No. 10/01

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

1. Non-Wood Forest Products in the Near East
2. FAO to support UNCTAD's Biotrade Initiative - helping conserve biodiversity by making it pay
3. New SilviShrooms Web site
4. Training Programme - Sustainable NTFP Management for Rural Development
5. The usefulness of plant identification
6. Conservation and Society
7. North Island Non-Timber Forest Products Newsletter
8. Forest Certification Newsletter
9. RECOFTC E-letter
10. Bridges - Projects in Rational Tourism Development
11. Forthcoming events
12. Primer Congreso Latinoamericano de Herbolaria
13. Publications of interest
14. Extractivism in Amazonia
15. Medicinal Plant Conservation Bibliography, Vol. 2
16. RIL-Afrique-L- une nouvelle liste électronique

1. Non-Wood Forest Products in the Near East

From: FAO's NWFP Programme

"Non-Wood Forest Products in the Near East" is a new Working Paper (FOPW/01/2) prepared by FAO's NWFP programme. This regional study presents an overview of the socio-economic importance and ecological impact of the use of NWFP in the Near East. The document consists of two main parts: (i) presentation of background information and analysis of available information at the regional level; and (ii) presentation of data on NWFP at the national level ("country profiles").

The 16 countries covered in this document are: Afghanistan, Bahrain, Cyprus, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

It will shortly also be available on FAO's NWFP home page:

Hard copies can be sent free of charge - please send an e-mail

2. FAO to support UNCTAD's Biotrade Initiative - helping conserve biodiversity by making it pay

From: FAO's NWFP Programme

The best way to protect a resource, such as forests and their biodiversity, is to make it useful to those destroying it. And if they are willing to preserve it instead, they should receive a fair income from it.

That's the thinking behind the Biotrade Initiative launched in 1996 by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). Its objectives, in line with the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), are to ensure conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, and to ensure that the benefits arising from its use are shared fairly. The Initiative has practical support from the UNCTAD/WTO International Trade Centre, which assists developing countries with the skills needed for trade promotion and export development.

Now, following discussions in Rome with representatives of UNCTAD and the International Trade Centre, FAO will support the Biotrade Initiative's Trade Facilitation Programme. This is intended to enable sustainable trade in biodiversity products and services, through innovative partnerships in product development, processing, marketing and biodiversity management.

FAO already actively promotes a fair-trade approach to the preservation of genetic resources, one example being promotion of non-wood forest products (NWFP) that can be harvested sustainably from the forest. This gives people an economic alternative to cutting it down for either timber or agriculture. NWFP range from wild honey to fibres used in car upholstery, and include mushrooms, wild edible nuts, berries and bamboo.

Why biotrade?
The thinking behind the Initiative is that people will be more willing to preserve biodiversity if doing so offers economic advantages.

An example is the karite, or shea nut, tree. It grows over much of West Africa - including ecologically sensitive areas on the fringes of the Sahara, where trees are vital.

Karite demonstrates how sustainable exploitation of a resource may help preserve it, according to Paul Vantomme, FAO's expert on NWFP. "Farmers often cut trees down to free land for growing food," he says. "But, increasingly, they are tolerating karite trees in their fields because the nuts provide an edible oil. That oil can also be processed into shea butter, which can be used as a substitute for cocoa butter in chocolates, and in cosmetics. If local farmers earn enough from the income this generates, they will integrate the trees with agriculture. This is now happening."

The next step, says Mr Vantomme, may be that farmers start growing a plant in which they previously had no interest - or even considered a nuisance. "A "crossover" situation has arisen in which some potentially threatened plants (such as kola nuts in West Africa) are farmed and traded, but wild ones continue to grow in nearby forests. This is good, as the wild populations can be used to maintain the genetic health of the farmed crop."

The principle does not apply solely to forests, but they offer particular potential because they are a critical reservoir of biodiversity. And NWFP are an important business. In 1990/91 the value of the total recorded trade in such products was estimated at US$11 billion. To put this in context, the global coffee-bean trade was then worth about US$17 billion.

Challenges to biotrade
The Rome discussions on the Trade Facilitation Programme centred on a number of key issues concerning sustainable trade in biodiversity and forest products.

