No. 01/04

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1. Herbal medicine boom threatens plants
2. EU to promote plant sustainability
3. Africa: Bushmeat - sustainable management
4. Cameroon: Forestry products to boost economy
5. Cameroon: Fighting poverty through community forestry
6. Cameroon: Experts seek equitable distribution of biodiversity wealth
7. Kenya: Kenyan parliament to debate traditional medicine
8. Nigeria: Afforestation Council
9. Nigeria: Jigawa to spend $1m on gum arabic development
10. South Africa: Permits to harvest Devil's Claw
11. Uganda: Coke may buy gum arabic
12. Brazil nuts under threat
13. Brazil-Bolivia consortium to commercialize chestnuts
14. Malaysia: Parks get input of villagers
15. Non-Wood Forest Products in the Black Sea Region
16. State of The World's Forests, 2003
17. Old Historical Texts
18. Research articles on medicinals in India
19. Portugal Botânico de A a Z Plantas Portuguesas e Exóticas
20. Other publications of interest
21. Web sites and e-zines
26. Request for information: Bamboo in Madagascar
27. Request for assistance: Carnivorous plant preservation effort/request for material (Drosera, Genlisea, etc)
28. Request for information: Rattan
29. Miscellaneous: Botanical Museum opens the exhibition ¿The Gift of the Nile


1. Herbal medicine boom threatens plants

Source:, 9 January 2004

The multimillion-pound boom in herbal medicine is threatening to wipe out up to a fifth of the plant species on which it depends, wrecking their natural habitats and jeopardising the health of millions of people in developing countries. And yet the herbal medicines industry has been accused of doing nothing about it.

Most people around the globe use herbal medicine for everyday healthcare, with as many as 80 percent relying on it in some countries. But two-thirds of the 50 000 medicinal plants in use are still harvested from the wild, and research to be published later in 2004 suggests that between 4 000 and 10 000 of them may now be endangered.

A study by Alan Hamilton, a plant specialist from the global environment network WWF, will point out that the market for herbal remedies in North America and Europe has been expanding by about 10 percent a year for the last decade and the world market is now thought to be worth at least £11 billion. Many of the plants are harvested by poor communities in India and China whose livelihoods will suffer if the plants die out.

Hamilton is a member of the World Conservation Union's Medicinal Plants Specialist Group, and has drawn his estimates of the number of species at risk from expert analyses of the IUCN's Red List of threatened plants. His study is due to be published in Biodiversity and Conservation.

Hamilton has also helped compile a report, Herbal Harvests with a Future, which is due to be unveiled next week by the conservation group Plantlife International. "With demand and commercialisation growing fast, the future of the wild plants which have helped most of humanity for centuries is now more uncertain than it has ever been," says the group's Martin Harper.

One species highlighted by Plantlife as being under threat is tetu lakha (Nothatodytes foetida), a small tree found in rainforests in south India and Sri Lanka and used for anti-cancer drugs in Europe. Others include a saw-wort known as costus or kusta (Saussurea lappa) from India whose root is used for chronic skin disorders, and the tendrilled fritillary (Fritillaria cirrhosa) from Sichuan, China, used to treat respiratory infections.

Although the crisis has been looming for years, Plantlife accuses the herbal medicine industry of failing to ensure the sustainability of its supplies. It has established that 11 of 16 herbal companies in the UK, for instance, harvest all the plants they sell from the wild, and the remaining five grow only a small proportion.

Plantlife says awareness of the environmental problems among companies in general is limited and sometimes vague. "Given the scale of the threat, this is alarming," Harper warns. "It is time for the industry to join forces with environmental organisations to ensure that herbal harvests have a sustainable future."

Another leading international expert on medicinal plants, Gerard Bodeker from Green College, Oxford, thinks that the assessments of the crisis by Hamilton and Plantlife are conservative. Most of the processes involved in supplying the growing market for herbal remedies are "the result of unsustainable and often destructive practices driven by poverty", he says. The industry is characterised by changing health fads which keep favouring different plants, so there is little incentive to sustainably produce particular species, he argues. "They are eating their own nest. They are not replacing what they take."

The market for African cherry (Prunus africana) , the bark of which is popular in Europe as a treatment for prostate enlargement, has collapsed because too many trees have been destroyed. In the past the trees, which grow in Africa's mountain regions, survived because traditionally less than half of their bark was harvested. But according to a recent study by Kristine Stewart, from consultants Keith and Schnars in Florida, growing commercial pressures have led to whole forests being stripped or felled. Exports of dried bark halved between 1997 and 2000 and the main exporter, Plantecam, had to close its extraction factory in Cameroon (Journal of Ethnopharmacology, vol 89, p 3).

In its report, Plantlife urges the industry to invest in cultivation. It also proposes the introduction of a kite mark to identify products that have been sustainably harvested.

"There is a complete lack of awareness and lack of education amongst consumers," Bodeker says. Although those that use herbal medicines might be expected to be more environmentally aware than most that does not seem to be the case. "They don't make the links," he adds.

The UK's largest association of herbal practitioners, the National Institute of Medical Herbalists, is very concerned. "We all need to work together to address this issue and to put pressure on suppliers," the institute's Trudy Norris says

For full story, please see:


2. EU to promote plant sustainability

Source: Beverage Daily, 12 January 2004 in BIO-IPR docserver (]

European companies and researchers should share the profits made on products using exotic plants such as ginseng and green tea with the countries of origin, urges a European Commission communication issued on Friday.

The statement, which encourages ¿international solidarity¿, follows a new report from the UK¿s Plantlife International that shows many wild plants are under threat of extinction from the booming herbal medicines industry. This in turn threatens the livelihoods of numerous populations, mainly in developing countries.

The use of exotic plants like aloe vera, ginseng, green tea and jojoba oil is widespread in the EU, particularly in cosmetics, but there is also growing demand for extracts of these plants in dietary supplements and functional foods. The Commission urges companies and research institutes not to take genetic resources from other countries - usually developing countries that are rich in bio-diversity - without their consent.

