No. 12/01

Welcome to the NWFP-Digest-L., a free e-mail journal thatcovers all aspects of non-wood forest products. A specialthank you to all those who have shared information withus.
Our best wishes for a happy, healthy 2002.

1. New publication in the Non-Wood ForestProducts series
2. FAO/IPCC/CIFOR Expert Meeting onForest-Related Definitions
3. Report on bamboo
4. Forest for when the rice runsout
5. Participatory monitoring andevaluation of biodiversity
6. Web site of FAO's ForestryDepartment
7. Field Courses in Rainforest andMarine Ecology for
8. Branching Out newsletter
9. Uganda Forestry Association
10. Comparison of FRA 1990 and FRA2000
11. Natural ResourcePerspectives
12. Publications of interest

1. New publication in the Non-WoodForest Products series

From: FAO's NWFP Programme

"Resource assessment of non-wood forest products. Experienceand biometric principles." This publication is intended asreference material for practitioners considering inventory ofnon-wood forest product (NWFP) resources. Through review andanalysis of experience it provides an overview of biometricissues in the design of NWFP inventory in the followingareas:

· a description of the range of approaches used anddeveloped to date and their biometric adequacy; and

· a suggested method for selecting appropriatebiometric methods for resource quantification in differentsituations and for different products.

After introducing the subject and background Section 1,Section 2 discusses the role of and need for biometricallyreliable NWFP assessments.

It considers: why resource assessments are needed; what abiometric resource assessment looks like; the biometricqualities of current methods for inventory of NWFPs; and whyresource assessments might need to provide biometric data.

Section 3 reviews the quantitative methods currently usedin inventory, whilst Section 4 reviews the potentialcontributions of non-quantitative approaches to biometricassessments. A key issue is that quantitative andqualitative approaches can and do complement each other,if used properly.

Approaches to designing biometrically reliable assessmentsare discussed in Section 5. It covers: the relevance andapplication of biometrics in designing an inventory; adecision-support framework as a step-by-step approach toinventory design; planning needs for data analysis andpresentation; and some research needs.

This publication will be of most interest to people withsome previous knowledge of the basics of inventory. It isbased on the outputs of the Forest Research Programme's(FRP) pre-project ZF0077 (of the United Kingdom Departmentfor International Development - DFID) on the biometrics ofcurrent NWFP resource assessment methods. FAO undertookthe publishing in its Non-Wood Forest Products series,within the framework of a current partnership programmewith the European Commission aimed at developingmethodologies for NWFP assessment.

The publication has been translated into both French andSpanish and will be ready for distribution in January2002. Copies of the English version, together with theaccompanying CD-ROM, have already been sent to all thoseon our mailing list, as will copies of the French andSpanish versions (with a trilingual CD-ROM).

Copies of all three versions can be purchased from FAO'sSales and Marketing Group (

2. FAO/IPCC/CIFOR Expert Meeting onForest-Related Definitions

From: FAO's NWFP Programme

Rome, Italy

23-25 January 2002

FAO, jointly with the Intergovernmental Panel on ClimateChange, in cooperation with CIFOR, will host this ExpertMeeting on Forest-Related Definitions. The meeting'sobjective is to review and harmonize forest-relateddefinitions

Much global or regional information on forest resources isderived from national data. FAO has therefore developedforest-related definitions for national inputs to globallyaggregated forest assessments and outlook studies. TheIPCC has developed forest-related definitions for use inissues common to land use, land use change and forestryand climate change. Other organizations have developedother definitions for other purposes, such as monitoringbiological diversity in forests. There is a need toimprove the compatibility and consistency of definitionsin order to permit comparability and thus to improve thequality and usefulness of forest information, increase thesynergy among organizations, and more effectively usescarce resources for information monitoring, assessmentand reporting.

There is a need for globally - and regionally - aggregatedinformation on forest resources and forest ecosystems to:

· define the concept of, and monitor progress towardsustainable forest management

· assess the role of forests in climate change

· assess the attributes and changes affecting forestbiomes with respect to biological diversity

· analyse the social, economic and environmental rolesof forests.

The information required differs between users, but withconsistent and comparable definitions, it could beexchanged between different users.