Trade in a threatened resource must have sufficient value for it to be worth preserving. But at the same time, the trade may have to be limited, precisely because so is the resource. Species yielding NWFP tend to grow at low densities - especially in tropical forests. This means there will not be large commercial quantities. So these products must be aimed at niche markets that can be profitable in small quantities. This could include, for example, forest plants used for high-value medicines and herbal remedies.

It is also important to determine where the limits of sustainable harvesting lie for a given wild product. And the technical tools for assessing those limits must be developed and transferred. After this, there must be ways to certify that harvesting is sustainable, in order to set standards for labelling - but it is difficult to certify products gathered in the wild.

Finally, new initiatives are needed to market unfamiliar products.

Many of these issues should be addressed by the joint activities provisionally agreed to at the meeting. They include:

    · Improving terms and definitions for NWFP, essential for international trade. Work will focus on adding to the classifications already listed by the World Customs Organization.

    · Clarification of certification and labelling issues. Consumers must know that what they are buying was harvested sustainably.

    · Development of benefit-sharing arrangements. These are mechanisms to ensure that those who harvest resources with care receive a fair share of the income. These arrangements also cover, for example, farmers' rights to use commercial varieties of crops developed with genetic material they have helped preserve.

    · Possible joint promotion of trade in key NWFP.

"If this collaboration develops," says Paul Vantomme, "it will help us to help local communities become partners in conservation - and raise their own living standards at the same time."

3. New SilviShrooms Web site

From: Eric T Jones []

SilviShroomsis a Web site on predicting edible mushroom productivity using forest carbon allocation modeling and immunoassays of ectomycorrhizae.

4. Training Programme - Sustainable NTFP Management for Rural Development

From: Dr. Prodyut Bhattacharya <>

The International Centre for Community Forestry (IIFM) Bhopal and the Rural Development Centre (IIT) Kharagpur are jointly organizing the 2ndInternational Training Course on "Sustainable NTFP Management for Rural Development", which will take place from 26 November to 13 December 2001 in Bhopal and Kharagpur, India. This course has been developed to address the prevailing situation of NTFP Management in the Asian and African regions. It is primarily aimed at capacity building of participants and assimilating their knowledge base to enable them to fulfil their responsibilities in appropriately linking Rural Development through NTFP Management.

The deadline for the receipt of applications is31 October 2001

For more information, please contact:

Dr Prodyut Bhattacharya
Faculty, Ecosystem Management and Technical Forestry
Indian Institute of Forest Management
PO Box 357, Nehru Nagar
Bhopal 462003, India.
Fax: +91-755-772878(O)

5. The usefulness of plant identification

From: Forest Information Update - FIU 10 SEP 01

Anna Lawrence writes " I am coordinating a project entitled 'Developing a methodology for biodiversity guides suitable for use in rural development', which will help biologists and social scientists/local resource users work together to prepare identification guides.

Some situations in which improved species identification by lay-persons could bring benefits for both conservation and development include:

    · helping forest communities to preserve traditional knowledge about plants,
    · attracting ecotourists to biodiverse areas, thereby attracting funds to the area and raising the profile of conservation,
    · supporting government institutions in biodiversity monitoring,
    · encouraging farmers to cultivate more indigenous tree species.

However many of these benefits remain undocumented, and particularly the following information seems to be scarce: a) documented cases where mistaken species identity (or inability to identify at all) has caused problems - or where accurate identification has notable benefits; b) documented cases of the impact of producing a species identification guide for non-specialists - how have the lives of conservationists, community development workers or communities been made easier? Or, how have governments been better able to monitor biodiversity?

Any examples would be much appreciated - and a selection will be included and acknowledged in our forthcoming manual on the subject."

For more information, please contact Anna at:

6. Conservation and Society

From: Vasant

Conservation and Societyis a new journal committed to interdisciplinary research of the highest quality, focusing specifically on the issues of natural resource conservation, particularly as mediated by the conflicts and tensions that accompany societal claims on these resources. We have consciously chosen to work with both biologists and social scientists in the hope that we can initiate real discussions across the current disciplinary divides we are all familiar with.

We anticipate publishing the journal twice a year to start with, but are working our way towards a quarterly publication. We will start off as an electronic journal, accessible through our Web site ( We expect to be available in both hard and soft copies by the end of our first year.

