in the growing of Hoodia for commercial purposes. He said that the cultivation of Hoodia for commercial purposes would reduce the pressure on wild harvesting and prevent over-utilization.

Namibia's proposal will be tabled at the 13th CITES Conference of Parties, to be held in Bangkok, Thailand in October.

For full story, please see:

16.South Africa: Law now protects South Africa's biodiversity

Source:Cape Argus(Cape Town), 3 June 2004

President Thabo Mbeki has signed into law South Africa's new Biodiversity Act, which is hailed by some as the most significant environmental legislation adopted in ten years of democratic government. Because of its incredibly rich biological diversity, South Africa is ranked the third most biologically important nation in the world, after Brazil and Indonesia.

The new act now gives the highest possible political protection to this biodiversity. Among other things, it requires full environmental impact assessments before the introduction of any genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

The act also makes provision for communities to share the profits of any exploitation of natural materials involving their indigenous knowledge. An example is the case of the San/Bushmen communities who will benefit from a commercial slimming product derived from the Hoodia cactus plant, which they have known for centuries, chewing its leaves as an appetite suppressant.

"The act regulates for the first time what we call 'bio-prospecting'," explained Environmental Affairs and Tourism director-general Chippy Olver. "For companies to be able to bio-prospect, they will now have to go through a regulatory system which gives protection to indigenous communities."

Also for the first time, the act gives a legal framework for agreements such as the contract between the National Botanical Institute (NBI) and US horticultural company Ball to develop commercially valuable hybrids from some indigenous South African plant species.

And it will make it significantly more difficult for developers to damage or destroy any biologically sensitive natural areas.

The act creates a basic legal framework in terms of which the Environment Minister can promulgate a national biodiversity strategy and action plan. It also provides for the identification of biodiversity "hotspots" and "bio-regions", which will then be given legal recognition.

The act would not require developers to get additional permits, Oliver suggested. "But it will add a very important dimension, because over the next few years all these bio-regions will be given legal recognition, and then any environmental impact assessment will have as its point of departure the bio-regional plan."

The act also covers alien invasive species, which are a major threat to biodiversity, and puts obligations on private landowners and the government to clear alien invasive vegetation from their properties.

It also establishes the SA National Biodiversity Institute (Sanbi), which is the legal successor of the current NBI.

For full story, please see:

17.South Africa: Taking the sting out of beekeeping

Source: Inter Press Service (Johannesburg), 4 June 2004

While much of this year's World Environment Day (Jun. 5) will be spent discussing the fate of the oceans, something altogether smaller is also receiving attention in South Africa: the bee.

"Our people used to smoke (out) bees, (and) that resulted in the burning of the forests. That's one of the reasons why the African indigenous bee is threatened with extinction. Our task now is to conserve this bee," Rejoice Mabudafhasi, Deputy Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, told IPS. The African bee is regarded as the most aggressive of bee species. But, "It's also the most hardworking in the world. And its (honey) has got a sweet natural taste," says Mabudafhasi.

This flavour ¿ and the role bees play in pollinating the crops that supply fruit for South Africa¿s large fruit industry ¿ has ensured that the insects have economic as well as environmental worth. The bee industry is currently thought to be worth almost US$466 million, according to various sources.

As a result, efforts are underway to give people who fear bees a sense of their importance. "We tell the communities, 'Don't burn the bees. Don't torch them. Stop forest fire in the plantations. Look after the bees'," says Jean-Marie Jullienne, Chief Executive Officer of the Bee Foundation, a private company based in Pretoria that will be working with government to train new beekeepers. "A bee lives only between 32 to 35 days - it has a very short lifespan. This is why we need to educate the community to look after them".

As part of its efforts to alert South Africans to the value of bees, the Foundation plans to help 100 000 people in rural areas set up their own beekeeping businesses over a three-year period. It will sell specially designed beehives (which come equipped with bee populations) to these people at a reduced rate of about US$62 each; the market price for the hives is between US$93 and US$124. No specialized skills are needed to manage the hives.

When the honey is ready for harvesting, staff from the Bee Foundation will collect it - paying farmers just over US$120 for every kilogramme of honey. As each hive is expected to yield at least 20kg of honey every year, the farmers can look forward to a gross annual income of about US$2 500. After repaying the loans taken out to buy the hives, the farmers will have a net monthly income of US$155 ¿ no small amount in a country where most of the population was impoverished by apartheid.

South Africa currently has up to 10 000 beekeepers, but there is room for an additional 10 000, according to industry analysts. According to Julliene, "We produce only 2 000 tons per year. And we consume 3 000 tons per year. To fill the gap we import 1 000 tons every year from China and Australia. Yet South Africa has the capacity to produce 100 000 tons of honey per year."

Mabudafhasi believes that alerting people to the value of bees will put an end to the destructive practice of smoking them out.

Bee farming has the advantage of being less capital-intensive than other agricultural activities, as it does not require large tracts of land, seed, fertilizer - or expensive machinery to till the soil and harvest crops. In addition honey production is not dependent on weather conditions. Nonetheless, this potentially lucrative activity has, until now, been largely ignored in Africa.

"We have millions of hives in the trees. We need to bring the bees from the wild into the boxes ¿ and we have asked for the support of the forestry officials (to do this)," Jullienne says. "People in Africa have always been bee hunters not beekeepers. Our role is to educate them and make them become beekeepers".