Expected outputs of the Consultation:

· Identification of key forest-related terms whosedefinitions are critical to international processes

· Review of biome-specific forest definitions as wellas those for the terms forest degradation and devegetation

· Where possible, agreement on the definitions ofthese key terms; deriving on working alternatives orindication on how information using different definitions canbe compared

· Recommendations for consideration by relevant policyprocesses with respect to key definitions and theirapplication

· Planning of further steps to harmonizeforest-related definitions.


· Experts will be invited in their personal capacity,recognizing, however, that many participants will presentviewpoints of their respective organization or country.

· To facilitate the process, the organizers willdistribute background documents and the meeting will includepresentations and working group discussions.

· The meeting will be held in English.

For more information, please contact:
Dr. Wulf Killmann
Forest Products Division
Forestry Department
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla
00100 Rome
Fax: +39 0657055618;

3. Report on bamboo

From: H. Gyde Lund [], FIU 26 NOV 01

The FAO Sub-Regional Office for East and Southern Africa inHarare, Zimbabwe, has just published the following report:Resource Base Assessment, Current Uses and ManagementPotential of Bamboo in Manicaland Province (Nyanga, Mutasa& Mutare Districts) of Zimbabwe, FAO, Harare, October2001.

This study focuses on the assessment and the managementpotential of bamboo species in the Eastern Highlands ofZimbabwe. It was conducted in three stages:

1- Gathering information on bamboo species found in Zimbabwe,their distribution and present and potential uses 2- Carryingout a resource base assessment by estimating the quantity andsize of bamboo reeds growing in the study area.

3- Exploring current uses of bamboo in the survey area andopportunities of extending the management of bamboo intointegrated agroforestry systems, small and large-scalecommercial farming, environmental rehabilitation, ecotourism,food security and income generating bamboo projects.

To get a copy of the report or more information, contact
Michel Laverdiere
Forest Conservation Officer , FAO Harare,

4. Forest for when the rice runs out

From: David Kaimowitz, Polex Listserve,

To the people of upland Laos being poor means using up alltheir rice and having no cash or cattle they can sell to buymore. When that happens they turn to the forest. They hunt,fish, and harvest wild cardamom, bamboo shoots andvegetables, as well as resins, rattan canes, and otherproducts. They consume some of these directly. Others theysell to buy rice. In many remote upland villages theseproducts provide 40-60% of household incomes. For the poorestfamilies the percentage is often much higher. Forest productshave traditionally been available when people need them themost.

For many of these people life is getting harder. Due topopulation growth, government policies, and outsidersencroaching on their forest many families now have lessland where they can practice shifting cultivation.Over-harvesting has depleted many forest products. In someareas this has led younger people to turn to crime andopium, and even to sell their own children.

John Raintree and Viloune Soydara recently wrote a pieceon the "Human Ecology and Rural Livelihoods of Laos."Theyargue that while the Laotian government says all of theright things about the problems, it has yet to implementeffective policies to deal with them. The Laotian "LandAllocation" program, which regulates where farmers canpractice shifting cultivation, needs to be more flexibleand participatory and focus more on land use planning,rather than on allocating specific plots to farmers. Thegovernment's community forestry policies should focus moreon the secondary and degraded forests poor people dependon. The government should also ensure that policiesconcerning non-timber forest products do not lead togreater over-harvesting of those resources or increase thecompetition between poor people and powerful interestgroups.

Without ongoing access to forest resources, poor people inupland Laos will go hungry. When they run out of rice thego to the forest. When they run out of forest, where willthey go?

To request a free electronic copy of the paper or to sendcomments or queries to the author, you can contact JohnRaintree

You can also find a useful new report on `Lao PDR,Production Forest Policy' prepared by the World Bank,SIDA, and the governments of Laos and Finland at the WorldBank website. Go to;extdr/regions.htmand look for `All countries'. Then click on `Lao PDR' andlook under resources and publications for `Lao ProductionForest Policy'.

5. Participatory monitoring andevaluation of biodiversity

From: W.J. Brinkman []

ETFRN web-based workshop and policy seminar convened by theEnvironmental

Change Institute, University of Oxford, UK

7-25 January 2002

All stakeholders who use, manage or conserve biodiversityassess it in some way. Local people have different objectivesand ways of doing this, from policy makers and governmentdepartments responsible for commitments to the Convention onBiological Diversity. Improved understanding of each other'sapproaches to evaluating biodiversity can have benefits forrural communities, governments and intermediaryorganisations.

