No. 08/02

1. The Story of Buddha Mushroom - Tricholoma matsutake
2.Tooth Fungi
3.Pluck, not plunder
4. Safed Moosli (Chlorophytum borivilianum)
5.UN Atlas of Biodiversity Maps Human Impact
6. Agribusiness in Sustainable Natural African Plant Products (ASNAPP)
7.International trade in medicinal plants: conservation issues and potential roles for botanic gardens
8.Herbal authentication and Sandalwood
9.Resin markets sought
10.Bhutan's rural entrepreneurs look to international markets
11.Forest Health and Silviculture Images
12.'Science' magazine: preserving forests is more profitable
13. Wood of the Gods Conference - First International Agarwood Conference
14.'Voices of Reality' highlights community action at Johannesburg Summit
15. RIL-Afrique
16.Indigenous Knowledge
17. Web sites
18. Events
19. Publications of interest
20.Miscellaneous - The Oxford Forestry Institute

1. The Story of Buddha Mushroom - Tricholoma matsutake

From: Phuntsho

I am currently a research student at the University of Reading. My research project is centred on 'Forestlands, Forest Policy and NTFPs in Forest Rich Bhutan Himalayas'.

The village of Geynekha in the District of Thimphu, located at an altitude of over 2 600m, is one of the many characteristic secluded village communities in the Bhutan Himalayas. The main occupation of the people is subsistence farming on their small landholdings. Both young and old natural forests cover over 80% of the village. This surrounding forestland of pine, spruce, hemlock and fir trees is rich in mushrooms. The villagers collect more than ten different species of wild mushrooms for sale in the weekly vegetable market in Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan - a distance of half-day travel by foot to the main motorway.

One day in 1988, Aum Kuchum, an old and poor woman with a large family from Geynekha, while selling her collection of wild mushrooms in the Sunday vegetable market in the capital city was surprised when a group of Japanese tourists took particular interest in one of her mushroom species. This led to the Japanese tourists, through a Bhutanese business firm, arranging the first dispatch of the famous matsutake mushroom from Bhutan to Japan.

The Japanese enjoy the strong aroma and flavour of the matsutake mushroom and have a long history of eating it as a great delicacy on special occasions. In 1998, about 3 495 tons of matsutake were consumed in Japan, of which 247 tons were from domestic production. The balance of 3 248 tons were imported from China, North Korea, South Korea, Canada, Morocco and Mexico. The import value was estimated at 16.7 billion yen (US$156 million).

The Bhutanese firm, which picked up on the idea of the Japanese tourists and started exporting matsutake, continued its monopoly of the matsutake trade for some five years. However, by 1997, there were nine Bhutanese export firms involved in the matsutake trade. The forest gate price for the grade A matsutake rose steeply from Nu.50 (over US$1) in 1991 to Nu.800 (over US$16) in 1998. In 1997, Bhutan exported over 15 tons of matsutake to Japan and other Southeast Asian countries. But, not all of this amount came from Geynekha; as the news of the high cash value of the matsutake spread, it was discovered in more forest areas.

The wholesale price of matsutake in Japan is a trade secret with the Bhutanese export firms. However, the general knowledge is that it ranges from US$30-70/kg.

The village people for the first time in their community history saw a huge amount of cash flowing, and their income level rising. Today, thanks to the matsutake industry, Aum Kuchum and her family live a self-sufficient life. Currently, seven out of her 15 family members are engaged in full time collection of matsutake during the season. In 1998, the family's income from the matsutake collection was reported to be Nu.50 000 (US$1 000).

The villagers think that the matsutake mushroom in their forest is a godsend. Since they did not have a common local name, they christened it the Buddha Mushroom - after the Enlightened Beings in Buddhist faith.

As the matsutake has now become a highly prized item, the village community does not allow outsiders to stray into their forestlands. This is interesting because the surrounding forestland from which the matsutake is collected is a government-reserved forest permitting access and a right to collect NWFPs by every Bhutanese citizen. To date, there has been no legal challenge to the actions of the Geynekha village community.

For the long-term sustainability of the matsutake resource, the Department of Forests and the Ministry of Agriculture's National Mushroom Centre have framed rules on the starting and closing day of collections, and a minimum size for collection. Additionally, the National Mushroom Centre has provided the farmers training on mushroom harvesting methods and mushroom ecology.