We are committed to publishing articles from across the world, and on any part of the world. Our only condition in accepting articles for review is that they fit our mandate of publishing articles on conservation with a demonstrable link to society.

Our themes for the first issues are wildlife, participatory management of resources, including a special section on Nepal, and one that is provisionally titled "rethinking environmentalisms." More details on these themes will be available at our Web site shortly.

We seek and look forward to your contributions on these or other themes of your interest.

For more information, please contact:

Kamal Bawa
Distinguished Professor of Biology
University of Massachusetts
Vasant Saberwal

Director of Research
Moving Images

7. North Island Non-Timber Forest Products Newsletter

From: FAO's NWFP Programme

The second issue of "beneath the Trees", the North Island Non-Timber Forest Products Newsletter is now available.

For more information, or to receive the pdf version of the newsletter (which includes several photographs taken at various NTFP related events this month), please contact:

Diane Carley
Communications Coordinator
NTFP Demonstration Project
Box 32
Sointula, BC, Canada
Fax: +1-(250)-973-6168

8. Forest Certification Newsletter

From: Ellen von Zitzewitz <>

Forest certification is an important instrument to halt and reverse the loss and degradation of the world's forests. WWF works with governments, industry, local communities and consumers to encourage sustainable forest management around the world.

To receive a copy of WWF's certification newsletter, please contact:

Ellen von Zitzewitz
European Forest Policy Officer
WWF-European Policy Office
Avenue de Tervuren 36, bt.12
1040 Brussels
Fax: +32-2-7438819

9. RECOFTC E-letter

From: FAO's NWFP Programme

The RECOFTC E-letter is a bi-weekly e-mail intended to provide news and information on community forestry related activities and issues throughout the region. It is published by the Regional Community Forestry Center for Asia and the Pacific (RECOFTC).

Back issues of the RECOFTC e-letter can be found

To subscribe, or for more information, please

10. Bridges - Projects in Rational Tourism Development

From: FAO's NWFP Programme

Bridgessponsors participatory development projects in which interdisciplinary teams of university students collaborate with remote mountain communities in appraising local needs and tourism opportunities, and in designing and implementing plans compatible with those conditions.

Bridges-PRTD and Prof. Teiji Watanabe (Laboratory of Geoecology, Hokkaido University, Japan) jointly announce a global conference:

The Namche Conference: People, Park, and Mountain Ecotourism at Namche Bazaar5-8 December 2002

Khumbu, Nepal

Presentations and workshops will cover a range of topics, according to the interests of participants. Special attention will be given to the role of parks in mountain ecotourism. Registration fees will be as follows:

    · Free to Nepalis.
    · $20 to non-Himalayan nationals and all students
    · All others: $40 for early registration (in 2001), $60 afterwards.

Registration fee will include CD proceedings

If you are interested in co-sponsoring this event, or supporting it in other ways, please

For more information, please contact:

Seth Sicroff
Director, Bridges: Projects in Rational Tourism Development

11. Forthcoming events

From: FAO's NWFP Programme

Non-Wood Forest Products Inventory Guidelines: Tools for Improved Monitoring and Evaluation

15-17 October 2001

Lusaka, Zambia

The overall objective of this expert consultation is to develop practical inventory guidelines for resources providing non-wood forest products (NWFP), in order to assist African ACP countries in achieving sustainable forest management.

During the three days, the experts will discuss:

    1. the present status and context of NWFP resource assessments and existing methodologies;
    2. personal and institutional experience in NWFP inventory;
    3. the proposed draft NWFP inventory guidelines;
    4. the development of case studies to address priority problems.

The expert consultation may also give an opportunity to establish a network among experts or institutions and cater for the interests of stakeholders.

For further information, please contact

Mr. FrançoisNdeckere-Ziangba
Forestry Officer (NWFP)
Forest Products Division
Forestry Department
Fax: +39-06-57055317

Special Forest Products: Mushrooms, Medicinals and Huckleberries
15-17 October 2001

Spokane, Washington, USA

Sponsor: Western Forestry and Conservation Association

$195.00 registration fee

For more information, please contact:

Richard Zabel (see below for address)

Native Plants: Propagation and Restoration Strategies
12-13 December 2001

Eugene, Oregon, USA

Co-sponsored by: Nursery Technology Cooperative, Oregon State University and Western Forestry and Conservation Association

$195.00 registration fee.