For full story, please see:

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18.Uganda: Fruits to help fight poverty in the north

Source:New Vision(Kampala), 22 June 2004

Northern Uganda is endowed with various herbs and nutritious fruit trees which can help in fighting poverty and improve nutrition. But because of insecurity, ignorance and inadequate funds, the biodiversity is not being tapped.

One of the vitamin-rich fruit trees is Borassus palm (tugo), which grows in the wild. Its trunk is split and used as poles for roofing houses and its leaves are used for making mats. "Tugo fruits are also used for making salt. The fruits are rich in food values and money can be earned from it," said George Obong, the coordinator of The Northern Foods Project (NFP). The community-based NGO is piloting processing tugo wine from the fruit.

Started last year with only ten members, the project now has over 60 members, most of whom are rural-based women from the pilot sub-counties of Adekokwok (Lira) and Aboke in Apac district. Each member must have at least one tugo tree in their garden. Alice Okello, a 75-year-old disabled widow in Boroboro parish has over 500 palm trees, and is one of the women getting hands-on skills to process tugo wine. "Apart from wine, tugo can be used for making salt, honey and nutritious porridge, especially for children," she said. Other uses include making baskets, bags, other handicrafts from its foliage, and as woodfuel.

The NGO has over 200 types and uses of local plants. Some of the traditional plants are effective medicine for different diseases. It has also started 'manufacturing' vaseline, in 50gm and 100gm packs sold at sh600 and sh1 000, which is effective in curing skin rashes, pimples and scabies.

Last year, a team from the Natural Chemotherapeutic Research Laboratory (NCRC) under the Ministry of Health at Wandegeya, Kampala, visited the Northern Foods Project to ascertain its viability. The centre's director, Dr. Grace Nambatya, hailed the project for being in line with the government's objective of using a community-based approach to boost nutrition and fight poverty through community awareness of indigenous plants and their values. "Our role is to identify such community initiatives so that we can assist them with the Poverty Action Fund (PAF), through the Ministry of Finance," Nambatya said. She added that the insecurity in Apac and Lira districts have not halted their plans. The project has three components: Food processing to fight malnutrition, medicinal plants for community health, and art and crafts to raise household incomes.

It is aimed at sustainable utilization and management of natural resources, including fruit crops and medicinal plants, as well as rational exploitation of the fruit crops to ensure proper ecological balance and soil conservation. She said that after identifying their needs, her department would help the NFP with processors and train them on how to preserve and package their products.

"What we now need is funding, security and the market. We have enough raw materials and many members are willing to join hands in the project," said Obong.

For full story, please see:

19.Uganda: Ecotourism gets a boost

Source:New Vision(Kampala), 21 June 2004

The tourism industry will have a chance to showcase its products when the African Travel Association (ATA) holds its eighth cultural and ecotourism symposium and launch ATA Uganda Chapter in October. ¿We believe Africa's turn has come. It has everything to offer. There is no reason why it can't benefit from the booming global tourism," ATA's Jane Thompson said. Thompson is part of the ATA delegation¿s on site inspection of some of the tourism products as part of the preparations for the highly rated October function.

ATA is an international organization which promotes tourist attractions in Africa. It educates and trains interested travel agents, meeting and conference planning, group tour organizers and incentive companies about the products and services offered by the tourism industry in Africa. It also publishes the popular Africa Travel Magazine.

Thompson said the ecotourism symposium would help Uganda learn from other ATA partners and get recognition as one of the accessible tourism destinations. Delegates are expected from Africa, Europe, US and Asia. She said that ecotourism was a critical component because ¿if you don't conserve, you will lose your products". She said that the learning experience would be important to travel agents. Delegates will take home experience of what they have learnt about Uganda's products. She warned, however, that "success will depend on the tourism ministry.

"It is a great time for Africa," Marlene Melton president of African Ventures Inc, USA said. She said Uganda had much to offer in tourism "but proactive promotion is required."

Susan Muhwezi, the special presidential assistant said tourism was in line with President Yoweri Museveni's initiative to eradicate poverty.

For full story, please see:

20.Vietnam: Natural resources protection and biodiversity conservation

Source: VNA, Friday, 14 May 2004 (in Community Forestry E-News 2004.05 May 2004)

The government recently presented two documents for natural resource management and biodiversity conservation.

The first,Management Strategy for a Protected Area System in Viet Nam to 2010aims to establish, organize and manage effectively a protected area system to protect the rich and unique biodiversity resources and landscapes of Viet Nam.

TheCentral Truong Son Biodiversity Conservation Initiative, period 2004-2020focuses on maintaining the natural ecosystem's functions to secure the global biodiversity value of the landscape for future generations, ensure environmental services such as watershed protection and soil conservation, and through sustainable management improve livelihoods for rural communities.

The result of a long term cooperation between the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the WWF Indochina with financial assistance from the Danish Government, and technical assistance from the WWF Denmark and WWF Indochina, the documents reflect the efforts of the Vietnamese government and people, international experts and communities to manage and protect Viet Nam's natural resources and unique landscapes.

The implementation of the two strategies will also contribute to global biodiversity conservation and implementation of the international conventions that Viet Nam has pledged.

For the full text,

21.Zambia: North western bee products gets German fair certificate

Source:The Post(Lusaka), 7 June 2004

THE North Western Bee Products has earned a German fair trade certification for its honey.

General manager Bob Malichi said that the company has been growing at a fast rate, especially in the past three years, which he attributed to the commitment of workers and out-grower beekeepers. He said that last year alone the company had a bumper harvest and exported 144 metric tonnes of honey to Germany and the United Kingdom.

