No. 09/07

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1. Bamboo-fibre goods to set new fashion trends

Source: Fibre2fashion News Desk, China, 20 August 2007

Due to the global focus that environmental issues has received, bamboo-fibre products have caught the fancy of consumers, who are considering its many eco-friendly advantages.

It is no wonder experts have predicted that bamboo-fibre products will set new fashion trends for 2008/09 autumn-winter clothing like scarves, ties and outdoors sportswear.

There are many local clothing, textiles and fabric enterprises that produce bamboo-fibre products. These companies are reaping rich harvests from the sale of bamboo-fibre products.

One such success story is that of Hebei Jigao Chemical Fiber Co Ltd, whose products made of bamboo-fibre have become popular both in the domestic as well as the overseas markets. Currently, Hebei Jigao's products occupy over 90 percent of China's bamboo-fibre market.

Such is its rage that despite high prices, bamboo-fibre products sell very well in the market. A piece of leisure suit made from bamboo-fibre material costs 40,000 yuan in Japan while a jacket made from the same material is sold for 45,000 yuan.

Even in China, goods made of bamboo-fibre are sold for hundreds of yuan.

For full story, please see:


2. Bamboo for housing construction

From: TRADA International,

A book describing the methods of using bamboo for construction of houses, authored by Lionel Jayanetti and Paull Follat, was released recently at the auditorium of the National Engineering & Research Centre (NERD), Ja-ela, Sri Lanka.

A model house built using all bamboo materials was also formally opened.

Deputy Minister of Science& Technology Faizal Cassim said that bamboo cultivation is not widespread, thus there will be a new industry in the Sri Lanka market. "Prices of material in the construction industry are soaring; hence bamboo will be an ideal alternative for building materials, especially in the hotel trade to attract tourists. It is high time for us to start cultivation."

Science & Technology Minister, Professor Tissa Vitarana said that this will be a good start not only in the building construction industry, but also for making furniture so that forest devastation may be prevented.


3. Cinnamon: Study finds mixed results of cinnamon's therapeutic effects

Source: MedIndia, India, 23 August 2007

A review study that analysed the healing effects of a couple of varieties of cinnamon has revealed that the spice has mixed health results for glucose and cholesterol.

A team of naturopathic physicians and scientists decided to systematically review the scientific literature for evidence of safety, efficacy and pharmacological activity of common and cassia cinnamon.

Eight studies involving humans involving the therapeutic efficacy of common and cassia cinnamon were found. One pharmacological study on antioxidant activity and seven clinical studies on various medical conditions were reported in the scientific literature.

Common and cassia cinnamon had been investigated in animal studies for their anti-diabetic properties. Cassia cinnamon, however, had been the subject of three clinical trials while common cinnamon remained unstudied in humans.

Based on strong scientific evidence from two of three randomized clinical trials reviewed, cassia cinnamon demonstrated a therapeutic effect in reducing fasting blood glucose by 10.3 percent; the third clinical trial did not observe this effect. Cassia cinnamon, however, did not have an effect at lowering glycosylated haemoglobin.

One randomized clinical trial reported that cassia cinnamon lowered total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides; the other two trials, however, did not observe this effect. There was scientific evidence that at least one species of cinnamon was not effective at eradicating Helicobacter pylori infection. Common cinnamon showed weak to very weak evidence of efficacy in treating oral candidiasis in HIV patients and chronic salmonellosis.

“The studies we reviewed offered mixed results with therapeutic efficacy being demonstrated in some research efforts and not in others. This literature review has given us a clear road map for further research regarding the healing effects of cinnamon, a spice that continues to have a reputation for providing flavour and medicinal treatments,” said Dr. Jean-Jacques Dugoua, the lead researcher.

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4. Medicinal plants: Poultry farmers in Uganda take on herbs to control diseases

Source: New Vision (Kampala), 14 August 2007

Farmers have embraced medicinal plants in treating poultry diseases. A research carried out by Makerere University in central and eastern Uganda revealed that about 80% of the poultry farmers know how to use medicinal plants to treat poultry diseases.

Prof. Bukenya Ziraba from Makerere University Department of Botany said the research that was carried out in Mbale, Rakai and Mbarara districts, shows that many farmers were using medicinal plants to treat cough, diarrhoea, swollen eyes, mites, worms and lice as well as Newcastle prophylaxis and coccidiosis.

Research found out that medicinal plant species like Capsicum frutescens (kamulali) and Cannabis sativa (enjaga) were used in all the three districts, while Nicotiana tobaccum (taaba), Aloe sp (lukaka) Vernonia amygdalina (omubirizi) and Tagets mihuta (kawunyira) species were used in Rakai and Mbarara.

Bukenya says the most common way of preparation and administration of the medicine is by crushing the plant material, adding water and administering the concoction orally.

Some farmers prefer to serve the chicken, while others put the medicine in a container and leave the chicken to drink it when they are thirsty. He says using medicinal plants saves farmers losses due to outbreaks of diseases.

"Since some of the farmers cannot afford to buy modern poultry drugs, medicinal plants work as a substitute," he says.

Ziraba presented the research during a symposium on drugs discovery from African flora, organised by the Natural Research Network for Eastern and Central Africa at Hotel Africana, recently.

For full story, please see:


5. Medicinal plants used in organic clothing line

Source: Daily Green, USA, 16 August 2007

Threads for Life, the first Ayurvedic apparel company in the US, successfully launched its first collection in Venice, California. Infused with over 25 medicinal plants and herbs to help address both serious and every day ailments, each garment is 100% organic and woven by hand.

Based in the 5,000 year-old medicinal science of Ayurveda, each Threads for Life garment is infused by hand with unique formulas to address various emotional and physical health challenges. Through the trans-dermal process of fiber to skin contact, the herbs and plants are diffused into the pores of skin to restore vitality and balance for healing and optimum health.

For full story, please see:


6. Moringa oleifera: The lowly malunggay takes center stage in the Philippines

Source: Philippine Information Agency, 19 August 2007

Tacloban City -- Very soon, the days will be gone when the lowly malunggay is not appreciated by many Filipinos who consider it as only a poor man's food and is remembered only as an important ingredient for soup to be given to mothers who have just given birth.

Malunggay as it is called in the Philippines, "Sajina" in the Indian Subcontinent, and "Moringa" in English, is now being eyed by the Department of Agriculture to take center stage in the reduction of malnutrition and poverty in the country, and more so, it is now being eyed as a potential export product as a natural ingredient for cosmetics and pharmaceutical applications.

Many Asians use the leaves of Malunggay (Sajina) like spinach and also the fruit it produces as a vegetable, like asparagus. Both the leaves and the fruits are very nutritious, containing many vitamins like Vitamin C and other minerals. For centuries, people in India, Philippines, Malaysia and Thailand have been eating these leaves as a part of their diet.

Malunggay is a wonderful herb known all over the world, but only recently in the U.S. It may provide the boost in energy, nutrition and health.

What a remarkable discovery that can make a tremendous difference to the Filipino people's health and quality of life. Mounting scientific evidence shows what has been known for thousands of years by people in the tropical parts of the world: Malunggay is nature's medicine cabinet.

