No. 03/04

Welcome to FAO's NWFP-Digest-L a free e-mail journal that covers all aspects of non-wood forest products. A special thank you to all those who have shared information with us.

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

1. Bamboo: Earthquake-proof house shakes bamboo world
2. Bamboo: Innovations in the bamboo sector
3. Cupuaçu: USP patents cupuaçu chocolate
4. Vegetable plastic
5. Brazil: Centre of forestry health
6. Brazil: Demand for Brazilian beef threatens rainforest
7. Brazil: Amazon hit by increase in felling
8. Cameroon: Forest management plan adopted
9. China considers accounting for forest benefits
10. Ghana: Forest watchers call for more transparency and accountability
11. Jordan conserves forest and helps communities' livelihoods
13. Uganda: NEMA stops Masaka forest reserve allocation
14. Uganda: Craft exports pay
15. Vietnam: NTFP education attains new heights
16. Vietnam: Gecko breeding expansion in Quang Ninh
17. FAO World Food Day, 16 October 2004
18. More than 300 endangered species unprotected
19. Transfrontier park initiative still on track

20. New Report on Participatory U.S. NTFP Inventory and Monitoring
21. Gabon: Exploring the edge of Africa
22. Small is not just beautiful
23. Gatekeepers Series ¿ New title
24. Other publications of interest
25. Web sites and e-zines

29. Call for entries to excellence in environmental journalism awards
30. African Nature Photography Contest


1. Bamboo: Earthquake-proof house shakes bamboo world

From: Lionel Jayanetti [[email protected]]

The bamboo-based building system developed by TRADA International in partnership with the Indian Plywood Industries Research and Training Institute (IPIRTI) has passed a full-scale earthquake resistance testing programme with no damage whatsoever. The tests programme was carried out in collaboration with the Central Power Research Institute (CPRI) in Bangalore.

The work is part of an ongoing project in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID). ¿The project demonstrates a sustainable livelihoods approach to bamboo development for economic, environmental, social and infrastructure improvement,¿ said Lionel Jayanetti, head of TRADA International.

The building system, under development since 1998, has already shown that it is ¿affordable, safe, durable and sustainable¿, Mr Jayanetti added. Outputs to date include several demonstration buildings, national seminars and workshops, a construction manual, project video and supporting technical reports and data.

¿This latest phase of the project, some four years in the planning, has confirmed that buildings constructed in bamboo using this method are able to withstand the highest levels of earthquake loading likely to be experienced in India, and probably worldwide.¿

A 2.7m2test building, complete down to the last detail including surface finishes, was constructed on site and craned into position on the state-of-the-art shake table. The facilities at CPRI are less than one year old, comprising a tri-axial shaker system which can be programmed to reproduce any earthquake spectrum. In this case, the spectrums were devised in accordance with the Indian seismic code IS:1893-2001.

The test building resisted seven repetitions of a typical Zone 5 earthquake, the highest in India and equivalent to 7 on the Richter scale, as well as a replication of the notorious Japanese Kobe earthquake (Richter 7.8), ¿without any damage whatsoever¿, said TRADA International¿s Paul Follett. ¿This means that such buildings could easily have withstood the recent earthquakes in Gujarat, Maharashtra and Bam which caused such devastation and loss of life.¿

One week after the test, on 27th February 2004, the work was presented at the VII World Bamboo Congress in Delhi, inaugurated by Prime Minister Vajpayee and attended by the Senior DFID Adviser responsible for the project, Michael Parkes.

Bamboo development in India is now a national goal, as evidenced by the establishment of NMBA, the National Mission on Bamboo Applications, under the country¿s Technology, Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council, Department of Science and Technology. ¿Given the acknowledged demand for affordable, safe and secure housing, it is hoped that the positive results of this international collaboration will bring benefits to some of the poorest and most vulnerable members of society,¿ said Mr Follett.

Details of the building system can be found in the training manual ¿Building with Bamboo¿, prepared by Paul Follett for the Indian National Mission on Bamboo Applications. For further information contact TRADA International on +44-(0)1494 569600, or email[email protected]

2. Bamboo: Innovations in the bamboo sector

From: FAO¿s NWFP Programme

Please contact Mr. Fu Jihn of INBAR if you would like a copy of his presentation ¿Innovations in the bamboo sector¿ made at the World Bamboo Congress, which took place from 27 February to 4 March 2004 in New Delhi.

Contact information:

Fu Jinhe Ph. D.
Program Officer, Coordinator of IUFRO 5.11.05 Bamboo and Rattan
International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR)
Beijing 100101-80, People¿s Republic of China.

Tel: +86-10-6470 6161 ext.208
Fax: +86-10-6470 2166
Email:[email protected]

3. Cupuaçu: USP patents cupuaçu chocolate

Source: Agência Estado , 13 April 2004 (in Amazon News 15.4.04)

Scientists from the University of Sao Paulo (USP), Brazil, have patented a technology to fabricate chocolate made from cupuaçu, replacing cacao. Six products have been developed: three types of chocolate and three chocolate powdered drinks.

According to Suzana Lannes, the researcher responsible for the project, it is a refining of cupulate, the cupuaçu chocolate, patented almost 10 years ago by EMBRAPA but never commercialized. "Cupulate is an old product that required modifications to be marketed", she explained. "It melts very easily; it does not resist the heat." The new technology alters the properties of the fats fusion part of the cupuaçu, giving it more consistency.

The recipe is the same as chocolate, just that cupuaçu is used instead of chocolate. The flavour and the smell are almost identical, but as an Amazonia fruit it offers the advantage of being a native Brazilian product, with a decreased production cost.

"It is a great business for Brazil", states the researcher. "Brazil has cacao but it does not have the necessary technology for the production of chocolate."

Cupuaçu, which is related to the Amazonian cacao, has become a symbol in the struggle against biopiracy following its being registered by Asahi Foods in Japan. This patent as well as that for cupulate had been removed by the Japanese government, but the company maintains its patents for these products in Europe.

4. Vegetable plastic

Source: Agência FAPESP , 4 April 2004 (in Amazon News, 8.4.04)

The fibre extracted from a plant native to Amazonia could replace conventional fibre glass due to its environmental and economical advantages. This is the conclusion of a study carried out by researchers from the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP). The investigation was initiated in 2003 by Karen Fermoselli, a student from the Chemistry Institute.

"The fibre of the curaua ( Ananas erectifolius ) costs less, and is lighter than fibre glass, in addition to its being obtained from renewable resources and being biodegradable", states the Chemistry Institute¿s Coordinator, Marco Aurelio De Paoli.

According to the researcher, fibre glass requires a very high energy consumption to produce it, is more costly and has a high environmental impact. The study has shown that plastic reinforced with this fibre is much lighter than fibre glass. As a result, automobiles produced with this material will tend to be lighter, reducing total weight and consequently the consumption of gasoline. "The automobile industry has always wanted to replace resistant materials with lighter pieces", states De Paoli. According to De Paoli, automobile manufacturers are already using this vegetable fibre.

The curaua is well-know in the Amazonia Water Basin in the western region of Para State, where the first commercial plantations were started. Each plant produces between 20 to 24 leaves, offering approximately 2 kg of fibre.