Participatory monitoring and evaluation of biodiversityinvolves different stakeholders working together to assessbiodiversity, which can help scientists to support localpeople in managing biodiversity, or local people tocontribute to national biodiversity monitoring processes.

ETFRN and the Environmental Change Institute are conveninga workshop to take stock of existing knowledge in thisfield, communicate findings to decision makers and providerecommendations for biodiversity monitoring and evaluationwhich benefits rural people and national levelbiodiversity managers.

The organisers would like to hear from researchers, NGOs,planners and policy-makers, as well as businesses andconsultants, who have experience or questions to sharethrough this workshop. Contributors will be recognised inthe on-line proceedings, with the possibility of beingincluded in a published outcome For further details pleasesee: read on below ...

DEFINITIONS: Although we recognise that there is a debateabout `what is biodiversity' we emphasise that perceptions ofbiodiversity depend on who you are, what you value and needfrom the environment. If we accept this, we can move on tolook at practical issues - how do we better understand thedifferent perspectives, and communicate them betweenstakeholders - and how useful is this communication todifferent stakeholders.

Some people are worried by the word `participatory'. Wedon't mean to imply any particular definition ormethodology by using this word; we are more concerned toemphasise the need for `inclusivity' i.e. recognising allthe stakeholders and supporting their involvement indecision-making. GEOGRAPHICAL FOCUS: The workshop issupported by the European Tropical Forest ResearchNetwork, but we believe the issues of communicating aboutbiodiversity perception, addressing institutional gaps andproviding policy support, are universal. So the focus isdefinitely not limited to the tropics. We are keen to hearfrom `northern' initiatives and from people working withwildlife, to help us address our own `tropical forestry'bias. REGISTER NOW: By simply sending an email to expressyour interest, to ETFRN or Anna Lawrence at the addressbelow. We would also be delighted to hear about your workor receive any tips about important reports we should betaking into account at this stage.

NEXT STEPS: We are preparing a `state of the art' review andwould like to know about projects / documents / websites /people we should be aware of at this stage. The `state of theart' review will identify key themes for the workshop (thereis already a draft list of themes on the website), and inDecember we will contact you to seek people who are willingto write very short `theme papers', or longer case studies,to post during the workshop. The workshop itself will runfrom 7 to 25 January 2002.

HOW DOES AN ELECTRONIC WORKSHOP WORK? There are differentmodels, and we are aiming to minimise the amount of mail inyour inboxes. The three weeks of the workshop will be dividedinto periods to address each theme. A short theme paper willgo out to all participants at the beginning of each period,with links to case studies and background material on thewebsite. Participants can then respond with comments anddiscussion, but messages will be posted on the website not inyour inboxes. Each day the convenors will send out asynthesis and highlight key questions / recommendationsemerging.

RESULTS OF THE WORKSHOP: The immediate result will be areport, posted on the website and acknowledging allcontributions. We are exploring the possibility of a bookwhich will however depend on the quality and novelty of thecontributions. Perhaps most importantly, the Internetworkshop will define the recommendations and key discussionpoints for a one-day seminar for decision-makers, to be heldon London or Oxford in February. We see this as an importantopportunity for researchers and practitioners to communicatetheir experience to policy-makers and planners, in anaccessible way. Limited funds are available to support thetravel of key participants in this seminar.

We are excited to see the range of researchers, practitionersand decision-makers who have already expressed interest. Welook forward to a productive discussion in January.



To register, simply send an email with your name andorganisation, telling us of your interest in the workshop, toETFRN or to:
Dr Anna Lawrence
Environmental Change Institute
5 South Parks Rd
Oxford OX1 3UB, UK
Tel: +44 1865 281214
Fax: +44 1865 281202

6. Web site of FAO's Forestry Department

From: FAO's NWFP Programme

The FO-publications page of the Forestry Department'sWeb-site has been updated and changed. The site is availablein three languages, although all document titles are nottranslated, since the entire publication content is expectedto be updated in a foreseeable future. A new e-mail addresshas been introduced for ordering Forestry Departmentpublications: arriving at this address is read by the staff of theForestry Library, who also take care of the distribution ofrequested documents. Please note, however, that the contactaddress for priced publications is:

The FO-Databases page has also been changed. Under eachdatabase entry a brief explanation is given of itscontent.