Malunggay is best known as an excellent source of nutrition and a natural energy booster. Loaded with nutrients, vitamins and amino acids, it replenishes the body and provides what one needs to get through a hectic weekday or active weekend. No wonder Grandma insists on breastfeeding Mama to take malunggay.

Malunggay is loaded with nutrients. Each ounce of Moringa contains seven times the Vitamin C found in oranges, four times the Vitamin A of carrots, three times the iron of spinach, four times as much calcium from milk and three times the potassium of bananas.

What a cheap way of solving malnutrition in the country! Sometimes, people think that solutions to their problems are expensive and hard to find. But more often than not, real solutions to basic problems are abundant, cheap and even free. Health problems are especially solved with natural inexpensive gifts from nature.

Scientifically speaking, Moringa sounds like magic. It can rebuild weak bones, enrich anaemic blood and enable a malnourished mother to nurse her starving baby.

A dash of Moringa can make dirty water drinkable. Doctors use it to treat diabetes in West Africa and high blood pressure in India. Not only can it staunch a skin infection, but Moringa also makes an excellent fuel and fertilizer.

Indeed, Malunggay is a wonderful blessing for Filipinos because it is easily available everywhere in the country. This is a positive development in the government's campaign to reduce malnutrition and increase the income of farmers who would cultivate the hardy tree and supply local and foreign corporations with natural ingredients for cosmetics and pharmaceutical applications.

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7. Pine needles: Biotech finds pine needle ulcer remedy

Source: The Age, Australia, 26 August 2007

A LEADING Russian scientist has backed a small Melbourne-based biotech company which has produced a treatment for stomach ulcers using pine needles.

The scientist — Professor Anatoly Zhebrun, who is director of the Pasteur Institute in St Petersburg — recently supervised trials on the use of a product known as Conifer Green Needle Complex. CGNC can be used in the prevention and treatment of stomach ulcers caused by the Helicobacter pylori bacterium.

CGNC is made by Solagran and is produced from the green needles of two conifer species, Scotch pine and Norwegian spruce. Solagran shares closed at $1.14 on Friday, up 94 cents on a year ago.

Two Australian scientists — Barry Marshall and Robin Warren — were awarded the Nobel Prize for Science in 2005 after proving that stomach ulcers were caused by H. pylori, not stress. Dr Marshall infected himself by swallowing H. pylori to make their point.

Professor Zhebrun, who is in Melbourne to discuss the trial results, said there was "no doubt CGNC was an exciting product with great capability and a great future". The professor, a world authority on infectious diseases and responsible for Russia's disease control regime, describes the bacterium H. pylori as one of the most important infectious disease challenges confronting health authorities.

Professor Zhebrun said he believed CGNC could do what a combination of synthetic antibiotics had failed to do — actively prevent H. pylori spreading.

CGNC has a relatively long history of therapeutic use in the former USSR, and more recently in Russia and Latvia. It was developed in the late 1930s in Russia and used in World War II as a treatment by soldiers for burns, wounds and frostbite.

It was also used as an ingredient in medicated tampons and cosmetics and products such as toothpastes, soaps and shaving creams.

Solagran has also been granted Russian approval to register a version of CGNC for the treatment for chronic liver disease. The stomach ulcer remedy is in the early stages of the approval process. Both licences are potentially worth millions of dollars

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8. Rattan: Searching for the secret of sustainable rattan use

Source: WWF Cambodia / Koy Ra, 28 Jun 2007, WWF web site

Non Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) are important resources for local Cambodian communities, as they provide people with many necessities such as food, income, medicine, and shelter. Rattan is one of the most important NTFPs, and in some communities, selling rattan is the second major source of a family’s income. Unfortunately, an increasingly high demand for rattan and other NTFPs threatens forest resources and local livelihoods.

Under sound management, rattan can provide a sustainable income to many communities. WWF Greater Mekong’s Cambodia Country Programme is working with the Preak Thnot commune, located around Bokor National Park in eastern Cambodia, to develop a suitable rattan management model. The aim of the project is to develop economic incentives for local people to sustainably manage rattan inside the forest or Community Protected Areas (CPA).

A rattan management group, composed of two sub-groups - the handicraft group and the nursery group - has been established. It is estimated that through value-added processing and market linkages, group members could generate an additional $US600- 800 per year. Part of this extra income can be used to administer the group, but also fund the cost of establishing rattan plantations inside the forest, which provide local people with a renewable source of rattan.

To support plantation activities, WWF has established Cambodia’s first rattan nursery. Covering an area of more than 200 square meters, the nursery can produce around 20,000-30,000 rattan seedlings per year.

Under the management of the rattan group, local villagers have received training on the day-to-day management of the nursery, collection of seeds, and transplantation techniques.

The villagers are collecting seeds and seedlings from areas of the forest with high densities of rattan. In six months time, the seedlings will be planted in specific areas in the forest and once the plantation is established the nursery will sell its seedlings to other villages.

For more information please contact:

Koy Ra, Senior Rattan Officer,

For full story, please see:


9. Seabuckthorn: International trade centre in J&K (India)

Source: Economic Times, India, 26 August 2007

SRINAGAR: The Centre has approved setting up of a Rs 35 crore international trade centre at Pampore in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir, Union Minister of State for Commerce Jairam Ramesh said on Sunday.

He said his Ministry proposes to organise a big Kashmir Expo here in October, which would be an annual feature.

The Union Minister said the Centre was also keen to promote seabuckthorn industry in Leh and apricot in Kargil districts of Ladakh region. Ramesh said Ladakh is the only place in India where seabuckthorn is produced and the Centre would take all steps to promote it. He said it has rich nutritive as well as medicinal value and would fetch good prices in national and international market.

He said he has asked the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council to prepare a detailed project report at the earliest and submit it to his Ministry.

Ramesh said about 11,000 tonnes of seabuckthorn is produced in Leh which would be increased by 15 to 20 per cent and make it a major industry to create employment in the region.

For full story, please see:


10. Truffles: Giant field of rare black truffles in Poland

Source: Polish Radio External Service, 14 August 2007

An enormous field of black truffles has been discovered by mushroom researchers from the University of Łódź. The truffles are growing over a large area in the vicinity of the southern city of Częstochowa, making this the farthest reach of the mushroom in north-east Europe and the only point of its appearance in Poland. A kilogramme of truffles, considered a delicacy and an aphrodisiac by some, can sell at around 3600 euros.

According to the researchers from Łódź University, Polish black truffles are just as aromatic as truffles from Burgundy. The season for truffles is just beginning, HOWEVER in Poland truffles are a protected species, so the location of the rare Polish truffle field is being kept a scientific secret.

For full story, please see:



11. Brazilian exports of honey increase by 1.7%

Source: ANBA, Sao Paulo, Brazil, 17 August 2007

Brasília – Brazilian honey exports continue to grow in the accumulated result for the year. Despite the maintenance of the European embargo on Brazilian honey and the slowdown in exports during the months of June and July, there has been a slight increase in export value in the first seven months of this year, compared with 2006.