A detailed report is available at:

For more information, please contact:

Mr. Phuntsho Namgyel
Sibly Hall
University of Reading
Redhatch Drive, Lower Early

2.Tooth Fungi

Source: Kew Scientist, April 2002, Issue 21

A £6 000 grant from English Nature has been awarded to Kew to study the population diversity and speciation in Hydnellum and Phellodon. Little is known about the population diversity of these fungi or the mechanisms of population maintenance and spread. These are important considerations for the determination of future Biodiversity Action Plans. The project will investigate the genetic diversity of H. scrobiculatum and P. confluens, at and between sites in SE England and Scotland, and will use molecular methods to identify the relative roles of mycelial growth and fruiting body production in population maintenance and spread. DNA sequence variation within the group will first be compared to investigate speciation, so sequences from related species, including the rare H. aurantiacum, will be obtained.

For more information, please contact: Dr. Brian Spooner,

3.Pluck, not plunder

Source: Spore, June 2002

Demand for medicinal plants is growing. But in the rush for quick profits, we may lose inestimable knowledge, much biodiversity and some common sense.

4. Safed Moosli (Chlorophytum borivilianum)

From: P.Oudhia (

Safed Moosli is one of the important medicinal crops in India. Due to its increasing demand its availability is continuously decreasing in Indian forests.
Focused on this aspect, my article on this aspect is now on-line. I invite you to read some facts about this useful herb.

5.UN Atlas of Biodiversity Maps Human Impact

Source: Environment News Service

Plants are vanishing so quickly that the Earth is losing one major drug to extinction every two years, according to a new atlas of biodiversity released by the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre. The "World Atlas of Biodiversity: Earth's Living Resources for the 21st Century" is the first comprehensive map based view of global biodiversity. By using maps to show the location of plants and animals, it draws together the work of researchers across the world who have identified particularly rich or vulnerable areas.

6. Agribusiness in Sustainable Natural African Plant Products (ASNAPP)

From: FAO's NWFP Programme

The USAID co-funded ASNAPP project was initiated in 1999 to help develop the natural products sector in Africa by promoting income-generating activities for rural entrepreneurs in such a way that improves the livelihoods of rural communities.

ASNAPP's overall aim is to build capacity for the development of sustainable natural plant product businesses in a socially and environmentally sensitive manner. ASNAPP uses a market-driven, commodity-systems approach this minimizes risk to growers and is focused on crop clusters such as teas, dyes, spices, and aromatic plants. A sub-focus of the project is the commercialization of plants that are also used in traditional medicine and can assist in primary health care. ASNAPP uses ongoing training programs to promote organic production methods, business development skills and education.

For more information, please contact:

7.International trade in medicinal plants: conservation issues and potential roles for botanic gardens



There is large-scale international trade in medicinal plants, used both for herbal medicine and for the manufacture of pharmaceutical drugs. There is also growing interest in obtaining samples of plant material, or traditional knowledge about plant uses, to explore for new commercial medical products. The scale of international trade in medicinal plants is difficult to assess, because of a paucity of reliable statistics and trade secrecy, but it is growing rapidly.

Conservation issues in international trade in medicinal plants for existing products mainly concern those plants which are harvested from the 'wild', which is the case for the great majority of species. Conservation issues arise if the trade threatens conservation of biodiversity or is not sustainable. Biodiversity may be threatened if the trade endangers survival of the species, erodes its genetic diversity or causes loss or degradation of important natural or semi-natural ecosystems. The international movement of plant samples (or traditional knowledge about the uses of plants) for analysis to discover possible new commercial products raises the issue of equitable distribution of rewards in the event of successful commercialization. Following the Biodiversity Treaty, there is an urgent need for equitable partnerships to be developed between those involved in developing new commercial products from plants and those responsible for conservation of biodiversity (often in the South).

Please read more about this interesting article at:

For more information, please contact:
Alan Hamilton,
WWF International,
Panda House,
Weyside Park,
Godalming, Surrey GU7 1QJ,

8.Herbal authentication and Sandalwood

Source: Kew Scientist, April 2002, Issue 21

Because of the overall interest in plant-based products, there is a growing need to help traders authenticate and check the quality of plants. To date there is little formal regulation on the quality of plants being traded and this could result in more people suffering adverse responses if poor quality material or incorrect plants are supplied. There are also many conservation issues in the increased demand for plants. Although many plants being supplied to the trade are from renewable sources some, such as sandalwood, are not always being sustainably harvested.

Dr. Melanie Howes has been studying the quality and source of sandalwood extracts currently being traded in the UK. Few companies could confirm the source of their sandalwood, and many extracts did not meet the international standard for sandalwood oil of a minimum free alcohol (santalol) content of 90 percent. The results were presented by Prof. Monique Simmonds at a conference in February 2002 on the "Industrial Leadership for the Preservation of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants" in Philadelphia, USA. The aim of this project is to enable companies to locate good quality sandalwood from renewable sources.