Malichi said there was tremendous demand for organic honey in the United Kingdom and Germany and added that the company's honey was organic and was fairly traded, hence the German certification. He explained the certification was one of the highest ratings on the world market for bee products. "Our only threat is China which produces massive quantities of honey."

Malichi said that the North Western Bee Products was the second largest employer in the province after the government. The company had 6 472 registered beekeepers and had contributed enormously to poverty reduction within its catchment area covering Mwinilunga, Kabompo, Mufumbwe, Solwezi and Kasempa districts.

Honey costs 1 200 British Pounds per tonne while bee wax costs 2 300 British Pounds per tonne. Malichi said that their target was to produce 54 metric tonnes of honey this season.

He added that the company was now refocusing and looking at the plight of women by encouraging their involvement in bee keeping.

For full story, please see:

22.Zambia: State launches K3bn forestry credit facility

Source:The Times of Zambia(Ndola), 3June 2004

Government has launched a K3 billion forestry development credit facility aimed at providing affordable financing to the micro, small and medium enterprises in the forestry sector.

During the official launch of the credit facility, Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources Minister, Patrick Kalifungwa, said the money has already been released to his ministry and would be disbursed according to the criteria to be worked out by the various stakeholders, and guidelines would also be used to invite applications from eligible Zambians.

"This facility will ensure rational use of the forest as credit to develop the forest land," he said. He explained that the money would be available as credit to develop the forest resource through activities such as planting of trees, training in optimal utilization of forest resources and re-capitalization of forest resources. Mr Kalifungwa said the money would also be used for processing of wood and non-wood products to produce quality finished products for local consumption and export.

Mr Kalifungwa has said about 200 000-300 000 hectares of land were being deforested annually.

For full story, please see:

23.Zimbabwe: Animal, plant life dwindling

Source:The Herald(Harare), 21 June 2004

Many unique animal, bird and plant species could silently be disappearing from the face of the earth mainly due to human invasion. Effective protection and sound management of areas with protected species has been and still remains the major challenge facing countries that are home to rare plants and animals.

Information compiled between 1990 and 2002 and posted on the World Resource Institute's EarthTrends website indicates that of the 270 known mammal species in Zimbabwe, 11 are threatened with extinction; of the 4 440 higher plant species known in the country, 141 were on the verge of extinction, while ten of the 229 known breeding bird species are in danger of disappearing from the face of the earth.

Zimbabwe's conservation success story in the 1990s resulted in many farmers cashing in on the abundance of wildlife by turning some of their vast holdings into conservancies. But these gains risk being reversed if Zimbabwe fails to maintain the standards it has set for itself and other Southern African countries. The Presidential Land Review Committee Report compiled by the former Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Dr Charles Utete, and released in September 2003 expressed concern at the welfare of the country's natural resources, such as wildlife.

The needs and grievances of communities who have settled in protected areas such as the Gonarezhou National Park must be addressed without delay because the environmental impact of their continued stay there could have far reaching consequences. There is an urgent need to act in light of well documented evidence that impoverished communal areas can no longer fulfil the basic needs of communities. The large scale dependence by Zimbabweans on forest resources for fuel, construction timber, etc, has become unsustainable with rampant deforestation and woodland degradation. It has been said that poverty is the greatest enemy of the environment. Evidence of this abounds in the communal areas where poor families are trying to make ends by exploiting the country's natural plant resources.

The baobab tree, whose bark is used extensively in mat-making, is now on the brink of extinction. The over-exploitation of the giant tree for commercial purposes has rendered the baobab incapable of effectively regenerating its bark.

For hundreds of years Southern African communities have stripped the tree bark to extract pulp which is used to treat fever, diarrhoea, malaria and as a vitamin C supplement.

But such extraction posed very little threat to the tree since damage was minimal and infrequent such that the tree had a good chance of regenerating.

Compiled data from many organizations indicate that the baobab, an unmistakable feature of the landscape in most drought prone parts of Southern Africa, has been and still is a source of livelihood for many communities.

The baobab is a multi-purpose tree. Its leaves and fruit are good as relish substitutes. The fruit is used as a fermenting agent in traditional brews and makes a refreshing traditional drink when dissolved in milk. The seeds, which yield an edible substitute for vegetable oil, can also be eaten raw or roasted or ground to produce a coffee like beverage. Pulped seeds are also known to cure gastric, kidney and joint ailments.

But all this treasure is at risk as economic survival continues to dictate the future of these vulnerable and sometimes unique species.

For full story, please see:

24.Can 'plant passports' put bioprospecting back on track?

Source: ¿Nature¿, 10 June 2004 (in SciDev.Net Weekly Update: 7-13 June 2004)

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) agreed at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 sought to promote the sustainable use of biological resources in a way that would bring benefits to countries where they are found ¿ many being the poorer developing nations. But instead, the search for potentially valuable natural products, such as medicinal compounds in plants, has often elicited suspicion and fear of exploitation.

In a recent article, Rex Dalton describes how, although some success stories exist, the predicted bonanza of new drugs has failed to materialize. This is partly because major pharmaceutical firms have withdrawn funding ¿ apparently put off both by doubts about commercial benefits, and by a lack of firm rules about benefit-sharing between host nations, scientists and commercial sponsors.