From January until July 2007, the country exported US$ 12.6 million, an increase of 1.7% over the exported value during the same period of last year (US$ 12.3 million). In the month of July, the value of exports remained stable, on the same level as in June, at US$ 1.86 million. Nevertheless, in a comparison between July this year and the same month of last year, there has been a 12% decrease in exported value. In July 2006, the exported value reached US$ 2.11 million.

The president at the Brazilian Association of Honey Exporters (Abemel), José Henrique Faraldo, explained that this decrease is both due to the European embargo and to the rise in internal consumption. "During winter, the domestic market demand is greater. Since this market pays a higher value for honey, exporters end up directing their sales to the domestic market," says Faraldo.

The good news is that the price of honey has already started to rise in the foreign market. It went up to US$ 1.68/kilogram, more than the US$ 1.48/kilogram recorded in the same period of 2006. The increase in price was 5.7%. In July, Brazil exported 1,110 tonnes.

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12. Bulgaria: President affirms Bulgaria’s forests as national symbol

Source: Sofia Echo, Bulgaria, 24 Aug 2007


Bulgaria’s forests should be regarded as a national symbol, President Georgi Purvanov said, according to Focus news agency.

He attended at a regional conference about forest preservation and restoration issues in the south-eastern Bulgarian town of Yambol.

“If I have to enumerate Bulgaria’s five symbols, I would definitely include our forests, which symbolise Bulgarian identity,” the President said.

Purvanov added that the Bulgarian forestry sector needs a clear strategy and also a real governing policy that could yield visible results. “Over the transition years the sector was the most neglected one. No effective reforms have been implemented. No energy, strength and courage have been put in so that an effective reform can be implemented,” Purvanov said.

He called for reforms that would combine experience and tradition.

“I hope the establishment of State Agency for Forestry will revive the love of forest and care of its fate,” Purvanov said.

He expressed his hope that next year’s budget would allow the financial independence of this agency.

For full story, please see:


13. Cuba to Plant 135 Million Trees

Source: Prensa Latina, Cuba, 10 August 2007

Havana, Aug 10 (Prensa Latina) Planting 135 million trees in 2007 will be Cuba's contribution to the international tree planting campaign, "Plant for the Planet," aimed at recovering forests all around the world.

The Caribbean country hopes to cover 12.6 percent of the total planned by countries in the world, and will involve social organizations and children, said National Forest Director Elias Linares Landa.

A comprehensive reforestation program is under way to recover the forests, which covered only 13.4 percent of the country's area when the Revolution triumphed in 1959.

For full story, please see:


14. Ethiopia: Bamboo to join country’s export list

Source:, USA, 21 August 2007

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - Following the increase of commercial and residential building construction in the country that has led to ever-increasing demand of bamboo products for finishing materials, a local investor has launched a 50 million birr investment on a bamboo processing factory.

A local company, Mirga Wood Industry, is to construct a factory on 3 hectares in Egere, Addis Alem, 40 kms from Addis Ababa. The factory plans to start with products such as floor parquet, incense sticks and toothpicks from bamboo.

“Once we meet the local demand our target is to provide most of our products for the export market,” says Ephrem Gugsa, owner of Mirga Wood Industry. When the factory begins production, it is expected to employ some 100 permanent employees in its early phase.

Currently, some one million hectares of land in Ethiopia is covered by bamboo plantation of smallholder farmers. Out of this, 850,000 hectares of land is covered by low land bamboo, known for its high fiber content, while the rest is covered with a medium density fiber.

Realizing this potential, prior to Mirga Wood Industry, Land and Sea Development Company (LSDC), an Indian, Chinese and Ethiopian joint venture has finalized construction of a bamboo processing factory in Assosa area, Benishangul Region, which primarily produces paper and pulp. Afro-Asian, which is constructing a Trolley (electric) Bus factory located near the town of Metekel also plans to floor board bamboo that is expected to be produced by LSDC.

These days, due to the strength and long quality services, many train and bus manufacturers choose floor board bamboo for their products interior equipments such as chairs, etc.

The global application of bamboo products in both office and household furniture is also showing an increment. Cement particle board, bamboo curtains, floor board, floor parquet, toothpicks and tools handlings such as hammer and screwdriver, etc are among the major applications of bamboo.

Dejen Endowment, a company in the Maichew area of Tigray Region and another MIDROC company are also among the major companies engaged in processing bamboo and eucalyptus for various applications. More than 250,000 hectares of land in the country is believed to be covered by eucalyptus.

“Should Ethiopia continue supporting investors realizing the abundant bamboo resource, in two years time the country will become the leading African nation in using the resource effectively, exceeding South Africa,” says Seyoum Kelemework (PhD), Researcher at Agricultural Research Organization.

For full story, please see:


15. Fiji: Keeping tapa art alive

Source: Fiji Times, 23 August 2007

SEVERAL years ago, after the coup in 2000, Kesaia Vakaola made her way to Suva to fend for her children's education.

Since then, it has not been easy for the mother of three but she is coping well enough, after banking on skills she acquired at an early age while growing up in her village on Moce in Lau.

Vakaola, 39, is among the limited number of women in the country who are adept at making masi, the traditional Fijian cloth produced from the bark of the mulberry tree. The Fiji Times met her as she taught other women the skills at the Veiqaravi ecumenical community training centre at New Town, Nasinu.

The consistent thudding of wood against wood was the only sound that emerged from this urban setting, as women concentrated on their individual tapa pieces. Beating the bark of the mulberry tree is probably the most integral part of the whole tapa making process which takes about three to five days at best.

The activities provided at the centre are aimed at empowering women through acquired skills and also giving them some spiritual guidance. The facility is supported by ecumenical partners which include the Methodist Church of Fiji, the Anglican Church and the Seventh Day Adventist Church of Fiji.

"I like doing what I do very much. It was what I learnt on Moce when I was small and I'm glad I have been able to pass it on to others for their benefit,'' said Vakaola. "I have been making good money from tapa, roughly about $130 a week from the sales.''

Vakaola said as a small girl growing up in her village of Korotolu, she picked up the skill from elder women.

The Lauan native said she usually derived much of the mulberry bark from the village of Viwa in Yasawa, where they grow prominently.

The Veiqaravi training centre is encouraging the trainees to plant their own mulberry trees in their backyard or garden. It is considered a good investment because it is usually six months or more before the bark can been harvested, which is a relatively short time for a good cash crop, according to Vakaola.

The trainees have also been taught how to boil the bark of the dogo or mangrove plant to make the dye used to paint tapa.

Vakaola said initially life in Suva was hard but with her tapa business, she was learning to make ends meet and help support her family and elderly parents.

Vakaola said most of her clients usually placed their orders with her but if they are not enough, she takes her wares to sell at the Suva flea market.

Vakaola is a good example of how individuals without much of an education, can rely on skills such as tapa making as a means to financial independence.

But, as in any other work, she said it was important that commitment and dedication were part of the effort to bring out the best in the results or handiworks.