5. Brazil: Centre of forestry health

Source: Página 20 , 26 March 2004 (in Amazon News, 1 April 2004)

To preserve the knowledge of the traditional communities that utilize forest resources to combat their diseases in an ecological and sustainable manner is the objective of the New Life Health Project. The idea is to form nuclei together with the State¿s traditional communities in a distinct manner to guarantee the preservation of people¿s health from the resources that are available in the forest.

"We all know that diseases such as malaria are treated with a tea of 10 herbs that produces a cure as good as or better than the remedies from the pharmacy. We also have cures for parasites, rheumatism, stomach aches, skin problems and many more. All of these medications are at our reach in the forest in the areas surrounding where we live, we need to know how to use them in an appropriate way", affirms the director of the New Life Health Project Davi Nunes de Paula.

From his point of view, the preservation and the benefits from this cultural tradition for the good of humankind depends upon a profound scrutiny of and political, administrative and cultural policies of these values. "The secrets contained in our herbs and our curative methods have been systematically stolen by companies and groups that pretend to be our friends to obtain our confidence to collect this wisdom."

In the health centres, the patients will not only receive conventional medications but also teas and other products elaborated with herbs and traditional techniques. "In Croa we have 30 students that are dedicated to recuperating this culture that circulates within the community. We have more than 60 different types of traditional medicines ready to be tested and studied in the hope of being able to produce health as well as resources for the people of the forest".

The Centre of Forestry Medicine will function as a great formation centre for professions that will then join their communities in the middle of the forest. Among them are health promoters of forestry medicine and environmental education.

6. Brazil: Demand for Brazilian beef threatens rainforest

Source: SciDev.Net Weekly Update: 29 March - 2 April 2004

Brazil's growing success as an exporter of beef is responsible for much of the recent rise in the rate of destruction of the Amazon rainforest, according to new research. A report to be released later this year by the Indonesia-based Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) suggests a strong link between the fivefold increase in Brazilian beef exports in the past six years and increasingly rapid destruction of the Amazon rainforest.

In the past 12 years, the number of cattle in the Amazon has more than doubled, from 26 million in 1990 to 57 million in 2002. The report shows that the overwhelming majority of the new cattle are concentrated in Brazil¿s Amazon states of Mato Grosso, Pará, and Rondônia, which were also the states with the greatest deforestation in 2002.

"This research provides the first substantial data to support recent speculation about the role international demand for Brazilian beef is playing in Brazil's skyrocketing deforestation rate," says David Kaimowitz, director-general of CIFOR and one of the report's authors. "Cattle ranchers are making mincemeat out of Brazil's Amazon rainforests."

The report, Hamburger Connection Fuels Amazon Destruction , suggests that the increase in worldwide demand for Brazilian beef may have been fuelled by concerns regarding the threat of mad cow disease in other cattle-producing nations. The recent devaluation of the Brazilian currency and a decrease in the nation's incidence of foot-and-mouth disease may also have played a part. "Brazil's success in combating foot-and-mouth disease may be good news for the cows, but it is bad news for the forest," Kaimowitz says.

The Brazilian government's Space Research Institute (INPE) is expected shortly to release satellite images confirming that the Amazon forest is rapidly disappearing. Last year, INPE's data showed a 40 percent increase in deforestation rates over 2002.

In March, Brazil's President Luiz Inácio 'Lula' da Silva announced a new US$135-million action plan to prevent and control deforestation in the Amazon.

The government's approach goes in the right direction, but unless urgent action is taken, the Brazilian Amazon could lose an additional area the size of Denmark over the next 18 months, warns Benoit Mertens, one of the authors of the report and a CIFOR researcher. "The international and domestic market forces currently promoting the cattle-driven deforestation described in CIFOR's report are much stronger than ever," he says. "Even with the most determined policy response, it might be hard to decisively curb deforestation. To limit the negative impact on Brazilian rainforests will require a massive effort."

A summary of the report¿s main findings can be found

7. Brazil: Amazon hit by increase in felling

Source: The Guardian, 8 April 2004 (in Amazon News 8.4.04)

The rate of deforestation in Brazil's Amazon rose by 2.1 percent last year as farmers encroached on the world's largest jungle, the government said yesterday. Figures from Brazil's environment ministry showed deforestation in the Amazon jumped to 9 170 square miles in 2003, from 8 983 square miles in 2002. The 2002 data was recalculated, it said. The highest level of destruction was in 1995, when 11 229 square miles were destroyed.

Brazil last month unveiled plans to halt the destruction, amid criticism that the government of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva had failed to move quickly enough.

Environmentalists fear the destruction of the Amazon, an area of continuous tropical forest larger than western Europe, since it is home to up to 30 percent of the planet's species and is a source of medicines.

"The government needs to immediately create conservation programmes tripling the area protected," said Denis Hamu, secretary general of the World Wildlife Foundation, in Brazil.

8. Cameroon: Forest management plan adopted

Source: Cameroon Tribune (Yaoundé), 12 April 2004

Cameroon can now boast of an updated national component of the strategic plan of action for the conservation and sustainable concerted management of the forest resources of the Central African Sub-region. It was validated and adopted by the stakeholders of the forestry sector on 8 April during a forum that took place at the Mvog-Betsi Zoological Garden in Yaoundé.

The adoption of Cameroon's national component of the concerted plan of action is a logical implementation of the decision adopted during the first Conference of Ministers in Charge of Forest in Central Africa (COMIFAC) that took place in Yaoundé in December 2000. The Heads of State of the Central African Sub-region had on March 19, 1999 come up with the Yaoundé Declaration that focused on the concerted and joint plan of action in managing forest resources of the sub region and conserving biological diversity and the ecosystems. COMIFAC was charged with the responsibility of drawing up an updated plan of action for the management of the vast tropical forest of the sub-region.

Each country, signatory to the Yaoundé Declaration of 1999, was called upon within the framework of COMIFAC meeting of July 2002 to develop national forestry management programmes, taking into consideration defined priority areas. Cameroon's national plan of action was therefore in line with the nine strategic priority areas set out by COMIFAC executive secretariat. The priority areas included the harmonization of forestry and fiscal policies, an inventory of the forest resources, mapping out ecosystems and valorising forest resources to the benefit of the local population. Other priority areas focused on reinforcing the capacities of forest actors and ensuring their participation, developing research and financing mechanisms as well as ensuring cooperation and partnership.

The executive secretary of COMIFAC, Massudi Mayakanda Christophe noted during the opening ceremony of the forum that Cameroon was a pioneer country in terms of forest management in the Central African Sub-region. He stressed that the concerted forest management plan for the entire sub region was necessary considering that the forests go beyond national boundaries. This warranted concerted inter boundary management plans. All COMIFAC member countries are expected to forward their plans of action to its executive secretariat where they will be harmonized and synthesized into a sub regional strategic plan of action. A sub-regional forum to take place in Yaoundé by the end of this month will be dedicated to adopting a sub regional plan of action to be forwarded to the conference of Ministers for adoption.

Speaking on behalf of the Minister of the Environment and Forestry, the Secretary General of Ministry, Dr Madi Ali lauded the efforts of the experts who elaborated the plan of action adopted. He said that Cameroon's forestry policy that addressed all the priority management areas defined by COMIFAC, was contained in the Forestry and Environment Sectorial Programme adopted in January 2003.

For full story, please see:

9. China considers accounting for forest benefits

Source: ITTO News release, Beijing, China, 9 March 2004

Integrating China¿s tropical forest assets into the national accounting system has come a step closer with the development of a valuation framework for tropical forest resources, according to a conference held last week in Beijing.