"This is an issue of equity and fairness. The EU wants the developing countries to have a fair and equitable share of the benefits arising from the use of so-called genetic resources. If these countries use the benefits to protect bio-diversity and foster nature conservation, this could provide a win-win situation for trade and for the environment," said Environment Commissioner Margot Wallström.

The Plantlife report says the herbal medicine industry, which is failing to ensure the sustainability of its supplies, needs to take action.

Genetic resources, defined by the Commission as materials of plant, animal or microbial origin, are usually found in the southern hemisphere, mostly Latin America, south-east Asia, Oceania and Africa. They include plants such as cinnamon, which has essential oils with antiseptic properties, green tea, the subject of growing interest for its potent antioxidant activity and ginseng, used in numerous energy drinks and other products.

The communication suggests that companies and research institutions use standard agreements with the providers of genetic resources, such as governments or local populations, which set out terms and conditions under which the plants could be used and how the benefits from their use should be shared. All users of genetic resources are also encouraged to develop their own codes of conduct as a means of respecting the 1992 United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Bonn Guidelines on Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) adopted under the Convention in 2002.

Europe will also take measures to raise users' awareness of their obligations under the UN agreements, said the communication, such as creating a European network to provide information on international and European laws on access and benefit sharing.

It also opens the debate on the introduction into EU law of a requirement for patent applicants to reveal where they got their genetic resources from and if they made use of the 'traditional knowledge' of indigenous peoples or local populations.

The Council of Ministers and the European Parliament have been invited to give their views on the proposals and the public will also be consulted before further steps are taken on the proposals.


3. Africa: Bushmeat - sustainable management

Source: Cameroon Tribune (Yaoundé), 31December 2003

The government of Cameroon has been praised for playing a key role in wildlife and forestry law enforcement initiatives in the Central African sub-region. The congratulatory message was made at a conference held in London recently under the theme "Bushmeat and Forest Actions for Sustainable Management".

Attended by high level African and European representatives including Cameroon's Minister of the Environment and Forestry, Chief Tanyi Mbianyor Clarkson, the conference sought to examine the best practice for managing bushmeat/wildlife in the forest zone of West and Central Africa and to make recommendations for implementing the Yaounde 2003 International Ministerial Conference on Africa Forest Law Enforcement and Governance (AFLEG). The AFLEG implementation was considered by the conference within the context of other international processes such as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD) and the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP).

While deliberations at the London Conference were on, the Yaounde Court of First Instance slammed a one-month prison sentence and a fine of 300 000 Frs CFA on two illegal dealers in elephant products, bringing the number of wildlife criminal jailed since July 2003 to four. This is part of an operation being undertaken by the Ministry of the Environment and Forestry in collaboration with the forces of law and order and the Last Great Apes Organisation (LAGA).

According to the Cameroon law, any person found in possession of live or part of protected animal species is liable to a fine and imprisonment. The law targets only protected wildlife species (gorillas, chimpanzees, crocodiles, elephants, drills, etc). It attacks the trade chain of protected species in different places. Anyone breaking the new law in Cameroon where bushmeat is a prized delicacy for rich city-dwellers, faces three years in jail and a 10 million Frs CFA fine. The authorities of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry have been calling on restaurant dealers to help save protected wildlife by taking gorillas, chimpanzees and elephant meat off their menus.

About a hundred years ago, more than a million chimpanzees lived in 25 African countries. Today, fewer than 150 000 are remaining with healthy reproduction populations found only in six African countries.

For full story, please see:


4. Cameroon: Forestry products to boost economy

Source: Cameroon Tribune (Yaoundé), 30 December 2003

The contribution of the forestry sector to Cameroon's economy is significant. The latest report on the competitiveness of the Cameroonian economy describes the role of the sector in very simple terms; "its contribution is important by virtue of its direct and indirect fallouts." The report is the result of a study on the diagnosis of the competitive nature of Cameroon's economy realised by the Technical Secretariat of the Committee on Competitiveness in partnership with the CRETES cabinet and James Bannet, an international consultant. It has been carried out within the framework of the fight against poverty, a strategy which challenges the Cameroonian economy and particularly the private sector already identified as the major axis on which riches and employment could be created.

On the basis of its enormous contribution to the economy, the report gives serious consideration to the forestry sector which possesses rich potentials for making the economy more competitive within and without the country.

The sector is also hailed for playing the following role in the economy: contributing to the amelioration of the road infrastructure especially in enclave areas: reinforcing banking and insurance businesses; supplying wood to the numerous carpentry and furniture workshops nationwide known to have provided jobs to more than 20 000 people; providing non-timber forest products, such as medicinal plants, vegetables, wild fruits, spices, etc that have undergone spectacular development; and supplying fuelwood as an important energy source for a greater majority of the population.

For full story, please see:


5. Cameroon: Fighting poverty through community forestry

Source: Cameroon Tribune (Yaoundé), 26 December 2003

"Empowerment and livelihood improvement of the Bagyeli community through the sustainable use of the resources at the Ngovayang Forest in Cameroon." This is the purpose of a project conceived for the Bagyeli or Bakola people living around the Ngovayang Massif Forest in Lolodorf, Ocean Division.

The feasibility studies for the project were carried out by the Cameroon Biodiversity Conservation Society (CBCS), working in collaboration with MINEF and the Ministry of Social Affairs (MINAS). The project is being implemented with the financial support of the Dutch Development Agency (DGIS) and Comic Relief.

CBCS collaborates with two main site community-based organizations made up of the Bagyeli people and their Bantu allies. The government brings in technical support through MINEF and MINAS.

The Bagyeli people who live around the Ngovayang Massif Forest are part of a second largest group of pygmies in central Africa and the world's population that still live as hunters and gatherers. Their economy is based on hunting and the collection of forest products. The Ngoveyang forest covers an area of 62 700 hectares, situated in the Centre and South Provinces.

The project aims at raising awareness and contributing to the empowerment of local communities around the Ngovayang forest to manage their natural resources and improve their livelihood. The project activities include: training in natural resource management, promotion of indigenous natural resource management systems, and access rights to natural resources.