A new framework under discussion may dispel fears on all sides ¿ and lure the commercial giants back into the field. A central component would be a user-friendly certificate that would travel with compounds stating their origin and who hold rights to them, a bit like a passport. But the United States is raising barriers to a new access and benefit-sharing agreement. And there are fears that biological resources may disappear before agreement is reached.

Link to full article inNature Reference:Nature429, 598 (2004)

25.CBD forest web portal

Source: H. Gyde, Forest Information Update, FIU 31 MAY 04

Facilitating the implementation of the Expanded Programme of Work on Forest Biological Diversity, the CBD Secretariat has developed a forest web portal to allow Parties, other governments, NGOs, research practitioners, project managers and other actors in civil society to reflect on and analyse their common experiences in implementing the objectives of the expanded programme of work.

Each month throughout 2004-2006, the portal will feature focused information and discussions on a topic drawn from the 27 objectives of the expanded programme of work. This will permit all stakeholders to report monthly on those activities related to each objective. The portal will feature tools such as: online discussions with other practitioners, a continually updated database of best practices, and background information on the monthly topics. You are invited to register and become a full participant in the process (

On a monthly basis, an electronic discussion forum will be structured around each of the 27 objectives of the expanded work programme on forest biodiversity (available

Each month, the portal will contain the following sections relevant to each objective: (i) background on the topic; (ii) guidance on indicators of progress related to the implementation of the objective; (iii) any background information on relevant CBD principles and guidelines that apply to the objective; and (iv) supplementary information, including links to other websites and relevant publications.

The monthly discussion topic corresponding will be moderated and archived for further analysis and synthesis.

A database of best practices related to each topic is available on the site. Users are able to submit their case studies to the database for presentation on the portal.


26. Request for information: boreal plants

From: Taiga Rescue

We are collaborating with. John Kennedy (below) to develop a boreal forest exhibit at the 2005 Chelsea Flower show in London, England. A tentative design concept is ¿vanishing boreal medicine¿, with which we are hoping to establish an educational exhibit highlighting disappearing boreal forest flora that indigenous peoples make use of for food, medicine and tools.

We need your help to compile a list of plants that are endemic to the boreal and that are significant to indigenous peoples. More particularly, we would like help on a "Preliminary Planting List." This is just a long list of plants with the following essential criteria that all of the plants on the list must meet:

1. They grow in the taiga

2. They are in leaf / flower, or simply look good in spring (when the show is on)

3. Are of some use or benefit to humans

4. Can survive the transportation to, and installation at Chelsea for about a month.

5. We can get as plants without taking from the wild, unless we are rescuing them from logging or construction sites.

The following are the preferred criteria that a few special plants must meet.

1. They are endemic to (unique to) the taiga

2. They look spectacular in spring

3. They are very useful plants for indigenous people and have a tradition of use for numerous things, like medicine, tools, food etc.

4. Not commonly found in cultivation and horticulture (although we will be able to source the plants without taking them from the wild.)

The plant list can include evergreen and deciduous forest trees, understorey shrubs, heathers and heaths, epiphytes, lichens, mosses, grasses, wild flowers, annuals, perennials, bulbs and corms, ferns, clubmosses, rushes: anything as long as it's a plant: it could also be dead: like drift wood, pine cones or unusual fruiting bodies, dieback from last years growth (like tall grasses), etc. And also mushrooms and fungi too.

The plants don't have to be "pretty." People could maybe just tell me about their favourite Taiga plants and we'll make the list out of that.

I need to send the application away on the 30 June 2004.

Any suggestions, photo or descriptions about the plants (Latin names preferred) can be sent to me directly or to Mr. Kennedy (

For more information, please contact:

Damien Lee
Information Coordinator
Taiga Rescue Network
Box 116, Ajtte, Jokkmokk
Sweden, S-962 23
Tel: +46-971-17039
Fax: +46-971-12057

27.Request for information: medicinal plants

From: Manish

Please provide information on the success and failures of cultivation of medicinal plants. The information can be in the form of reports, papers, articles, review etc. This will be helpful to me in my project in the tropical forests of India. Hoping for a positive response from your side.

If you can help, please contact:

Manish Mishra
Faculty, Ecosystem Management and Technical Forestry Branch
Indian Institute of Forest Management (IIFM)
Nehru Nagar P.O Box 357
Bhopal (M P). Pin: 462003 India 91+0755+2775716/2773799

28.Request for assistance: bamboo publication

From: Fu Jinhe, INBAR

Below is the outline of "Bamboos of the world". I am looking for some possible sponsors to fund publishing this book. If are interested or know of possible sponsors, please contact me.

Bamboos of the world

This book will includes about 300 of the most important/common bamboo species in the world. We will invite famous bamboo experts from Asia, America, Europe and Africa to compile the loose-leaf compendium.

Each species: 1-4 pages, total 400-600 pages, like a loose-leaf book

1. Latin name plus colour photos. It should include 1-5 color photos for individual culm, branching, shoot/flower/seed and grove/plantation etc.

2. Alias

3. Brief description (size, taxonomy). It should be helpful to identify the bamboo species with the assistance of above photos

4. Origin and distribution

5. Requirement on climate and soil. It will be helpful to bamboo growers.

6. Growth, cultivation, yield and stand management

7. Uses (landscape, plantation, timber, construction, pulp and paper, handicraft etc)

8. Main references

This work will take about 2 years.

Thank you.

