No. 04/08

Welcome to FAO’s NWFP-Digest-L, a free e-mail journal that covers all aspects of non-wood forest products. Back issues of the Digest may be found on FAO's NWFP home page: www.fao.org/forestry/site/12980/en.

You can take part in contributing to the continued success of this newsletter by sharing with the NWFP community any news that you may have regarding research, events, publications and projects. Kindly send such information to NWFP-Digest-L@mailserv.fao.org:We also appreciate any comments or feedback.

A special thank you to all those who have sent me links to information.


IN THIS ISSUE:

PRODUCTS

1. Bamboo: Dell develops an ecological bamboo computer

2. Bamboo 'silk' protects against UV and bugs

3. Ginseng helps cancer patients reduce fatigue, increase energy

4. Medicinal plants in Ethiopia: Ethnomedicinal plant knowledge and practice of the Oromo ethnic group

5. Medicinal plants in India: Valley medicinal plants hold employment potential

6. Medicinal plants in USA: Native medicinal herb could become New Mexico cash crop

7. Moringa oleifera: Student researchers study natural water purifier

8. Moringa oleifera: Body Shop launches a Moringa bath and body range

9. Moringa oleifera: ‘Malunggay better oil source’

10. Mulberry juice drink unveiled

11. Mulberry: Indian silk board weaves new mulberry breeds

12. Mulberry: Silkworms give Philippine farming town a makeover

13. Mushrooms in South Africa: New giant mushroom causes a stir

14. Mushrooms in Ukraine: Mushroom prices are 1.5 times as high as in 2007

15. Pine bark extract's osteoarthritis potential expanded

16. Rattan in Indonesia: Artificial rattan gains favour

17. Seabuckthorn: Clinically proven treatment offers help to rosacea sufferers

COUNTRY INFORMATION

18. Brazil: Plans to control access to Amazon

19. Canada: Season not so sweet for maple syrup producers

20. Ghana: Government taking action to reduce pressure on forests

21. Guyana: Forest investment deal boosts Guyana conservation

22. India: Bamboo industry eyes slice of $7.5 bn world mkt

23. India: Chinese technology likely for State bamboo sector

24. India: Cane and bamboo project launched for North East

25. India: Bugs to boost Assam’s muga silk production

26. India Lac farming boost to tribal families

27. Indonesia: The sweetest way to save forests

28. Namibia: Community Forestry Project in Omaheke

29. Portugal: A revival of the region’s cork producing history

30. Sri Lanka: Ceylon cinnamon a money spinner

31. UK: Campaign to save forest reptiles

32. USA: Untapped resource – maple sugar

33. Vietnam: Ecological tourism development to protect forest biodiversity

34. Vietnam: Fragments of grace

35. Zambia: Two tree crops provide Zambians with nutrition and fuel

NEWS

36. American Botanical Council announces Peruvian Amazon and Andes Ethnobotany Ecotour

37. Biodiversity key to fighting climate change

38. CMS Gorilla Agreement enters into force

39. E-discussion forum on underutilized species

40. How is a tree valued?

41. Is the answer to HIV-associated diarrhea found in South America's rain forest?

42. The buzz on energy drinks

43. World Challenge 2008 (Deadline: 31 May 2008)

EVENTS

44. IBRA International Workshop on Queen rearing and artificial insemination

45. 2008 International Scientific Conference on Tropical Rainforests and Agroforests under Global Change

46. Provoking Change: Strategies to promote forest users in the Amazon

REQUESTS

47. Request for funding: Participatory forest management for herbal medicinal production in Peru

LITERATURE REVIEW AND WEB SITES

48. Indigenous and traditional peoples and climate change

49. Introducing 'Journal of Medicinal Plant Research (JMPR)'

50. Quality and adulteration problems in certain raw medicinal plants of central India

51. The Tropical Agriculturalist – Beekeeping

52. Other publications of interest

53. Web sites and e-zines

QUICK TIPS AND INFORMATION FOR NWFP-DIGEST-L


PRODUCTS

1. Bamboo: Dell develops an ecological bamboo computer

Source: TECH.BLORGE.com, Australia, 30 April 2008

Dell has designed a beautifully sleek, energy efficient desktop computer. This bamboo beauty will improve the look of any office and improve your envirogeek cred at the same time.

This bamboo desktop is 81% smaller than other desktops and uses 70% less power. The internal specs are not known at this time so it is unclear what chips are incorporated or what other technology has gone into creating this small energy efficient computer.

One thing is clear, this computer reflects Dell’s “green” commitment. Since Bamboo grows at a rapid rate almost like kudzu. Harvesting bamboo for use as computer cases (as well as floors, panelling, clothing, furniture, ad infinitum) will not deplete bamboo in the same way that harvesting trees will. Since bamboo grows back within weeks since it grows 3 to 4 feet a day, rather than years for other trees.

Dell already has computer recycling and plant a tree programs. It is using more recycled parts and safer materials in their products. This new desk top takes it one step farther.