For full story, please see:


6. Cameroon: Experts seek equitable distribution of biodiversity wealth

Source: Cameroon Tribune (Yaoundé), 21 January 2004

Environmental experts met in Yaounde last week to explore ways of establishing a legal framework to regulate access and benefit sharing in the use of products of biodiversity in the country. The workshop was jointly organised by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (MINEF) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

The concept of "Access and Benefit Sharing" (ABS) comes out of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), one of the main products of the Rio 1992 United Nations conference on Environment and Development. The government of Cameroon is committed to the convention (CBD) which it ratified in 1994. What ABS implies is putting in place regulatory mechanisms for managing the use and exploitation of genetic resources as provided for by the convention. CBD has three main objectives, namely: biodiversity conservation, sustainable use and access and benefit sharing.

Opening the workshop, the representative of the Minister of Environment and Forestry underscored the need to put in place a regulatory framework to ensure access and equitable distribution of wealth accruing from the sustainable management of Cameroon's rich biological diversity. The minister's representative said the country's genetic resources has increasingly become a prime source for international biodiversity, but regretted that its contribution to local livelihoods and to the national economy as a whole has not been fully maximized. Speaking earlier, the director of policy at the WWF Central Africa Regional Headquarters in Yaounde, Mrs Estherine Fotabong said this state of affairs revolves around the gap that exists between the existing national legal framework for control of access to and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits from genetic resource use and international standards as per access and benefit sharing. She cited the case of the famous AIDS vine (Ancistrocladus korupensis) which foreign scientists collected from the Korup National Park without due royalties to Cameroon and its people.

Mrs Fotabong concluded that the workshop was, "the start of a dialogue in which WWF is bringing in some technical assistance to MINEF to draw up a legal framework on ABS based on national and international case studies."

Participants discussed issues related to international legal framework for ABS, the CBD and Bonn Guidelines; and legal and institutional measures to control access and promote benefit sharing from the products of Cameroon's rich biodiversity.

For full story, please see:


7. Kenya: Kenyan parliament to debate traditional medicine

Source: SciDev.Net, 24 December 2003

Kenya is developing a national policy to promote traditional medicine that is intended to regulate a practice on which 80 percent of its inhabitants depend for medical treatment.

A bill drawn up by the department of standards and regulatory services at the Ministry of Health Policy is due to be tabled soon in the National Assembly by the attorney general. "Our goal is to help incorporate traditional knowledge into modern healthcare while still ensuring access to quality healthcare for all Kenyans," says Tom Mboya Okeyo, head of the department.

The government¿s proposals have already been widely discussed with traditional medicine practitioners, herbalists, doctors and other health providers throughout the country, in a consultation process that started in 2001. The development of the policy is in line with a commitment by the African Union to recognize the period 2001-2010 as a decade of traditional medicine. Kenya is seeking to catch up with Uganda and Tanzania, both of whose policies on traditional medicine are significantly more developed.

The proposed policy emphasizes the need for guidelines on the way that traditional medicine is practiced, as well as for practitioners to receive training in ways of preserving such knowledge, and to take part in research and development projects aimed at improving its effectiveness. Under the policy, the government would launch an initiative bringing together different players in the industry to lead a campaign to boost recognition of the value of complementary and alternative medicine within Kenya¿s national health service.

The country¿s medical profession has given a cautious welcome to the draft law, expressing support for the recognition of traditional medicine, but warning that it continues to have reservations about the ethical basis on which some of the medicine is administered.

Kenyan lawyer Nelson Mutai says that the purpose of the bill is "to define traditional medicines and their role in health, as well as their impacts on social and economic lives both of the traditional healers as well as their patients."

The Ministry of Health has already promised to set up a register of medical practitioners. However such a move is likely to face major obstacles, as all applicants for registration must be able to produce a certificate of professional qualification and a valid work permit. Furthermore, although the bill outlining the new policy is due to be sent to the National Assembly in the near future, its adoption is likely to be a slow process, as there are already many other bills - including the enactment of a new constitution - in the legislative pipeline.


8. Nigeria: Afforestation Council

Source: This Day (Lagos), 20 January 2004

President Olusegun Obasanjo has set up a National Council on Shelter Belt and Afforestation, to prepare an action plan for a national green belt as well as the implementation guidelines. The Council was set up to take urgent steps aimed at checking the rapid deforestation and desert encroachment in the northern states of the country.

The President said this was a national emergency which required the involvement and participation of all Nigerians.

For full story, please see:


9. Nigeria: Jigawa to spend $1m on gum arabic development

Source: Daily Trust (Abuja), 20 January 2004

Jigawa State government and the African Development Foundation (ADF) are to spend one million dollars to develop gum Arabic production in the state.

During a visit to the state research institute at Kazaure, Governor Saminu Turaki said that the ADF would provide $700 000, while the Jigawa government would invest $300 000 on the project.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the money from the ADF would be from a five million-dollar grant offered the state two years ago, of which only one million dollars was utilised for community empowerment projects.

Turaki, who led the ADF President, Mr Nathaniel Fields, to the institute, said the Jigawa government had spent more than $300 000 on enhancing gum Arabic production in the state.

The Secretary of the institute, Malam Ma'amun Aliyu, had earlier disclosed that some five million tree seedlings have been raised last year as part of efforts to boost the economic potential of communities in the state. He said that while most of the seedlings were planted by farmers across the state, the institute on its own had set up 100 hectares of gum Arabic plantation in three locations in the state.

Jigawa, which has about 900 hectares of gum Arabic plantations, has established a laboratory to process the product, and entered into an agreement with some U.S. companies to export the commodity. However, inadequate funds had affected the procurement of the commodity from the farmers, while staff of the Gum Arabic Processing Company (GAPCO) have been left without salaries for 10 months. Turaki, however, said he believed the injection of the capital from the ADF would facilitate increased production capacity of the farmers and the status of the company, as well as provide for a greater expansion of the total production capacity of the state.

For full story, please see:


10. South Africa: Permits to harvest Devil's Claw

Source: BuaNews (Pretoria), South Africa, 19 January 2004

The future of one of Northern Cape's most important medicinal plants, the Harpagophytum Procumbens DC, or the Devil's Claw, as it is more popularly known, has been given a huge boost by the laying-down of permit conditions regarding large-scale harvesting of the plant in the province.