For more information, please contact:

Richard Zabel
Western Forestry and Conservation Association
4033 SW Canyon Rd.
Portland, Oregon 97221, USA
Fax: +1-503-226-2515

Forest Valuation and Innovative Financing Mechanisms for conservation and sustainable management of tropical forests
20-21 March 2002

The Hague, Netherlands

Tropenbos International is organizing a two-day seminar to discuss myths and reality of forest values, and to support the development and implementation of appropriate financial mechanisms for the conservation and sustainable use of tropical forests.

Abstracts are welcome on the subject "Innovative financing mechanisms for sustainable forest management and conservation". Abstracts should be no longer than 1 000 words and reach Tropenbos not later than15 October 2001.

For more information, please contact:

Tropenbos International
Seminar 2002
PO Box 232
6700 AE, Wageningen
The Netherlands
Fax: +31`-317-495520

12. Primer Congreso Latinoamericano de Herbolaria

From: Miguel Angel Gutiérrez Domínguez[]

Primer Congreso Latinoamericano de Herbolaria

Segundo Congreso Nacional de Plantas Medicinales de México

Primera ExpoNaturalia Latinoamericana 2002

21 a 24 de Noviembre de 2002

Guadalajara, Jal. México

El Congreso Latinoamericano de Herbolaria y el Segundo Congreso Nacional de Plantas Medicinales de México se han propuesto como objetivos generales:

· Ser el principal foro latinoamericano que promueva la cooperación, el intercambio y la difusión de investigaciones, tecnologías y experiencias entre los distintos actores sociales vinculados con la herbolaria, las terapias naturales y la medicina tradicional con el fin de rescatar, conservar, revalorar y aprovechar sustentablemente las plantas medicinales y sus derivados.

· Servir como espacio abierto generador y multiplicador de ideas, propuestas, políticas, experiencias y acciones entorno a la conservación ecológica, la etnobotánica, el manejo sustentable, la investigación de campo y laboratorio, el control de calidad, la certificación, la bioprospección, el derecho de propiedad intelectual de las comunidades rurales e indígenas, el cultivo orgánico, la normatividad, la transformación, el comercio justo y todos aquellos aspectos vinculados con los recursos terapéuticos herbolarios.

Para más información comunicarse a la siguiente dirección:

Lic. Josefina Morfín López
Presidenta del Comité Organizador del Primer Congreso Latinoamericano de Herbolaria y Primera ExpoNaturalia Latinoamericana 2002
Calle La Calma No. 60
Colonia Las Fuentes, C.P. 45070.
Guadalajara, Jal. México
Fax: +52-(3) 631 22 86
Correos electró,,
Biol. Miguel Angel Gutiérrez Domínguez
Vicepresidente del Comité Organizador del Primer Congreso Latinoamericano de Herbolaria y Primera ExpoNaturalia Latinoamericana 2002
Universidad Autónoma de Tlaxcala,
Secretaría de Investigación Científica,
Jardín Botánico Universitario. Av. Universidad No.1,
C.P. 90070 Tlaxcala,
Tlax. México.
Telefax: +52-(246) 289 96
Correos electró,
la página de internet del Primer Congreso Latinoamericano de Herbolaria:

13. Publications of interest

From: FAO's NWFP Programme

Dkamela, G.P.2001.Les institutions communautaires de gestion de produits forestiers non-ligneux dans les villages périphériques de la Réserve de Biosphère du Dja. Tropenbox-Cameroon Documents 7. Tropenbos-Cameroon Programme, Kribi, Cameroon

Duivenvoorden, J.F.(ed.). 2001. Evaluación de recursos vegetales no maderables en la Amazoniía noroccidental.IBED, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Emery, Marla, McLain, Rebecca J.(eds).2001.Non-Timber Forest Products: Medicinal Herbs, Fungi, Edible Fruits and Nuts, and Other Natural Products from the Forest. Haworth Press: Binghamton, NY. 176 p. $29.95.

Evans, T.D., Sengdala, K., Viengkham, O.V. and Thammavong, B.2001. A field guide to the Rattans of Lao P.R. Scientific Publications Department, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. U.K.