For full story, please see: http://tech.blorge.com/Structure:%20/2008/04/30/dell-develops-an-ecological-bamboo-computer/

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2. Bamboo 'silk' protects against UV and bugs

Source: New Scientist, UK, 15 April 2008

Make room in your wardrobe for bamboo. Fibres formed from pulped bamboo can be woven into strong, silky fabrics that wick away sweat. Now they have been made to absorb harmful UV rays and kill bacteria as well.

Bamboo, which is the fastest-growing plant and requires no pesticides, is touted as an environmentally friendly material. However, while its natural ability to kill bacteria has been hyped, Subhash Appidi and Ajoy Sarkar at Colorado State University in Fort Collins found that some finished bamboo fabric does not have this ability, and could cause unpleasant odours. The fabric they tested also let in UV light.

The pair added UV-absorbing molecules to a commercially available bacteriocide. Bamboo fabric dipped in the mixture killed 80 per cent of bacteria and blocked UV rays.

For full story, please see: http://technology.newscientist.com/

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3. Ginseng helps cancer patients reduce fatigue, increase energy

Source: Natural News.com, AZ, USA, 23 April 2008

American ginseng may reduce fatigue and increase overall psychological well-being in cancer patients, according to a study conducted by researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, N.Y., and presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

"We hope that Wisconsin ginseng may offer us a much-needed treatment to improve our patients' quality of life, and we look forward to further evaluation," said lead researcher Debra Barton of the North Central Cancer Treatment Group.

Researchers treated 282 cancer patients with a daily dose of either a placebo or of 750, 1,000 or 2,000 milligrams of Wisconsin ginseng. They found that treatment with the placebo or the 750-mg dose caused very little improvement in measures of fatigue or physical or psychological well-being. Treatment with the higher doses, however, led to an improvement in overall energy and vitality levels, a decrease in fatigue and an improvement in overall emotional, mental, physical and spiritual well-being.

Extreme fatigue is a common symptom among cancer patients, one that often cannot be remedied by increased rest or sleep.

Ginseng has a long history of use in Asian and indigenous American cultures. In modern times, it is most often used to increase energy levels and stamina and to reduce stress or fatigue. It also reportedly can aid in the treatment of cancer and diabetes and can reduce obesity risk.

All of these purported benefits have led ginseng to become the second best-selling herbal supplement in the United States, at $62 million annually. It has even been incorporated into mainstream energy drinks, albeit usually in subclinical doses.

Barton shied away from advising cancer patients to take ginseng supplements. The researchers hope to begin clinical trials by 2008 to find safe ways to incorporate ginseng into cancer treatment.

For full story, please see: http://www.naturalnews.com/023089.html

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4. Medicinal plants in Ethiopia: Ethnomedicinal plant knowledge and practice of the Oromo ethnic group

Source: 7thSpace Interactive (press release), NY, USA

An ethnomedicinal study was conducted to document the indigenous medicinal plant knowledge and use by traditional healers in southwestern Ethiopia from December 2005 to November 2006. Data were collected from 45 randomly selected traditional healers using semi structured interviews and observations.

Sixty seven ethnomedicinal plant species used by traditional healers to manage 51 different human ailments were identified and documented. Healers' indigenous knowledge was positively correlated with their reported age but not with their educational level.

High degree of consensus was observed among traditional healers in treating tumour (locally known as Tanacha), rabies (Dhukuba Seree) and insect bite (Hadhaa). The use of more than one species was significantly cited for remedy preparations.

The reported abundance of the ethnomedicinal plant species varied significantly with respect to the presence of multiple uses of the reported species. Our results showed that ethnomedicinal plant species used by healers are under serious threat due to several factors, which indicates the need for urgent attention towards their conservation and sustainable utilization.

Author: Haile Yineger, Delenasaw Yewhalaw and Demel Teketay

Credits/Source: Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine 2008, 4:11

For full story, please see: http://7thspace.com/headlines/279937/

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5. Medicinal plants in India: Valley medicinal plants hold employment potential

Source: Etalaat, Srinagar, India, 22 April 2008

Srinagar: Going by the figures of the state 80 percent of medicinal plants grow in the Kashmir valley, but due to the absence of proper marketing not much enthusiasm is seen among the youth to pursue the same as means of employment.

These were some of the observations shared by experts during the inaugural session of 10 days Technology based Entrepreneurship Development Programme (TEDP) “Medicinal plant cultivation, processing and marketing” organized jointly by Entrepreneurship Development Cell (EDC), NGO’s Coordination Federation, Jammu and Kashmir at the University of Kashmir.

The experts said that despite having immense employment potential, medicinal herbs and aromatic plants in the valley have been left unexplored. Geographical conditions of the Kashmir favour the growth of medicinal plants and this sector has a great future after horticulture.

“Out of 5000 medicinal plants, 4000 grow in the valley. Most of them grow wild in forests,” said Prof. G.M.Bhat, Director University Science Instrumentation Centre (USIC), University of Kashmir.

The Director opines that medicinal herbs have huge employment potential, but as the field has been left unattended very little progress has been made in this respect. “Since market is available worldwide there is a huge scope for employment,” he added.