Large-scale harvesting is deemed to be the harvesting of more than 40 plants. This was decided by the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform, Environment and Conservation in the Northern Cape, to whom the survival of this precious plant is very important.

A spokesperson for the department, Thabo Mothibi, said in a statement that the introduction of permit conditions for the harvesting of Devil's Claw in the Northern Cape was a pro-active step to ensure its long-term survival, and to protect its sustainable commercial use as a natural medicine through the prevention of over exploitation. "There was a sharp increase in the demand for the Devil's Claw as a natural medicine and it was estimated that in 2002, more than two million plants were collected from the wild to meet the international demand," Mr Mothibi said.

According to the Northern Cape Government Gazette (Vol. 10, No. 802) the permit applicant should provide proof of consent from the landowner on whose property the harvesting will take place, as well as the submission of a Resource Assessment and Management Report (RAMR). The written consent from the landowner, or Memorandum of Agreement, must stipulate the landowner was informed of the reasons for the collection of plants.

The department said the permit applicant should not harvest from November through to February as was the period in which flowering and seed set normally took place.

The same area should also not be harvested again for the following three years, while only secondary tubers may be harvested.

Mr Mothibi further added that the prescribed harvesting methods must always be implemented. "These methods may only be allowed to be altered upon the Director of the provincial conservation authority's approval, and if sufficient scientific proof indicates that the current method is ineffective and insufficient," Mr Mothibi said.

The Devil's Claw has gained popularity since the 1900's, when it was recognized as having valuable analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties to assist in the treatment of rheumatism and arthritis. It was therefore no surprise that its demand steadily increased since the 60s, leading to the export of the dried tubers to Europe and other countries, making it a much sought-after product outside of Africa.

For full story, please see:


11. Uganda: Coke may buy gum arabic

Source: New Vision (Kampala), 30 December 2003

A variety of lab tests on the suitability of Uganda's Gum Arabic for export and use in several industries have turned out positive. This was a major hurdle before Uganda could export to the United States and particularly to major buyers like the soft drinks giant, Coca Cola.

Local Gum Arabic is mainly grown in Karamoja and a few other parts of northern Uganda. President Yoweri Museveni has been closely associated with the efforts of getting an international market for the rare commodity.

Rosa Whitaker, president of the Whitaker Group, (a Washington D.C.-based consultancy firm) said recently that Uganda is to start shipping Gum Arabic to the US market early next year, after functionality tests on its quality, durability and market potential turned out positive. She said that the Coca Cola, which has been paying for some of the tests, will be one of the main buyers. "There is a lot of potential in this product, which can be exploited by many people in the northern part of the country to pull themselves out of poverty," she said. She added that the growing of the crop does not need much initial capital.

Whitaker however strongly objected to the agriculture subsidies, which are being implemented by firms from the West, saying that they are strangling the commodity prices for products from developing countries.

However, there are advantages for Uganda in developing commercial production for Gum Arabic because it is a major ingredient in several foods including sodas, beers, salad dressings, and ice cream. It is also used in the pharmaceutical industry.

The Sudan is the world's leading producer. In 1996, when the US imposed economic sanctions on that country due to its links with terrorist organisations, major US firms sought and won an exemption on Gum Arabic exports from Sudan.

Another potentially leading supplier is northern Nigeria, where two years ago USAID helped fund a new testing laboratory in Jigawa State. Importer Services Corporation, the largest gum processing firm in the US, last October announced it would buy the entire 2002 Gum Arabic crop from Jigawa State valued at $400 000 (about sh790m). Another US firm, Atlantic Gums Corporation, is also providing technical know-how for the Jigawa venture.

For full story, please see:


12. Brazil nuts under threat

Source: Science, 19 December 2003

Scientists are warning that the export of Brazil nuts collected in the Amazon region could collapse if intensive harvesting practices continue. Until now, harvesting the nuts ¿ which in the Brazilian Amazon alone generates more than US$33 million a year ¿ has been thought to be a sustainable way of preventing more environmentally destructive activities such as ranching.

But in this week¿s Science, an international team of researchers, led by Carlos Peres, a tropical conservation biologist from the UK¿s University of East Anglia, reports that current harvesting practices are not sustainable in the long term.

The scientists surveyed 23 natural Brazil nut tree populations in the Brazilian, Bolivian and Peruvian Amazon. They found that populations that have been extensively harvested over several decades are dominated by older trees, suggesting that younger trees are unable to establish themselves in such areas. Computer models confirm that, as a result, populations of the trees will dwindle over the long term if current practices persist.

Brazil nuts are the only internationally traded seed crop collected from the wild. They are traditionally harvested from trees that can reach 50m in height and more than 16m in circumference. At least 45 000 tonnes of nuts are harvested each year in the Amazon region.

In order to avoid a collapse of the Brazil nut industry, the researchers recommend close monitoring and careful management of exploited populations of trees to encourage young trees to become established.

They also suggest that the annual quota of seeds that can be harvested should be managed, and that a rotation system should be implemented, alternating areas in which harvesting would not take place.


13. Brazil-Bolivia consortium to commercialize chestnuts

Source: Amazon News - 31 December 2003

The appearance of an international consortium uniting the Brasileia, Xapuri and Rio Branco cooperatives with the Tahuamanu chestnut producer, that will have its headquarter in Cobija, Bolivia, will strengthen and amplify this market, which is today one of the most successful of the products extracted from the forest.

This initiative, that has received support from the Acre governor, Jorge Viana, started over nine years ago, when the CAPEB, an agricultural and extraction cooperative located in Epitaciolandia and Brasileia, began to supply chestnuts to Tahuamanu, which in turn offered assistance. As a result, CAPEB was able to purchase its first tractor and oxen, which were distributed to the most remote areas to facilitate cargo removal from the forest.

Times have changed. Chestnut production is now receiving support from the State government, which had requested funding from SUFRAMA to construct factories for CAPEB and for the Cooperative in Xapuri (CAEX); they are to begin operations in January 2004. Each factory cost R$ 1.85 million; SUFRAMA lent R$1.2 million and the state government covered the rest; both factories will generate 154 direct employees. "Our goal is to produce 46 000 hectolitres during 2004, we will have produced at least 440 tons of shelled and ready-for-export chestnuts", commented Sergio Alecio, CAPEB¿s president.