The ITTO international workshop on tropical forest environmental and economic accounting and green policy was hosted by the Chinese Academy of Forestry under ITTO project PD 39/98 Rev 2 (M) on 2¿5 March 2004. It was attended by about 60 people, including representatives of the Chinese State Forestry Administration, the State Statistics Bureau and the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, and participants from eight ITTO member countries.

During the last decade many countries have adopted policies in which environmental protection has taken a prominent place. The main goal has been to arrest the decline of environmental values to ensure the sustainability of the many goods and services that ecosystems deliver.

However, despite such efforts, surveys show that environmental degradation continues in many parts of the world. One of the problems is the lack of monetary value that conventional economics places on many of the global, regional and local-scale services provided by ecosystems. Forest resource accounting, or ¿green¿ accounting, is an attempt to address this problem by including environmental values in national economic accounts.

This workshop allowed the ITTO project team from the Chinese Academy of Forestry to present its findings in four key reports, a framework for tropical forest resource accounting, a framework for integrating tropical forest assets into the national accounting system, and two case-studies that examined the potential for forest-resource accounting in Hainan Province. The workshop also heard papers from other Chinese and international experts on experiences in natural resource accounting.

Participants agreed with an independent evaluator who reported that the ITTO project had produced a significant impact during its four years of implementation, particularly in raising awareness among Chinese economists and policy-makers of the role of ecosystem products and services in national well-being and of the need to account for these in mainstream economics. The project had stimulated debate in China¿s mass media about the social and environmental values of the country¿s tropical forests, helped to train several research students and facilitated close links between key government agencies at the national and provincial levels. Through its case-studies it has also opened the way for provinces to adopt natural resource accounting into their accounting systems and should therefore encourage greater efforts to ¿balance the books¿ in environmental health. Although change to national accounts could take some time, the level of interest in China in this sort of approach looks set to grow quickly.

The Chinese versions of the project¿s four main reports are now being printed, and English, French and Spanish versions are under preparation.

For more information and copies of the project documents contact:

Mr Hou Yuanzhao or Ms Wu Shuirong
Research Institute of Forestry Policy and Information
Chinese Academy of Forestry
Wanshoushan, Haidian District
Beijing 100091, China
Tel 86-10-6288 9731, 86-10-62888322
Fax 86-10-6288 4836

E-mail:[email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

For full story, please

10. Ghana: Forest watchers call for more transparency and accountability

Source: Ghanaian Chronicle (Accra), 7 April 2004

The Ghana Forest Watch, a coalition of concerned civil society organizations says more transparency and accountability are absolute necessary to curb the massive destruction of Ghanaian forest.

The spokesperson of the coalition, Mr. Albert Katako told journalists at a news briefing in Accra yesterday that there is a need for the Forestry Commission (FC) to devote organizational and financial resources to generating and disseminating the required information to stakeholders proactively.

He described the state of the Ghanaian forest as alarming, saying in the last century the rate shrunk from 8.2 million ha to 1.8 million ha in the whole country. According to him, 80% of the forest had been destroyed. Only 20%, including wildlife reserves and protected areas are healthy.

The timber industry, he said is presently felling trees at four times the sustainable rate. He cautioned that if nothing is done now to curb the wanton felling of trees "Ghana's forest will disappear completely in five to ten years".

Mr. Katako who is the coordinator of CARE International's Forest Resources and Livelihoods programme said, for example, that the Pamu Berehum forest reserve lost it forest volume completely in the last ten years. This he added includes environmental quality, biodiversity and water bodies.

Moreover, Mr. Katako pointed out that 70% of Ghana's rural population, the poorest segment of the society, depend on forest for their livelihoods. "Over-harvesting occurs because the forest estate is under-priced. Ghana's timber is the cheapest on the world market", Mr. Katako stated. Interestingly, Katako stated that government take a very high level of 76% as income from timber royalties, leaving 24% for traditional authorities and land owners, he continued.

The Forest Watchers, urged the Forestry Commission to perform its role as an organization, which conserves and develops the forest and wildlife resources in Ghana, including create, protect and manage the permanent forest estates and regulate the harvesting of timber.

For full story, please see:

11. Jordan conserves forest and helps communities' livelihoods

Source: UNDP Newsfront, 13 April 2004,[email protected]

Jordan is creating a nature reserve in one of the largest natural forests remaining in the Kingdom to conserve habitat for endangered species and generate jobs in tourism and enterprises making wood products without damaging biological diversity.

The Dibeen forest north of the capital Amman, one of the best examples of pine-oak woods in the region, is home to at least 17 endangered species, including grey wolves, imperial eagles and other migratory birds, Persian squirrels and wild orchids.

Deforestation is an acute problem, and Jordan has less than 1 percent of its original trees, making conservation a priority.

Eight square kilometres will come under protection, part of a broader effort to create a unique regional forest park covering 200 square kilometres in three local municipalities: Jerash, Al Meirad and Burma. The reserve is near the ancient Roman city of Jerash, a popular tourist destination, which can help draw visitors to enjoy its natural beauty.

Local communities will learn to use the forest's resources in ways that conserve the environment, curtailing excessive timber cutting, grazing, hunting and trapping of wildlife and gathering of wild herbs.

The Global Environment Facility is providing US$1 million for the four-year project and UNDP $100,000, with in-kind contributions from Jordan's Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature and other local organizations.

The project includes preparation of by-laws and a land use plan and setting up a management team to run the reserve, with support staff such as forest rangers, tour guides and an ecologist. The reserve is to have a headquarters, visitor centre, camping area, trail system and parking facilities.

UNDP Resident Representative Christine McNab said that the project helps Jordan take a step closer towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals set for the Kingdom, including achieving environmental sustainability, eradication of poverty, and promoting gender equality.

The Royal Society will implement the project in partnership with the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation, the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Environment, local municipalities and groups using the forest's resources.

12. Panama: Expanding ecotourism opportunities for the Naso people of northern Panama

Source: CEPF E-News, April 2004

Fifteen years ago the Panamanian army often dropped soldiers into the middle of the thick tropical forest with only a canteen and a knife to test the survival capabilities of its recruits. The young charges would need to find their own food, fend off wild animals and eventually find their way back to Pana Jungla, the military survival training school located on the banks of the Teribe River in western Panama.

Today's visitors to the forest have a very different experience as honoured guests of the indigenous Naso (Teribe) people. With assistance from the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) as part of its strategic approach to connect critical areas through economic incentives in Southern Mesoamerica, the Naso are further developing, managing and marketing their Wekso Ecolodge.

The lodge is located on the border of La Amistad Biosphere Reserve near Bocas del Toro, Panama, a priority focus area for CEPF in the Mesoamerica biodiversity hotspot. La Amistad has one of the highest rates of unique species in all of Central America and greater biodiversity than most other areas of equal size anywhere in the world.

The Naso live in small communities along the Teribe River next to La Amistad International Park and the Palo Seco Forest Reserve. These two protected areas, along with the soon-to-be-declared Comarca Naso (or Naso indigenous reservation), form part of the larger Biosphere Reserve.