For more information, please contact:

Prof. Monique Simmonds at

9.Resin markets sought

Source: Mar Dalmacio, (in FIU 26 AUG 02)

We are helping some 15 Peoples' Organizations to acquire permit for tapping almaciga (Agathis dammara) resins (commercially known as Manila copal). To improve quality, the resins will be refined using technology developed by the Forest Products Development Institute. The refining technology involves the extraction of resin with ethyl alcohol at about 95 degrees centigrade with applied pressure and allowing the ethyl alcohol to distil and condense through the resin several times in a continuous operation and then removing the ethyl alcohol for further use in subsequent operation. The extraction vessel is provided with filtering medium to separate the ethyl-soluble portion of the resin from the ethyl-insoluble portion and impurities like dirt, pieces of bark, stones and others. The refined resin will then be of uniformly high quality.

Local communities are expected to earn better income from their tapping operations. This, we hope, would motivate them to protect existing natural almaciga trees and the associated trees. In the end, biodiversity resources would be conserved.

Operation of the refining plant is expected to start by January 2003. Meanwhile, we are looking for possible markets for the refined resin. We thought that perhaps readers might have information on this matter.

10.Bhutan's rural entrepreneurs look to international markets

Source: Newsfront, 8 August 2002,

Organic produce, items based on lemon grass oil and other products from Bhutan will be appearing on store shelves in the region and beyond if a new initiative fulfils its promise.

The programme, which supports private sector development in Bhutan, will help rural entrepreneurs market various specialty products to international buyers.

Bhutan has a competitive advantage in these products, but many rural areas are remote, with poor transport and communication links. Prospective entrepreneurs in the sector are isolated and face difficulties obtaining business and marketing information. The programme will provide them with business training and market information and also carry out market feasibility surveys.

The programme, carried out in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Trade and Industry, represents a further step to enhance donor partnerships in Bhutan. UNDP is contributing $3.2 million and SNV <>, the Netherlands Development Organization, is contributing $1 million.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN <> and the UN Industrial Development Organization <> are providing technical expertise.

For further information please contact
Rinchen Tshering,
UNDP Bhutan,
or Trygve Olfarnes,
UNDP Communications Office.

11.Forest Health and Silviculture Images

Source: CFRC Weekly Summary 8/2/02 (

Over 3,500 images of more than 800 insects, diseases, plants, wildlife, and management practices taken by over 150 photographers are now available online.Although most images are North American in nature, the system also contains images of organisms that are "Non-U.S. Natives" or are considered to be "U.S. Invasives."

12.'Science' magazine: preserving forests is more profitable

Source: Amazon News - August, 15th,

Preserving the forest is good business sense. It may be difficult to imagine that an intact forest is more valuable than a soya plantation or a cattle ranch or a preserved coral reef more valuable than the fishing industry but that is exactly what the authors of an article published in 'Science' magazine have concluded.

For the population in general and for the planet, if not the farmer, rancher or fisherman, preserving nature is more profitable than destroying it, researchers say. They studied five cases of intact ecosystems that have been transformed by human activity. In all cases, the human population ended up as the losers by some US$250 billion per year. What the population gains in food and products, it loses in soil quality, erosion, the recycling of nutrients, drinking water, climate regulation, carbon capture, pollination, the biological control of species, biodiversity - as much for hunting as for medical research - and even tourism and leisure. "These services are normally ignored in economic calculations, but without the environment provided them for free, we will have to pay for them at a later date", said researcher Robert Costanza of the University of Maryland, one of the report's principal authors. The study was co-ordinated by Andrew Balmford of the University of Cambridge.

Constanze said that this was a 'conservative estimate' of the value of these services. In order to maintain a global network of conservation areas, covering 155 of land-based ecosystems and 30% of marine ecosystems, the world would spend just US$45 billion per year. According to researchers, this would give a return of between US$4.4 and US$5.2 trillion and allow the sustainable use of resources. These areas would be remote with a sparse population. "Therefore we wouldn't be impeding anyone's progress", said Constanza.

Only 7.9% of the Earth's surface and 0.5% of marine regions are currently protected at a cost of US$6.5 million per year. To pay for an extra US$6.5 billion a year, it would be necessary to redirect only 5% of what the researchers call "perverse subsidies", which help producers to the detriment of the environment.

The researchers from the United States and Great Britain analysed more than 300 cases of converted ecosystems, but only five met the criteria. The biological services performed by the intact biome offered a greater return than the services resulting from the conversion of the ecosystem. The economic return varied between 15% and 75%.

