No. 5/04

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. Follow-up to the World Forestry Congress side event on NWFPs
2. Bamboo under extinction threat: Pandas, lemurs and gorillas could go hungry
3. Ecotourism: Community development in the Amazon
4. Katemfe (Thaumatococcus danielli) berries: An African sweetener
5. Katemfe (Thaumatococcus danielli): Sweet prospects turn sour
6. Maracuja (Passiflora edulis): Small agriculturists benefit from its sustainable planting
7. Mushrooms offer opportunities in Africa
8. Pongamia pinnata oil being used to reduce carbon dioxide emissions
9. Armenia: Forestry School to be established
10. Azerbaijan: Hirkan Preserve to be added to UNESCO's Natural Heritage List?
11. Brazil: Devastation of Brazil Nut Trees presents challenge to IBAMA
12. Brazil: Amapa offers treatment with medicinal plants
13. Ghana: Medicinal plants - HIV research in danger
14. Madagascar: Projects to boost food security, conserve environment
15. South Africa: The World Bank Supports Biodiversity Conservation
16. Uganda: Forests net Sh66b from Non-wood Forest Products
17. Uganda: Moringa export orders increase
18. United Kingdom: UK wildlife must not be patented for profit
19. Non-wood News
20. The Manukan Declaration of the Indigenous Women's Biodiversity Network
21. Tree Aid

22. Rattan glossary: A new publication in FAO's NWFP series
23. Fact sheets on medicinal herbs
24. New CIFOR NTFP publications
25. Destroying forests can make you sick
26 Other publications of interest
27. Web sites and e-zines

28. "Healing the Earth, Healing Ourselves", Mountain Herb Festival
29. Sixth Annual BIOECON Conference on Economics and the Analysis of Biology and Biodiversity.
30. International Conference on Industrial Crops and Rural Development 2005 Association for the Advancement of Industrial Crops (AAIC) Annual Meeting
31. Second global summit on medicinal and aromatic plants "Prospects and Constraints in Cultivation, Production and Marketing of Medicinal Plants
32. Monitoring the effectiveness of biological conservation
33. 3rd IUCN World Conservation Congress
34. Multipurpose trees in the tropics: assessment, growth and management
35. International Conference on Biodiversity

36. Desertification advances in areas of Amazonia


1. Follow-up to the World Forestry Congress side event on NWFPs

From: Jim Chamberlain, Visiting Scientist, FAO's NWFP Programme

To continue the momentum created by the World Forestry Congress side event and associated activities, FAO, IUFRO and the USDA Forest Service are exploring ways to facilitate an institutional arrangement that would help to implement recommendations put forth in the Quebec Declaration. The fundamental purpose of the current effort is to propose an initiative that would strengthen partnerships to realize the recommendations of the side event participants. The key issues and recommendations of the Declaration are:

Issue 1: There is a profound lack of information necessary to realize the full benefits of NWFPs for individual, community and national well-being; decision-makers, forest managers and resource users alike lack information about economic, ecological and social characteristics of NWFPs and their uses.

Recommendation 1a: Government efforts should be strengthened to conduct research and generate, compile and disseminate information and statistics to key stakeholders on NWFP resources and their socioeconomic and ecological values.

Recommendation 1b: Governments and development agencies should support education and public awareness programs for NWFP conservation and sustainable use.

Issue 2: Lack of protected rights to access and benefit from NWFP resources can adversely affect their conservation and sustainable use and discourage investment in the resource.

Recommendation 2a: Governments, with assistance from concerned agencies and organizations, should develop and implement policies and legislation to provide secure access and benefits to the people whose livelihoods are dependent on or supplemented by non-wood forest products.

Recommendation 2b: Governments, with assistance from concerned agencies and organizations, should ensure that stakeholders, particularly collectors, growers and traders are provided incentives to sustainably manage NWFP resources.

Issue 3: Individuals, communities and institutions generally lack the technical, financial, political and social capacity to influence policies and generate information necessary to manage and monitor NWFP resources effectively.

Recommendation 3a: Governments, with assistance from concerned agencies and organizations, should support programs and projects to build individual, institutional, and community-based capacity to manage NWFPs through stakeholder participation.

Recommendation 3b: Governments and research agencies should give priority to research and the development and dissemination of management practices to be integrated into multi-purpose forest and agroforest resource management.

We are now seeking your suggestions on concrete activities that could be undertaken to help achieve these recommendations. Your input is requested on specific activities or actions that would address these recommendations. Please send your suggestions to Jim Chamberlain at and Paul Vantomme at

2. Bamboo under extinction threat: Pandas, lemurs and gorillas could go hungry

Source: Helen R. Pilche, Nature, 11 May 2004

Up to half of the world's 1 200 woody bamboo species are in danger of extinction, a UN report has revealed. Urgent action is needed to protect the plants and the species that depend on them, the study's authors conclude.

Deforestation is known to be robbing many bamboo species of their native habitat. Yet the effect this is actually having on their distribution is not well understood, as many of the areas where the plants live are extremely remote.

To get a better idea of how much bamboo is left, researchers at the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan and the United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre combined hundreds of academic reports about the distribution of different bamboo species with global maps of forest cover, and have produced a colour-coded chart of bamboo hot spots.

They found that around 600 species are "endangered", with less than 20 000 square kilometres of native habitat. And some 250 varieties have less than 2 000 square kilometres of land (the size of London) left to live in. "A few of these species have virtually no forest left," says ecologist Valerie Kapos, who helped draw up the report.

One reason bamboo has been hit so hard is because of its distinctive cycle of mass flowering and death. Individuals in any one species tend to flower together, once every 10 to 100 years, and then die. If a forest is cleared at this time, the bamboo will not grow back.

The report's findings mean the many vulnerable species that rely almost entirely on bamboo for food and shelter, such as lemurs, giant pandas and mountain gorillas, face an even greater struggle for survival.

3. Ecotourism: Community development in the Amazon

Source: Projeto Bagagem, 3 May 2004 (in Amazon News, 6 May 2004)

Projeto Bagagem is a non-profit initiative which promotes community-based tourism in Brazilian sites. Through one-week trips, "Project Backpack" takes small groups of people to Brazilian 'off the beaten track' communities. Since 2001 the project has already taken four small groups of people to river communities in the Amazon. The idea behind the project is to enable visitors to experience community life as it is, to exchange ideas and experiences in a learning process where both the visitors and the communities benefit.