Dr. Younis Munshi, Regional Research Institute of Medical Science (RRIUM), Srinagar says that local market for the medicinal plants is high. Citing example, he says that the yearly turn over of Hamdard is 90 lakh. He suggested that the people should grow medicinal herbs as inter-crop. In addition, Prunulla vulgaris (kal wot), Artemisia (tathwan), Neputa can be grown along the rice fields and used as inter-crop. Artemisia, he says, can be used as the best pesticide.

Predicting a great future for floriculture in the Kashmir valley, Prof. Mohammad Abu Bakar Sidique, HOD Floriculture, SK University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST-K) said that more and more people are talking about the importance of medicinal plants. He attributed the same to a global phenomenon and said that the medicinal plants should be grown in the plain areas.

Touching upon the aspect of under-valuation of the medicinal plants Prof. Sidique said one kilogram of Lavender fetches Rs. 300 in the local market, whereas the same can fetch Rs. 60,000 to 70,000 in the European market. He added that this under-valuation is leading to a death of the medicinal plants.

“Our approach should not be to bring them from the forests. There are so many institutions working on medicinal plants, any entrepreneur who wants to cultivate these plants can avail facilities of these institutions,” said the HOD Floriculture.

Providing the health benefits of these medicinal plants Prof. Sidique said that in US 42 per cent prescriptions are based on plant and animal based products. He added that there is a growing demand for the medicinal herbs.

For full story, please see: http://etalaat.net/english/?p=1250

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6. Medicinal plants in USA: Native medicinal herb could become New Mexico cash crop

Source: El Paso Times, USA, 21 April 2008

Alcalde. Through the centuries, settlers in the Southwest have discovered the medicinal benefits of the native plant yerba del manso (Anemopsis californica), commonly called swamp root or lizard-tail. With the renaissance of medicinal herbs in the United States, a New Mexico State University agronomist believes the plant could become a cash crop for New Mexican organic farmers.

A feasibility study conducted by the NMSU College of Agriculture and Home Economics indicates that some herbs, depending on market demand, could provide an above average per acre gross income for small-scale farmers.

Native Americans first introduced the native herb to Spanish settlers. The Europeans learned that the plant's antiseptic and antibiotic properties had many uses. One explorer wrote in his dairy, "Of all the plants we gathered none was endowed with so much magic as the yerba del manso."

Yerba del manso's benefits have been passed down from generation to generation. The plant with the large white flower spikes found in riparian habitats of northern Mexico and the Southwest in the United States can be used as a remedy for colds, sinus infections, gum diseases, toothaches, ulcers and upset stomachs.

"Traditionally, people dig up the roots or harvest the crown of the plant from wild stands in high water table areas, such as river bosques. But with the riparian areas in New Mexico shrinking because of urbanization, the habitat for this useful plant is rapidly disappearing," Martin said.

Since it has been plentiful and easily available to the traditional medicinal herb community, it's never been commercialized or thought of as a commercial crop. But Martin said times are changing. "Because it is so useful as a medicinal herb and with the growing medicinal herb market, New Mexico growers have a real advantage at turning it into a cash crop. It has potential commercial sales outside of the Southwest. So just imagine the potential market when herbalists on either coast or in large Midwestern cities discover its benefits."

Since 1998, Martin has worked with the plant to determine how to transplant the native species into a cultivated environment. His findings have been published in NMSU's Research Report 758, "Cultivation of Anemopsis californica under small-scale grower conditions in northern New Mexico." A copy of the report may be obtained at http://www.cahe.nmsu.edu/pubs/research/agronomy/RR-758.pdf

Martin anticipates a need for commercial cultivation of this plant in the future as yerba del manso becomes popular to herbalists. "With the knowledge we have from this research we hope to avoid what happened to other popular herbs, such as echinacea, where there was so much over-harvesting from native stands that the stands were depleted and became threatened or even endangered."

For full story, please see: http://www.elpasotimes.com/ci_8996664?source=most_emailed

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7. Moringa oleifera: Student researchers study natural water purifier

Source: University at Buffalo The Spectrum, USA, 16 April 2008

University of Buffalo undergraduate researchers Kelly Miller and Daniel Loscalzo have been working to find a natural water filtration system that could be used in Africa, where potable water is a luxury.

The students, like other researchers around the world, are trying to develop a plausible way to use the seeds of the Moringa tree to purify water naturally and with Africa's available resources.

While many scientists have been focusing on commercial use of this technique, Miller and Loscalzo are trying to make it easier for people to purify their own water at home.

“We are basically trying to make a cookbook instruction of how to use this technology in their homes, and testing out the dosages and what is needed, so individuals can have this technology," said Miller, a senior environmental engineering major.

To use the seeds for water purification, they are crushed into a powder and clean water is added, according to the Trees for Life Web site. The milky product is added to water and acts as a coagulant, attaching itself to any bacteria or silt in the water and sinking to the bottom of the container, according to an article in The Environmental Magazine. Then, the pure water is poured out.

These seeds can be used to filter the water instead of expensive imported chemicals," Miller said.

Miller became involved in the studies through the Rural Africa Water Development Project (RAWDP), and the students have since formed a partnership with the organization. Miller and Loscalzo will conduct studies in UB's labs, and RAWDP will test their results in the field.

The students hope to help the Nigeria Delta area with their research. Although Nigeria is the largest oil exporter in Africa and the eleventh largest globally as of 2007, according to the US Department of Energy Web site, potable water is a rare commodity.