The margin of return varies according to the productivity of the activity. The researchers stated that they are not opposed to development. However, they say that the current trajectory of development is obviously not resulting in the benefits that it should. The solution is to exploit natural resources in a more intelligent manner, combining conservation with sustainable development.

13. Wood of the Gods Conference - First International Agarwood Conference

From: FAO's NWFP Programme

First International Agarwood Conference

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

19-23 May 2003

Aquilaria trees producing Agarwood, one of the world's rarest and most valuable natural products, are in danger of extinction. Worldwide deposits in natural forests, presently the only source of this valuable resinous wood, used for incense, perfume and medicine, are running out; yet demand continues to rise.

The Rainforest Project Foundation (TRP) a Dutch based organization has been working for more than seven years to find a way to reverse this trend by designing methods to produce Agarwood in a sustainable way. Using donations and European Commission funds they have succeeded in establishing plantation-based Agarwood in Vietnam and developing technologies to accelerate resin development in Aquilaria trees. TRP believes their approach provides a viable alternative to the present destructive harvesting and a methodology to save the Aquilaria species for future generations.

TRP in association with the National University of Ho Chi Minh City, An Giang University and the University of Minnesota has decided to organize the First International Agarwood conference with a view to sharing their experiences with others involved in the production, processing, marketing and trade of this highly prized natural product known in ancient literature as " Wood of the Gods"

In order to present advances in science and commerce in all fields related to Agarwood, exchange ideas and formulate solutions, the organizers would like to invite scientists, business representatives, government officials, and others who have a professional interest in Agarwood to attend this First International Agarwood Conference.

The meeting will include presentations by leading international research scientists and businessmen from Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the United States as well as a two-day field trip. This trip will be to the Mekong delta, location of an ongoing Agarwood development project implemented by TRP and its local and international counterparts. Site visits will be organized to a TRP nursery, local farmer managed project plantations and Agarwood inducement experiments. An informal workshop will follow in order to exchange ideas and formulate future directions for Agarwood production, processing and marketing.

The Wood of the Gods conference will cover four main topics

A) Ecology and Cultivation of Aquilaria
Botany, Geography and Ecology of Aquilaria Genus · Propagation and Management of Aquilaria Trees

B) Sustainable Production Technology
Agarwood Formation Mechanisms · Artificial Inducement of Resin · Chemistry of Agarwood

C) Conservation and Legal Status
Protection of Natural Aquilaria Stands and Legal Framework · Community Participation in Sustainable Agarwood Production

D) Product Development and Sales
Markets for Agarwood Products, Price Trends, Marketing Strategy · Extraction Technology and Value-added Product Development

Additional information:

TRP and its associates would be happy to consider additional sponsors. Such sponsors would be requested to share in the financial costs of running the meeting. If interested please contact the email address given below.

English will be the official language of the symposium but interpreters In Japanese, Arabic and Vietnamese will be on hand to assist delegates from these regions.

For more information, please contact:

The Rainforest Project Netherlands,
(TRP) Damrak 68 III B.
Centrum, 1012 LM Amsterdam,
The Netherlands.
Phone: +31 (20) 624-8508
Fax: +31 (20) 624-0588.

The Rainforest Project Viet Nam,
TRP 71 Lam Son,
Tan Binh Dist,
Ho Chi Minh City,
Viet Nam
Phone: +84 (8) 848-7198,
Fax: 848-7223.

14.'Voices of Reality' highlights community action at Johannesburg Summit

Source: Newsfront - 26 August 2002, []

Monday, 26 August 2002: Farmers in Yunguilla, Ecuador, are saving a cloud-shrouded forest in the Andes and boosting incomes with tourism, while in Kibera, an impoverished community near the lake at the Nairobi dam in Kenya, families make and market furniture from dried water hyacinth that choke the lake.

The Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme (SGP) <>, implemented by UNDP, has supported these and more than 3,000 similar initiatives in 63 countries during the past decade, mobilizing grassroots action to address global environmental concerns while improving livelihoods.

The SGP is highlighting these community-based projects at "Voices of Reality," an event today at the Community Kraal of the World Summit for Sustainable Development in Johannesburg <>, South Africa -- the summit's opening day.

"Communities are the driving force of sustainable development," said UNDP Associate Administrator Zéphirin Diabré. "Over the past decade, it has been increasingly recognized that environment and development problems facing the global community can be best addressed if local people are involved and there are direct community benefits and ownership."

"Communities are on the front line of development, and theirs are the 'voices of reality,'" he said.