Projeto Bagagem is now preparing its fifth and sixth expeditions (in June and July 2004). The trips will take place at four river communities (Urucureá, Suruacá, Maguary and Jamaraquá) located within the municipality of Santarém, Pará, in the Amazon region, in partnership with Projeto Saúde e Alegria (Health and Happiness Project), a local NGO based in Santarém. Recreational activities take place within a context of learning about community development, including discussions about community organization, direct contact with practical solutions that have been tested and implemented in the communities (solar energy system, sanitation, basic nutrition, traditional medicine, income generation, and more). The project is thus an interesting opportunity of cultural exchange and income generation for the host communities.

For more information, please visit or contact Monica Barroso and Cecilia Zanotti at

4. Katemfe (Thaumatococcus danielli) berries: An African sweetener

Source: IGB Press Release, January 2004

One present-day form of colonialism works like this: A company sends researchers into the rainforest to discover promising new natural substances. Once found, the company registers a patent or trademark and begins to cash-in. Even more effective is the latest variant: Instead of using the plant itself, the relevant gene is isolated and transplanted in a single-cell organism such as yeast or bacteria, allowing the substance to be reproduced in a fermenter located in the motherland. The disadvantage to this approach is well known: The exploited overseas country is left empty-handed.

The West African nation of Ghana is showing how to counter this. In April 2001, the Oda-Kotoamso Community Agroforestry Project (OCAP) was initiated with the aim of promoting the sustainable cultivation of heavily deforested areas, preserving plant species diversity and generating new income sources for the indigenous population. Engaged in the project are the timber company Samartex, landowners, farm tenants and government officials. The German Development Service (Deutscher Entwicklungsdienst DED) is assisting with technical issues.

A useful plant that can easily be cultivated under plantation trees is the katemfe bush, a plant native to the African rainforest. That thaumatin, one of the strongest known natural sweeteners, can be extracted from the katemfe berry is not a new discovery. The U.S. FDA long ago classified thaumatin as "generally recognized as safe" and the EU approved its use in chewing gum, desserts and soups under E 957. The low-calorie sweet protein is already being marketed and attempts to produce it by genetic engineering are underway. To ensure that the country does not miss out, a production facility to exploit this natural resource is currently being set up in Ghana. Financial aid is being provided by the DEG (Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft GmbH).

"We deliberately kept the entire process simple, from processing the berries to the finished powder product," emphasizes Dr. Wolfgang Krischke of the Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology IGB in Stuttgart. "We designed and combined the individual steps such that the specialists in Ghana, who we train in Germany, can service and repair the plant on their own as much as possible." Samartex is currently analyzing the German market and is already establishing contacts with potential customers. A Hohenheim University working group is looking into ways of maximizing crop revenues.

For more information, please contact:

Dr. Wolfgang Krischke
Fraunhofer-Institut für Grenzflächen-und Bioverfahrenstechnik IGB

Nobelstraße 12
70569 Stuttgart
Phone: +49 (0) 7 11 / 9 70-42 66
Fax: +49 (0) 7 11 / 9 70-42 00


For full story, please see:

5. Katemfe (Thaumatococcus danielli): Sweet prospects turn sour

Source: New Agriculturalist on-line,

A promising new crop in Ghana, with export potential, could be stillborn because of patent claims on genes and genetic engineering. The potential new crop is Katemfe, an indigenous shrub, which is a source of the natural sweetener thaumatin. Non-sugar sweeteners are now a multi-billion dollar industry, and demand continues to grow. Ghana had plans to benefit by growing katemfe as an agro-forestry crop and building a processing plant to extract thaumatin. However, plans are stalled by patents filed in the United States, where researchers from the University of California and Lucky Biotech Corporation may have enforceable patents on all transgenic fruits, seeds and vegetables responsible for producing thaumatin. It is also reported that the multinational food giant, Unilever, has successfully inserted thaumatin-producing genes into bacteria, which could provide a very low-cost alternative source of thaumatin.

According to GRAIN (Genetic Resources Action International), thaumatin production based on genetically manipulated bacteria would undermine any conventional production in Ghana. However, the Ghanaians and their German business partners hope that they may be able to develop a niche market for a 'naturally' produced sweetener based on their conventionally grown katemfe, and that this will also benefit many thousands of growers in Ghana.

For further information see AFROL news (

6. Maracuja (Passiflora edulis): Small agriculturists benefit from its sustainable planting

Source: O Estado de S.Paulo, 16 May 2004 (in Amazon News, 20 May 2004)

In Benevides, near Belem (Brazil), almost 2 000 families of small agricultural producers have been successful both economically and environmentally with the sustainable planting of maracuja (Passiflora edulis).

Organized in cooperatives, they assumed the direction of the failed business for which they were previously employed, recovered production and today they are incrementing their industrial park.

The cooperatives not only paid off the debt and recovered production, but they also obtained financing of R$16 million from the Amazonia Bank to reform and amplify their installations. Instead of one, there will now be four lines of production, capable of processing up to 11 different fruits. Last year, the business exported 950 tons of frozen maracuja juice concentrate, purchased by Passina of Holland, which controls 60 percent of the world's juice market and signed an exclusive 15-year contract with Nova Amafrutas.

Next year, the plan is to increase production to 1 200 tons. "We have all the problems of business, excluding that of the market", affirmed the plant's manager. Small producers in a radius of 300 km surrounding the plant plant all the maracuja. There are 1 750 families, spread out over 21 municipalities. The industrial park is located in an area of 800 ha: half untouched forest and the other half in the process of recuperation.

Nova Amafrutas is also closing a deal with Natura to produce oils from maracuja seeds and other typical Amazonia fruits such as babaçu, cupuaçu, inajá e buriti.

7. Mushrooms offer opportunities in Africa

Source: Newsfront , 11 May 2004

African communities are growing mushrooms and harvesting seaweed, water hyacinth and other biological resources that were ignored or considered waste as part of an effort to improve livelihoods and help conserve the environment.

The UNDP ZERI regional project on sustainable development from Africa's biodiversity, based at the University of Namibia, is promoting these activities. It is based on the Zero Emissions Research Initiative (ZERI) pioneered at the United Nations University, which has focused on using waste products as raw materials.

Namibia's President Sam Nujoma calls the concept a "win-win situation, where the private sector will improve their profits and even create new employment opportunities, while at the same time contributing to the sustainable conservation of our environment." He spoke at a recent donor conference in Windhoek, the capital, to discuss the project's next phase. Namibia has hosted the project since 2001.