For hundreds of years, the Naso have enjoyed the riches of the forest ¿ hunting, fishing, cutting trees and extracting plants. With a population of approximately 3 500 and a unique form of government¿the only nation in the western hemisphere ruled by a king¿ they have, until recently, been able to sustain themselves well. However, in the mid-1990s, they began to see their world changing in ways they didn¿t like.

¿We live here because we like the forest,¿ relates Eliseo Vargas, a member of the Organización para el Desarrollo Ecotursitico Naso (ODESEN, or the Organization for the Sustainable Development of Naso Ecotourism), established in 1995 to develop community-based ecotourism to generate income and improve the lives of the Naso people. ¿We have always used the forest to satisfy our needs, but until recently we didn¿t notice that we were harming it," Vargas says. "As a result of the environmental education we have received, we now realize that to continue to live here, we need to find alternative lifestyles that do not endanger the forest."

ODESEN found an ideal ecotourism site in the former Pana Jungla training camp, abandoned since 1989 when the military regime ended. With the help of Conservation International (CI) and government agencies, they built a rustic lodge and received training in tourism operations and environmental education.

The first five years of their tourism venture saw a slow but steady increase of visitors, but without additional infrastructure, a business and marketing plan and additional training, economic and conservation success seemed uncertain.

When ODESEN members learned that the CEPF Mesoamerica program emphasizes the integration of diverse partners to conserve critical areas in their region, the Naso jumped at the opportunity to work with CEPF. Their desire to protect their forest while also using it is consistent with CEPF¿s philosophy. However, it wasn¿t easy.

¿We understand the theory, but the practice of fundraising is more difficult for us,¿ Vargas says. He is referring to the job of writing proposals, determining objectives and defining indicators of success, requirements for applying to CEPF. ¿Luis Murillo helped us through the application process. It involved many meetings and much discussion among the Naso people.¿

Murillo, the regional coordinator for CEPF in the Talamanca-Bocas del Toro and Talamanca-Osa biodiversity conservation corridors of Southern Mesoamerica, and Eladio Beitia, a businessman from the nearby city of Changuinola and an active member of ODESEN, concur that working with community-based groups is one of the most difficult and rewarding aspects of their conservation work. He and others see a real market for ecotourism in the lowland rain forest along the Teribe River.

The Wekso Ecolodge will offer ecotourists an opportunity to experience the vast biodiversity and cultural diversity of inland rain forest while also contributing to its conservation.

The partnership aspect of the project extends beyond the ecotourists, the Naso people, ODESEN and CEPF. It includes the Autoridad Nacional del Ambiente (the Panamanian National Authority of the Environment), as it owns the former military training school and maintains a park office nearby; and another Naso nongovernmental organization, the Asociación de Médicos Tradicionales Naso (the Association of Traditional Naso Healers). The association, known as ASOMETRAN, was established to conserve and revitalize the centuries-old knowledge and practice of shamanism and medicinal plants use.

During its eight-year existence, ASOMETRAN has established medicinal plant gardens in three Naso communities; participated in a series of educational exchanges with traditional healers from other communities and indigenous groups; and established a small herbarium of dried plants ¿ activities helped with support from CI and the International Cooperative Biodiversity Group.

Its members are also seeking to further their work in collaboration with the Wekso Ecolodge. They hope to improve and amplify their gardens and open them up to visitors. In addition, they plan to produce a book on medicinal plants and Naso culture and establish a 10-hectare medicinal plant forest. These activities will enhance ODESEN¿s ecotourism program, will permit the Naso to generate income from the forest and will contribute to the conservation of natural forest and Naso culture.

13. Uganda: NEMA stops Masaka forest reserve allocation

Source: New Vision (Kampala), 14 April 2004

The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) has stopped the allocation of about 500 hectares of forest reserve land to Masaka district officials to plant trees under permits, following protests from residents and environmentalists.

According to the district forestry department, the lands ministry issued permits to loggers and cultivators to clear Kitasi and Wabitembe forest reserves on the Lake Victoria shores. Wabitembe is one of the few remaining sanctuaries of endangered plant species ebitembe, a type of wild banana.

NEMA executive director Dr. Aryamanya Mugisha described as illegal the policy of replacing a natural forest with a plantation, saying it destroyed biological wealth and created monoculture. He said the permits should be given for planting trees in grasslands and not in virgin forests and that an environment impact assessment should have been done before sanctioning the large-scale clearing of trees.

The National Forestry Authority (NFA) spokesperson, Gaster Kiyingi, said any attempt to grab land in a reserve was futile.

When The New Vision visited Kitasi and Wabitembe last week, loggers and cultivators were busy clearing large chunks of forests including those with streams and rivers. The tree seedlings planted together with the crops were barely off the ground. The loggers and cultivators have not spared even the precious tree species such as Prunus Africana (entasesa), which is believed to treat prostate cancer. The species is part of a strong pharmaceutical industry in the West.

The forest department has been replaced by the NFA due to be launched by President Yoweri Museveni this month.

MP Ken Lukyamuzi (Rubaga South), a renowned environmentalist, said the policy should be revisited to empower the local communities to benefit economically from forest-based enterprises. Ponsiano Ssenyonga, a local political activist who has been at the forefront in fight against destruction of forests, recently petitioned Lukyamuzi to intervene.

Last year, Mukono North MP Bakaluba Mukasa petitioned Parliament over the issue, warning of imminent marginalization of local communities in the allocation of forest reserves.

Sub-Saharan Africa and Asian countries reforming the forestry sectors are adopting pro-poor people programmes and consider forests as sources of various products.

The World Conservation Union wants local communities to be encouraged to manage the forests. Kiyingi said most local communities were interested in growing crops than planting trees. Godber Tumushabe, of the Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment policy advocacy NGO, said there was lack of proper forest procedures.

For full story, please see:

14. Uganda: Craft exports pay

Source: New Vision(Kampala), 15 April 2004

THE love for art has turned Victoria Byoma from her passion of making craft gifts for her friends into an exporter of a multiplicity of craft products.

Byoma's Curios and Gifts, makes leather bags and trims them with palm leaves and other local materials. "There is a large market for my products especially the bags not only here in Uganda but also abroad," Byoma said.

Byoma, a winner of the 2003/04 Entrepreneur of the Year Award, says Uganda is well-endowed with resources which should be exploited. "The environment itself is wealth, therefore there is need to pick a few of these supplies from the environment cautiously," she said.

The competition is stiff from existing dealers from Kenya and South Africa, where natural resources have been exploited for some time.

15. Vietnam: NTFP education attains new heights

Source: Vietnam NTFP network e-bulletin issue No2,[email protected]

A Memorandum of Agreement was signed on 17 March 2004 between the Non-timber Forest Products Sub-sector Support Project in Vietnam and the Forestry University of Vietnam to formalize and promote further fruitful cooperation in the field of NTFP education and research.

Non-timber forest products are increasingly recognized in Vietnam as a significant source of income for some farmers who live near forests and especially for poor, landless people. Conservation of NTFPs can play an important role in maintaining the biodiversity riches of Vietnam forests. This is the project¿s first attempt to mainstream NTFPs in forestry education in Vietnam.

Under this agreement, the two partners will cooperate on a voluntary and equal basis. Fields of cooperation identified in this agreement are NTFP curriculum development, graduate and post-graduate training, NTFP research, organization of technical seminars and workshops, NTFP publications, documents and materials, information exchange and a student research programme.