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


From: FAO¿s NWFP Programme

29. Sustainable tourism

7-9 July 2004

Segovia, Spain

For more information, please contact:

Gaye McKeogh, Conference Manager, Wessex Institute of Technology;

Tel: +44-238-029-3223;

Fax: +44-238-029-2853;

30. Workshop on Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) Networking in Lao PDR

9 July 2004

Vientiane, Lao PDR

NTFPs play an important role in poverty alleviation, sustainable management of natural resources and private sector development in Lao PDR. There are more than 50 organizations working in Lao PDR in the NTFP sector. FRC/NAFRI and SNV recently carried out a survey among these organizations, which identified a strong need for:
¿ development of entry-level tools for enterprise development and marketing;
¿ need for better coordination between field implementing organizations; and
¿ exchange of information and documentation of successful field experiences in the form of case studies.

The objective of the workshop is to identify opportunities for information exchange and co-operation through networking among organisations working in the NTFP sub-sector in Lao PDR.

The expected outcomes are:

¿ shared understanding on what each organisation wants to achieve and what it can offer in cooperation/exchange of information on NTFP development;
¿ a shared vision on what networking is and how it could be done in Lao PDR; and
¿ a ¿to-do¿ list of networking/exchange activities that could be followed up in informal meetings/partnerships between groups of organisations/individuals.

Representatives from organisations working in the NTFP sector in Lao PDR will be invited to join the workshop.

There will be an opportunity during the workshop to enhance sharing and information exchange. Participants are invited to prepare/bring any pictures, posters, reports and/or other materials illustrating their NTFP work. Participants will also be asked to prepare a summary of what they expect to gain from networking and what they expect to contribute, in advance of the workshop.

The workshop will be hosted by the following organizations:

¿ Forest Research Centre, Dong Dok
¿ National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute, Dong Dok
¿ Regional Community Forestry Training Centre (RECOFTC), Thailand
¿ SNV, The Netherlands Development Organisation, Lao Country Office

For more information, please contact:

Mr. Kamphone Sengdala, tel. 021-770892 or 020-5526753,;

Mr. Joost Foppes, SNV-FRC NTFP adviser, tel..

31. International Scientific Conference

20-23 September 2004

Zvolen, Slovakia

The objectives of the conference, which is being organized by the Slovak Forest Research Institute, are to bring together the latest international research throughout:

¿ forest ecosystems

¿ natural ecosystems

¿ landscape ecology

¿ soil protection

¿ sustainable forest and landscape management.

For more information, please contact:

Prof. Julius Novotny

Forest Research Institute

Telephone: +421-45-5314 171

Fax: +421-45-5321 883

32. Environmental assessment and sustainable forest management

22 September 2004

Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

FAO, in cooperation with the Secrétariat sous régional pour l'évaluation environnementale en Afrique centrale (SEEAC), and CIRAD-Foret, is supporting this one-day seminar on Environmental Assessment and sustainable forest management.

Environmental impact assessment and strategic environmental assessments as tools for sustainable development are gaining importance all over the world, and also in the Central Africa region. The aim of the seminar will be to take stock of the practical experiences in applying environmental assessments in the forestry sector in Africa, and to better understand its potential and applicability vis-à vis other existing instruments of SFM.Papers and contributions are solicited before 16 July 2004

For more information, please contact

Laura Russo
Forestry Officer (Utilization and Environment)
Forest Products Division, FAO Forestry Department
viale delle Terme di Caracalla, Rome, Italy
+39-06-57052044 (tel) +39-06-57055618 (fax)

33. Evaluating forestry incentive and assistance programmes in Europe ¿ challenges to improve policy effectiveness

10-12 October 2004

Warsaw, Poland

This conference is being organized by the Forest Research Institute in Warsaw (FRIW), European Forest Research Institute (EFI) with financial support from the Commission of the European Communities, DG - Research.

For more information, please contact:

Forest Research Institute
Section of Planning and Foreign Relations
Bitwy Warszawskiej 1920r. Street, No3
00-973 Warsaw, Poland
Phone:+ 48 22 8234565
Mobile:+ 48 608846483

34. International symposium on the role of forests for coming generations: philosophy and technology for forest resource management (FORCOM2004)

17-22 October 2004

Utsunomiya, Japan.

This symposium will seek to present and exchange state-of-the-art scientific as well as practical results and techniques relating to forest resource management among researchers, federal officials, practitioners and local stakeholders.

For more information, please contact:

Dr. Naoto Matsumura
Forest Planning for the Environment
Fac. of Bioresources, Mie University
Tsu, 514-8507, Japan
Phone: (+81) 59-231-9507
Fax: (+81) 59-231-9517;

35. I International Fair and Forum: ¿Non-Timber Forest Products ¿ Culture of Use¿

30 October ¿ 3 November 2004

Moscow, Russia

IUCN-The World Conservation Union Office for Russia and CIS in collaboration with The Federal Agency on Forestry of Russia, NGO ¿Stayer¿ and the All-Russia Exhibition Center announce an international fair and forum on non-timber forest products:¿NTFPs ¿Culture of Use¿.The Fair is supported by the IUCN-CIDA project ¿Building Partnerships for Forest Conservation and Management in Russia¿.

Forests are a rich treasury of goods and services created by Nature. Local communities have the potential to use forests in a sustainable way without the destruction of the forest environment. One of the most important resources of the forest are non-timber forest products (NTFPs) consisting of any plant or fungi resources of the forest other than timber, pulpwood, or firewood. Examples of NTFPs include berries, mushrooms, and herbal medicines. Although actual ¿products¿ vary from place to place, NTFPs are used around the World by all cultures.