The event presents four films highlighting communities taking action presented by national SPG coordinators and community representatives. The films feature Honey Care Africa Ltd, a beekeeping project encompassing nearly 2,000 rural families Kenya that adds US$200 to $250 a year to their incomes, and a solar kitchen project managed by local NGO Sol de Vida that frees time for women in Costa Rica's Santa Cruz region, protects the environment and promotes healthier diets.

The other films showcase several initiatives in Ecuador and a project in Zimbabwe that is preserving endangered wetlands and improving livelihoods in local communities.

"While governmental commitments are key in establishing the policy framework, incentive structure and regulations, in the end, whether sustainable development happens or not will depend on the decisions and actions of individuals, families, communities and businesses the world over," said Sarah Timpson, Global Manager of the Small Grants Programme.

The SGP has channelled over $60 million to support community initiatives in developing countries, directly to civil society groups and local communities. The maximum grant for a project is $50,000, with the average between $10,000 and $20,000. So far, 60 per cent of the projects have addressed biodiversity, 15 per cent climate change, six per cent protecting international waters, and 19 per cent a combination of themes.

SGP offers a model at the Johannesburg Summit of community action linked to global priorities, one that the new UNDP Partnership initiatives are drawing on to address the summit's framework issues of water, energy, health, agriculture and biodiversity.

For further information please contact Penny Stock <>, UNDP GEF/SGP, or Nicholas Gouede <>, UNDP Communications Office.

15. RIL-Afrique

From: Laura

RIL-Afrique- L est un bulletin électronique portant sur les pratiques d'exploitation forestière à faible impact et durable en Afrique. Il veut être l'expression d'un réseau de communications, d'échanges et de discussions entre les différents acteurs du secteur forestier (professionnels et non) et il s'adresse plus particulièrement à l'Afrique francophone (voir aussi NWFP Digest 10/01)

Tous les numéros de RIL-Afrique-L sont disponibles sur le site web de la FAO à l'adresse

16.Indigenous Knowledge

Source: Conserve Africa Group

SciDev.Net ( - a website devoted to science and technology issues relevant to the needs of developing countries - is pleased to announce the launch of a new dossier on indigenous knowledge. The dossier has been compiled by the Netherlands Organisation for International Cooperation in Higher Education (Nuffic), and is available at

dossiers are a series of in-depth guides to key topics at the science/technology/development interface. Combining original articles by experts with highlights of our news coverage, SciDev.Net dossiers are essential guides to issues of the moment.

The indigenous knowledge dossier critically addresses key issues relating to the potential contribution of indigenous knowledge (IK) to science and development. It does so by presenting the experiences and perspectives of those working in the field - through analytical policy briefs and topical opinion articles - as well as providing relevant annotated links to external websites, and offering access to electronic versions of key reports and documents within the field of IK.

SciDev.Net is supported by the scientific journals Nature and Science and the Third World Academy of Sciences, and is funded by the UK Department for International Development, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, and the International Development Research Centre in Canada.

For more information, please contact:

Elma Leidekker

Information specialist and member editorial team IKWW

Nuffic/OS-IK Unit
P.O.Box 29777, 2502 LT The Hague -The Netherlands
Tel: +31-70-4260323
Fax: +31-70-4260329
Email: or .

Gateway to indigenous knowledge at

17. Web sites

From: FAO's NWFP Programme

Cloud forests
Launched by Strybing Arboretum, this is an educational site filled with interesting images, resources and information:

Searchable World Wide Web Multilingual Multiscript Plant Name Database

USDA Forest Service International Programs
Visit their "What's New?" page, which highlights the current events and work of the Forest Service worldwide, including new international projects and updates on ongoing international Forest Service efforts.

World Agroforestry Center

18. Events

From: FAO's NWFP Programme

The Second Expert Meeting on Harmonizing Forest-related Definitions for Use by Various Stakeholders
Rome, Italy
11-13 September 2002

This meeting builds upon the discussions and results of the first meeting. Some 60 international experts will discuss a draft analytical framework on some core definitions.