7. Field Courses in Rainforest and Marine Ecologyfor

From: Mike Nolan

We are a non-profit organization specializing in outstandingand affordable Field Courses in Rainforest and Marine Ecologypresently offered in ten countries. All programs are operatedby partner organizations that have shown a strong commitmentto conservation and education. Ninety-nine percent of allparticipation fees stay with our partners to assist in localconservation and education projects.

Local Guides and Biologists are featured in the study ofnatural history, rainforest and coral reef ecology,medicinal uses of native plants, conservation, landmanagement, local cultures, archaeology, geology and muchmore. In the past our programs have been represented byUniversity, Community College and High School groups, aswell as "independent participants", University professorsand students, K-12 teachers and science professionals.Family groups and curious travelers are also welcome. Pastparticipants have come from across the U.S., Canada, LatinAmerica, Europe, Australia and the Far East.

While most of our programs are customized, please visitour website at www.rainforestandreef.orgfor standard Field Course itineraries.

Three Undergraduate or Graduate credits are available forattending through Aquinas College of Grand Rapids,Michigan. Please see

For more information, please contact:
Mike Nolan
Rainforest and Reef 501 ©(3) non-profit
29 Prospect NE Suite #8
Grand Rapids, Michigan 49503 USA
Phone/Fax: 1-616-776-5928/Toll Free: 1-877-769-3086
Cell Phone: 1-616-813-9308

8. Branching Out newsletter

From: FAO's NWFP Programme

For an electronic version of the Forest Sector Newsletter ofUganda, please contact:
Gaster Kawuubye Kiyingi
Information Officer
Uganda Forest Sector Co-ordination Secretariat
Ministry of Water, Lands and Environment
P.O.Box 27314, Kampala
Tel: 256 (0)41 340684 or 256 (0)77 448110
Fax: 256 (0)41 340683

9. Uganda ForestryAssociation

From: David Walugembe

We are trying to revive the Uganda Forestry Association as aForestry Professional Organization for the country. Theoverall objective of the Uganda Forestry Association (UFA) is"to ensure a sustainable forestry sector that is accorded itsrightful role in contributing to the socio-economicdevelopment through production of indispensable goods andservices". This will be achieved through the followingspecific objectives.

(a) To create and maintain proper public understanding of thevalue and the vital role forests play in our daily lives.

(b) To serve as an advocacy channel for forestry issues andcreate a forum for exchange of ideas among foresters andother interested parties throughout Uganda.

(C) To promote the effective protection, production andutilization of Uganda's forest resources and in accordancewith relevant international conventions/ agreements.

(d) To work as far as possible for the standardization ofinformation collection, storage, retrieval, dissemination andutilization system for the forestry sector.

In order to achieve these objectives, UFA has developed athree-year, five-component project proposal "Improving TheValue of Forests and Trees In Uganda" where we intend tocarry out work covering the following topics, as well asnon-wood forest products.

· Information and data base establishment anddissemination including advocacy

· Research and training
· Promoting quality products
· Promoting tree growing in Uganda
· Providing consultancy services

We would like to collaborate with other internationalagencies wishing to work in the developing world.

For more information, please contact:
The Administrator Uganda Forestry Association
P O Box 27667, Kampala, Uganda
Telephone/Fax: +256-41-340442
E-mail c/o:

10. Comparison of FRA 1990 and FRA 2000

From: Peter Holmgren

One of the most common and crucial questions we receive aboutthe Global Forest Resources Assessment 2000 (FRA 2000)results is how to compare them with FRA 1990. Particularlyfor forest area and area change, which are the variables thathit most headlines.

We now have an online Working Paper (number 59) thatexplains and analyses the differences in detail. It is nosurprise that the change in forest definition for theindustrialized countries caused some confusion. What maybe more interesting, however, is that the so-called"slowdown" of net forest area change (1990s compared to1980s) is more pronounced if the differences between theassessments are taken into account. Furthermore, althoughSouth America shows considerable deforestation in the1990s, the "slowdown trend" compared to the 1980s is quitepronounced there.