The focus area is NTFP curriculum development, and will involve all departments of the Forestry University of Vietnam. This is in line with the intention of the Ministry for Agriculture and Rural Development of Vietnam to develop NTFPs in a sustainable and economic way.

Another major field of cooperation is the Student NTFP Research Programme. The programme¿s grants are available to forestry students throughout the country. Together with the project¿s existing NTFP Research Fund and NTFP Action Learning Fund, this aims to increase the body of NTFP knowledge in Vietnam. The programme is also expected to stir up enthusiasm for and strengthen capacity in NTFP research for future forestry professionals ¿ present university students.

Students who win sponsorship will receive a number of advantages in doing their graduation thesis compared to those who are not selected, i.e. small prize, grant, extended supervision, a reference on the NTFP¿s project website, membership of the Vietnam NTFP network, and if quality is high, a sponsored publication. This grant can be as large as VND 2,000,000. The programme will start calling for applications in the next academic year.

For more information, please contact:

Mr. Maurits Servaas
NTFP project Training Advisor
E-mail[email protected]


Nguyen Thi Bich Hue (Mrs.)
Communications Officer
Non-timber Forest Products Sub-sector Support Project
8 Chuong Duong Do street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi, Vietnam
Tel: (844) 9 320 970/1, Ext 114
Fax: (844) 9 320 996
Email:[email protected], [email protected]


16. Vietnam: Gecko breeding expansion in Quang Ninh

Source: Vietnam NTFP network e-bulletin issue No2,[email protected]

The Non-timber Forest Products Sub-sector Support Project in Vietnam is going to support target villagers in the project area of Van Don district, Quang Ninh province to establish and test two different gecko breeding models, and disseminate lessons learned throughout the country to improve household income generation and forest protection.

Geckos belong to the reptile family of Gekkonidae, and are known to occur throughout Vietnam. In their natural habitat geckos live typically in forests of elevations less than 900 m. Geckos are commonly used as a remedy in traditional Chinese medicine, and consequently there is a huge demand for the species which continuously threatens wild populations. In addition, the current method of collection and harvesting of geckos is destructive because the geckos¿ habitat (old trees) is usually destroyed through chopping the trees and collecting the animals.

In theory, gecko breeding is not very labour intensive, which could be beneficial to several households of the most disadvantaged groups of the local community, and to some extent of the whole country. Gecko breeding models were successfully introduced by the FAO project in Hoanh Bo district. However, for some reason the models have not been promoted outside the area. By testing the models in Van Don, a different geographic area, the NTFP project hopes to (a) meet the interest of local farmers in gecko breeding, thus decreasing the level of uncontrolled exploitation of wild populations in natural forests, and (b) gather useful experience to expand the practice beyond the project field sites.

The project will subsidize 80% to 90% of the total costs for cages and breeding stock. According to estimates of the project, the two models will yield profits of up to VND 350 000 after ten months of implementation, and since production costs for the second cycle are lower, net profits will increase by around VND 200 000 in the subsequent production cycles.

For more information, please contact:

Ms. Pham Thi Thuy Ha
NTFP project Northern Field Station Manager,
Tel: 84-033 839 740
e-mail:[email protected]


Nguyen Thi Bich Hue (Mrs.)
Communications Officer
Non-timber Forest Products Sub-sector Support Project
8 Chuong Duong Do street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi, Vietnam
Tel: (844) 9 320 970/1, Ext 114
Fax: (844) 9 320 996
Email:[email protected], [email protected]


17. FAO World Food Day, 16 October 2004

From: FAO¿s NWFP Programme

The theme of this year¿s World Food Day is ¿Biodiversity for Food Security¿.

For more information, please contact:

e-mail:[email protected];

18. More than 300 endangered species unprotected

Source: BBC Online, 8 April 2004 (in SciDev.Net Weekly Update: 5, 11.4.04)

Current protected conservation areas do not represent enough of existing global biodiversity, despite increases in the amount of protected land worldwide, researchers are warning.

A new analysis by an international group of researchers published in this week's Nature suggests that more than 300 critically endangered species have no conservation protection in any part of their ranges.

Currently, 11.5 per cent of the Earth's surface is protected ¿ 1.5 per cent higher than the 10 per cent target agreed at the 1992 World Parks Congress. The researchers argue that a shift in conservation planning is needed to take into account patterns of species diversity, and not just the proportion of land covered.

For full story, please see:

19. Transfrontier park initiative still on track

Source: The Herald (Harare), 19 April 2004

Despite the many challenges facing the implementation of the proposed Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park (GLTP), the initiative is still on track and providing a good learning curve for Zimbabwe as it seeks to support villagers living near the massive park.

Addressing guests at the launch of a World Conservation Union documentary titled "From the Shade into the Sun" last week, the Secretary for Environment and Tourism, Mrs Margaret Sangarwe, said Zimbabwe was yet to realize the full benefits of this unique experience.

Mrs Sangarwe said transboundary natural resources management initiatives like the GLTP were full of controversies because their science, economics, politics, cultural dynamics and practices were highly contested and complex affairs. "Part of the complexity is caused by the multiplicity of interests in stakeholders. This documentary explores some of the interests and contestations of TBNRM (transboundary natural resources management) in the GLTP," said Mrs Sangarwe.

Although the governments of Zimbabwe, Mozambique and South Africa and other stakeholders were fully behind the massive 100 000 square kilometre game park, wrangles among the three states and villagers living around the park threatened its speedy implementation. In what is planned to be Africa's biggest wildlife sanctuary, three game parks - Kruger (South Africa), Limpopo (Mozambique) and Gona-rezhou (Zimbabwe) - are to be merged. At least 30 000 Mozambicans live in the area targeted for the park, while the Chitsa people on the Zimbabwean side of the megapark resettled themselves in Gonarezhou, claiming the land as their natural birthright. Both communities are refusing to budge, saying they are not clear on the actual benefits of moving to make way for the initiative that is expected to significantly boost regional economic growth and increase tourism inflows.

Launched in December 2002 after Presidents Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique and President Mugabe signed a treaty at Xai Xai, Moza-mbique, the GLTP is expected to be fully operational within the next few years.

For full story, please see:


20. New Report on Participatory U.S. NTFP Inventory and Monitoring

From: Eric Jones, IFCAE [[email protected]]

Lynch, Kathryn A., Eric T. Jones, and Rebecca J. McLain . 2004. Nontimber Forest Product Inventorying and Monitoring in the United States: Rationale and Recommendations for a Participatory Approach . Funded by the National Commission on Science for Sustainable Forestry. Produced by the Institute for Culture and Ecology. Available


This document explores the potential of collaborative approaches for nontimber forest product inventory and monitoring in the United States. It begins by reviewing results of a federal and state survey that documented inventory and monitoring efforts for nontimber forest products in the United States. The surveys show that the majority of NTFP-related inventory and monitoring on National Forests and state forests consists of non-scientific forms of monitoring, such as tracking permits, general site inspections, and informal visual checks of harvest areas. We argue that broadening participation in inventory and monitoring efforts can provide managers and policymakers with the data needed to develop and maintain sustainable NTFP management programs in an era of declining forest management budgets and staffing levels. Our fieldwork with NTFP harvesters identified several characteristics of harvesters and their work that could be compatible with or enhance inventory and monitoring efforts. In addition, harvester perspectives regarding incentives for participation are discussed. Profiles of eight participatory inventory and monitoring projects illustrate how this concept has already been put into practice. We then draw on our ethnographic research and results from four regional workshops to explore the barriers to involving harvesters in inventory and monitoring of NTFP species. In testing the idea of collaboration, we found that NTFP stakeholders are generally supportive of the concept. The benefits, potential incentives for participation, and potential barriers to participatory inventory and monitoring are described. Key recommendations include: 1) developing and implementing collaborative inventory and monitoring pilot programs; 2) modifying existing inventory and monitoring programs to explicitly include NTFPs; and 3) develop curricula and training courses for forestry students, managers and extension agents that focus on the current and potential role of nontimber forest products in ecosystem management.