For full story, please see: http://spectrum.buffalo.edu/article.php?id=36538

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8. Moringa oleifera: Body Shop launches a Moringa bath and body range

Source: news section of Moringanews in April 2008 Update from the GFU (Global Facilitation Unit for Underutilized Species)

The cosmetic company Body Shop (belonging to L'Oréal) has just launched a Moringa bath and body range.

Moringa is presented as a "miracle of hydratation" on the big advertisement posters placed on the shops windows. Packaging shows white flowers.

The origin of the Moringa oil is not indicated (no mention of fair trade). This is the first world wide advertisement campaign on a Moringa product. www.thebodyshop.com.sg/Moringa.html

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9. Moringa oleifera: ‘Malunggay better oil source’

Source: Visayan Daily Star, Philippines, 2 May 2008

Malunggay is the only plant that provides both biofuel and food at the same time, and this versatile tree is attracting a slew of local and foreign investors, Director Alicia Ilaga of the Department of Agriculture-Biotechnology Program Office said in a press release from BioNet Pilipinas.

As biofuel feedstock, Ilaga says malunggay seeds can produce up to 40 percent oil.

The oil derived from malunggay seeds is so good that the North American Biofuels Inc. opted for it rather than jatropha, a plant native to Asia long used as source of oil to light up rural homes in India and run farm equipment, the press release said.

Unlike malunggay, jatropha is poisonous and thus could not provide any help to sustain the nutritional needs of millions of Filipinos.

On the other hand, malunggay leaves have seven times the Vitamin C found in oranges, four times the calcium and twice the protein found in milk, 75 percent of the iron in spinach, 400 percent more Vitamin A than carrots and thrice the potassium in bananas. It even has copper and all the essential amino acids, the press release said.

Malunggay’s high oil recovery rate has prompted US investors to look more closely into the possibility of developing 500,000 hectares of land in various types of terrains for its cultivation.

Biotechnology Information and Organization Network vice president for Visayas Danilo Manayaga said in a press release that, far from competing for land devoted to rice, farmers can plant malunggay even in hostile terrain to augment their incomes.

With oil hitting $120 a barrel and presumably rising in the next few months, moringa oil advocates are pushing for the massive cultivation of malunggay and the collection of mature seeds nationwide, the press release said.

A total of 300,000 hectares of land now have been committed to produce malunggay oil by Secura International but US clients are demanding that 200,000 hectares be added to supply the company with its requirements.

It is predicted that in the next few years, moringa oil would be in demand in the Korean Peninsula and in Japan, both of which are gunning for alternatives to fossil fuels.*

For full story, please see: http://www.visayandailystar.com/2008/May/02/people.htm

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10. Mulberry juice drink unveiled

Source: Talking Retail, UK, 23 April 2008

The Progressive Food Company has announced the launch of the UK's first ever mulberry juice drink under the mul-be brand name. A not-from-concentrate (NFC), single fruit, 50% juice drink, mul-be comes in a distinctive 350ml PET bottle, with an RRP of £1.20.

mul-be is a premium super juice drink for adults, one of the fastest growing sectors of the UK soft drinks market. The drink contains no artificial colourings, sweeteners, flavourings or preservatives and has an extended ambient shelf life.

Mulberries are rich in anthocyanins – powerful antioxidants that help cleanse the body of free radicals, harmful molecules that can cause serious cell damage. Mulberries are a natural source of vitamin C and each bottle of mul-be provides 70% of the recommended daily amount (RDA).

The Progressive Food Company Ltd officially launched mul-be at this year's Food & Drink Expo.

For more information visit www.mul-be.com

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11. Mulberry: Indian silk board weaves new mulberry breeds

Source: Economic Times, India, 15 April 2008

Bangalore: The Central Silk Board (CSB) is open to the idea of developing region- and season-specific breeds of mulberry as demand for seed cocoon outstrips supply, a CSB official said. “We have heard of some breeds not doing too well. There is a problem as the country has diverse agro-climatic zones and there can’t be one specific breed to meet the demands of the silkworm rearers,” member-secretary M Sathiyavathy said at an interactive session on silkworm seed production.

As against the projected demand of 330 million eggs, supply stands at 240 million. The high mortality rates of eggs and erratic supplies are seen as reasons for the shortfall. Silkworm seed production is a lengthy process, starting with the supply of P4, P3 and P2 races by agencies such as CSB’s National Silkworm Seed Organisation (NSSO) and the states’ sericulture departments.

These races are reared to produce the seed cocoon, which is then procured by licensed seed producers (LSP). They, in turn, produce the eggs which are used for producing commercial silkworm cocoons. The P4, P3 and P2 races, which remain with agencies such as NSSO and the sericulture departments, are considered to be main races from which the seed-production process begins.

CSB chairman H Hanumanthappa said that the organisation would be using a “carrot and stick” approach to encourage LSPs to produce more P1 lines.