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16. Indian herbal medicines look for global market

Source: Commodity Online, India, 23 August 2007

NEW DELHI: India, the world’s second largest exporter of medicinal plants, now gets ready to sell its herbal medicines in the global market.

The government has conducted a study to identify market opportunities for India in the medicinal and aromatic plants domain and to find ways to promote exports. The study was conducted by Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. The government also has taken a series of steps to promote herbal medicines in the global market. The Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Panabaka Lakshmi said this in parliament replying to a question.

The steps include a special scheme named ‘AYUSH Industrial Clusters’, which has been introduced in 11th Plan to provide common testing facilities for industries to improve quality of drugs and promotion of exports.

Good Manufacturing Practices have been made mandatory for all Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani drug-manufacturing units in the country to improve the standards of the drugs for promotion of exports.

The government also sanctioned a research project to various laboratories of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) to study the physiochemical characteristics of eight most widely used Bhasmas. The project would also study their toxicity besides scientifically validating the drugs.

Since January 2006, a testing system has been introduced for checking heavy metals in all herbal Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani medicines to be exported. This has been done to meet the regulatory requirements of importing countries.

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17. Liberia: Dr. Sawyer Addresses Green Advocates Lecture Series

Source: The Analyst (Monrovia), 22 August 2007

The prolonged neglect for communities in which natural resources are extracted and the appalling plight of villagers whose land are being exploited without direct benefit have claimed the attention of Green Advocates, an environmental advocacy group that believes it's time the forgotten agenda be brought on the table.

The organization is today, Wednesday, launching a maiden edition of a lecture series on land, environment, natural resources and local community voices in Liberia on the main campus of the University of Liberia to draw national government and stakeholders' attention on this troubling mistake.

Dr. Amos Sawyer will address the maiden edition on the theme: Who owns these Resources - Community Voices in Natural Resources Decision-making - Designing a Sustainable Road Map for Liberia's Future. The Minister of Internal Affairs, Ambullai Johnson; Agriculture Minister, Chris Toe, and the Managing Director of the Forestry Development Authority (FDA), John Woods, will serve as panellists respectively.

The organization said the lecture series provides a platform for constructive dialogue between different stakeholders relative to the extractive industries and an opportunity for local communities to voice concerns that have been previously marginalized as well as a catalyst for the further sharing of information among relevant actors.

"Only by recognizing the dynamic and evolving nature of contemporary development paradigms can successful land management be made an attainable goal", said Green Advocates, in a release issued here last evening.

It said Liberian history is replete with series of conflicts over land and natural resources, pointing out that events illustrative of this trend include 'the Battle of Crown Hill', 'the Battle of Fort Hill', the 'Grebo wars', the 'Kru wars', the resource curse during the 'open door policy era' and the natural resources plunders of the 1990s. The organization said this trend was highlighted recently in Grand Cape Mount and Bomi Counties when local communities sought to reclaim land ceded to the Guthrie Rubber Plantation.

According to Green Advocates, in Sinoe, local communities have laid claims to parts of the Sapo National Park and the Sinoe Rubber Plantations while in Grand Bassa, local communities have sought the return of ancestral lands from the Liberian Agricultural Company, demanding a halt to the expansion of the LAC rubber plantation expansion and the subsequent forced evictions this has heralded.

In Maryland County, it pointed to the Cavalla Rubber Plantation and noted that recently citizens of Owens Grove challenged Liberia's largest rubber producer, Firestone Natural Rubber Company, on these grounds.

Local communities have also demonstrated an increased willingness to assert their 'rights' vis-à-vis pit sawing, alluvial mining, non timber forest products, according to the organization, adding, that out of a total of more than twelve (12) million hectares of "public forest land", nine (9) million hectares are being claimed mainly by local community inhabitants.

Recently, the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy complained that its mining agents are being chased out of mining communities with cutlasses by local communities.

"Since the founding of Liberia but more so beginning in the mid 1940s up to the 1970s as well as during the 1980s up to the present, successive Liberian governments have become more dependent on revenue generated from grant of natural resources rights to multinationals as compared to the cumulative sum of taxes received from their own citizens".

Atty. Brownell said with revenue provided by multinational concessionaires, successive governments in Liberia increasingly became islands completely unlinked from the people.

"The accountability dynamics created when citizens demand better governance as tax payers became more and more distorted over a period of time and revenue generated from natural resources grant became the only funding mechanism for government programs and activities", he noted.

"This is the heart of the problem and a major source of Liberia's brutal civil war that murdered 300,000 innocent victims, forcefully displacing the country's entire population internally and another million externally".

Meanwhile, during the program, the organization is expected to also launch the first edition of its Quarterly Journal titled "Land Grabbing and Land Reform-Diamonds, Rubber and Forests in the New Liberia".

The report, jointly written and published by Green Advocates and Partnership Africa-Canada (PAC), holds that Liberia is 'a darkly resplendent example of the resource curse, the phenomenon by which countries blessed with natural resources grow more slowly, stay poorer and offer less to their people than their resource-poor neighbours.'

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18. Thailand: Bringing back the forests

Source:, 2 August 2007

With our own hands, we can help the planet by planting trees, returning greenery to deforested areas. But with a trick or two, the greenery can more quickly return to a natural forest that a range of wildlife can call home.

This is what has happened in the upper Mae Sa valley, in the heart of Chiang Mai's Doi Suthep-Pui National Park, 1,328m above sea level.

Here, a 21 hectare section of the 4,480 hectares of spoiled forest has been brought back to life, thanks to a reforestation programme using what experts call the "framework species method".

Contrary to most state reforestation programmes, which simply fill areas with a single species of tree, this reforestation plot in the upper Mae Sa valley is rich in biodiversity.

"The trees we planted have attracted wildlife and accelerated the regeneration of the natural forest," said Steven Elliot, an expert from the UK at the Forest Restoration Research Unit of Chiang Mai University (Forru-CMU).

Forty years ago, the upper Mae Sa valley was an abundant tropical forest that protected the rain-catchment areas of the Sa River, which flows into Chiang Mai's Ping River, a main tributary of the Chao Phraya. The forest, however, was cleared for farming, and subsequently abandoned after it became infertile. Consequently, the rain-catchment area almost died.

Since 1996, however, Forru-CMU has been working with local villagers at Ban Mae Sa Mai and the Doi Suthep-Pui National Park officers to save their forest, using the framework species method. The trick is to grow fast-growing pioneer trees together with shade-tolerant climax trees, which not only help accelerate regeneration but also attract seed-dispersing wildlife and birds to accelerate the return of biodiversity to the forest.

According to Elliot, pioneer trees were selected from northern Thailand's indigenous tree species. They grow rapidly, are resilient to forest fires and form an upper canopy that creates dense shade and attracts seed-dispersing wildlife.

The shade-tolerant climax trees, meanwhile, grow slowly in the pioneer trees' shade, to form an under-storey. As these trees grow, more indigenous seeds will be brought in by birds and wildlife to naturally grow in their shade.