21. Gabon: Exploring the edge of Africa

Source: Biological Conservation Newsletter, April 2004

Ward Jr, Carlton; Lee, Michelle; Dallmeier, Francisco; & Alonso, Alfonso . 2003. The Edge of Africa: All Life Is Here . Hylas Publishing. ISBN: 1592580408

At the edge of Africa is a little-known region of Gabon called the Gamba Complex. Two of Gabon's recently established national parks are in the Complex, protecting a variety of habitats and thousands of plant and animal species. Near the parks, oil wells pump the economic lifeblood of this politically stable African nation, while local villagers meld traditional ways with new influences.

International and Gabonese scientists have formed a remarkable coalition in a first-ever attempt to document the biodiversity at the Gamba Complex. Under the direction of the National Zoological Park's Smithsonian Institution/Monitoring and Assessment of Biodiversity Program (SI/MAB), collaborating researchers from the Smithsonian and partner organizations have traversed the region for three years, revealing its biological and ecological secrets. Descriptions of species common and rare ¿ and some new to science ¿ contribute to the millions of pieces of data that are being sorted, verified, and published in a number of scientific publications and reports.

The latest fruits of the project were recently unveiled: a stunning, full-colour photography book, The Edge of Africa , by Carlton Ward Jr. (Photographer), Michelle Lee, Francisco Dallmeier, Alfonso Alonso. The book brings to light many of the hidden treasures of the previously unexplored rain forest, and helps celebrate both the remarkable biodiversity of Gabon and the ongoing science investigation. The book's launching, and the opening of a supporting exhibition, marked the beginning of Gabon's national biodiversity week. Dallmeier, MAB's director, points to such success stories as the natural outcome of sharing the wonders of the world's biodiversity.

For more information, visit

22. Small is not just beautiful

From: David Kaimowitz (CIFOR)[email protected]

S. Scherr, A. White, and D. Kaimowitz . 2004. A New Agenda for Forest Conservation and Poverty Reduction, Making Markets Work for Low-Income Producers , Washington D.C.: Forest Trends, CIFOR, and IUCN.

Big companies are not the only ones that can make money from forests. Small farmers and communities can also earn cash. If given a chance they can compete successfully in a number of markets. That sometimes leads them to destroy forests, but sometimes it has the opposite effect. Government policies often discourage small-scale commercial forestry production, when they should promote it. Private companies, NGOs, and grassroots organizations can provide new markets and crucial support services. So says "A New Agenda for Forest Conservation and Poverty Reduction, Making Markets Work for Low-Income Producers" by Sara Scherr, Andy White and David Kaimowitz, recently published by Forest Trends, CIFOR, and IUCN.

Small-scale producers have advantages:

¿ They control at least one quarter of forests in developing countries.

¿ Many have farms near rapidly growing urban markets or pulp mills.

¿ Their diversified production systems help protect them from price changes and other risks.

¿ They can use under-utilized labour and land for forestry activities.

¿ Countries with few forests have to rely largely on trees grown on small farms.

¿ "Fair trade" markets provide higher prices for things small farmers and communities produce.

So why don't small-scale producers sell more forestry products?

Actually, they sell more than people realize. But much of it is never recoded. Governments keep very poor statistics of the fuelwood, charcoal, poles, medicinal plants, bushmeat, furniture, handicrafts, and timber for local houses that low income producers sell. Besides, a large portion of small-scale commercial forestry is technically illegal.

The other problem is that many governments simply don't give small producers a chance. They only give concessions to big companies. Poor farmers cannot comply with their bureaucratic rules and lack connections and money for bribes to get around them. Very few government - or even NGO - programs give small producers the business services they need to compete. For markets to show their true potential we will have to find ways to level the playing field.

Forestry markets are not for everyone. Many families are simply too poor or isolated to make a go of it. For them forests are mostly "safety nets" to keep things from getting even worse. As the book explains, there are certain markets where small producers are never likely to be able to compete because they require too much money or large distribution networks to break in. Still, for many other producers, small is not just beautiful. It is also good business.

To request a free electronic or hard copy of this book you can write to Anne Thiel at:[email protected]

To send comments or queries to the authors you can write to Sara Scherr at:[email protected]

23. Gatekeepers Series ¿ New title

Source: iiednewbooks,[email protected]

A new title (issue 112) in the Gatekeepers series is ¿The Major Importance of ¿Minor¿ Resources: Women and plant biodiversity¿ by Patricia Howard.

Understanding women¿s influence on plant biodiversity is essential to our ability to conserve plant genetic resources, especially those plants that are useful to humans. Contrary to previous thinking, it is becoming clear that women know most about these plants because, throughout history, women¿s daily work has required more of this knowledge. This paper describes how women predominate in plant biodiversity management in their roles as housewives, plant gatherers, home gardeners, herbalists, seed custodians and informal plant breeders. But they are largely invisible to outsiders and are easily undervalued.

Only available on subscription but back copies are downloadable from:

(The International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) is an independent, non-profit research institute working in the field of sustainable development.)

For more information, please contact:

IIED, 3 Endsleigh Street, London WCIH 0DD, UK
e-mail:[email protected]
tel: +44 (0)20 7388 2117; fax: 44 (0)20 7388 2826

24.Other publications of interest

From: FAO¿s NWFP Programme

Allen, R.B., Bellingham, P.J., and Wiser, S.K. 2003. Developing a forest biodiversity monitoring approach for New Zealand. New Zeal. J. Ecol. 27(2):207-220.

Britto, S.J.; Soosairaj, S.; Balaguru, B.; Arockiasamy, D.I. 2003. Quantitative analysis of Non-Timber Forest Products in four forest types of Pacchaimalai Hills, Eastern Ghats, Tamil Nadu. Indian Forester . 2003, 129: 4, 489-494.

Collection of Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFP) from reserved forest is on the increase, as there is a growing exploitation from the ever-expanding tribal population. The present study aims at a quantitative analysis of NTFPs in 0.12 ha area of four forest types (tropical dry evergreen, semi-evergreen, mixed dry deciduous, and dry deciduous forest) of Pacchaimalai Hills, Eastern Ghats (Tamil Nadu, India). Density, frequency and abundance of trees, lianas, shrubs, climbers and herbs were calculated. A total of 5760 ha-1 individuals of NTFPs plants from 86 species of 80 genera and 40 families were recorded. The result indicates that the diversity of NTFPs plants is higher in the Semi-evergreen forest type followed by the Dry deciduous type.