The title of the working paper is: "Comparison of forestarea and forest area change estimates derived from FRA1990 and FRA 2000"<>(under Working papers)

For more information, please contact:
Peter Holmgren
Senior Forestry Officer, Global ForestAssessments
Forestry Department
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations(FAO)
Rome, Italy
Tel: +39-06-57052714
Fax: +39-06-57055825

FRA 2000 Main report:

11. Natural ResourcePerspectives

From: Natural Resource Perspectives Database

The following papers in the NRP series are now availableonline at:

Recognising Diversity: Disability and Rural LivelihoodsApproaches in India
Number 72, October 2001, Janet Seeley

Ethical Trading - A Force for Improvement, or CorporateWhitewash?
Number 71, October 2001, Andries du Toit

The forthcoming issue of Development Policy Review (Volume19, Number 4) is devoted to `Rethinking Rural Development'.This is an important time in rural development. Rural povertyremains stubbornly high, but funding for the sector hasfallen, and there has been a dearth of new ideas. Canagriculture be the lead sector for rural poverty reduction?Does our traditional belief that small farmers are the bestbet for broad-based growth still hold? Should non-farm ruralemployment be the new priority? Where does social protectionfit in? And how does all this relate to the new povertyagenda?

We have brought together twelve new papers on these andother topics. The authors include some of the best knownnames in rural development, among them the authors ofthree important agency statements (respectively by the EU,IFAD and the World Bank).

Further details are available on the ODI website ( or fromODI Publications (

12. Publications ofinterest

From: FAO's NWFP Programme

van Valkenburg, J.L.C.H. and Bunyapraphatsara, N. (Editors),2001. Plant resources of South-East Asia No.12(2). Medicinaland poisonous plants 2. Backhuys Publishers, Leiden, TheNetherlands. 782 pp

Plant Resources of South-East Asia (PROSEA) is amultivolume handbook that aims to summarize knowledgeabout useful plants for workers in education, research,extension and industry.

This second of the three planned volumes on the medicinaland poisonous plants of South-East Asia presents a mixtureof species with a long-standing reputation in traditionalmedicine and species that have been well investigatedphytochemically or pharmacologically, but are poorly knownin the South-East Asian region. Up-to-date information isprovided concerning local knowledge as well as modernresearch findings, where possible. The alphabeticaltreatment of genera and species comprises 171 papers.

The hardcover edition is distributed by BackhuysPublishers, PO Box 321, 2300 AH Leiden, the Netherlands,at a price of EUR159. A paperback edition will beavailable as from December 2003 at EUR68. For developingcountries, a much cheaper paperback edition (ISBN979-8316-43-6) will be available early 2002 from thePROSEA Network Office, PO Box 332, Bogor 16122, Indonesia.

For more information, please contact:
Dr. J.S. Siemonsma
Head Publication Office PROSEA
Wageningen Agricultural University
PO Box 341
6700 AH Wageningen
The Netherlands
Fax: +31-317-482206

The following is additional information on one of thepublications mentioned in Digest 11/01:

Baker, Nell. Ed. 2001. Developing Needs-Based InventoryMethods for Non-Timber Forest Products Application andDevelopment of Current Research to Identify PracticalSolutions for Developing Countries.

Proceedings of an ETFRN workshop which was held with, and atFAO in May 2000, and was funded by the DFID Forest ResearchProgramme. Copies of this ETFRN publication are availablefrom:

European Tropical Forest Research Network (ETFRN)
Coordination Unit
c/o The Tropenbos Foundation
PO Box 232
6700 AE Wageningen
The Netherlands
Tel: +31 317 495516
Fax: +31 317 495521


This list is for information related to any aspect ofnon-wood forest products.
Cross-postings related to non-wood forest products arewelcome.
Information on this mailing list can be reproduced anddistributed freely as long as they are cited.

Contributions are edited primarily for formatting purposes.Diverse views and materials relevant to NWFPs are encouraged.Submissions usually appear in the next issue. Issues arebi-monthly on average.

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

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

To unsubscribe, please send an e-mail to: mailserv@mailserv.fao.orgwith the message: unsubscribe NWFP-Digest-L

For technical help or questions contact

Your information is secure-We will never sell, give ordistribute your address or subscription information to anythird party.

NWFP-Digest-L Sponsor:

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

last updated:  Friday, August 28, 2009