For full story, please see: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/News/News_By_Industry/Cons_Products/

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12. Mulberry: Silkworms give Philippine farming town a makeover

Source: Reuters Canada, Ontario, Canada, 21 April 2008

Kapangan, Philippines (Reuters) - Hundreds of white mulberry trees have started to cover mountain slopes deep in the northern Philippines' Cordillera region, changing not just the landscape but also making over the image of a poor farming town.

Up until the early 2000s, the upland villages of Kapangan, a vegetable growing town of 18,000 people in Benguet province, was widely known as one of the country's largest cultivation areas of an illegal plant -- marijuana.

"We've started something to erase that tag," Roberto Canuto, a public attorney in the province who was elected mayor in 2007, told Reuters. "We're determined to be known as something else, perhaps, the silk capital of the country."

Canuto said some farmers have started growing mulberry trees, the main food of silk-producing worms from China and Japan, after sericulture was introduced in nine of Kapangan's 15 villages in late 2004.

"We're expanding the mulberry plantation to accommodate more farmers willing to go into silkworm operations," he said, adding many farmers got excited after initial trials produced about 25 kilos of rawsilk, sold at $50 per kilogram early this year.

Wilbur Teofilo, leader of a 33-member farmers' cooperative in Kapangan, said they have started upgrading 11 "rearing houses" and building nine more to raise rawsilk production to 250 kilos every two months this year.

"We can easily produce about 500 kilos of rawsilk every two months when our operations go on full blast," Teofilo said, showing a box containing thousands of fresh cocoons, leftovers from last month's production.

"This could be the perfect alternative to marijuana because it would also take six to eight months to harvest mulberry leaves that would be fed to hungry worms. This could give us extra cash without taking any risks."

Fe Donato, an official from the Fibre Industry Development Authority, said the silkworm project could produce as much as 2,000 kilos of rawsilk every year once operations expand in two years, bringing in an extra 4 million pesos ($95,690) for the farmers.

Like most other farmers in his village, members of Teofilo's cooperative were not ready to admit they had cultivated marijuana in the past before getting into sericulture.

Dionisio Santiago, head of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, said anti-narcotics agencies had pledged to sink in more investments in the sericulture project if silk-making succeeds in cutting marijuana supply.

Teofilo said farmers in his village were willing to give the silkworm project a try because the potential for providing them extra cash was huge based on the initial experiments since 2004.

"What's important for us was to find new ways to improve our finances through honest means," he said, pointing to an area in the mountain where they had started a mulberry plantation.”

For full story, please see: http://ca.reuters.com/article/oddlyEnoughNews/idCAMAN18572520080422?sp=true

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13. Mushrooms in South Africa: New giant mushroom causes a stir

Source: East Coast Radio, South Africa, 15 April 2008

A giant mushroom discovered in the Isimangaliso Wetland Park near St Lucia has made history in the world of science. It’s believed that the 5 kg fungus is the biggest mushroom ever found in South Africa.

Dr. Tom May, curator of fungi at the National Herbarium of Victoria, Australia, identified iSimangaliso’s mushroom as Macrocybe lobayensis. The genus to which Macrocybe belongs has a pantropical distribution i.e. it occurs in tropical areas around the world, and is usually found in grasslands. It is highly unlikely, however, that this species has been previously recorded in iSimangaliso, and its occurrence here, a mere 4 km’s from St. Lucia town, may also establish a new distribution record for South Africa as a whole.

Andrew Zaloumis, iSimangaliso CEO concluded that “it is almost certain that iSimangaliso holds many more fungal treasures, as approximately only 4% of SA’s fungi are known to science!”

For full story, including photograph, please see: http://blog.ecr.co.za/newswatch/?p=1478

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14. Mushrooms in Ukraine: Mushroom prices are 1.5 times as high as in 2007

Source: Agricultural Marketing Project, Kiev, Ukraine, 21 April 2008

The analysts of "Fruit-Inform" weekly inform that there is a dynamically increasing demand for the cultivated mushroom on the Ukrainian market at the present. Ukrainian producers are not able to satisfy the increasing demand; so, the prices for champignon and the oyster mushroom zoom up on the inner market.

As of April 21st, the wholesale prices for champignon are 62% as high; the prices for oyster mushroom are 46% as high than at the same date past year.

According to Andriy Yarmak, the head of "Fruit-Inform" project, the price increase for mushrooms directly relates to the sharply increased prices for all major fruits and vegetables in a new season. Also, the price growth for meat has an impact on the increased demand and prices for the cultivated mushroom, as mushrooms compete with meat for the consumers.

We should also point out that the harvest of the wild mushrooms in 2007 was much lower than usually because of the droughty and hot summer. The demand for the cultivated mushrooms zooms up because of this factor too. The increased expenses for the energy and labour costs have their impact as well.

The leading experts of this industry in Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Holland and other countries will speak in details about the perspectives of the mushroom industry of Ukraine in the coming years, and also about the technological novelties of the mushroom business during the largest professional event - the III international conference-exhibition "Mushroom Industry 2008".

For full story, please see: http://www.lol.org.ua/eng/showart.php?id=58017

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15. Pine bark extract's osteoarthritis potential expanded

Source: NutraIngredients.com, Montpellier, France, 17 April 2008

Supplements of French maritime pine bark extracts may reduce the pain associated with arthritis of the knee by about 55 per cent, suggests a new study.