Product certification

The international market, specifically Europe, is demanding much more than a packaged and good-looking product; it wants, in addition to quality, the assurance of the product¿s origin and the guarantee that it is organic. "Our chestnut is a natural forestry product that generates income for the peoples of the forest; we know this, but the Europeans want it on paper. So that is why we are in the process of obtaining product certification that our members are harvesting the chestnuts in our cooperative¿s farm of 800 000 hectares administered by the Etelve, Chico Mendes and Wilson Pinheiro Associations. We have completed the first three steps of the process and now in January we will reach the final victory".

To do this, 60 producers were trained in Brasileia by specialists from EMBRAPA, IMAFLORO and CAPEB on the techniques that need to be applied from the moment that chestnuts is collected to its processing.

In this certification process, the rubber-workers show the technicians the position of each chestnut tree, so that they can be located through geo-positioning to have a map of the production area and confirm the production of each tree. This information, in addition to the manner in which collection occurs, must be documented prior to the Brazilian Institute of Biodiversity and IMAFLORA¿s granting certification.

"Certification does not guarantee an improved price for chestnuts but the quality of the product, in that manner we can place the product in more demanding markets as well as explore specialised markets such as Fair Trade, which has more than 300 commercialization points throughout Europe and has requested our product, once it is certified," affirmed Alecio.

International co-operation

Acre¿s chestnut production reached 204 761.34 cans while Bolivia produced 284 761.34 cans, according to Tahuamanu. The 2003 harvest was collected in the municipalities of Rio Branco, Sena Madureira, Capixaba, Assis Brasil and Placido de Castro, and it also included the region of Nova California and Extrema, in Rondonia State.

"I am familiar with all of the chestnut industries in Para, Amazonas, Acre and also in Bolivia, and I have no doubts that we have advanced in respect to product quality and efficiency in production, much more than any of our competitors. We have been working informally with CAPEB for almost nine years, and the legalisation of this partnership will strengthen all of us in the conquest of new markets," affirmed Raul Salinas, the supply and production manager of Tahuamanu. "We at Tahuamanu need the Xapuri and Brasileia factories to work at whatever cost, as together we can supply the European market, which is one of the most demanding world-wide, as well as enter into the Japan¿s market. It is important to understand that when you open a market, you need to have the capacity to deliver, and together we can do this," he guaranteed.


14. Malaysia: Parks get input of villagers

Source: Daily Express News, 18 December 2003 in Community Forestry E-News 2003.18

Public participation plays an important role in finalising the management plan for Sabah¿s largest park - the 139 191 ha Crocker Range. Over a hundred people including district officers, village heads, and village, security and development committee members attended a two-day workshop on ¿Sociological Issues in and around Crocker Range¿ to work out issues on land, villages, natural resources, water and the environment.

While the park is gazetted strictly for protection, villagers living within or nearby the park continue to rely on the resources for their livelihood activities. But the biggest issue facing all parties concerned is probably traditional resource use: native customary rights versus modern law.

For the full story see


15. Non-Wood Forest Products in the Black Sea Region

From: Sefa, Turkey

Non-Wood Forest Products (NWFP), which provide different possibilities like food security, health, employment, etc., are neglected in Turkey, especially in the Black Sea region. NWFP have an important role in both the economy of the country and rural areas. In this region very little NWFP are used in trade. Social, economic and environmental functions of NWFP are not taken into consideration in Turkey and therefore national forestry policy does not consider these products important enough. The need for natural resources increases daily due to a growing population and industrial development. Because of this situation, people are now undertaking research into non wood forest products to ascertain utilization possibilities. The Black Sea region is rich in natural resources, especially plant species diversity. For example, Rosa canina, Digitalis ferruginea subsp. schischkinii, Orchis tridentata, Thymus pubescens, which are grown this region, are NWFP. Unfortunately, however, in Turkey there has not yet been an extensive inventory study to realize that potential.

This study will take place in a local area named Hamsiköy and will be carried out as part of my PhD thesis. Hamsiköy is located in Trabzon city in the northern Black Sea region. In the next phases, we want to spread the study to the entire region and then the whole country.

In this study, our aims are:

¿ to determine NWFP which have economical value;

¿ to inventory them;

¿ to research actual and potential market possibilities;

¿ to stop exploiting nature unconsciously and to produce a plan;

¿ to determine alternative plants for agriculture; and

¿ in this context, to use forest areas in which trees do not grow.

For more information, please contact:

Prof. Dr. Zafer Cemal Özkan and Ress. Ass. Sefa Akbulut, Karadeniz Technical University, Department of Forest Botany, 61080 Trabzon, Turkey




16. State of The World's Forests, 2003

From: FAO¿s NWFP Programme

The State of the World's Forests reports every two years on the status of forests, recent major policy and institutional developments and key issues concerning the forest sector. This is the fifth edition of the publication, the purpose of which is to provide current and reliable information to policy-makers, foresters and other natural resource managers, academics, forest industry and civil society.

Copies are available from: FAO, Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00100 Rome, Italy or at


17. Old Historical Texts

Source: H. Gyde Lund, FIU, 29 December 2003,

The Cornell University Library¿s Historical Agriculture Monographs contains an online collection of old forestry and agriculture documents


18. Research articles on medicinals in India

From: Pankaj Oudhia, India

There are now over 1 000 research articles on-line at the following site: All articles are related to the medicinal herbs and insects and traditional knowledge about it in Chhattisgarh, India.


19. Portugal Botânico de A a Z Plantas Portuguesas e Exóticas

From: Luís Mendonça de Carvalho (, Portugal

This book is an easy-to-use lexicon of Portuguese and Latin names of plants. It deals with more than 11 000 scientific and vernacular names from native and exotic plants from Portugal, Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau, San Tome and Principe, former Portuguese State of India (Goa, Daman, Diu), Macao and Timor.

This is the first book written about this subject that has ever been published in Portugal. Besides having the Portuguese and Latin names it also have the family to which the plant belongs and the correct abbreviation of the author of plants´ names, following the recommended conventions on abbreviations for these authorities.