NTFPs include not only food products, such as herbal teas, preserved and fresh wild berries, mushrooms and fruits, but also a wide range of health products, natural cosmetics, medicine and crafts. The importance of NTFPs can not be overemphasized for Indigenous cultures, in which these products often are the focus of not only subsistence use, but also of high cultural and spiritual importance.

The interest in using NTFPs as a tool in economic development has grown enormously in recent years. Many experts and community development projects view NTFPs as a key part of a local sustainable livelihood strategy (including tourism, cultural activities, hunting, herding). However, the NTFP sector still faces many challenges, including, on the local level, a lack of information on marketing opportunities, existing processing and packaging equipment and technologies, and sustainable harvesting practices. On the other hand, land and forest managers and decision makers often overlook the benefits, which could be provided by sustainable small business NTFP development to local communities, specifically in poor and distant areas, where economic development opportunities are severely limited.

The Fair will bring together NTFP producers, producers of processing and packaging equipment, forest and protected areas managers, experts and NGOs from different regions of Russia and many countries of the world in a forum of knowledge exchange and networking to advance the NTFP sector. The major focus of the Fair is to showcase the sustainable harvesting practices and sustainable NTFP-based small businesses, to share the lessons learned in NTFP business development in Russia and elsewhere, and to demonstrate the potential of NTFP small business development to increase the incomes of forest communities.

For NTFPs and equipment producers the Fair will be an excellent opportunity to present their products, find new buyers and explore new markets. It is also a good opportunity for business people involved in the sector to discuss and voice their concerns about challenges for NTFP development in Russia and elsewhere. We believe that the presence of the general public at the event will foster interest in the sustainable development of natural resources.

The results of the planned round table discussions will be shared with the general public and decision-makers through a press conference; a bilingual catalogue of the Fair¿s participants and sponsors will also be published.

Please apply for participation in Fair and\or forum before 1 August 2004

For more information please contact:

Mr. Nikolay Shmatkov
IUCN ¿ The World Conservation Union Office for Russia and CIS
17 Marshal Vasilevski St.
123182 Moscow
tel + 7 (095) 190 70 77
fax + 7 (095) 490 58 18

36. International conference on ecotourism planning and management in protected areas

28 February-3 March 2005

HNB Garhwal University, Srinagar Garhwal India

Call for Papers:

Following the success of past conferences, the High Altitude Research Institute, HNB Garhwal University, Srinagar Garhwal, Uttaranchal, northern India, invites participants to submit abstracts for papers to be considered for inclusion in the 2004 conference.

The theme of the conference is on ecotourism in protected areas and all subjects relevant to this topic are invited. Particular interest will be given to papers that examine Ecotourism in High Mountain areas but notwithstanding this the invitation is made for papers to be presented on any aspect of ecotourism research. Topics will include the planning, development, management and monitoring of ecotourism as well as issues of marketing, impacts and advancement. Contributions related to community ecotourism development will be ascribed a particularly high priority.

Both Academic and Professional abstracts are invited but it is important that at least one author of each submitted paper must register and be present at the conference. Prospective contributors should email the organizing committee immediately with their abstracts to ensure inclusion in the final program.

Academic papers should include an abstract of no more than 300 words, which should be emailed immediately to the conference organizing committee. Once accepted a full paper of no more than 3000 words (including the 300 word abstract) should be submitted to the conference organizing committee by 31 August 2004.

Professional abstracts of no more than 300 words should be submitted by 31 October 2004.

Send abstracts or inquiries to the Conference Paper Review


Professor Ross K. Dowling,
School of Marketing, Tourism and Leisure
Edith Cowan University
Joondalup WA 6027, Australia
Tel: IDD+ (618) 6304 5891
Fax: IDD+ (618) 6304 5840


Prof. S.C. Bagri,
Centre for Mountain Tourism and Hospitality Studies
HNB Garhwal University
Srinagar Garhwal - 246174,
Uttranchal, India
Tel: 01346 - 251051 (O) - 252650"¦
Fax: 01346- 252174 & 252424

37. 17th Commonwealth Forestry Conference

28 February -5 March 2005

Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Preparations for this conference, which will convene under the theme of 'Forestry's Contribution to Poverty Reduction,' are currently underway.

For more information contact:

Libby Jones, Secretary, Standing Committee on Commonwealth Forestry, Forestry Commission, UK
Tel: +44-131-314-6137;
Fax: +44-131-316-4344;;

38. Global conference on indigenous knowledge and traditional medicine

16-18 March 2005

Johannesburg, South Africa

The main objective of this conference is to review current indigenous knowledge laws and to recommend changes and amendments wherever necessary. It will also give participants a chance to educate indigenous healers on how to develop and protect their medical products, process and procedures; and also to promote collaboration between indigenous healers, conventional medical practitioners and corporate institutions for joint development and sharing of intellectual property rights of medicinal products, processes and procedures.

For more information, please contact:

J. William Danquah,
President & Chief Executive Officer,
Africa First LLC,
517 Asbury Street, Suite 11,
Saint Paul, MN 55104, USA,
Telephone 651 646 4721,
Telefax 651 644 3235,


39.Fact sheets on medicinal herbs

From: Pankaj

Here is the list of twelve new fact sheets on medicinal herbs recently published and available on the Internet.

1.Chhui-Mui or Lajwanti (Mimosa pudica Linn.)