Moreover, the randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial involving 156 patients with osteoarthritis and using the pine bark extract, Pycnogenol, indicated an improvement in all osteoarthritis symptoms by 56 per cent, according to data published in the journal Phytotherapy Research.

The study supports and expands earlier results from a smaller University of Arizona-led study involving 36 people and published last year in the journal Nutrition Research (November 2007, Vol. 27, pp. 692-697).

"The results of this study are significant as they clearly demonstrate the clinical action of Pycnogenol on osteoarthritis and management of symptoms," said lead researcher Dr. Gianni Belcaro from Chieti-Pescara University. "The use of Pycnogenol many reduce costs and side effects of anti-inflammatory agents and offer a natural alternative solution to people suffering from osteoarthritis."

"Further clinical studies have to clarify whether the increase of muscular performance is due to inflammation control or due to a direct action on muscular function," they concluded.

Source: Phytotherapy Research April 2008, Volume 22, Issue 4, Pages 518 – 523 "Treatment of osteoarthritis with Pycnogenol. The SVOS (San Valentino osteo-arthrosis study): evaluation of signs, symptoms, physical performance and vascular aspects"

Authors: G. Belcaro, M. R. Cesarone, S. Errichi, C. Zulli, B. M. Errichi, G. Vinciguerra, A. Ledda, A. Di Renzo, S. Stuard, M. Dugall, L. Pellegrini, S. Errichi, G. Gizzi, E. Ippolito, A. Ricci, M. Cacchio, G. Cipollone, I. Ruffini, F. Fano, M. Hosoi, P. Rohdewald

For full story, please see: http://www.nutraingredients.com/news/ng.asp?n=84716-horphag-pycnogenol-osteoarthritis-inflammation

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16. Rattan in Indonesia: Artificial rattan gains favour

Source: The Jakarta Post, Indonesia, 29 April 2008

Global furniture manufacturers are using more artificial rattan in their products amid a tight supply of the material's naturally occurring equivalent, the Association of Furniture and Craft Industry (Asmindo) said Monday.

Asmindo chairman Ambar Tjahyono said artificial rattan, which is made of plastic, accounted for 35 percent of all global furniture containing rattan.

"In the last four years, the demand for furniture made of artificial rattan has been very high despite its higher price compared to those of the natural kind," he said.

Natural rattan producers, he added, should immediately raise production in order to be able to take advantage of the high price of artificial rattan and the rising demand for the commodity in the international market.

He said the supply of natural rattan for local furniture manufacturers had declined due to the trade ministry's regulation in 2005 which allowed for rattan exporting.

The association said as of the end of last year, the material's scarcity had bankrupted 144 out of 426 furniture firms in Cirebon, West Java, where the majority of rattan centers are located, and that more would follow.

The central statistics agency showed a drop in rattan exports last year to US$219 million from $343 million in 2006.

Industry Minister Fahmi Idris said the government would establish new rattan centers to complement those in Cirebon.

The new centers are set to be built in Central Kalimantan, South Kalimantan, Central Sulawesi, Aceh and Papua. JP/Novia D. Rulistia

For full story, please see: http://old.thejakartapost.com/yesterdaydetail.asp?fileid=20080429.L03

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17. Seabuckthorn: Clinically proven treatment offers help to rosacea sufferers

Source: PR Newswire (press release), New York, USA, 15 April 2008

Dublin. It is commonly known that many children get facial rashes, while teenagers tend to have acne - but as a person ages, their skin is supposed to clear up.

However, studies show there are millions of adults who still suffer from these kinds of facial skin conditions.

Derek Lepage [spokesperson with FaceDoctor] says: "In the western hemisphere (rosacea) has not been addressed as a parasite, but as a bacterial infection."

"If a person with rosacea is treated for a bacterial infection, their skin will clear up while they are on medication, but the rash will come back because the parasite has not been treated. That's where FaceDoctor comes into play. The rosacea treatment is a soap with a special ingredient that kills the parasite - seabuckthorn oil."

"The oil in the soap is clinically proven to destroy 80 per cent of the parasite on people with normal skin," Lepage says. "For people with rosacea, it allows their skin to return to its normal skin tone."

Studies have found that seabuckthorn oil has a nourishing, revitalizing and restorative action that can be used not only for acne but for dry, itchy skin, eczema, burns and cuts, as well as postpartum pigmentation.

Lepage explains, "After 30 years of research, doctors have found that the parasite linked with rosacea exists under the facial skin and in the hair follicle. The parasite feeds off the oil found inside the hair follicle.

"The redness appears when the parasite chews its way through an oil gland," he added. "The pore becomes enlarged and then plugged with bacteria and that's when acne develops."

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COUNTRY INFORMATION

18. Brazil: Plans to control access to Amazon

Source: BBC News, 26 April 2008

Brazil's Congress is to be asked to consider a law which could require foreign visitors and workers in the Amazon region to have a permit. The legislation is designed to prevent outside interference and illegal use of the rainforest's resources. Those in the region without a permit would be fined up to $60,000 (£30,000).

But some scientists have warned that if passed the measure could have a negative impact on research, and would force experts to look elsewhere.