Other participating countries are Gambia, Lesotho, Malawi, Senegal, Swaziland, Tanzania and Zambia.

The project provided training in mushroom growing, mainly for women, leading to profitable businesses in Namibia, Tanzania and Zambia that supply mushrooms to local markets, restaurants and hotels.

Communities in Zambia are gathering water hyacinths and exchanging them for banana and orange seedlings. A ZERI pilot project with the University of Zambia and other partners is showing how the hyacinths, rich in nutrients, can be made into fertilizer and used for growing mushrooms.

For its next phase, the project is looking at other potential resources such as ganoderma mushrooms for medication to strengthen the immune system, possibly for treating HIV/AIDS. Termitomyces titanicus, the world's largest umbrella mushroom, with an edible cap up to three feet in diameter, and the edible goliath frog, the largest in the world, from the Congo region could become marketable products.

Keto E. Mshigeni, Regional Project Director, pointed out that Africa's rural communities are "custodians of a rich body of indigenous knowledge" on the continent's biological resources that can be commercialized and marketed globally.

Development of Africa's rich natural resources has been constrained by "lack of innovative approaches, inadequate policy and institutional frameworks, and lack of sustained political commitment," said Abdoulie Janneh, UNDP Assistant Administrator and Director of the Regional Bureau for Africa. The project's emphasis on improving livelihoods makes it an effective instrument for reinforcing democratization, economic reform and poverty reduction, he said.

8. Pongamia pinnata oil being used to reduce carbon dioxide emissions

From: FAO's NWFP Programme

Pongamia pinnata produces seeds containing 30-40% oil. This natural pongamia oil is being substituted for petroleum diesel oil in local power generators in Powerguda village, Adilabad District, Andhra Pradesh State, India, thereby reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

The carbon dioxide emission reduction comes from the substitution of about 51 tonnes of diesel oil by biofuel produced from Pongamia pinnata, a native tree species found in the local forest. The people of Powerguda had planted 4 500 pongamia trees in 2002 on the edges of their agricultural land. Oil from the pongamia seeds is extracted in the village's oil mill installed by a local government agency.

The World Bank's ESSD Forest Team has recently purchased the equivalent of 147 tons of carbon dioxide in verified emission reductions from Powerguda village. The emission reductions over ten years come from the production of this natural pongamia oil which is substituting petroleum diesel for use in power generators and other engines. A Certificate of Recognition of Global Environmental Leadership has been given to the World Bank to confirm their purchase.

By choosing to purchase the carbon credits, the World Bank has taken action to neutralize the emissions from air travel and local transport use by participants attending the international workshop on the reform of forest fiscal systems held in October 2003 in Washington, DC, USA.

For more information, please see: and

9. Armenia: Forestry School to be established

Source: ArmenPress, 30 April 2004 (in CENN v 3 May 2004 Daily Digest)

Skilled personnel are of crucial importance for implementation of forest recreation projects in Armenia, while local specialists have not passed any training in the last 10-15 years. However, according to Andranik Ghulijanian, Head of Forest Research Center, this gap will soon be eliminated when a forestry school is established.

Mr. Ghulinjanian said institutional support to forest projects is being implemented within the Natural Resource Management and Poverty Alleviation project, funded by the Swedish SIDA. The project envisages creation of a regional training center in Zikatar. Ghulijanian said that the Armenian Environment and Agricultural ministries and the World Bank have approved the business plan of the center. In the course of a year, preparatory work will be completed and the center can start its educational program. The participants will be specialists in Armenian forestry and students of the Agricultural Academy and the Ijevan branch of the Yerevan State University forestry department.

The training of the specialists will contribute to forest recreation in Armenia, as well as allowing a thorough database on Armenian forests to be established.

10. Azerbaijan: Hirkan Preserve to be added to UNESCO's Natural Heritage List?

Source: Azernews, April 28 - May 4, 2004 (in CENN v 3 May 2004 Daily Digest)

The Azerbaijani government will present UNESCO with a proposal to include the Hirkan state preserve in its list of the world's natural heritage sites in 2004. Ramiz Abutalibov, head of UNESCO's Baku office, told AssA-Irada that the issue would be discussed during a UNESCO meeting next year. The preserve was founded in 1936 for protection and research of Hirkan-type plants, including rare species such as iron trees, oak trees with chestnut leaves, and box trees.

11. Brazil: Devastation of Brazil Nut Trees presents challenge to IBAMA

Source: O Estado de S.Paulo, 9 May 2004 (in Amazon News, 13 May 2004)

From January to March, Para State's IBAMA agents have confiscated 1 140m of both processed and trunks of wood of the Brazil nut (popularly known as the para nut) tree. A law exists that the cutting of this tree species is prohibited. However, with an average of three trees per day this year, IBAMA's regional director, Ademir Martins dos Reis, is concerned.

The Bertholletia excelsa, whose burs hold the nutritious and valuable Brazil nut, is, ironically the most legally protected tree in Amazonia. Notwithstanding that, in the south and southeast of Para State, more than 70 percent of the stock has been destroyed.

The EMBRAPA agronomist, Alfredo Homma, describes incalculable socio-environmental prejudice in addition to the reduction in production of the Brazil nut. He states that in 1990 production throughout the Amazonia region reached 50 500 tons; in 2000 it fell to 33 400 tons; and in 2002 to 27 300 tons.

Para State is enormous with 37 municipalities, 281 square km and 1.2 million inhabitants; Reis has 18 agents, but he needs at least 50. According to Paulo Sergio de Souza Almeida, an agent who has worked for 11 years with IBAMA in the region, "The devastation, which was increasing when I arrived, has only worsened. With this rhythm and lack of monitoring, the disaster will be worse."

On top of this, the European market (a major consumer) imposed rigid health restrictions in 2000 when, according to the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, many batches presented a toxic fungal substance that occurs with incorrect storage procedures and which can provoke vomiting, allergies and, in some cases, cancer.

What is actually worse is the continued devastation in the south and southeast of Para. "Sawmills continue to fell live and dead Brazil nut trees", states Homma.

Maria do Espírito Santo da Silva is part of the majority that are being affected. Maria presides over the Agro-extractivist Small Producers Association, Praialta Piranheiras, located about 50 km from Maraba. The Bertholletia excelsa are scattered throughout the 22 000 ha divided between 400 families. Some families that belong to the association continue to sell wood from what should be a sanctuary. Individuals with chainsaws and connections to sawmills visit families and offer R$50 per adult tree, and the families accept.