Rattans contribute greatly to the Lao economy by producing flexible canes and edible shoots which are used within country or exported. This book is intended to support their improved management.

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

Hall & Yun. 2000. Edible Mushrooms as Secondary Crops in Forests. Quarterly Journal of Forestry 94:299-304.

Lund, H. Gyde. 2001. Using the Internet to Communicate Your Message: "A Monumental Opportunity!" In: Proceedings of the 2000 National Convention of the Society of American Foresters - A Monumental Opportunity. Washington, DC 16-20 November 2000. Bethesda, MD: Society of American Foresters: 425-429. ISBN 0-939970-82-1.

Onguene, N.A. & Kuyper, T.W. 2001. Mycorrhizal associations in the rain forest of South Cameroon.Forest Ecology and Management140: 277-287.

Thomas, R.S.2001.Forest productivity and resource availability in lowland tropical forests in Guyana. Tropenbos-Guyana Series 7. Tropenbos-Guyana Programme, Georgetown, Guyana.

14. Extractivism in Amazonia

From: Laure Emperaire []

The book "La forêt en jeu: l'extractivisme en Amazonie centrale" (Emperaire, L. (org.), Paris, Orstom/Unesco, 1996) was published in 2000 in Portuguese under the title: "A floresta em jogo : o extrativismo na Amazônia central" (Emperaire, L., org., São Paulo, Editora da Unesp /Imprensa Oficial do Estado, 232 p., 2000)

Often decried and presented as an outdated activity incapable of progress, extractivism might today be nothing more than an obsolete testimony to one of the numerous economic cycles that Brazil has experienced. But the political movements of theseringueiros, whose demands are supported by various institutions, and a public opinion sensitive to ecological problems have placed this ancient activity in the centre of discussions concerning the management of the Amazonian forest.

For more information, please contact:

Laure Emperaire
IRD (ex-Orstom)
Centro de Desenvolvimento Sustentável - UnB :
SAS - Quadra 05 Bloco H 2º andar
Ed. Superintendência do IBAMA
70070-914 Brasília - DF,
Fax: +55-61-322 84 73

15. Medicinal Plant Conservation Bibliography, Vol. 2

From: Uwe Schippmann []

In June 2001 volume 2 of the 'Medicinal Plant Conservation Bibliography' (MPCB) was published, which some of you may already know in its first volume of 1996.

This bibliography is designed to collect information from the many scattered sources of books and papers on medicinal plants and to set priorities on books focussing on the conservation of medicinal plants. In total, 801 references and 170 reviews, indexed by general, geographic, and taxonomic keywords, are incorporated for the period of 1997 to 2000.

The second volume of MPCB can be obtained at the price of US$15.00/GBP 10.00. It is available through: IUCN Publications Service Unit, 219c Huntingdon Road, Cambridge, CB3 0DL, United Kingdom, Fax: +44/1223/277-175,

Bibliographical information: Uwe Schippmann, 2001, Medicinal Plant Conservation Bibliography, Volume 2., ISSN 1433-304x.

16. RIL-Afrique-L- une nouvelle liste électronique

From: FAO's NWFP Programme

Nous avons le plaisir de vous informer que la Division des produits forestiers a lancé une nouvelle liste électronique, sous le nom de RIL-Afrique-L.

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

La liste, qui va s'établir avec des inscriptions volontaires, est gérée par la Sous-Division de l'exploitation et de la commercialisation des produits forestiers (FOPH) de la FAO avec le soutien du programme de partenariat Commission Européenne-FAO "Gestion durable des forêts dans les pays africains de l'ACP".

Cette liste sera un complément à d'autres sources d'information existantes, telles que la liste RILNET opérée à partir de Bangkok avec le soutien du bureau régional de la FAO pour l'Asie et le Pacifique.

Pour s'inscrire à la liste, envoyer un message à l'adresse suivante:
en laissant la ligne objet vide et en rentrant la seule phrase:
subscribe RIL-Afrique-L
Pour faire parvenir une contribution à la liste, envoyer un message à l'adresse suivante:
Nous espérons et attendons des abonnés tout article intéressant qui contribuera au débat et à la connaissance. Pour plus d'informations sur RIL-Afrique-L, contacter: Laura Russo (


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last updated:  Friday, August 28, 2009