There has long been a suspicion in some sections of Brazilian society that not all the attention focused on the Amazon region is well motivated.

Brazil's National Justice Secretary Romeu Tuma now says a bill is to be sent to Congress requiring foreign visitors and workers in the area to have a permit. In an interview with the Associated Press news agency, Mr Tuma said Brazil wanted the world to visit the Amazon. But he also said they wanted visitors to inform the government when they are coming, and what they were planning to do while they were there. "We want to establish the Amazon as ours," he said.

In recent years the Brazilian government has become increasingly fearful of what it views as bio-piracy, or the appropriation of traditional or indigenous knowledge and biological resources, in what is the world's largest remaining rainforest.

The Brazilian government insists that it is not trying to criminalise foreigners visiting or working in the region, but simply trying to distinguish between the good and the bad.

The proposals would require overseas organisations, including religious groups and individuals, to seek authorisation to be in the area from both the justice and defence ministries.

For full story, please see: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7368449.stm

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19. Canada: Season not so sweet for maple syrup producers

Source: CJAD, Montreal, Canada, 2 May 2008

Quebec City. An unusually short season this year means the province's maple syrup producers will have trouble meeting their demand.

After having to dig out their tubing, because it was still buried under the snow, Anne-Marie Granger-Godbout of Quebec's Maple Syrup Producers Federation says the freezing nights, and warm days required for the sap to run didn't last more than two to three weeks. "In March.. there was a lot of snow, and it was very, very cold," she says. "Then very suddenly the weather changed and we were almost in summer."

Granger-Godbout says a normal syrup-producing season lasts six to eight weeks.

Couple the short season with the fact producers had depleted their reserves thanks to an agressive marketing campaign, and she says some export markets won't be satisfied.

She admits consumers here could face a small price increase, but since 80 per cent of Quebecers buy their syrup straight from the farm she says it is unlikely they'll even notice.

For full story, please see: http://www.cjad.com/news/565/711356

Related story: Maple bonds heat up after a long, cold winter - http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20080502.RKOZA02/TPStory/Business

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20. Ghana: Government taking action to reduce pressure on forests

Source: Modern Ghana, Ghana, 25 April 2008

Government has embarked on forest plantation development, including development of the bamboo and rattan industry, to reduce the pressure on natural forest and slow the process of deforestation.

The bamboo and rattan development programme (BARADEP), has been adopted as a national policy to complement the President's Initiative on Forest Plantation with a secretariat to co-ordinate issues on bamboo and rattan development, processing and marketing.

Mr Andrew Adjei Yeboah, Deputy Minister for Lands, Forestry and Mines, announced this at a two-day workshop on bamboo for 15 furniture manufacturers and woodworkers from the Greater Accra Region.

Mr Adjei Yeboah noted that deforestation had been identified as a major global problem, saying, its impact on environment, sustainable development and poverty alleviation was immense. He said government had taken prudent steps to promote bamboo and rattan plantation and industry development to help reduce the pressure on timber and also create employment for rural and urban poor.

Mr Anderson A. Mensah, Director of Pioneer Bamboo Company, noted that bamboo had the potential to create jobs for the youth and encouraged them to venture into the sector. He said bamboo products were of higher quality and more durable than normal wood and could be used for many household and office equipment.

Mr Theophilus Opare Anoh, Principal of Accra Technical College (ATTC), said experiences showed that the industry was a lucrative one and urged participants to give of their best to ensure productive sessions.

For full story, please see: http://www.modernghana.com/news/163584/1/Government-taking-action-to-reduce-pressure-on-forests---mini

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21. Guyana: Forest investment deal boosts Guyana conservation

Source: SciDev.Net Weekly Update (7 - 14 April 2008)

A deal between two environmental organisations has created an investment model that could generate billions of dollars for developing nations and preserve forests.

The deal, struck by the Iwokrama International Centre for Rainforest Conservation and Development and environmental investment company Canopy Capital, was announced at the Biodiversity and Finance Conference in New York, United States last month (27 March).

It aims to attract private investment to rainforest conservation by placing a market value on the benefits of Guyana's rainforest ecosystem and the services Iworkama provides in maintaining it. The aim is to make the organisation financially independent and support its ongoing research.

"For the first time investors will pay for the ecosystem services produced by a rainforest, including rainfall generation, climate regulation, biodiversity maintenance and water storage-utilities with global significance, which are vanishing as forests fall," Iwokrama states in a press release.

Iwokrama, a rainforest management organisation, overseas a one million-acre area of rainforest in Guyana in the heart of the Guiana Shield, one of four rainforest systems left in the world.

Funds secured from the deal will allow Iworkama to continue managing the area, and support the livelihood of the 7,000 people living in and around the forest.

"Forests do much more for us than just store carbon. We should move beyond emissions-based trading to measure and place a value on all the services they provide," says Iwokrama in the press release.

Last year (October 2007) President Bharrat Jagdeo said Guyana would be prepared to cut back on deforestation if it received financial concessions matching those the country would gain from logging.

The deal comes in the wake of calls for the successor to the Kyoto Protocol to reward countries that conserve their forests.

The forests of the Guiana Shield generate rainfall that services the production of agricultural commodities throughout northern Latin America and the southern Caribbean.