The Mayor, IBAMA and the Association believe that the destruction could be deterred but it depends upon a true commitment by the federal government and its plan for Amazonia, with its R$ 349 million budget.

Without a solution in sight, Reis is donating the confiscated timber to churches, schools, day cares and military bases before it rots. Last year more than 176 trees were donated.

12. Brazil: Amapa offers treatment with medicinal plants

Source: Diário do Amapá, 13 May 2004 (in Amazon News, 20.5.04)

Amapa is one of the four federal states that have an agency dedicated exclusively to the use of natural medicine, namely the Reference Centre for Natural Treatment (CRTN). The centre will take patients referred by public and private hospitals and from health centres.

Anita Mendes Rodrigues, 55, testifies that she has always had great success with home remedies. When she is sick she goes to the doctor and does the necessary laboratory tests. But when it times to prescribe a remedy, she always opts for natural medicines. When asked about the CRTN, she responded, "We cannot underestimate nature. This Centre is good. What are we without nature?"

13. Ghana: Medicinal plants - HIV research in danger

Source: Public Agenda (Accra), 26 April 2004

The Head of the Virology Department at the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR), Professor Nana Kofi Ayisi has warned that he is closing research on eight Ghanaian medicinal plants which have the potential of being developed into an HIV and other Sexually Transmitted Infections preventive drug as a result of lack of funding.

He said that although the USAID funded the initial research that led to the discovery of the plants, further funding which will make clinical research possible have not been forthcoming. He also said he had to abandon a patent right he was pursuing for the drugs after spending seven thousand dollars of his own money in vain.

Speaking at an inaugural lecture at the University of Ghana, Legon, Prof. Ayisi said, "This lecture puts closure on my work in the anti-viral chemotherapy at MMIMR until further funding is available." The lecture was on the topic Sex, Viruses and Grief: "A deadly combination that poses the greatest threat to human health in the 21st Century."

Prof. Ayisi said the eight selected plants include Ficus Polita-HIV, HSV, GHX-36-HIV, HVS, Ocimum gratissimum-HIV, HVS, Alchornea Cordifolia-HIV, HVS and Elaeophorbia drupifera-HIV. Three of them, he said, have the potential of being developed into vaginal microbicides which is widely accepted as the best form of HIV and vaginal herpes prevention.

Prof. Ayisi, who is also an expert in Microbiology and Toxicology, said big pharmaceutical companies are making millions out of a single drug that is discovered. He said although the research now appears to be expensive, only societies that invest in science will reap from the benefits of science. "It is not an exaggeration to say that a single medicinal plant that is moved into mainstream medical practice has the potential to pay for the entire health budget of the nation and make the cash and carry system redundant," he said. "We owe it to ourselves, our country and our children yet unborn to develop our medicinal plants," Prof. Ayisi said adding, "We are losing our forests and plants at a faster rate and the people with knowledge in medicinal plants are dying without leaving any knowledge behind."

According to Prof. Ayisi, Ghana could develop a more effective medicine from the eight selected plants if funding is available. He said Africa is the most natural resource endowed region in the world.

He told his audience that it is just a matter of time that the advanced countries will start investigations in medicinal plants and if that happens they will not need ours and Africa will not make any money from its resources in the area of medicinal plants.

He said the Virus that causes HIV in Europe and North America are different from that of Africa and therefore there is the need for Africa to do its own research on the viruses and find its own remedies. The way Asia responded to the Sars epidemic and the bird flu should be a lesson to Ghana. "They relied on their own scientists and within a matter of weeks brought the diseases under control. According to him, Ghana should set up a rapid response team of scientists and researchers and not administrators.

Responding the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Prof. Kwadwo Asenso Okyere pleaded with Prof. Ayisi not abandon his research but to continue sourcing for funding. He also said that the University is in the process of developing a patent policy under the World Trade Organisation's TRIPS agreement. He added that a Committee has been set up to work on it to prevent the situation where individual researchers will have to use their own money in securing patent rights.

Prof. Asenso Okyere said Ghana should invest one percent of its GDP in research. He said laboratories are full of dilapidated equipment and asked how the country can train scientists and encourage them to stay and train others under such circumstances.

For full story, please see:

14. Madagascar: Projects to boost food security, conserve environment

Source: UN Integrated Regional Information Networks, 13 May 2004

Madagascar is to benefit from two funding initiatives that aim to boost food security and harness the ecotourism potential of the island.

The World Bank has announced that it had approved an International Development Association (IDA) grant of US $40 million, as well as a Global Environment Facility (GEF) grant of US $9 million, to support the implementation of Madagascar's National Environment Action Plan. The IDA is the Bank's financing arm for the poorest countries, while the GEF is a mechanism for providing grant and concessional funding to meet the incremental costs of initiatives for achieving global environmental targets.

In a separate development, the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) announced that it would fund a new rural income-promotion scheme to improve the living standard of small farmers and ensure food security in one of the country's most impoverished provinces.

The World Bank said in a statement that its grant "constitutes the single largest concessional financing package for the environment provided by the Bank in its 60-year history", and habitat protection and biodiversity conservation were expected to contribute directly to poverty reduction and economic growth in Madagascar. Madagascar's environment programme is in its third phase.

"The project aims at ensuring that the long-term management of Madagascar's unique natural habitats and biodiversity resources are set on a more sustainable footing, "Martien van Nieuwkoop, the World Bank's Task Team Leader for the project, was quoted as saying.

Apart from expanding Madagascar's protected areas network, the programme will establish conservation sites in natural forests, and transfer forest management responsibilities to communities. "These will be complemented by measures aimed at reducing existing pressures on natural forests, including reforestation and the scaling-up of the usage of efficient wood-fuel technologies," the Bank said.

Van Nieuwkoop added that "biodiversity conservation efforts are essential in unleashing the significantly high revenue-generating potential of the ecotourism sector in Madagascar".

For full story, please see:

15. South Africa: The World Bank Supports Biodiversity Conservation

Source: World Bank (Washington, DC), 18 May 2004

The World Bank Board of Directors today agreed that the Bank will manage the implementation of the C.A.P.E. Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Development Project in South Africa to the tune of a US$9 million grant drawn from a total grant of US$11.32 million approved by the Council of Global Environment Facility (GEF) in May 2003. The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) is involved with implementing the remaining part of the grant.

The Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Development Project will support South Africa's efforts to conserve the Cape Floristic Region, the smallest and most threatened floral regions of the world. It will build on the very successful Cape Strategy and Action Plan (C.A.P.E.) which was developed with GEF resources through the World Bank in 2000.

The project also forms a part of a 20-year program of the South African Government implemented by the South African National Botanical Institute to conserve this unique resource in a manner which will support the further development of the region's nature-based economy. It will support agencies to pilot new models for conserving these natural assets as well as mainstreaming conservation actions into normal economic activities and government programs.

The Cape Floristic Region (CFR), including its unique mountains, marine environment and wetlands provides important ecological services to the urban and rural economy. The conservation of water catchments, fishing resources, plant diversity and ecotourism assets is critical to the economy of the area. The CFR region includes 1 200 threatened plant species and marine resources as well as 148 private nature reserves, 43 conservancies, 36 natural heritage sites and two biosphere reserves of private land under conservation and management.

A particularly important issue to be addressed is the design of a system so that landowners and communities in ecologically important areas are rewarded for conserving biodiversity and environment assets. The model being advocated will bring private landowners into the conservation economy rather than for the State to purchase land for fenced off conservation areas.

Over its five and a half years lifespan, the project will leverage additional funding of some US$44 million from domestic resources into the conservation of the Cape Floristic Region, which has already received US$6 million from the Critical Ecosystems Partnership Fund.

For further information on Bank's GEF program, visit

For more information on the World Bank's work in South Africa visit:

For full story, please see:

16. Uganda: Forests net Sh66b from Non-wood Forest Products

Source: New Vision (Kampala), 18 May 2004

Ugandans selling non-timber forest products earn over sh60b annually, an official from the National Forestry Authority (NFA) has said. NFA's public relations manager Gaster Kiyingi said the forestry industry employs about one million Ugandans. He said that 100 000 are permanent employees while the rest are in the informal sector: "Sh66b goes to people in the informal forestry sector like those herbalists in Katwe," he said. Kiyingi also said over three quarters of villages sell forestry products like timber, firewood, charcoal and wood off-cuts.

He said illegal harvesting and selling of timber had made it impossible to value forest resources in the country.

For full story, please see:

17. Uganda: Moringa export orders increase

Source: The Monitor (Kampala), 17 May 2004

The United Kingdom and Namibia are some of the two countries that are rushing here to buy moringa herb products. Namibia has signed a contract with the Moringa Development Association (MODA) to supply six tonnes of Moringa seeds and leaf powder for the next four years, according to Prof. Richard Kasawuli, the proprietor of the Association. He said another firm from the UK has made a similar order.

MODA has about 20 000 moringa farmers with a total of 200 million moringa trees, according to Kasawuli.

Currently, Uganda exports about 8-10 tonnes of moringa products, mainly to the US, Kenya and Tanzania. In the local market, a kilogramme of moringa product costs Shs 10 000, while in the world market a kilogramme goes for $15-$20.

Former President of Uganda, Mr Godfrey Binaisa, is one of the prominent moringa farmers with about 25 000 trees in a 30-acre field in Mutundwe, Rubaga.

For full story, please see:

18. United Kingdom: UK wildlife must not be patented for profit

Source: Press Release, Friends of the Earth, 23 March 2004

Patenting the genetic make-up of England's wildlife could lead to companies commercialising genes without any benefit for the British public or the environment and should be resisted by the Government, according to Friends of the Earth.

The warning comes as England's official wildlife watchdog, English Nature is said to be "on the verge of striking a deal to bio-prospect some of Britain's most famous Nature reserves" despite no legal or ethical framework being in place to ensure any genetic exploitation benefits the British people.

Friends of the Earth has written to the Environment Secretary Margaret Beckett calling on the Government to resist moves to allow companies to profit from genetically patenting wildlife and urgently address ethical and practical questions, including whether the public, Government or opportunistic companies own the genetic rights to England's wildlife.

Friends of the Earth's Executive director, Tony Juniper, said: "A worldwide gene rush is underway with companies staking claims on life forms from across the planet. Their aim is to boost profits from medical, agricultural and industrial products. Companies are taking traditional knowledge about the useful aspects of plants, or information established by science at public expense, patenting the life forms and then selling products back to the public, who arguably owned the wildlife in the first place. Official conservation agencies must approach this issue with caution. Helping companies get richer in this way is not necessarily good for society, and has no automatic benefits for the environment".

19. Non-wood News

From: FAO's NWFP Programme

The latest issue of Non-wood News is now available on-line from our NWFP home page at Hard copies have already been sent to all those on our mailing list.

Non-wood News is free of charge. If you would like to receive a copy, please contact

20. The Manukan Declaration of the Indigenous Women's Biodiversity Network

Source: [BIO-IPR] Resource pointer, 13 May 2004

The Manukan Declaration is an outcome of the meeting of Indigenous Women that took place in Manukan, Sabah, Malaysia, from 4 to 5 February 2004. The Declaration highlights the areas of concern of Indigenous Women:

¿ Indigenous Women as Guardians of Knowledge

¿ Biodiversity and Indigenous Women

¿ Indigenous Women and Health

¿ Indigenous Women and Industrialization

¿ Indigenous Women and Protected Areas

¿ Indigenous Women, Trade and Globalization

¿ Indigenous Women, Conflict and Militarization

The complete text of the Manukan Declaration can be found at:

21. Tree Aid

From: Yacouba Ouedraogo, Bukino Faso,

Tree Aid works in Africa's drylands to reverse poverty and environmental degradation through skills transfer and community forestry projects that include income generation. Income from Non Wood Forest Products is a focus of our new "Community Forestry and Sustainable Livelihoods" Programme in West Africa.

For further information, please contact:
Yacouba Ouedraogo
West Africa Programme Coordinator
Tree Aid West Africa
06, BP 9321 Ouagadougou 06
Burkina Faso
Tel : 00226 36 35 34; Fax : 00226 36 02 54
Email :


22. Rattan glossary: A new publication in FAO's NWFP series

From: FAO's NWFP Programme

Rattan glossary and Compendium glossary with emphasis on Africa has just been published as no. 16 in FAO's NWFP series. This volume contains a glossary on terms and terminologies used in the rattan sector.

The glossary is structured according to the following major sections: rattan resources (biology, management, plantations, harvesting); rattan as a raw material (transport, storage, grading and post-harvest handling, rattan trade); rattan processing (for local artisanal use and for industrial-level furniture manufacture); and trade in raw rattan, furniture and other products.