This process on harmonizing forest-related definitions is closely linked with the Kotka process led by FAO, as well with the UNFCCC process on developing definitions for afforestation and reforestation under art. 12 of the Kyoto Protocol, and with IPPC-led processes, like those on Good Practice Guidance, IPCC task 2

The proceedings of the First Expert Meeting, which took place in January 2002, are online at:

For more information please contact:

Wulf Killmann
Director, Forest Products Division
FAO Forestry Department
Via delle Terme di Caracalla
00100 Rome (Italy)
Telephone: (39) 0657053221
Telefax: (39) 0657055618

International Conference on Himalayan Biodiversity
10-13 December 2002

Kathmandu, Nepal

In recognition of The International Year of Mountains (IYM) 2002 and The International Year of Eco-tourism, 2002, this International Conference is being organized by the Himalayan Resources Institute (HIRI) Nepal in collaboration with Biodiversity Research Group (BRG), Central Department of Zoology, Tribhuvan University, Nepal, Ecological Association of Nepal and Nepal Biotechnology Association (NBA).
The conference aims to point out the unsustainable approach of natural resource management including, specifically, Himalayan Flora and Fauna, Biodiversity Conservation, Trade Related Property Rights (TRIPs.) and Ecotourism in relation to human welfare will be explored. The conference will bring together various related aspects viz education, research, development, policy, production, processing, marketing, economics, energy and environment. It will provide an opportunity to interact and exchange ideas amongst innovative grass root farmers, green entrepreneurs, scientists, academicians, policy makers, social organizers, environmentalists and industrialists for evolving practical solutions for the conservation and management of the Himalayan biodiversity.
The theme of the conference is "Conservation of Himalayan Biodiversity for Human Welfare" with the following the major topics of the conference:

a. Himalayan Flora and Fauna,
b. Biodiversity Conservation,
c. Indigenous Knowledge on Biodiversity Conservation,
d. Trade Related Property Rights (TRIPs),
e. Eco- tourism.

Deadline for Submission of abstracts: 15 September 2002

For more information, please contact:

Mr. Ram Bhandari
Himalayan Resources Institute (HIRI)
New Baneshwor, Kathmandu, Nepal

19. Publications of interest

From: FAO's NWFP Programme

Arunachalam, A., and Arunachalam, K. 2002. Evaluation of bamboos in eco-restoration of "jhum" fallows in Arunachal Pradesh: ground vegetation, soil and microbial biomass. Forest Ecol. Manag. 159(3):231-239.

Bairy, K.L. 2002. Wound healing potentials of plant products. Journal of Natural Remedies. 2002, 2: 1, 11-20.

Bodeker, G.; Burford, G.; Chamberlain, J.; Bhat, K.K.S. 2001. The underexploited medicinal potential of Azadirachta indica A. Juss. (Meliaceae) and Acacia nilotica (L.) Willd. ex Del. (Leguminosae) in sub-Saharan Africa: a case for a review of priorities. International Forestry Review. 2001, 3: 4, 285-298, 332-335.

Medicinal tree cultivation can contribute to local health care, including the management of serious diseases, and stimulate small-scale local enterprise. Nevertheless, medicinal properties are often overlooked when the economic value of multipurpose tree species is evaluated. This paper examines the medicinal potential of two popular agroforestry species, Azadirachta indica (Meliaceae) and Acacia nilotica (Leguminosae: Mimosoideae), both of which may be useful in treating priority diseases such as malaria and HIV/AIDS as well as a wide variety of non-communicable diseases. Azadirachta indica is popularly used in India for a variety of medicinal purposes, while in sub-Saharan Africa, although well known to local communities as a medicine, it has been more widely promoted as a source of natural pesticides. Acacia nilotica is generally cultivated only for timber and fuel wood.

For more information, please contact: Global Initiative for Traditional Systems (GIFTS) of Health, Green College, University of Oxford, Oxford OX2 6HG, UK.

Burkill, H.M. 2000. Useful Plants of West Tropical Africa 2nd Edition. Vol.5 (Families S-Z).Kew: Royal Botanic Gardens. ISBN 0 900347 40 7

A comprehensive survey of economically important plants grown in West Tropical Africa. Each plant is described with its geographical range, habitat and economic uses, with West African and European names. This volume completes the account of the flowering plants. Volume 6 (ISBN 1 84246 043 9, to be published in 2002) will consist of cumulative indexes to the five volumes.

For more information, please contact:
Royal Botanic Gardens,
Kew, Surrey TW9 3AB,
Fax: +44-(0)20-8332-5197

Dalle, S.P., López, H., Díaz, D., Legendre, P., and Potvin, C. 2002. Spatial distribution and habitats of useful plants: an initial assessment for conservation on an indigenous territory, Panama. Biodivers. Conserv. 11(4):637-667.

Davidson-Hunt, I., Duchesne, L., and Zasada, J. (eds.). 2001. Forest Communities in the Third Millennium: Linking Research, Business, and Policy toward a Sustainable Non-Timber Forest Product Sector. General Technical Report NC-217. United States Dept. of Agriculture Forest Service.