Using this system, the pioneer trees will begin to die after 10 to 20 years, but the dead wood will enrich the soil, providing food for invertebrates. While the planted climax trees grow to form the main canopy, the naturally established trees form an under-storey, ready to return the forest to its former glory.

Since the technique has identified the pioneer and climax trees suitable for the ecosystems of northern Thailand, the success in the upper Mae Sa valley will help other communities revive their degraded forests more effectively.

Elliot, also a Chiang Mai University biology professor, claimed the project a success for bringing back 87 species of birds and 61 species of plants after the 30 chosen framework species were planted here 10 years ago.

Seeds were also brought by various birds and fruit-eating Indian civets (chamod) that come from the nearby Dong Seng Forest. "These plant seeds came in here on the wind. They are normally stronger than those planted by us," the expert said.

According to Elliot, the trees that his team planted changed the conditions in the forest. In the 6th to 10th years, cogongrass (ya kha) will no longer exist in the shade of trees grown to help re-establish the self-sustaining forest ecosystem.

Follow-ups and statistical findings by Forru have confirmed the return of biodiversity in terms of wildlife and trees in the area. The 2nd and 3rd years saw a rapid increase in canopies. In the 3rd year, 14 species of trees began to bear fruit and become shelters for wild animals. It also saw the return of mammals like large Indian civets, hog badgers, barking deer and wild pigs.

In the 6th year, multiple tiers of canopies caused many leaves to replace weeds and ensured appropriate environment for seeds to grow as saplings naturally. In the 7th year, 44 species of plants became habitats and food sources for wildlife.

Cherdsak Kuarak, a Forru researcher working on the project, is proud to see the renewed biodiversity in the area. "We grew 30 kinds of plants here and later found some 90 more types. It's incredible to find some important species like agarwood (mai krisna). This is our success. More animals will come here and the forest will grow on its own," he said enthusiastically.

The biggest obstacle to the project is fire. However, the area has fire watch towers, a forest fire watch team of 15 villagers and teams to create and maintain six- to eight-metre-wide fire breaks.

To guarantee the forest's survival, the Forru team has solicited the co-operation of the villagers and strengthened local children's love of nature by regularly taking them trekking and bird-watching.

Chote Parasidh, assistant headman of Baan Mae Sa Mai, said the villagers, all Hmongs, have been working to revitalise the forest since 1991 and have willingly joined Forru to help save their forests since 2001.

The villagers want to continue the reforestation project even if financial support might someday come to an end. They also plan to promote ecotourism and homestays for tourists to learn about their lifestyle and local nature.

So far, over 200 families in Baan Mae Sa Mai and Baan Mae Sa Noi, who mostly earn livings by growing lychee, have joined the project with the goal to cover 800 hectares, he said.

Since 1961, Thailand has lost nearly two-thirds of its forests, mainly due to land clearance for logging and agriculture.

Despite the project's success, Supol Jitvijak, acting head of the forest resources management unit at WWF Thailand, said the framework species method should be expanded slowly due to the shortage of researchers and villagers who know trees scientifically and have time to take care of them.

Therefore, only 21.5 hectares of the "new forest" have been planted in the past six years, or 3.2 hectares a year of the 4,480 hectares of destroyed forest here.

The reforestation project from 2006 to 2008, which will cover a 9.6 hectare plot, is supported by WWF Thailand and King Power Duty Free with a budget of three million baht.

Although the technique has proved successful in restoring tropical forests in northern Thailand, more research is required to find appropriate pioneer and climax trees to restore different forest ecosystems in other parts of Thailand, according to the Forru.

Elliot cautioned that over-enthusiasm and planting more trees than a community can maintain would eventually allow pests to grow faster than trees.

The success in the upper Mae Sa valley, however, has strengthened the determination of both the locals and the conservationists to revive the watershed forest of the Ping River.

For full story, please see:


19. Uganda: West Nile a hub for honey production

Source: New Vision (Kampala), 21 August 2007

THE Government has identified West Nile region as the best honey-producing region and pledged its support to boost farmers' capacity for large scale production and value addition.

The Vice-president, Prof. Gilbert Bukenya, who recently concluded a one week mobilisation tour on the Bonna Bagaggawale (Prosperity for All) programme in West Nile, said the region is strategically placed to become the hub for honey production in Uganda.

He said the region is blessed with plenty of unique wild flowering plants like the shea nut butter trees on whose nectar bees feed to make some of the best honey, which is on high demand in Europe and other parts of the world.

He said besides the natural plant vegetation, the districts of Arua, Nebbi, Koboko, Moyo and Yumbe are also blessed with part of the River Nile and other rivers, which water is important for bees in the making of honey.

"We must promote bee-keeping in West Nile and help the people earn an income from the sale of honey," Prof. Bukenya said, adding that from the sale of honey, each household can earn up to sh5m per year from a few hives.

"All you need is to get a beehive. Bees will colonise it and after three months, you will harvest honey, sell it and make money," he said and promised that the Government would work with the district leaders to make bee hives and distribute them to people intending to venture into bee-keeping.

A kilo of honey in Nebbi goes for sh6,000, while in other parts of West Nile it goes for between sh2,500 to sh4,000. The factory price in Arua town is said to be at sh2,500.

Nestroy Awich, a member of Jonam Bee Keepers Association in Therober South Village in Alwi parish, Panyango sub-county in Nebbi, says honey can be harvested three times a year.

Awich, whose association owns 130 bee hives, says a farmer with 50 beehives can easily earn up to sh5m a year from the sale of honey. He says a single bee hive can earn a farmer up to sh100,000 per year.

But amidst the growing bee-keeping business in West Nile, some areas in Nebbi are losing honey to a strange animal that has made it a habit to over turn bee hives and eat the honey. Phoebe Awene, a bee trainer in Nebbi, said the bee badger originates from Opio Forest goes on rampage, destroying bee hives it comes across. Awene said the badger, which is dog-like, lives in anthills during the day, but wanders the villages at night in search of honey.

Ali Muchemas, the chairperson of the Gbukenga farmers Apiculture group in Koboko, said changes in the weather patterns have greatly affected the apiculture farmers by causing a shortage in water supply for bees.

Muchemas's group, which owns over 20 bee hives, expects to harvest between 15 to 30kgs of honey per hive, annually.

For full story, please see:


20. Uganda: Danida gives Sh2.4b for Forest Reserve

Source: New Vision (Kampala), 14 August 2007

THE Danish Development Agency (DANIDA) has given Nature Uganda a grant of $1.5m (about sh2.4b) for the conservation of Kasyoha-Kitomi Forest Reserve in western Uganda. The money, channelled through the World Wide Fund for nature (WWF), will also be used to improve the livelihood of the local communities.

"This is an important migratory route for elephants and chimps from Queen Elizabeth National Park, which is important for the survival of the endangered species," said Achilles Byaruhanga, the executive director of Nature Uganda.

He added that Bushenyi, Kamwenge, Kasese and Ibanda districts would benefit from the funding. Byaruhanga encouraged the locals to engage in income-generating activities such as bee-keeping, handcraft making and agro forestry.