In order to give special emphasis to the emerging rattan sector in Africa, a separate compilation of terms specifically focusing on those used in Africa is provided.

To purchase copies of any of the publications in this series, please contact:
Sales and Marketing Group, Information Division, FAO, Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00100 Rome, Italy.
Fax: +39 06 5705 3360;

23. Fact sheets on medicinal herbs

From: Pankaj Oudhia

Recently seven fact sheets on Indian medicinal herbs have been posted on:

1. Asgandh or Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)

2. Punanrnava or Santhi (Boerhaavia diffusa Linn.)

3. Malkangni or Peng (Celastrus paniculatus Wild)

4. Motha or Nut Grass (Cyperus rotundus)

5. Bar or Bargad Ficus benghalensis L.

6. Karela (Momordiaca charantia Linn.)

7. Khareti or Bala (Sida cordifolia Linn.)

24. New CIFOR NTFP publications

From: Citlalli Lopez, (CIFOR)

Increased emphasis on poverty alleviation in national and international development agendas has revitalized interest in how non-timber forest products (NTFPs) can be commercialized to increase human welfare in an environmentally sound way. Yet, despite more than a decade of research and targeted development projects, systematic understanding of the role and potential of NTFPs in conservation and development remains weak. To help fill this gap, a large group of researchers combined efforts and used a common methodological approach to examine and compare more than 60 case studies of commercial NTFP production, processing and trade from Asia, Africa and Latin America. To share the wealth of information generated by this project, CIFOR has produced a set of publications aimed at different target audiences.

"Forest Products, Livelihoods and Conservation" - targeting researchers and development practitioners

CIFOR has recently published three volumes containing full descriptions of the case studies. Each chapter in the volumes describes the production through consumption system of a particular forest product, ending with a section on conservation and development lessons drawn from that case. The authors provide a richly detailed analysis of the issues, idiosyncrasies and opportunities found in each case study. Collectively the case studies offer an invaluable resource for researchers, development practitioners and conservation workers. Volumes one and two cover Asia and Africa respectively, and are written in English. Volume three, Latin American is written in Spanish and Portuguese. The African volume will be translated into French at a later date.

"Riches of the Forest" - targeting consumers and civil society

Researchers involved in the project also wanted to reach an audience beyond the scientific and development communities. To achieve this, three supplementary volumes covering Africa, Asia and Latin America have been written in "user-friendly" English and targeted at civil society and NTFP consumers. The use of accessible language combined with informative illustrations aims to improve public awareness of the commercial and cultural benefits obtained from forests. The books will also alert consumers to the origins of forest-products available in markets. Each of these publications will soon be available in French, Spanish, Portuguese and Indonesian.

For further information, contact Titin Suhartini ( Please indicate your mailing address, the institution you are affiliated to (if applicable) and which of the publications you are interested

25. Destroying forests can make you sick

Source: David Kaimowitz, CIFOR,, POLEX Listserv

Reference: Chivian, E. (editor). 2002. Biodiversity: Its Importance to Human Health, Interim Executive Summary, Cambridge, MA: Center for Health and Global Environment, Harvard Medical School.

Logging, hunting, farming, and mining in forested areas alter their delicate biological equilibrium. At times that is good for human health, but it can also have the opposite effect. Among other things, "Biodiversity: Its Importance to Human Health", edited by Eric Chivian of the Harvard Medical School, explains how that can happen.

Human activities change these areas' temperature, how humid they are, their predator populations, and their vegetation. That sometimes increases the populations of mosquitoes, flies, mice, bats, and other vectors of infectious diseases. Settling near the forests' edge can expose people to diseases found there such as malaria, yellow fever, leishmaniasis, Chagas disease, and African sleeping sickness. Increased consumption of wild meat can facilitate the spread of diseases from animals to people.

Logging has made malaria more common in some Southeast Asian and Amazonian regions. It created new pools of standing water and made others less acidic, which favoured the mosquitoes that spread malaria.

The smoke from Southeast Asia's massive forest fires in 1997/98 probably made many trees fail to flower and produce fruits. To find food, many fruit bats moved to the fruit trees in Malaysia's large pig farms. These bats passed on the deadly Nipah virus to the pigs, which then transmitted it to humans. That forced the government to destroy huge numbers of pigs.

Forest destruction may have provoked the Lyme disease epidemic in the northeast United States. It caused many animals that eat white-footed mice or compete with them to disappear and the mouse population to grow. These mice spread the bacteria that cause Lyme diseases to ticks, which passed them on to people.

Three-quarters of new emerging human diseases come from animals. People contracted many of these diseases by eating the meat of wild animals that carried them. This may have been how HIV/AIDS appeared and there is a high risk that similar viruses may be passed from primates to people in the future. Eating wild meat has also been linked to outbreaks of anthrax and the plague.

Forest fires and deforestation contribute to global warming. That has been linked with the spread of dengue fever, malaria, yellow fever, and encephalitides to regions where these diseases previously did not exist.

Disturbing forest ecosystems does not always affect health negatively as in these cases. However, it happens frequently enough that it deserves our attention, because the way people are destroying forests is enough to make you sick.

To request a free electronic copy of this paper you can write Tracy Graham at:

You can download the paper directly at:

To send comments or queries to the authors you can write Eric Chivian at:

26 Other publications of interest

From: FAO's NWFP Programme

Cullet P.; Raja J. 2004.Intellectual Property Rights and Biodiversity Management: The Case of India. Global Environmental Politics, 1 February 2004, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 97-114(18)

Dhillion, S.S. & Gustad, G. 2004. Local management practices influence the viability of the baobab (Adansonia digitata Linn.) in different land use types, Cinzana, Mali. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment. 101: 1, 85-103

In west Africa, the alarming rate of land use intensification and the assumed deterioration of parkland species calls for assessments of locally valued non-timber forest product (NTFP) yielding populations. This study focused on the baobab tree, Adansonia digitata Linn., in Cinzana, Mali. Here by conducting biological inventories in different land use types and interviews the authors addressed the following central questions. (1) How does the harvesting of baobab NTFPs in different land use types (fallow, cropland, and village (habitation) areas) affect the viability of its population? (2) By which ways do humans, other than by harvesting, affect the viability of the population? The viability of a population is, in this study, treated as a characteristic that is determined by the mature population size and its regeneration potential (recruit population). Baobab products in Cinzana are used on a regular basis and valued in a cultural context, like in many parts of west Africa. For the local society, the sustained viability of the baobab populations is therefore essential.