The authors are: Francisca Maria Fernandes and Luis Mendonça de Carvalho, both from the Beja Polytechnic Institute (Portugal).

Two eminent scientists wrote the prefaces: Prof. Dr. David Mabberley (University of Leiden, The Netherlands, Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney, Australia) and Prof. Dr. Vernon Hilton Heywood (Emeritus Professor, The University of Reading)

The publishing house is Lidel Edições Técnicas (Lisbon, Portugal) and its web page is The book has 365 pages and cost ¿25.


20. Other publications of interest

From: FAO¿s NWFP Programme

Abel, T. 2003. Understanding complex human ecosystems: the case of ecotourism on Bonaire. Conserv. Ecol. [Online] 7(3):10.

Barrera, C.P.; Peredo, S.F. 2002. Importancia de la socializacion del conocimiento local para la conservacion de la diversidad bio-cultural: el caso de Armerillo (Chile). Dapena de la Fuente, E.; Porcuna Coto, J.L. (Eds.). Servicio Regional de Investigacion y Desarrollo Agroalimentario, Villaviciosa (Espana). La agricultura y ganaderia ecologica en un marco de diversificacion y desarrollo solidario. Gijon, 16 al 21 de septiembre de 2002. Actas del 5 Congreso de la SEAE [Sociedad Espanola de Agricultura Ecologica] - 1 Congreso Iberoamericano de Agroecologia. [Villaviciosa] (Espana). SERIDA. 2002. 2 t. t. 1 p. 251-257

Con motivo de la creacion de la Red chilena de "Productos Forestales no Maderables" (PFnM) en el ano 1999, se definieron tres lineas de investigacion accion. En una de ellas, denominada desarrollo rural, se establecio como objetivo la tarea de definir esquemas de desarrollo endogeno utilizando como elemento central los PFnM, presentes en cada comunidad. Con este proposito se llevo a cabo este estudio en la localidad de Armerillo (Chile) cuyos objetivos fueron identificar los principales PFnM utilizados por la comunidad y determinar el grado de socializacion del conocimiento tradicional como elementos para definir esquemas de desarrollo rural endogeno. Los resultados senalan la presencia de una gran diversidad biocultural, pero con una baja socializacion de conocimientos.

Becker, C.D., and Ghimire, K. 2003. Synergy between traditional ecological knowledge and conservation science supports forest preservation in Ecuador. Conserv. Ecol. [Online] 8(1):1. <>

Bhatt, Kailash Chandra. 2003. Planning for forest resource and biodiversity management: principles, organisations and methodologies. Concept Publishing Co., New Delhi. ISBN 81-7022-879-4

Buchanan, P.K., and May, T.W. 2003. Conservation of New Zealand and Australian fungi. New Zeal. J. Bot. 41(3):407-421.

Danell, E; Hall, I (ed.); Yun Wang (ed.); Zambonelli, A. 2002. Current research on chanterelle cultivation in Sweden. Edible mycorrhizal mushrooms and their cultivation. Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Edible Mycorrhizal Mushrooms, Christchurch, New Zealand, 3-6 July, 2001.

For more information, please contact the authors at: Department of Forest Mycology and Pathology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Box 7026, SE-750 07 Uppsala, Sweden.

Diamond, D.D., et al. 2003. An ecoregion-based conservation assessment and conservation opportunity area inventory for the lower midwestern USA. Nat. Areas J. 23(2):129-140.

Garland, Linda. 2003. Diffusion Vertical Soak for Bamboo preservation. Environmental Bamboo Foundation. Bali.

Bamboo culms are a natural material susceptible to insect and fungal attack. Without treatment products made from bamboo can be expected to last for only up to 3 years. There are many different techniques for curing and treating bamboo culms in order to prevent splitting, insect infection and fungal growth. In this booklet we present the Vertical Soak Diffusion (VSD) method which uses minimally toxic borates as preservatives. The method has been tested in Indonesia using three species of bamboo: Dendrocalamus asper; Gigantochloa apus; and Gigantochloa atter.

Henne, Gudrun; Liebig, Klaus; Drews, Andreas; & Plän, Thomas. 2003: Access and Benefit-Sharing (ABS): An Instrument for Poverty Alleviation. Proposals for an International ABS Regime. German Development Institute (GDI) Bonn.

This study was prepared as a scientific contribution to the Second Meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Access and Benefit-Sharing (ABS), which was held in Montreal, Canada, from 1 to 5 December 2003. The authors take as their common starting point the view that the Contracting Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity should use the on-going process to develop and implement an international regime to promote and safeguard the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources with a view to increasing the effectiveness of ABS as an instrument of poverty alleviation. As elaborated in this study, ABS can contribute to achieving these goals if the international community takes its political statements seriously and develops an ABS regime that simultaneously supports the goals of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

The document can be downloaded from:

Indian Institute of Economic and Market Research. 2003. Medicinal plants in India: Report and Directory.

India has been one traditional exporter country of medicinal plants. Medicinal plants grow in about 80 percent of the forests in India. Demand for several medicinal plants has increased recently, endangering the status of some species. This book contains the entire marketing situation encompassing different aspects of medicinal plants, as well as a quantitative assessment of demand and other parameters for 162 selected medicinal plants.

For more information, please contact:

Indian Institute of Economic and Market Research,
16 Dakshineshwar, 10 Hailey Road,
New Delhi 110001, India

Jain, Nandita and Triraganon, Ronnakorn. 2003. Community-based tourism for conservation and development: Manual. RECOFTC. Thailand.

The concept of Community-based Tourism (CBT) has been increasingly recognized by government, business, non-government, and private and community sectors as an effective tool to link conservation and community development. To ensure that sustainable programs are developed that provide maximum benefits to stake holders, there is a real need for those who are working on CBT development to understand the issues involved and be able to help communities incorporate these issues into their planning process. However, there is a noticeable shortage of CBT workers who are able to facilitate and help communities in the planning process.