Coomes, O.T. 2004. Rain forest 'conservation-through-use'? Chambira palm fibre extraction and handicraft production in a land-constrained community, Peruvian Amazon. Biodivers. Conserv. 13(2):351-360.

de los Angeles la Torre Cuadros; and M.; Islebe, G.A . 2003. Traditional ecological knowledge and use of vegetation in southeastern Mexico: a case study from Solferino, Quintana Roo. Biodiversity and Conservation . 2003, 12: 12, 2455-2476

In order to assess traditional ecological knowledge of the Maya people in southeastern Mexico, the authors interviewed local people in Quintana Roo and estimated a number of vegetation variables in two different types of forest which are currently locally exploited, namely Monte alto (medium statured forest) and Sakal che' (low forest). The Use Value index was employed for each plant species (UVs) to quantify the importance of each plant for each inhabitant. The results showed that this Maya community classify the different forest types by species associations and size, and according to soil appearance. A total of nine categories of use were defined for three plant forms (tree, palm and vine). Manilkara zapota (zapote), Thrinax radiata (chiit) and Macfadyena uncata (bilin kok) showed the highest use values for each plant form. The most common uses were construction (35.5%), medicine (19.0%), craft (17.9%) and edibility (10.3%). There was a weak relationship between the cultural importance of plant species, expressed by the UVs, and their availability in the medium statured forest and the medium statured-low forest transition expressed by the Importance Value index (IVI). The medium statured forest was the most used forest type, as it provides many species for construction due to external demands rather than to local needs.

Gebrehiwot, K., Muys, B., Haile, M., and Mitloehner, R. 2003. Introducing Boswellia papyrifera (Del.) Hochst and its non-timber forest product, frankincense. Int. For. Rev. 5(4):348-353.

Grace, O.M., Prendergast, H.D.V., Jager, A.K., and van Staden, J. 2003. Bark medicines used in traditional healthcare in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa: an inventory. S. Afr. J. Bot. 69(3):301-363.

Hachfeld, B. 2003. Ecology and Utilisation of Harpagophytum procumbens (Devils Claw) in Southern Africa . Landwirtschaftsverlag. Münster, Germany. 272 pp.

Kala, C.P., Farooquee, N.A., and Dhar, U. 2004. Prioritization of medicinal plants on the basis of available knowledge, existing practices and use value status in Uttaranchal, India. Biodivers. Conserv. 13(2):453-469.

Kathe, W., Honnef, S., and Heym, A. 2003. Medicinal and Aromatic Plants in Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania . BfN-Skripten 91. Bundesamt für Naturschutz. Bonn, Germany.

Lersela, T., Witkowski, E.T.F., and Balkwill, K. 2003. Plant resources used for subsistence in Tsehlanyane and Bokong in Lesotho. Econ. Bot. 57(4):619-639.

Nadeau, I., and Olivier, A. 2003. The biology and forest cultivation of American ginseng ( Panax quinquefolius L.) in Canada. Can. J. Plant Sci. 83(4):877-891.

Poschlod, P., Kleyer, M., Jackel, A.K., Dannemann, A., and Tackenberg, O. 2003. BIOPOP - a database of plant traits and internet application for nature conservation. Folia Geobot. 38(3):263-271.

Pukkala, T . 2002. Measuring non-wood forest outputs in numerical forest planning: a review of Finnish research. Multi objective forest planning . 2002, 173-207. Kluwer Academic Publishers; Dordrecht; Netherlands.

This chapter reviews some alternatives for numerically measuring the amount of forest outputs other than timber or economic profit. A common feature of the presented methods is that they can be used in numerical optimization, either as a component of the objective or penalty function, or as a constraint. The chapter classifies the approaches for dealing with non-wood forest outputs into three categories, namely economic approach, numerical optimization, and multi-attribute utility theory. The reviewed models devised for non-wood outputs are applicable to the numerical optimization and utility theoretic approaches. The chapter gives several examples of both empirical and expert models, which have been developed in Finland to predict scenic beauty, amount of forest berries and mushrooms, and ecological quality of a forested landscape. The emphasis, in the description of ecological measures, is on variables, which help to mitigate the fragmentation problem of forest landscapes. In addition to models and approaches, the chapter also provides planning examples that utilize the discussed numerical models for non-wood outputs.

Siebert, Stephen F. 2004. Demographic effects of collecting rattan cane and their implications for sustainable harvesting. Conservation Biology . 18(2)424

Rattan, Old World climbing palm, is an extremely valuable non-timber forest product whose canes are gathered for both market and non-market uses. The author evaluated the effects of harvesting commercial rattan, Calamus zollingeri Becc., on genet survival and ramet demography in two primary forest sites near Lore Lindu National Park in Sulawesi, Indonesia. Siebert monitored 168 permanently marked C. zollingeri genets for 4 years and surveyed random transects for C. zollingeri genet and ramet populations and evidence of cane harvesting in 1996 and 2000. Cane harvesting had no significant effect on genet survival or mean ramet densities. However, current cane extraction rates significantly reduced mean cane lengths and total available cane throughout the area during the study period. Based on observed genet and ramet populations and average cane growth rates of 1.4 m/year, the sustained-yield harvesting potential of C. zollingeri is approximately 101 m and 56 m/ha/year in the two study sites. Although C. zollingeri exhibits life-history traits well suited to sustained-yield harvesting, including production of multiple canes, cane resprouting following harvest, rapid cane growth, and widespread abundance below 1100 m, current harvest rates exceed growth and yield, and supplies of cane are being depleted. Rattan harvesting is widespread in Lore Lindu National Park. Approximately 18% of the park (42 000 ha) is likely subject to intensive and unsustainable extraction of C. zollingeri .

Smith-Ramírez, C. 2004. The Chilean coastal range: a vanishing center of biodiversity and endemism in South American temperate rainforests. Biodivers. Conserv. 13(2):373-393.

Ticktin, T. 2004. The ecological implications of harvesting non-timber forest products. J. Appl. Ecol. 41(1):11-21.

Turner, N.J. 2001. "Doing it right": issues and practices of sustainable harvesting of non-timber forest products relating to First Peoples in British Columbia. BC Journal of Ecosystems and Management . 1: 1, 44-53;

This paper addresses concerns about commercial harvesting of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) that relate to First Peoples in British Columbia. Many of the species identified as being significant, or having potential significance as NTFPs, are culturally important to First Peoples as sources of food, material, and medicines, or for their spiritual values. While there may be potential for First Peoples to develop local economies from the harvesting, processing, and marketing of NTFPs, there also is widespread concern that traditional values may be lost, and traditional plant resources treated as commodities and exploited by commercial interests. Previous experiences with overharvesting cascara and Pacific yew bark lend substance to this concern. Aboriginal peoples have a long history of sustainable management of their lands and resources. Any proposed harvest and use of traditional resources should be under the control of, or in collaboration with, those First Peoples within whose traditional territory the resources are to be harvested. Applications of traditional management methods for NTFPs should be explored, but this should be done in collaboration with First Peoples and with full respect for their intellectual property rights. Principles of sustainable harvesting of NTFPs are presented that may prove useful in ongoing deliberations about how, or even whether, communities should pursue non-timber forest products as a means of economic development.

Walther, G.R. 2003. Are there indigenous palms in Switzerland? Bot. Helvetica 113(2):159-180

Worm, B., and Duffy, J.E. 2003. Biodiversity, productivity and stability in real food webs. TREE 18(12):628-632.