2.Sarphonk [Tephrosia purpurea (Linn.) Pers.]

3.Kaua-kaini (Commelina benghalensis Linn.)

4.Shivlingi (Bryonia laciniosa Linn.)

5.Dikamali (Gardenia resinifera Roth.)

6.Chirchita or Onga (Achyranthes aspera var. perphyristachya Hook. F.)

7.Mithi Patti (Scoparia dulcis Linn.)

8.Bramhi (Bacopa monnieri)

9.Kamala or kamopillaka (Mallotus philippinensis Muell.)

10.Akarkara (Spilanthes acmella Murr.)

11.Kans (Saccharum spontaneum L.)

12.Nirmali (Strychnos potatorum Linn.)

For more information, please visit:

40. Other publications of interest

From: FAO¿s NWFP Programme

Beukering, P.J.H. van; Cesar, H.S.J.; &Janssen, M.A..2003. Economic valuation of the Leuser National Park on Sumatra, Indonesia.Ecological Economics. 44: 1, 43-62.

de Merode, Emmanuel; Homewood, Katherine; & Cowlishaw, Guy. 2004. The value of bushmeat and other wild foods to rural households living in extreme poverty in Democratic Republic of Congo.Biological Conservation118¿5; 573 - 581

Ducousso M; Ba A.M.; Thoen, D.; Hall, I. (ed.); Yun Wang (ed.); Danell, E. (ed.); Zambonelli, A. 2002. Ectomycorrhizal fungi associated with native and planted tree species in West Africa: a potential source of edible mushrooms.Edible mycorrhizal mushrooms and their cultivation. Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Edible Mycorrhizal Mushrooms, Christchurch, New Zealand, 3-6 July, 2001.

Fahrig, L.2003. Effects of habitat fragmentation on biodiversity.Annu. Rev. Ecol. Evol. S.34:487-515

Gordon, I.; Ayiemba, W.2003. Harnessing butterfly biodiversity for improving livelihoods and forest conservation: the Kipepeo Project.Journal of Environment and Development. 12: 1, 82-98;

The Kipepeo Project is a community-based butterfly farming project on the margins of Arabuko-Sokoke Forest on the north coast of Kenya. This forest is a globally important forest for biodiversity conservation. In the early1990s, 54% to 59% of the local community wanted the entire forest cleared for settlement and the forest was invaded by farmers on several occasions. The Kipepeo Project was set up to change community attitudes to the forest by giving them a stake in its conservation. Kipepeo trained farmers living next to the forest to rear forest butterflies. Butterfly pupae were purchased from the farmers for export to the live butterfly exhibit industry in Europe and the United States. Cumulative community earnings from 1994 to 2001 exceeded US$130 000 with significant positive effects on both livelihoods and attitudes. The project has been financially self-sustaining since 1999. Butterfly monitoring indicates that there have been no adverse effects on wild butterfly populations.

Honnay, O et al. eds.2004.Forest Biodiversity: Lessons from History for Conservation. CABI Publishing, ISBN 085199802X,

Ladio, A.H., and Lozada, M.2004. Patterns of use and knowledge of wild edible plants in distinct ecological environments: a case study of a Mapuche community from northwestern Patagonia.Biodivers. Conserv.13(6):1153-1173.

Lund, H. Gyde; Dallmeier, Francisco; Alonso, Alfonso. 2004. Biodiversity: Biodiversity in forests. MS 146. p.33-40. In:Encyclopedia of Forest Sciences. J. Burley, J. Evans and J. A. Youngquist (eds.). Elsevier/Academic Press. ISBN 0-12-145160-7.

Manandhar NP; Singh VK (ed.); Govil JN (ed.); Singh G. 2002. Ethnomedicinal plants diversity and their conservation in Nepal.Recent progress in medicinal plants. Vol 1: Ethnomedicine and pharmacognosy. 41-46. Sci Tech Publishing LLC; Houston; USA

Messerli, S.2002. Agroforestry ¿ a way forward to the sustainable management of the walnut fruit forests in Kyrgyzstan.Schweizerische Zeitschrift fur Forstwesen, 153: 10, 392-396

The unique walnut fruit forests in Kyrgyzstan are a good example of the multifunctional use of forests in temperate zones. Not only are non-timber forest products (NTFPs) collected but the land in and around the forests is used for grazing and haymaking, as well as arable cropping and the establishment of fruit orchards. Apart from sustaining the lives of the local mountain people, these forests are extremely rich in biodiversity and have an important function as a watershed for the Ferghana valley. The simultaneous dependence of the population on both agriculture and forest offers ideal conditions for the extension and improvement of existing agroforestry systems. However, solutions must be found concerning the practice of uncontrolled grazing, the insecure land and tree tenure situation, the low productivity of existing land use systems, the lack of agricultural advice and training, and the serious impact of firewood collection.

Sawathvong, S.2003. Participatory land management planning in biodiversity conservation areas of Lao PDR. Acta Universitati Agriculturae Sueciae Silvestria. No.267, 44 pp. + Papers I-V.