Dongmo, A.B.; Kamanyi, A.; Anchang, M.S.; Nkeh, B.C.A.; Njamen, D.; Nguelefack, T.B.; Nole, T.; Wagner, H. 2001. Anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of the stem bark extracts of Erythrophleum suaveolens (Caesalpiniaceae), Guillemin & Perrottet. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 2001, 77: 2-3, 137-141. For more information, please contact: Faculty of Science, University of Douala, P.O. Box 24157, Douala, Cameroon.

Ewald, J. 2002. Multiple controls of understorey plant richness in mountain forests of the Bavarian Alps. Phytocoenologia 32(1):85-100.

Kengue, J., Kapseu, C., and Kayen, G.J. 2002. 3rd International workshop on the improvement of safou and other non-conventional oil crops. Yaoundé, Cameroon, 3-5 October 2000. 3éme Séminaire international sur la valorisation du Safoutier et autres oléagineux non-conventionnels. Yaoundé, Cameroun, 3-5 Octobre 2000. Presses Universitaires d'Afrique.

Liu, H.M., Xu, Z.F., Xu, Y.K., and Wang, J.X. 2002. Practice of conserving plant diversity through traditional beliefs: a case study in Xishuangbanna, southwest China. Biodivers. Conserv. 11(4):705-713.

Love, T.; and Jones, E.T. 2001. Why is non-timber forest product harvesting an "issue"? Excluding local knowledge and the paradigm crisis of temperate forestry. Journal of Sustainable Forestry. 2001, 13: 3-4, 105-121.

Despite an encouraging trend in North America of growing interest across a range of disciplines in non-timber forest products (NTFP), NTFP harvesters' knowledge and practices continue to be poorly understood and undervalued, if not ignored, both by research scientists and forestland policy makers and managers. This article explores why NTFP harvesting suddenly emerged in North America as an issue in the early 1990s. Drawing from a three-year (1994-96) study of chanterelle mushroom [Cantharellus sp.] harvesters on the Olympic Peninsula Biosphere Reserve (Washington, USA), the authors discuss a variety of forces which intersected in this period to bring NTFP harvesting to wider attention. Unfortunately, harvesters continue to be excluded as knowledgeable actors in, if not legitimate co-managers of, temperate forest ecosystems, resulting in both passive and active harvester resistance to research and management, a devaluing of local harvesting traditions, and missed opportunities for collaboration.

Milliken, W., Albert B., and Gomez, G.G. 1999. Yanomami. A Forest People - Advances in Amazonian Ethnobotany. Kew: Royal Botanic Gardens. ISBN 1 900347 73 3.

Nautiyal, S.; Maikhuri, R.K.; Rao, K.S.; and Saxena, K.G. 2001. Medicinal plant resources in Nanda Devi Biosphere reserve in the central Himalayas. Journal of Herbs, Spices and Medicinal Plants. 2001, 8: 4, 47-64.

The traditional uses, cultivation practices and economic contribution of medicinal plants to the rural economy of the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve in the district of Chamoli, Uttar Pradesh, India were studied. A survey of 200 randomly selected households was conducted during 1995-96 to gather information. Samplings were done on 16 species of plants stored and used by all the households within the sample areas: Aconitum heterophyllum, Allium humile, Allium stracheyi, Angelica glauca, Betula utilis, Carum carvi, Cedrus deodara, Dactylorhiza hatagirea, Juniperus indica [J. pseudosabina], Megacarpaea polyandra, Nardostachys grandiflora, Picrorhiza kurroa, Pleurospermum angelicoides, Rheum australe, Saussurea costus and Taxus baccata. A total of eight species were cultivated on 4% of the private farm land, evolving as an indigenous practice in response to restrictions on traditional rights to collect in the wild and attempts to meet the increasing demand for medical products in the market place.

For more information, please contact:

G. B. Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development,
Garhwal Unit,
Post Box 92,
Srinagar, Garhwal 246 174,

Prasad, Ram; Kotwal, P.C.; Mishra, Manish; Prasad, R; Mishra, M. 2002. Impact of harvesting of Emblica officinalis (Aonla) on its natural regeneration in central Indian forests. Journal of Sustainable Forestry. 2002, 14: 4, 1-12.

This paper reports the prevalent harvesting practices of an important non-timber forest products (NTFP) species, Aonla, Emblic myrobalan (Emblica officinalis [Phyllanthus emblica]) which grows as an associate in tropical dry and moist deciduous forests in large parts of India. Aonla fruit is a rich natural source of vitamin C and is an integral part of a number of Ayurvedic (Indian system of medicine) formulations. Aonla fruits start maturing after December but due to great demand by industries and intense competition among collectors, pre-mature harvesting starts in October. The entire fruit collection is over within a span of 2-3 weeks. Prevalent harvesting practices of Aonla fruits involve lopping and pollarding of branches and in some places even felling of the whole tree.