For more information, please contact the authors at:

Department of Biology and Nature Conservation, Agricultural University of Norway, P.O. Box 5014, As, N-1432, Norway.

Gemerden, B.S. van. 2004. Disturbance, diversity and distributions in Central African rain forest. PhD thesis Wageningen University, Wageningen, the Netherlands.

Grubbs, H.J., and Case, M.A. 2004. Allozyme variation in American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius L.): variation, breeding system, and implications for current conservation practice. Conserv. Genet. 5(1):13-23.

Pakia, M. & Cooke, J.A. 2003. The ethnobotany of the Midzichenda tribes of the coastal forest areas in Kenya: 2. Medicinal plant uses. South African Journal of Botany, 69: 3, 382-395.

The Midzichenda have relied on plant resources for their basic needs, which included medicinal use, for centuries. This paper presents an inventory of some of the indigenous knowledge on medicinal plant uses of three Midzichenda tribes: Duruma, Giriama and Digo. A significant proportion (56%) of all plant species used was employed for the basic health care system and magical rituals and this is likely to remain so in future. Some plant species used for medicinal purposes are known to possess therapeutic characteristics, while other medicinal plants are used only on the basis of mythical beliefs within the society. However, much of the traditional knowledge on medicinal plants used by the Midzichenda has not been tested ethnopharmacologically.

Parren, M.P.E. 2003. Lianas and logging in West Africa. Tropenbos-Cameroon Series 6, Tropenbos International, Wageningen, the Netherlands.

Porter, L. et al. eds. 2004. Biodiversity of West African Forests: An Ecological Atlas of Woody Plant Species. 528 p. ISBN: 0851997341 Price £85.00 (US$149.00).


Singh, N.M. & Krishna, S. 2004. Women and community forests in Orissa: rights and management. Livelihood and gender equity in community resource management, 306-324.

This paper reviews the community forest management (CFM) in Orissa, India and the involvement of women in the management and in the collection of non-wood forest products. The federated alliances among forest protection groups are discussed, focusing on women in these groups and federations. Also covered are the community rights in the state, highlighting some of the equity concerns with CFM, and introducing the concept of trusteeship rights, as opposed to ownership rights, to safeguard the interests of forest-dependent sections of the people.

Soaga, J.A.; Oluwalana, S.A.; & Adekunle, M.F. 2003. Exploratory survey of traditional forest industries in Ogun State, Nigeria: implication for sustainable forest management. International Journal of Forest Usufructs Management, 4: 1, 40-48;

Traditional forest industries, otherwise known as forest-based small-scale industry (FB-SSI), were surveyed in some parts of Ogun State, Nigeria, to exploit their potentials for contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP) of the nation. Another objective of the study was to provide information on some of the forest resources, which are the major raw material base on these enterprises. The study identified five major FB-SSI, namely: pestle and carving, canoe production, sponge making, spices processing and basket weaving. Basket weaving was common among the Yoruba ethnic groups in the state while sponge making was common among the migrant Hausas from the northern part of Nigeria. The Ibos were involved in canoe carving. The natural forests still constituted the dominant source of supply of the major raw materials of these industries. Some of the plant species used were Milicia excelsa, Afzelia africana, Albizia zygia, Anogeissus leiocarpus and Cordia millenii. Altogether, approx. 35 plant species made up of trees (28 species), shrubs (2 species), climbers (4 species) and herbs (1 species) were used by the respondents. Approximately 26% of the total species were threatened as a result of being multipurpose species. The study further revealed that traditional forest industries or FB-SSI were cottage-based and provided more of part-time employment to all the operators sampled. Other socio-economic characteristics of the respondents include low literacy level, a large incidence of active working class age group between 26 and 45 years and male dominated. The mode of entrance into the enterprises was largely by inheritance. It is concluded that beyond the conventional manufacturing industries, FB-SSI could contribute to the GDP of a nation like Nigeria if their potentials are properly harnessed. Also, there is a need to manage the national forests sustainably and encourage the re-cultivation of the threatened plant species, which are the raw materials of these industries.

Tchouto Mbatchou, G.P. 2004. Plant diversity in a central African rain forest. Implication for biodiversity conservation in Cameroon. Tropenbos-Cameroon Series 7. Tropenbos International, Wageningen, the Netherlands. ISBN: 90-5113-068-6

27. Web sites and e-zines

From: FAO's NWFP Programme

Treasures of the Caribbean

The Herbage CD-ROM, Third Edition

The Herbage CD-ROM contains a database of over 28 000 concise monographs of medicinal plant species characteristics and an inventory of claimed attributes and historical uses by cultures throughout the world --the result of more than a decade of independent research.

World Bank: Interactive Environmental Map

The Interactive Environment Map - which requires Explorer 5.0 or higher as a browser - combines maps with data on environmental issues to show where hot spots appear and where remedial action has been taken. The map is accompanied by a matrix of environmental problems and regions, so that clicking on biodiversity in Africa, for example, results in a map of the region with problem areas identified in different colours. Other issues that can be displayed on regional maps - or across the globe - are air pollution, green accounting, natural resources, water supply and water pollution.
Source: World Bank Weekly Web Update, 19 April 2004


From: FAO's NWFP Programme

28. "Healing the Earth, Healing Ourselves", Mountain Herb Festival

26-28 August 2004

Kentucky, USA
For more information, please contact:
Mountain Tradition Education Project
1000 Beyond Yonder Rd
Confluence, Ky 41749-9010, USA
Tel: +1(606)672-6444

29. Sixth Annual BIOECON Conference on Economics and the Analysis of Biology and Biodiversity.

2-3 September 2004
Kings College Cambridge, UK.

BIOdiversity and Economics for CONservation (BIOECON) is a European Union (EU) funded project designed to advance economic theory and policy for biodiversity conservation. BIOECON assembles economists, lawyers and scientists from leading European academic and research institutions as well as members of prominent policy organizations to work together on designing and implementing cutting edge economic incentives for biodiversity conservation.

For more information, please contact:

Project Co-ordinator: Prof. Timothy M. Swanson

Department of Economics,
University College London
Gower Street
London WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom
Tel: +44(020) 7-679-5831
Fax: +44(020) 7-6016-2772

30. International Conference on Industrial Crops and Rural Development 2005 Association for the Advancement of Industrial Crops (AAIC) Annual Meeting

17-21 September 2005
Murcia, Spain

Abstract submission deadline: 31 October 2004

For more information, please contact:

Dr. Maria Jesus Pascual-Villalobos
Tel: 34 968 366768
Fax: 34 968 366792

31. Second global summit on medicinal and aromatic plants "Prospects and Constraints in Cultivation, Production and Marketing of Medicinal Plants

25-29 October 2004
New Delhi, India.