Wynberg, R.P.; Laird, S.A.; Shackleton, S.; Mander, M.; Shackleton, C.; du Plessis, P.; den Adel, S.; Leakey, R.R.B.; Botelle, A.; Lombard, C.; Sullivan, C.; Cunningham, T.; and O'Regan, D. 2003. Marula commercialisation for sustainable and equitable livelihoods. Forests, Trees and Livelihoods . 13: 3, 203-215

This paper presents some of the key policy findings from research studies conducted over the course of two years at three different study sites ¿ Bushbuckridge and Makhatini in South Africa, and the north-central region of Namibia (former Owamboland). It also identifies a number of policy interventions that are required to redress existing deficiencies impeding equitable and sustainable commercialization of marula (Sclerocarya birrea). Although some of these proposed interventions might be marula-specific, it is intended that their application have broader relevance to other non-timber forest products (NTFP) under commercialization. The role of government in clarifying ownership and user rights in communal areas, providing strong local governance and securing political support for NTFP-based industries are discussed. The benefits and risks involved in the four main marula commercialization models (Local Entrepreneur, Altruist, Honest Broker and Corporate Buyer) (after Wynberg 2003) are presented in a table. It also illustrates the importance of developing models based on partnerships between producer communities, non-governmental organizations and the private sector. Finally, the new processing technologies for marula and its impact on women, as well as the importance of product diversification to support rural livelihoods, are also discussed.

25.Web sites and e-zines

From: FAO¿s NWFP Programme


ITTO¿s newly designed website contains detailed information on the ITTO programme of work, as well as downloadable TFU articles, a large library of reports, news releases and other resources.

Poverty and Environment Times

The Poverty and Environment Times provides information on the links between environment and poverty. The newspaper highlights recent research, ongoing projects and events, and suggestions for policy action.

To download the

For more information, please contact:

Marianne Hartz
Media and Information Officer
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
Longum Park
4808 Arendal
Tel.: +47 37035717 (dir)
Fax: +47 37035050
Email:[email protected],


From: FAO¿s NWFP Programme

International conference on the integration of forest-based development in the western Amazon

26-29 April 2004

Rio Branco, Acre, Brazil

This conference, organized by the State of Acre Technology Foundation (FUNTAC), the Government of Acre and ITTO, is the final activity of ITTO project PD 94/90 Rev.3 (I): The integration of forest-based development in the western Amazon ¿ Phase II ¿ technology for sustainable utilization of raw forest materials. The project was initiated more than ten years ago to encourage and promote forest-based development in the western Amazon as part of an integrated land-use policy within the region, using the State of Acre as a model. More specifically, the project has planned and initiated the industrial processing and utilization of timber and non-timber raw materials to be sustainably produced in the Antimari State Forest (ASF) (Acre, Brazil). It is based on the results of socioeconomic and environmental studies and preliminary forest management guidelines prepared in a first phase of the project.

Major project outputs include: an integrated management plan for the Antimari Forest reserve; a system for the participation of and benefit-sharing within local communities; the construction of an access road to the reserve; marketing strategies for timber and non-timber products; the establishment of cooperatives for the production and marketing of forest and non-forest products; integrated logging and primary and secondary timber-processing operations; establishment of local processing units for latex and Brazil nuts; a series of permanent plots to monitor the effects of forest utilization; and improvements in the social services for the local populations.

The objective of the workshop is to share the results achieved in the project and to discuss how these results might be translated into policy strategies for the development of forest-based sustainable forest industry in the Amazon region. Five thematic working groups are planned on forest management for timber production; forest management for the production of non-timber products; markets and forest economics; environment and wildlife; and social aspects.

For more information, please contact:

Ms. Nesia Maria da Costa Moreno, Project Manager
Avenida das Acácias Zona ¿A¿, Distrito Industrial
Caixa Posatl 395, CEP: 69.917-100
Rio Branco, Acra, Brazil
Tel: +55-68-229 2313

E-mail:[email protected]

The effects of forest certification in developing countries and emerging economies: a symposium

10-11 June 2004

Yale, USA

The goal of this ITTO-sponsored symposium is to systematically address the environmental, social and economic effects of forest certification at the national and local levels in a range of countries. The symposium will explore whether certification has resulted in sustainable forestry practices and biodiversity protection, provided economic and social benefits to forest-dependent communities, and/or strengthened local, regional or international natural resource management policies.

For more information, please contact:

Elizabeth Gordon
Symposium Coordinator
Yale Program on Forest Certification
Email[email protected]

5thInternational Walnut Symposium

9-13 November 2004

Sorrento, Italy

The 5th International Walnut Symposium aims to be a very important opportunity to compare different and various experiences, improve knowledge and stimulate new objectives under ¿the walnut crown¿. To achieve this objective, scientific and technical contributions on walnut for fruit, wood, and other productions will be presented and discussed in different scientific sections and the technical tour.

Participants interested in the utilization of medicinal products derived from the "genere" Juglans would be particularly welcomed.

For more information, please contact:

Dr. Maria Emilia Malvolti
CNR-Istituto di Biologia Agro-Ambientale e Forestale

Via Marconi 2, I-05010 Porano-TR, Italy

Phone: Dir. +39-0763-374-913; Switchboard +39-0763-374-911
Fax +39-0763-374-980(Segr.)/981(Biblio.)/982(Agrof./IBIMET)
e-mail:[email protected]


29. Call for entries to excellence in environmental journalism awards

Source: CENN, 23 March 2004 Daily Digest {01}, Info CENN [[email protected]]

Reuters Foundation and IUCN have launched the 2004 Media Awards, a worldwide competition aimed at raising global awareness of environmental and sustainable development issues, by encouraging excellence in environmental reporting worldwide. Since the launch of the Awards in 1998, 32 reporters have been recognized for outstanding environmental journalism by the Global Master Jury chaired by Her Majesty Queen Noor, IUCN Patron. Journalists working in print and online media are invited to submit entries to 2004 Reuters-IUCN Media Awards. One winner from six regions ¿ Latin America; North America, including the Caribbean and Oceania; Europe; Asia; English-speaking Africa, including the Middle East and French-speaking Africa ¿ will be invited to attend the Global Awards Ceremony taking place in Bangkok, Thailand, in November 2004.

All submissions must have been published between 1 January 2003 and 15 August 2004. The global winner will receive a cash prize of US$5 000.

More information and application forms can be found on the Reuters Foundation website the IUCN website at

For more information, please contact:

Jo Weir
Reuters Foundation
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7542 58 72
E-mail:[email protected]
or Xenya Cherny
IUCN v The World Conservation Union
Tel: +41 22 999 0127

30. African Nature Photography Contest

Source: SciDev.Net Weekly Update: 22-28 March 2004

As part of our fund raising efforts, the African Section of the Society for Conservation Biology (SCB) is sponsoring an African Nature Photography Contest. The winning entries will be offered to attendees at the 2004 annual meeting at Columbia University, New York, through a silent auction. Funds raised through this event will help to support participation and networking among African conservation biologists through regional meetings, short courses, SCB memberships (including journal subscriptions), and travel awards to attend SCB meetings.

The contest is open to anyone. All entries must be received by 30 April 2004. All images must have been taken in Africa and feature native animals, plants, or natural landscapes. Contest winners must grant permission for one high-quality reproduction of their image to be auctioned. Winners retain all rights to their work.

Complete contest rules, instructions for submitting entries, an entry form and a question and answer sheet are available fromSte[email protected]or can be downloaded from the Africa Section of the SCB website (

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