He said the local government ministry, the Uganda Wildlife Authority and the National Forestry Authority would implement the project. David Duli, the country coordinator of WWF, said the conservation will reduce the loss of biological diversity in the Albertine rift valley.

The initiative at Kasyoha-Kitomi is described as "a landscape approach" to conservation because interventions to conserve the forests start beyond the forest borders.

For full story, please see:


21. Uganda: 50 indigenous tree species restored in Mabira Forest

Source: The Monitor (Kampala), 20 August 2007

ABOUT 50 indigenous tree species that had diminished in some parts of Mabira Central Forest Reserve due to encroachment have been restored, a new study has shown.

The study, carried out early this year by the former Commissioner in the Ministry of Environment, Mr Peter Karani, shows that even a host of birds and wild animals that had abandoned the area have began returning.

This was revealed to the State Minister for Environment, Ms Jessica Eriyo, last week during her tour of Mabira Forest.

The Lakeshore Range Manager, Mr Reuben Arinaitwe, told the minister that the forest fog which had also disappeared has been regained.

Mabira Forest Reserve (at over 30,000 hectares) is said to be home to 30 per cent of all the bird species in the country. Over 300 bird species, including the endangered Naban's Francolin (Francolinus nabani) are found in Mabira.

The restored 35 hectares were reportedly degraded by Sugar Corporation of Uganda Ltd (Scoul) plantation workers who had resorted to growing maize but the National Forestry Authority (NFA) took it over in early 2005 and replanted trees.

According to NFA officials some of the restored indigenous trees include Sopium eliipticum (Musasa), Maesopsis eminii (Musizzi), Mondomonora myriastica, Funtumia elastica, Celtis Mild Braedii and Alstonia Bonei among others.

For full story, please see:


22. UK: Disease puts Christmas trees in danger

Source: Suffolk Evening Star, UK, 23 August 2007

ONE of the most familiar trees in Suffolk's man-made forests is today set to be phased out because of a disease in its leaves.

But tree experts dismissed fears that the arrival of red band needle blight in Corsican pine trees across the country could cause a Christmas tree crisis later in the year.

Corsican pines are not native to Britain but were introduced to new areas of forest because they grow fast and do not need too much attention.

However the blight is caused by a fungus, and this year's wet summer has been ideal for it to thrive. A spokesman for the Forestry Commission said it had taken the decision not to plant any further Corsican pines for at least five years while the impact of the blight was assessed.

It recently announced that non-native conifers would be replaced by native broadleaf trees in forestry in the east of Suffolk, from Dunwich to Rendlesham, as they are harvested over the next few years.

Stephen Smith, the commission's assistant operations manager for England, said: “Unfortunately, it appears that red band needle blight could be here to stay. The worst affected area is the East of England, where more than 70per cent of Corsican pine trees are thought to be infected.

“The disease was also found on a number of other pine species, including lodgepole pine. Stopping planting of Corsican pine is a big decision for us, especially in the south and east of England, because our pine forests are an important public resource and provide valuable timber for industry.

“It is particularly unfortunate that the disease has arrived now, because climate change models from Forest Research had indicated that Corsican pine is a species ideally suited to thrive over the coming decades, with an expanded range across Britain.”

But while the disease is causing a problem for the forestry industry, it should not have any impact on Christmas trees.

A spokesman for the British Christmas Tree Growers' Association said 95 percent of the trees sold in this country were not pine, and the disease only affected pines.

For full story, please see:


23. USA: Promising outlook for American Chestnut trees

Source:, PA, USA, 9 August 2007

The American chestnut tree, which has been fighting off extinction for decades, is poised to make a comeback.

"I think the future for the trees looks very, very promising," said Pat Chamberlain of Crossingville. "I should have some seedlings which will be 7/8 pure American chestnut in the next year or two. The American Chestnut Foundation also should have seedlings within the next couple years which will be 94 percent pure American Chestnut."

The Chestnut once dominated the American landscape but was literally wiped-out by a chestnut blight from Asia. The blight was discovered at the Bronx Zoo in 1904, although many believe it was in North America several decades earlier. Within 50 years, the American chestnut was all but obliterated.

The tree was an important source of food for wildlife; prized for it's qualities in furniture; and used extensively for utility poles and railroad ties.

Both the American Chestnut Foundation and Pennsylvania State University have been conducting extensive research into the recovery efforts. Both facilities have acres planted with chestnut trees and work together for research purposes.

Chamberlain said the promising outlook is the result of many years of crossing the American trees with the Chinese Chestnut, a tree originating from Asia that is resistant to the deadly fungus.

"It has taken quite a long time and it is a very complicated process," said Chamberlain, who is a member of the American Chestnut Foundation. "But I am optimistic; I think we have the American Chestnut, once again."

The deadly blight might be nearly conquered but there are several other threats to the once majestic trees. "The chestnut gall wasp and what is called root rot still poses risks to the trees," he said. "But there is a lot of good research being conducted to control them."

For full story, please see:


24. Vietnam: Rare trees threatened nationwide

Source: VietNamNet Bridge, Vietnam, 22 August 2007

As the price for sua trees (Dalbergia cochinchinensis) is very high at present, sua are being hunted throughout the country. Measures have been taken to protect this rare species.

According to experts, sua timber is thought to be rare and valuable, and is used for spiritual purposes and for disease treatment in China. In Vietnam, sua is considered a first-class prime timber, as it is hard, durable, easy to work and resistant to insects.

A bed made of other kinds of valuable timber like teak wood or rose-wood is priced at VND7.5 million ($460) and it is up to VND75 million ($4,600) for one made of sua timber.

Chinese traders now buy sua wood at $80/kg and Vietnamese traders pay VND700,000 to VND1 million ($43-62)/kg. Chinese traders also buy sawdust of sua timber at a high price. That’s why the movement to hunt sua trees has appeared in Vietnam, particularly in some central and Central Highlands provinces like Gia Lai, Kon Tum, Quang Ngai, Quang Nam and Quang Binh.

This ‘movement’ has even come to Hanoi, where around 20 sua trees have been illegally chopped down recently. The local Department of Transport and Public Works has submitted to the Hanoi Party Committee a report on the situation of sua trees and measures to protect this rare tree in Hanoi.

Confronting the situation, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has also banned the exploitation of sua trees in the whole country.

In Vietnam this species of tree grows sparsely in open and semi-deciduous forests, occasionally in pure stands, mainly concentrated at altitudes of 400-500m preferring deep sandy clay soil and calcareous soil. Sua trees are found south of Quang Nam, Da Nang, Gia Lai and Kon Tum and are sparsely distributed in a few localities.

For full story, please see:



25. Biopiracy: Namibian Government to act against plant pirates

Source: The Namibian (Windhoek), 20 August 2007

GOVERNMENT will set up a special committee to combat unlawful exploitation and trade of biological products, which include plants like hoodia, devil's claw and marula nuts.

Namibia needs to guard against unlawful exploitation and bio-piracy, but has no such policies and laws in place, Cabinet noted during its latest meeting.