The importance of integrating forest conservation and rural development objectives is much better understood today than in the past. Despite an increased understanding, such integration in many countries remains poorly supported in terms of coordination between government agencies and stakeholders. Environmental degradation and loss of biodiversity conservation areas to competing alternative uses are widespread throughout the world and Lao PDR is no exception. The forest policy in Lao PDR has developed under the framework of international conventions. The protected area system has been established with the aim of conserving healthy and diverse forests. Rehabilitation and reforestation policies are important complements. The former rules by decree approach has been replaced by a set of laws and regulations. This thesis presents and discusses a management approach for biodiversity conservation areas in Lao PDR. As part of that, it highlights the significance of appropriate policies and legislation as a base for sustainable management, discusses various interdisciplinary and interactive planning methods tested in case studies, and analyses the utilization of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) as part of a strategy for sustainable management of biodiversity conservation areas. The integration of techniques from social sciences and natural sciences is emphasized to encourage local participation in managing the conservation areas. The recognition of NTFPs plays an important role in the conservation and development of protected area management. A literature review was made to gain insight into the research trend in Southeast Asia in terms of tenure rights of NTFPs and the way people utilize them. Quantitative resource assessment is an important part in sustainable management. In a case study, a participatory two-phase sampling approach for cardamom assessment was developed and tested with promising result.

Stone, M., and Wall, G.2004. Ecotourism and community development: case studies from Hainan, China.Environ. Manage.33(1):12-24.

41. Web sites and e-zines

From: FAO¿s NWFP Programme

Biodiversity Information Sharing Service (BISS)

The most comprehensive on-line database for species and protected areas in South East Asia. It provides descriptions, pictures, distributional data with maps, information on uses and conservation status of many thousands of flora and fauna species across the ASEAN region, including the protected areas and country profiles of the ten ASEAN countries.

CBD forest web portal

FAO Terminology Web Site

The FAO Terminology Web Site has been updated and enhanced. Designed to provide a multilingual support to any user working on FAO communications, information and documentation, the major tools on the site are:

*FAOTERM TERMINOLOGY DATABASE (further enhanced to help standardize and harmonize the vast quantity of titles and technical terms in FAO documents and publications) and

*NAMES OF COUNTRIES DATABASE (to facilitate the consultation and harmonization of country names

*The site also offers other language resources to users which include links to international terminology databases, references and language-specific sites.

For any queries or suggestions, kindly send an email

Goods from the woods

Hotspots E-News

Conservation International has launched a newsletter focused on the Earth's biodiversity hotspots. The newsletter aims to raise awareness about the importance of the hotspots and to expand the reach, the award-winning Web site with a comprehensive collection of information available about the hotspots.

To subscribe to Hotspots E-News,

WWF- Perú lanzó renovada página web

Conmemorando el Día Mundial del Medio Ambiente, el 5 de junio, WWF Perú lanzó su renovada página, contribuyendo así con difundir información precisa sobre los esfuerzos y objetivos logrados en la conservación de la biodiversidad en el Perú, a través de los proyectos que implementamos en el campo.


42.Volunteer staff sought

Source: H. Gyde, Forest Information Update, FIU 31 May 04

Coral Cay Conservation is currently recruiting for number of voluntary staff positions on our tropical forest conservation projects in Malaysia and the Philippines.

43.Environmental Sciences Fulbright Scholar Program

Source: CFRC Weekly Summary 5/20/04

The Fulbright Scholar Program is offering 37 lecturing, research, and lecturing/research awards worldwide in environmental sciences for the 2005-2006 academic year. While many awards specify project and host institution, there are a number of open "All Disciplines" awards that allow candidates to propose their own project and determine their host institution affiliation.

Application deadline 1 August 2004

44.Worms combat toxic wasps that threaten SA pines

Source:Sunday Times(Johannesburg), 20 June 2004

Microscopic worms are being used to invade the bodies and eggs of wasps in a war to save South Africa's pine plantations and 160 000 jobs.

In KwaZulu-Natal the first 1 200 pine trees have been inoculated in a multimillion-rand programme to raise and spread nematode worms throughout the country's plantations.

"If left unchecked, there will probably be no pine forestry left and it will spread further into Africa," said Mike Wingfield, Mondi Professor of Forest Protection at the University of Pretoria.

The killer is a European insect called the sirex wood wasp that lays its eggs in pine trees, said Brett Hurley, an entomologist managing the programme. The female inserts a toxic mucous and fungus - on which her larvae feed - into the pine, which kills it. It is not possible to spray for the wood wasp as the damage is done inside the tree.

The European worms get into the wasp larvae, Hurley said, and remain in their bodies until they mature. Then the worms move into the reproductive organs, sterilising the females, who end up laying eggs full of worms. "This pest is going to be with us forever. It's very unlikely that we will wipe it out," Wingfield said. "What we're trying to do instead is contain it."

For full story, please see:

45.Mini-livestock ¿ BEDIM

From: FAO¿s NWFP Programme

BEDIM (Bureau for Exchange and Distribution of Information on Mini-Livestock) has been active worldwide for many years in the controlled development of mini-livestock, i.e. African and South American grasscutters, guinea pigs, frogs, giant snails, termites, butterflies, capybaras and other rodents.

BEDIM produces and publishes aSemestral Information Bulletin on Mini-Livestockwith the financial support of the FAO Animal Production and Health Division. The association wishes to enrol all those who are interested, either professionally or through scientific curiosity, in mini-livestock. A range of fee categories are envisaged and reductions may be accorded to members from developing countries.

For more information, please contact:

BEDIM Secrétariat
Unité de zoologie fondamentale et appliquée
Faculté universitaire des sciences agronomiques
Passage des déportés 2
B-5030 Gembloux, Belgique
Fax: +32 81 622312


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last updated:  Monday, August 24, 2009