Plants have been a major source of medicine for human kind. According to available information, a total of at least 35 000 plant species are widely used for medicinal purposes. The demand for traditional herbal medicine is increasing very rapidly, mainly because of the harmful effects of synthetic chemical drugs. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that 80% of the population of developing countries depend on traditional systems of medicine, mostly plant based products, for their primary health care. The global clamour for more herbal ingredients creates possibilities for the local cultivation of medicinal and aromatic crops as well as for the regulated and sustainable harvest of wild plants. Such endeavours could help raise more rural employment in the developing countries, boost commerce around the world and perhaps contribute to the health of millions.

The current global market for herbal products, including medicines, beauty and toiletry products is estimated at around US$62 billion. The global market for herbal medicine alone is estimated to be around US$5 billion, growing at a rate of 30% to 40% annually and is expected to reach US $16 billion by 2005. There is a need for validation and standardization of phytomedicines and traditional medical practices so that this sector can be accorded its rightful place in the health care system.

In order to have a better understanding of these issues there is a need to bring together the growers, practitioners of traditional medicine, pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, traders of medicines etc. on a common platform to address basic problems and scientific expertise towards a common understanding and solution of the problems. The scheduled summit will be a forum where academicians, researchers, producers and personnel from industry share ideas, information and experiences, and as well as initiate collaborations and cooperation in the development of the world herbal industry. The event will explore the world's hopes and concerns for the potential of plant-based medicines and other alternative therapies.

The summit objectives are to: (a) provide a global forum for growers, traders, manufacturers of herbal medicine and professionals in the field of traditional and other alternative therapies to share knowledge, experiences, and ideas; and (b) plan future strategies in medicinal and aromatic plants research, education and training, and development

For more information, please contact:

Dr. Anita M.
Organizing Secretary,
Second Global Summit on Medicinal and Aromatic Plants
C/o Century Foundation,
No. 35, 3rd Cross Road, Vignannagar,
Malleshpalya, Bangalore - 560075, INDIA
Tel: + 91-(80)-25244592
Fax: + 91-(80)-23219295

32. Monitoring the effectiveness of biological conservation

1-5 November 2004.
Vancouver, Canada

The objective of the conference is to describe and document the scientific methods that are currently being used internationally to determine whether or not the many different methods currently being used to conserve biodiversity in managed and unmanaged ecosystems are being successful. Many conferences and workshops have already examined indicators of biodiversity, and discussion on this topic seems to be ongoing. However, in the meantime, many organizations have started effectiveness monitoring programs, including governments, environmental non-governmental organizations, academic institutions and industries. For example, several major international forestry companies have instigated changes in their harvesting practices that are specifically aimed at conserving the biological diversity of the forests. They are now conducting monitoring and research to ensure that these changes are actually succeeding in conserving biodiversity.

How reliable is the science behind these monitoring efforts? Are some approaches more appropriate than others? Can techniques developed for one ecosystem be applied to others? What sort of targets and thresholds has been adopted? How we will judge success? These are all questions that will be addressed during the Conference.

For more information, please contact:

John Innes
Professor, Chair of Forest Management
Department of Forest Resources Management
University of British Columbia
Forest Sciences Centre
Tel: 604-222-6761

33. 3rd IUCN World Conservation Congress

17-25 November 2004
Bangkok, Thailand

"People and Nature - only one world" is the theme of the Congress. Various topics related to the problems and the safeguard of ecosystems will be assessed and debated from the perspective of governments, NGOs, civil society and the private sector. The event will be the largest environmental gathering ever held in Asia.

Online registration is now available.

For more information, please contact:

Dr Steve Edwards
Senior Adviser - World Conservation Congress
IUCN - The World Conservation Union Headquarters
Rue Mauverney 28
Gland 1196
Tel: ++41 (22) 999-0224
Fax: ++41 (22) 999-0020

34. Multipurpose trees in the tropics: assessment, growth and management

22-25 November 2004
Jodhpur, India.

Organized by the Arid Forest Research Institute, the objective of this conference will be to bring together scientists, foresters and all other stakeholders to evaluate the status of assessment techniques, genetic improvement, modelling and management of multipurpose trees.

For more information, please contact:

Dr. V.P. Tewari
Scientist Head
Forest Resource Management & Economics Division
P.O. Krishi Mandi
New Pali Road
Jodhpur 342 005, India
Phone: +91-291-2722588 (O)
Fax: +91-291-2722764

35. International Conference on Biodiversity

24-28 January 2005
Paris, France

Sponsored by UNESCO, this conference is organized by the French Ministry of Research and New Technologies.

For more information, please contact:



36. Desertification advances in areas of Amazonia

Source: O Estado de S.Paulo, 6 May 2004 (in Amazon News, 13 May 2004)

Porto Velho - In some places in Rondonia, desertification has now been confirmed. In Pimienta Bueno, 560 km from the capital, there are stretches of land where only bushes and brush grow. Here, sand is now visible. If deforestation is not reduced, specialists alert us that in tem years these areas will constitute a real desert.

The possibility of desertification had been declared in the 90s by the Agro-cattle-raising and Forestry Plan (PLANAFORO). The ex-coordinator of this program, Pedro Beber explains that at some points there is only very poor land. Soon more trees will not grow here- in these localities sawmills are very active.


This list is for information related to any aspect of non-wood forest products.
Cross-postings related to non-wood forest products are welcome.
Information on this mailing list can be reproduced and distributed freely as long as they are cited.
Contributions are edited primarily for formatting purposes. Diverse views and materials relevant to NWFPs are encouraged. Submissions usually appear in the next issue. Issues are bi-monthly on average.

To join the list, please send an e-mail to: with the message:
subscribe NWFP-Digest-L

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

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

For technical help or questions contact

Your information is secure--We will never sell, give or distribute your address or subscription information to any third party.

The designations employed and the presentation of materials in the NWFP-Digest-L do not necessarily imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

NWFP-Digest-L Sponsor:
Non-Wood Forest Products Programme
Forestry Department
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla
00100 Rome, Italy
Fax: +39-06-570-55618
Web site NWFP programme:

last updated:  Monday, August 24, 2009