The main purpose of this manual is to provide training or facilitation guidelines for individuals, organizations or institutions that have an interest in building knowledge, skills, and experience of field workers either by using CBT Development or the Appreciative Participatory Planning and Action (APPA) approach. The training activities contained in this manual are designed to help participants develop the understanding and basic skills necessary in order to apply the concepts of Community-based Tourism development effectively and efficiently.

For more information, please contact:

The Regional Community Forestry Training Center for Asia & the Pacific (RECOFTC), PO Box 1111, Kasetsart University, Bangkok 10903, Thailand


Johnson, Tim. N.d. Herbage Ethnobotany Database CD-ROM. Third Edition. Price US$70. 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.

For more information, please contact:

Tim Johnson, 309 Cedar Street #33, Santa Cruz, CA 95060 USA.

Tel: 1-831- 426-626.


Kenney, W.A. 2003. A strategy for Canada's urban forests. Forest Chron. 79(4):785-789

Liese, W. and Kumar, Satish. 2003. Bamboo Preservation Compendium. Technical Report 1. Centre for Indian Bamboo Resource & Technology. ISBN 81-901808-0-0

Bamboo is an excellent material for countless applications ranging from handicrafts to industrial products and construction. One of the major obstacles to wider utilization is the biological degradation of raw bamboo and bamboo products that shortens the lifespan of its products. Bamboo is susceptible to various microbe and pest attacks. Like wood, which is similarly susceptible, it is likewise possible to prevent bamboo deterioration by use of appropriate and safe treatments. However, information on various preservation procedures in use is hard to come by. A knowledge gap exists, in spite of the knowledge being available.

This Compendium brings together information on various technologies and procedures used for bamboo protection and preservation around the world, weaving in the knowledge of experience. It outlines safety procedures, environmental issues and economics of preservation concisely, yet comprehensively, in manner that is field applicable.

For more information, please contact:

Centre for Indian Bamboo Resource & Technology (CIBART)
200 Jor Bagh
New Delhi 110003


McAfee, B.J. 2003. Conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in Canada's forests: progress and challenges. Forest Chron. 79(4):761-768.

Meli, P. 2003. Tropical forest restoration. Twenty years of academic research. Interciencia 28(10):581-589.

Müller, R., et al. 2003. Biodiversity and endemism mapping as a tool for regional conservation planning - case study of the Pleurothallidinae (Orchidaceae) of the Andean rain forests in Bolivia. Biodivers. Conserv. 12(10):2005-2024. (Abstract)

Pereira, P.M., and Pires da Fonseca, M. 2003. Nature vs. nurture: the making of the montado ecosystem. Conserv. Ecol. [Online] 7(3):7.

Polansky, Cecilia. 2003. Participatory forest management in Africa: lessons not learned. International Journal of Sustainable Development and World Ecology. 10(2): 109-118. (Article). Contact author at

Sonwa D.J., Nzooh . D. Z, Nkongmeneck B. A, Zapfack L., & Defo L. 2003. Gestion et conservation des ressources forestières du Bassin du Congo : Hypothèses préliminaires de domestication des rotangs dans les systèmes anthropiques de la zone de forêt Humide du Sud Cameroun. In T.C.H. Sunderland & J.P. Profizi (eds). New research on African rattans. INBAR. Beijing. Pp 45-57

Sonwa D.J., Weise S.F., Ndoye O. and Janssens M. J.J. 2003. Local intensification and diversification initiatives within the cocoa agroforests of southern Cameroon: lessons for participatory forestry in perennial crop-based systems of Central and West Africa. Contribution to the Second international workshop on participatory forestry in Africa: Defining the way forward: sustainable livelihoods and sustainable forest management through participatory forestry 18-22 February 2002 Arusha, United Republic of Tanzania. FAO. 2003. pp. 407-413

(Summary in English)

(Full paper in French)

Sonwa D.J, Weise S.F. and Janssens M.J.J. 2003. New synergies in the promotion of cocoa-based agroforestry systems in the humid forest zone of west and central Africa. ETFRN News 39/40.

Sonwa D.J. , Weise S. F., Ndoye O. & Janssens M. J.J. 2003. The promotion of cocoa agroforest in West and Central Africa (French title: Promotion des agroforêts cacao en Afrique de l'Ouest et Centrale). Voluntary paper presented during the XII World Forestry Congress on Forests, Source of Life. Quebec City, 21-28 September 2003.

Toledo, V.M., Ortiz-Espejel, B., Cortés, L., Moguel, P., and Ordoñez, M.D.J. 2003. The multiple uses of tropical forests by indigenous peoples in Mexico: a case of adaptive management. Conserv. Ecol. [Online] 7(3):9.

Watson, A., Alessa, L., and Glaspell, B. 2003. The relationship between traditional ecological knowledge, evolving cultures, and wilderness protection in the circumpolar north. Conserv. Ecol. [Online] 8(1):2.

World Tourism Organization. 2003. Sustainable development of ecotourism - a compilation of good practices in SMES.

This World Tourism Organization publication compiles 65 case studies received from 47 countries about exemplary practices in small ecotourism businesses. It is the third of a series of good practice compilations and was prepared in the follow up to the International Year of Ecotourism 2002. The publication is available in English, Spanish and French.


21. Web sites and e-zines

From: FAO¿s NWFP Programme

Community-Based Natural Resource Management Network (CBNRM Net)


ECOLEX is a database providing the most comprehensive, global source of information on environmental law.

Techno Tree Biology Dictionary

Bosques Amazónicos

BOSQUES AMAZÓNICOS virtu@l, es una publicación quincenal de Bosques Tropicales S. R. Ltda.

Para más información, dirigirse a:

Juan Mateluna Florián
Apartado Postal 556 ¿ Iquitos, Perú.

Telefax 0051-65-223039


The Caucasus Environmental NGO Network

The Caucasus Environmental NGO Network (CENN) is a voluntary effort of more than 6 000 members to foster regional cooperation by improving communication among environmental organizations in the Caucasus hotspot. Visitors to its Web site can subscribe to free daily news and monthly bulletins and find links to environmental organizations throughout the region.