The Ministry of Environment and Tourism is drafting a law on Access to Biological Resources and Associated Traditional Knowledge, which Cabinet expects to be finalised before the end of this year.

Trading in these products, which often means exploitation for financial gain without including indigenous people, who have centuries-old knowledge of the use of such plants, requires regulation to avoid exploitation, Cabinet noted.

Bio-prospecting contracts lay down the rules of benefit sharing between researchers and countries, and can bring royalties to less developed countries.

The fairness of these contracts has been a subject of debate.

"Until such a law is in place, there is a need for an Interim Bio-prospecting Committee to co-ordinate Government's approach on bio-trade and bio-prospecting according to terms of reference still to be proposed," the latest Cabinet briefing paper said.

"Cabinet gave approval for the establishment of an Interim Bio-Prospecting Committee, composed of the Ministries of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Education, Environment, Fisheries, Trade, Safety and Security and the Office of the Attorney General."

Cabinet also gave approval that the Committee may co-opt representatives from other institutions if and when required. Cabinet also instructed the Ministry of Trade and Industry to publish a notice in the Government Gazette listing regulated products of genetic resources and their derivatives whose export is to be controlled.

Namibia has a large genetic diversity in plants and animals that has potential for commercial development.

Bio-trade has the potential to generate significant economic benefits to Namibia if properly controlled.

Cabinet noted that "in the absence of a regulatory framework, Namibia stands to lose millions of dollars in potential revenues from renewable plant, animal, fungal and microbial resources, if these are exploited by international pharmaceutical, medicinal and agro-chemical interests without sound benefit-sharing arrangements."

In the absence of a policy regulating access to and protection of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge in Namibia, there is a need to establish an interim mechanism to prevent that opportunities for the development of genetic resources into potential sources of income are not missed.

For full story, please see:


26. Student discovers Stone Age chewing gum

Source: Independent Online, South Africa, 20 August 2007

An archaeology student found a 5000-year-old piece of gum, made from birch-tree resin, during excavations in western Finland, Professor Trevor Brown of Derby University in central England said. Teeth marks on the gum were particularly important evidence, he added.

Birch resin contains carbolic acid, an antiseptic component that can act against mouth inflammation.

The gum was possibly also used to mend broken pots.

Sarah Pickin, the 23-year-old who made the discovery, said she was happy about her find and intended to continue her research into Stone Age living. - Sapa-DPA

For full story, please see:


27. Trading goods in Cambodia and Lao

Source: Traffic, Cambridge, UK, 24 August 2007

Two reports recently launched by TRAFFIC reveal the critical importance of the trade in natural resources for rural livelihoods in Cambodia and Lao PDR.

“We asked local people about the kinds of natural resources they traded, what trade routes they used, how the trade varies over time and how important it is in meeting their subsistence needs,” said Sulma Warne, Co-ordinator of TRAFFIC’s work in the Greater Mekong sub-region.

Local people from four villages and 20 camps in Attapeu province, Lao PDR, and seven villages and 9 camps in Stung Treng province, Cambodia, were asked about the fish, other wildlife and non-timber forest products (NTFPs) they use. Information was also gathered from local markets.

In both regions, fish was regarded as the most important natural resource, with people often gathering other wildlife products during fishing activities in Attapeu. Monitor lizards and turtles were also traded in significant amounts, though these were reported by villagers to be declining particularly in Stung Treng.

In Lao PDR, 14 globally threatened, and 23 CITES-listed species were observed in trade, whilst in Cambodia, the figures were 12 and 22 respectively. They ranged from animals such as the Red- shanked Douc (Endangered, CITES Appendix I) to reptiles like the Elongated Tortoise (Endangered, CITES Appendix II) to the Giant Barb, a nationally protected fish species in Lao PDR listed in CITES Appendix I.

Rapid economic development in both regions has led to increasing affluence, which is fuelling the demand for an ever-diminishing supply of natural resources. The greatest threat to wildlife at both sites, however, results from improved access. This follows major road construction in Attapeu, and more roads and bridges are under construction in Stung making previously inaccessible sites now much easier to reach, and wild plants and animals easier to extract and transport.

“Easier access for people is generating greater pressure on natural resources,” said Warne.

“In both study areas the volume and diversity of natural resources on offer have all recently increased.”

Local laws and management practices regarding wildlife trade were examined, and revealed official perceptions of the trade vastly underestimate its extent and hence its significance for both local livelihoods and biodiversity conservation.

“Provincial authorities are trying to regulate the wildlife trade by establishing checkpoints at border crossings and other measures, but further action is needed to control the activities of outsiders and to manage both regions’ natural resources for the long-term benefit of local people,” said Warne.

Trade in Natural Resources in Attapeu Province, Lao PDR and Trade in Natural Resources in Stung Treng Province, Cambodia were published as part of the IUCN-The World Conservation Union’s livelihood initiative, within the Mekong River Basin Wetland Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Use Programme (MWBP).

For more information on the programme, please contact

Sulma Warne, Programme Co-ordinator, TRAFFIC Southeast Asia, Greater Mekong Programme, email:

Executive summaries of both reports are available as PDFs: Lao PDR (4.0 MB) Cambodia (5.4 MB). For copies of the full report—either as PDFs or printed copies, please contact

For full story, please see:



28. Stakeholders workshop on Wild Aromatic, Culinary and Medicinal Plants of Egypt

2-4 September 2007

Cairo, Egypt

The workshop objective is to organize and facilitate a national stakeholders workshop grouping representatives of the local communities, public administration and private sector involved in socio-economic and ecological aspects of wild aromatic, culinary and medicinal plants products management and development.

The workshop is being hosted by the Egyptian Desert Research Centre

For more information, please contact:

Prof Dr. Inas A. Tolba
Head of Department of Aromatic and Medicinal Plants
Desert Research Centre


29. 38th International Symposium on Essential Oils

9-12 September 2007

Graz, Austria

The main topics covered by plenary lectures will be:

• Recent developments in molecular biology and biosynthesis of terpenes

• Body(sweat) – fragrance – interactions

• New developments in quantitative essential oil analysis

• Essential oils in animal health and nutrition

• Regulatory affairs

For more information, please contact:

The Organizing Secretariat
Firmianstr. 3
5020 Salzburg, Austria
Tel.: +43 / 662 / 82 68 78
Fax: +43 / 662 / 82 68 78 4


30. 4th International Medicinal Mushroom Conference

23-27 September 2007

Ljubljana, Slovenia

A creative and informative event for mycologists and mycology students, medical doctors, immunologists, contagious disease specialists, naturopaths, ecologists, bioremediators and all those who are interested in studying and discussing the most current research on the biological properties of mushrooms in following fields:

1) Systematics, taxonomy, distribution, ecology and fungal culture collections,

2) Medicinal value and pharmacology of mushroom active compounds,

3) Mushroom nutraceuticals,

4) Fungal physiology, biochemistry and genetics,

5) Mycotechnology and mushroom cultivation,

6) Mycoremediation,

7) Medicinal mushroom species and

8) Ethnomycology, folk medicine and homeopathy

For more information, please visit: or contact:

President of the Organizing Committee
Prof. Dr. Franc Pohleven
University of Ljubljana
Biotechnical Faculty

t: +38614231161
f: +38614235035


31. Enjoy and Protect our Forests

17-18 October 2007

Fontainebleau, France.