For more information, please contact:

Indian Institute of Forest Management,
Post Box 357,
Nehru Nagar,
Bhopal 462 003,

Rahhemtulla, Y.G. and Wellstead, A.M. 2001. Ecotourism: understanding competing expert and academic definitions. Natural Resources Canada and Foothills Model Forest. ISBN 0-662-31082-9

Shanley P., Luz, L., and Swingland, I.R. 2002. The faint promise of a distant market: a survey of Belém's trade in non-timber forest products. Biodviers. Conserv. 11(4):615-636.

Turner, N.J.; Cocksedge, W. 2001. Aboriginal use of non-timber forest products in Northwestern North America: applications and issues. Journal of Sustainable Forestry. 2001, 13: 3-4, 31-57.

Aboriginal peoples in northwestern North America have traditionally used hundreds of different forest plants for food, materials and medicines. Plant products have also been economically important as trading goods. Today, there are excellent prospects for aboriginal people to participate in the harvesting and marketing of non-timber forest products (NTFPs), but there are serious issues of access to and control of resources, respect of intellectual property rights, and concerns for conservation of plants and ecosystems that must be addressed. We provide an overview of past, current and potential use of NTFPs by aboriginal peoples in British Columbia, Canada, and neighbouring areas, and discuss the relevant issues and concerns, with recommendations about how these can be accommodated.

For more information, please contact:

School of Environmental Studies,
University of Victoria,
Victoria, B.C. V8W 2Y2,

van Valkenburg, L.C.H.; Hillegers, P.J.M. (ed.); de Longh, H.H. 2001. Non-timber forest products in a changing environment. Workshop-Proceedings-'The-balance-between-biodiversity-conservation-and-sustainable-use-of-tropical-rain-forests',-6-8-December-1999. 2001, 117-129;

The ecological, economic and social aspects of non-timber forest products (NTFP) exploitation are not well known. This paper focuses on the ecological and economic potential of NTFPs in East Kalimantan. The research on which it is based was undertaken in 1991-95 as part of the International MOF (Indonesian Ministry of Forestry)-Tropenbos Kalimantan Project based at the Wanariset Research station in Samboja, East Kalimantan. The project aims to develop appropriate techniques and guidelines for sustainable forest management. It is being implemented by the Indonesian Agency for Forestry Research and Development of the Ministry of Forestry and Estate Crops, and the Institute for Forestry and Nature Research (IBN-DLO) and the National Herbarium in the Netherlands, together with the Indonesian state forestry enterprises P.T. INHUTANI I and II.

For more information, please contact:

PO Box 341,
6700 AH Wageningen,

White, F., Dowsett-Lemaire, F., and Chapman, J.D. 2001. Evergreen Forest Flora of Malawi. Kew: Royal Botanic Gardens. ISBN ! 900347 97 0.

20.Miscellaneous - The Oxford Forestry Institute

Source: H. Gyde Lund,
FIU 26 AUG 02

FUTURE OF THE OXFORD FORESTRY INSTITUTE AT RISK - As most foresters are aware, the nature of the forestry profession and its training needs are changing. In parallel, academic institutions are also changing and forestry is becoming subsumed within departments of environmental studies and geography or taught in small modules of courses provided by anthropology and development studies. While this may bring breadth to public awareness of the subject, it does not ensure the continuation of professional, integrative management of forests nor the interpretation of research for management and policy-making. Within a decade the level of such activities will be severely reduced at a time when policy-makers and civil society will be increasingly needing such resource management skills.

One example of this potential loss is the Oxford Forestry Institute. After a century of teaching, research, advice and information on most aspects of forestry worldwide, and particularly for developing countries, the future of the OFI is threatened. Forestry is no longer a "sexy" subject in academic circles in comparison with molecular sciences that attract public and private financial support and win approbation in academic grading exercises. Oxford University will not continue financing the key posts of the Institute within its parent Department of Plant Sciences; vacancies will not be refilled unless external financial sources are found for their endowment. Already its world-famous MSc course has been suspended for the next academic year at least.

Despite its long and distinguished career, its library of deposit of world literature, and its 3000 alumni of academic and professional training courses (many of whom attained posts of high leadership in national and international agencies), the OFI will disappear for the lack of a few million dollars.

Further information can be obtained from the retiring OFI Director, Professor Jeff Burley at


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last updated:  Friday, August 28, 2009