From: FAO¿s NWFP Programme

Marketing Strategies and Capacity Strengthening to realize the economic potential of underutilized plant species

28-31 January 2004

Macerata, Italy

The Global Facilitation Unit for Underutilized Species (GFU), the International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (IPGRI) and the University of Macerata are jointly conducting this expert meeting. The objective of the workshop is to analyse - on the basis of case studies - examples of successful marketing of underutilized plant species and to identify the most strategic areas for the sustainable commercialization of these species, as well as identifying where human resources development is most needed. The major output of the meeting will be an action plan containing training courses tailored to meet the needs of different stakeholder groups.

For more information, please contact the organizers at:

Via dei Tre Denari 472/a
00057 Maccarese, Rome, Italy

Fax: +39-06-6118292


Conference on Tropical Beekeeping: Research and Development for Pollination and Conservation

22 to 25 February 2003

San José, Costa-Rica

For more information, please contact:

Dr. Johan W. van Veen
Organizing Committee
PO Box 475 - 3000
Costa Rica

Fax: ++506 - 2377043


Bornean Biodiversity and Ecosystem Conservation International Conference 2004

23-25 February 2004

Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

This conference is organized by the Bornean Biodiversity and Ecosystems Conservation Programme and has for its main theme ¿Biodiversity Conservation: Now or Never.

For more information, please contact:

Ms. Kertijah Abd. Kadir
BBEC IC 2004
Science and Technology Unit
7th Floor, Block B, Wisma MUIS
88100 Kota Kinabalu
Sabah, Malaysia

Tel: +60 088 240430

Fax: +60 088 249410

E-mail: or

International Workshop on solitary bees and their role in pollination

26-29 April 2004

Ceará, Brazil.

The Workshop is promoted by the Brazilian Pollinators Initiative and organized by the Universidade Federal do Ceará, with the support of the Brazilian Ministry of Environment and the Brazilian Council for Scientific and Technological Development.

The purpose of the Workshop is to update knowledge on solitary bees, especially their use for crop pollination. Subjects such as rearing, building-up population techniques, standardized methodologies, losses of species diversity, population declining & management practices, assessment of the economic value of their pollination services and the economic impact of the decline of pollination services will be covered and discussed.

For more information, please contact:

Breno M. Freitas
Organizing Committee
C.P. 12168 Campus do Pici
60.021-970 Fortaleza - CE




26. Request for information: Bamboo in Madagascar

From: Norbert Drese, Landscape architect, Belgium,

I'm seeking information about bamboos in Madagascar. I can only find some scientific articles about bamboo in Madagascar, especially from Kew Botanical Gardens. Recent work about Malagasy bamboo has been carried out, especially by taxonomist Soejatmi Dransfield, Kew Gardens.

But what I am looking for is also information about ethnobotanical value and economic uses of Malagasy bamboos.

Does anyone know about small or large scale bamboo plantations in Madagascar, about charcoaled bamboo, about the general bamboo market there, about bamboo sp. introductions to Madagascar, about Master or Ph thesis on Malagasy bamboos?


27. Request for assistance: Carnivorous plant preservation effort/request for material (Drosera, Genlisea, etc)

From: Matt, Sundew Grower

I am an experienced and dedicated carnivorous plant grower very interested in obtaining carnivorous plants from Africa and other tropical or subtropical habitats. My goal is to preserve representatives from as many populations as possible in cultivation. I feel that this is extremely important since many of the nutrient-poor wetland habitats in which these specialized plants grow have been destroyed or altered and the remaining ones are often threatened. My highest priority is Drosera (sundews) but I am also especially interested in Genlisea (lobster pot trap), Utricularia (bladderwort) and Aldrovanda (waterwheel plant).

I am well connected within the carnivorous plant grower community and have friends who have similar goals with Nepenthes, Sarracenia, Heliamphora, Pinguicula and other carnivorous genera. I prefer seed with at least general location data since species are often variable throughout their range, however I will consider ANY carnivorous species, regardless of genus or origin. If I do not have suitable growing conditions, I will forward material to another dedicated grower who does. I can offer many species of carnivorous plants in trade or would be happy to send a reasonable donation in exchange for material. I am only looking for small quantities of material - I do not wish to have a negative effect on any plant populations and feel that any collection should ideally be done carefully and only once to eliminate future stress. If you can help or know anyone who might be able to, please email me privately at or at if you do not receive a reply within two days. Also please feel free to visit my website at


28. Request for information: Rattan

From: Jon Walker (in tropicalresources list serve),

I'm trying to collate information on the harvesting of rattan (rates, ecological consequences and sustainability etc). Whilst I've carried out literature searches, I imagine that a lot of relevant data might be hiding in obscure publications. As such, I'm writing to ask if anyone knows, and could supply the reference to, any articles /papers concerning rattan harvesting.



29. Miscellaneous: Botanical Museum opens the exhibition ¿The Gift of the Nile"

From: Luís Mendonça de Carvalho (, Portugal

The Botanical Museum located at the Instituto Politécnico de Beja, Portugal (Beja Polytechnic Institute) has recently opened a new exhibition named ¿The Gift of The Nile or the Uses of Plants in Ancient Egypt¿. The exhibition displays 216 items, including plants, plants products and Egyptian art reproductions bought to the workshops of the major world museum that have Egyptian collections.

The exhibition covers the period between 3 100 BC. and 30 BC and is divided in major themes: food plants, medicinal and aromatic plants, clothing plants, plants used in the mummification processes, spices, etc.

Some of the plants included in the exhibition are native of Egypt (papyrus, blue water lily) but others were imported throughout legendary commercial routes (spices, resins).

Among the many plants and plant products displayed are: papyrus (Cyperus papyrus L.), Doum Palm (Hyphaene thebaica (L.) C. Mart.), flax (Linum usitatissimum L.) henna (Lawsonia inermis L.), pomegranate (Punica granatum L.), ebony (Dalbergia melanoxylon Guill. & Perr.), frankincense (Boswellia sacra Flueck.) myrrh (Commiphora myrrha (Nees) Engl.) mastic (Pistacia lentiscus L.), coriander (Coriandrum sativum L.), garlic (Allium sativum L.), onions (Allium cepa L.).

A catalogue of the exhibition has been published (Portuguese and English).

For more information, please visit:



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last updated:  Monday, August 24, 2009