This conference, held at the site of the beautiful forest of Fontainebleau in France, discusses the results of the PROGRESS project (Promotion and Guidance for Recreation on Ecologically Sensitive Sites).

The project has explored new ways to monitor recreational use in the New Forest and Fontainebleau Forest. The project team have also been investigating the impact recreation has on nature, and ways in which to ease the pressure.

For more information, please contact:

Peter Thaxter - Project Co-ordinator
Forestry Commission, The Queens House, Lyndhurst, SO43 7NH, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 23 8028 6846
Email: or



32. The 8th Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas

22-26 October 2007

Alotau, Papua New Guinea.

The Conference's theme, 'Conservation serving communities, in a rapidly changing world' highlights the inextricable link between Pacific islanders and the natural environment, and the importance of strengthening networks in the climate of global change.

Conference materials are available at

For more information, please contact:

Conference Coordinator, Ruth Pune,


33. 18th Commonwealth Forestry Conference

28 June – 2 July 2010

Edinburgh, Scotland

The Commonwealth Forestry Association (CFA), founded in 1921, is the world’s longest-established international forestry organisation. It works to enable people to effectively manage and sustain their forests and trees. It is a professional association linking foresters throughout the world to exchange information on developments in forest policy, forest science and forestry practice. It also publishes the International Forestry Review and assists in reviewing voluntary papers. The CFA is represented on the Standing Committee and is closely involved with planning the conferences.

Preparations are now under way to agree a theme, develop a website and appoint an organising committee for the CFA’s 18th Conference.

For more information, please contact:

Charlton Clark, British Forestry Commission press office, telephone +44 131 314 6500; email:;

or Jonathan Taylor, International Policy Branch, British Forestry Commission, +44 131 314 6405; email:



34. harvesting of aromatic and medicinal plants

From: Eva More

We would like to inform readers that in March 2007 we have published a special magazine about wild harvesting of aromatic and medicinal plants, written in Spanish and Catalan.

The publication was edited by the Non-wood Products Department of the Forestry Technology Centre of Catalonia , and it was cofinanced by the European Social Fund and the Fundación Biodiversidad through the project MAS 3.

It is possible to download the magazine at the following address:

For more information, please contact:

Eva Moré i Palos
Àrea de Productes Secundaris del Bosc
Centre Tecnològic Forestal de Catalunya
Pujada del Seminari, s/n
E-25280 Solsona - SPAIN
T.++34 973481752 F. ++34 973481392


35. Other publications of interest

From: FAO’s NWFP Programme

Belcher, B. and Schreckenberg, K. 2007. Commercialisation of Non-Timber Forest Products: A Reality Check. Development Policy Review 25 (3): 355-377.

This article challenges the pervasive view that commercialisation of non-timber forest products can (easily) achieve ecosystem and species conservation as well as improving livelihoods. Following a brief review of who and what is involved, it focuses on the main ecological and livelihood risks of unconsidered promotion of NTFP commercialisation, drawing on a wide range of case studies from around the world. It concludes with some recommendations, emphasising the lack of “magic-bullet” products, and the importance – among other things – of not ignoring national policy, taking an integrated view of the value chain, considering the implications of different production options, and improving both quality and quantity.

Hobley, Mary. 2007. Where in the world is there pro-poor forest policy and tenure reform? 91 p.

Jones, Eric T. and Lynch, Kathryn A. 2007. Nontimber forest products and biodiversity management in the Pacific Northwest. Forest Ecology and Management 246, 29–37.

Abstract: Nontimber forest product harvesting in the Pacific Northwest is neither a new activity nor a disappearing relic of the pre-industrial era. Though the emphasis may have shifted from subsistence to commercial and recreational pursuits, harvesting and harvesters of wild species are still widespread throughout the region. Hundreds of businesses and thousands of harvesters earn part or all of their income from the harvests. Every year thousands of pounds and hundreds of nontimber forest products valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars are harvested from regional public and private forests. This harvesting of a large diversity of species represents a considerable subset of the overall terrestrial biodiversity in Pacific Northwest forests. Despite widespread extraction, little investment in research, planning, or basic inventorying and monitoring has been done on nontimber forest products. Without better information, land managers will be increasingly unable to make informed decisions on how to manage nontimber forest product biodiversity sustainably as demand for products increases.

Larsen, Helle-Overgaard; Olsen, Carsten-Smith. 2007 Unsustainable collection and unfair trade? Uncovering and assessing assumptions regarding Central Himalayan medicinal plant conservation. Biodiversity and conservation. June; 16(6): 1679-1697

Okeowo Alexis. 2007. "Sex Tree," Other Medicinal Plants Near Extinction in Uganda. National Geographic News

Shrivastava, R.J. and J.T. Heinen. 2007. A microsite analysis of resource use around Kaziranga National Park, India: Implications for conservation and development planning. Journal of Environment and Development 16(2): 207-226.

Abstract: We used a semistructured social survey of 590 households in 37 villages along the southern boundary of Kaziranga National Park and World Heritage Site, Assam, India in late 2000 and early 2001 to assess resource use and demographic and socioeconomic conditions. Kaziranga, recently expanded in size in a region with a large and diverse human population, is globally important for the conservation of several critically endangered species. This was the first in-depth study of its kind in Kaziranga. The results showed highly variable resource use patterns as a function of caste/ethnic group, educational level, socioeconomic and immigration status of households, and location with respect to the park and wildlife corridors. We highlight the importance of and present a basis for electing a microsite planning approach for conservation and development in areas characterized by (1) high ethnic diversity, (2) high human population densities, and (3) endangered, land-dependent large mammal populations that pose economic risks. Individualized development schemes and participatory approaches to management at the local level are critical to achieve conservation and development goals in these cases.

Studley, John. 2007. Hearing a different drummer: A paradigm for the "keepers of the forest". International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), London.

Based on research in the Kham region of south-western China, this book explores the crisis of extinction facing indigenous knowledge systems, biodiversity and cultural diversity worldwide. It introduces ERA (the endogenous realisation of aspirations), to enhance well-being and biocultural diversity by building on local or endogenous ambitions and dreams. The author offers practical methods and policy recommendations for incorporating this approach into development practice within local forest concepts and values.


36. Web sites and e-zines

From: FAO’s NWFP Programme

Birds in Armenia


Cropwatch is an independent watchdog for Endangered & Vulnerable Natural Aromatic Products used in the aroma (perfumes, flavours, aromatherapy, cosmetics), herbal, traditional medicine & phytochemical industries.

Information on commodities from natural aromatic products found in trade magazines, and learned journals and the reports of both government & non-governmental bodies can often be biased towards the interests of industry. Information provided to Cropwatch, is forwarded by a number of academics, researchers, industry professionals, trade and ethnic peoples, all of whom have primary concerns for the environment.



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last updated:  Friday, August 28, 2009