"As atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide rise, emissions will carry an ever mounting cost and conservation will acquire real value. The investment community is beginning to wake up to this," said Canopy Capital director Hylton Philipson at the deal's announcement.

For full story, please see: http://www.scidev.net/en/news/forest-investment-deal-boosts-guyana-conservation.html

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22. India: Bamboo industry eyes slice of $7.5 bn world mkt

Source: Financial Express, India, 21 April 2008

New Delhi. The poor man’s timber, bamboo, is no longer the orphan crop. It is gradually engaging the attention of the government, which has planned to diversify its uses to reap the benefits in the $7.5 billion global bamboo product market.

India is the second richest bamboo resource country in the world, next only to China. In terms of genetic diversity, India has 136 bamboo species under 75 genera. About 89 bamboo species out of 126 recorded in India under 16 genera grow naturally in different forest areas or are cultivated.

Though India has bamboo resources in about 9 million hectare, the yield is low at 3 tonne per hectare per annum as the cultivation is not intensively managed. China has gone for intensive commercial cultivation of bamboo and has increased the average yield to 25 tonne per hectare per annum. Within two decades of the initiatives, China has been able to convert their traditional bamboo-based handicrafts sector into a mechanised one.

However, in India, the situation is under change with the launch of the National Bamboo Mission (NBM) a year ago. The mission has taken up the job of encouraging farmers to grow the right type of bamboos and facilitate bamboo-based industries. “Our team visited China last year to study bamboo cultivation and bamboo-based industries. We invited Chinese bamboo-based industries to set up joint ventures in India,” the mission director and high commissioner of the NBM, ML Choudhary said.

The NBM works in coordination with the Cane and Bamboo Technology Centre (CBTC) and Bamboo Technology Support Group (BTSG) in 12 states including 8 north eastern states, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Orissa.

Training has been imparted to 300 farmers and 200 field functionaries within a span of one year. Two sites have been identified in Assam for the development of model bamboo clusters. BTSG has been entrusted with the job of certifying bamboo nurseries in north-eastern India and the same job is being done by CBTC in other states.

For full story, please see: http://www.financialexpress.com/news/Bamboo-industry-eyes-slice-of--7-5-bn-world-mkt/299457/

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23. India: Chinese technology likely for State bamboo sector

Source: Assam Tribune, India, 15 April 2008

Guwahati. The local entrepreneurs of Assam may soon have the advantage of modern bamboo technology used by the Chinese as a Chinese delegation has expressed desire for technology transfer in the field after a meeting with Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi last evening. Official sources said that an eight member Chinese delegation led by Prof Zhang Qisheng had a detailed discussion with Chief Minister on the possibilities of transfer of technology and during the course of the talks, the members of the delegation expressed desire to go for joint venture projects with local entrepreneurs.

The leader of the delegation said that they visited the Jagiroad paper mills of the HPC and a tissue culture laboratory. He said that the Chinese are keen on value addition through transfer of technology and the weather condition in the North East region is similar to that of China and there is scope for using the technology used in China in this part of India for commercial cultivation of bamboo.

The Chief Minister welcomed the willingness shown by the members of the Chinese delegation for technology transfer and hoped that it would help in boosting the rural economy of the State. He pointed out that bamboo is an inseparable part of the daily life and culture of the people of Assam and apart from commercial cultivation, most of the rural households cultivate bamboo in the backyards.

The Chinese delegation also met local entrepreneurs and will also take part in a three day seminar on bamboo in New Delhi. The State Forest Minister is also attending the seminar.

For full story, please see: http://www.assamtribune.com/scripts/details.asp?id=apr1608/at07

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24. India: Cane and bamboo project launched for North East

Source: DailyIndia.com, FL, USA, 21 April 2008

New Delhi: An ambitious two million dollar UN project launched to boost the country's role as a world leader in the cane and bamboo industry was launched in Delhi recently.

Minister for Development of Northeastern Region Mani Shankar Aiyar launched the project in the presence of Kandeh Yumkella, Director General of the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). “Environmentally, use of cane and bamboo can ensure protection of our forests," Aiyar said.

Describing bamboo as a promising agro-commodity and an economic lifeline for the people of the region, Yumkella said the project would be an excellent opportunity to develop the North East. "I believe this is where the key will be to develop as the minister said and linking them to all the markets especially in OECD countries where the demand for these products is high," said Yumkella.

UNIDO will be the executing agency, with the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, North Eastern Council and Development Commissioner (Handicrafts) as the coordinating and counterpart agencies.

Of the total project cost of US$2.3 million, the donor contribution of the country is little above US$1.8 million and US$1.96 million is UNIDO's contribution.

The first phase of the project was successfully implemented during 2000-2004 leading to the creation of the cane and bamboo technology centre. The phase-II will reach out even further to the communities and contribute to rural livelihoods by organizing cane and bamboo farmers and producers into associations; and extending supply chains from plantation management and pre-processing to industrial processing and marketing.

The project will benefit the thousands of families surviving by selling products made of natural products.

Bamboo is the lifeline of the North East and it is associated with many cultural and traditional behaviour and livelihood.

For full story, please see: http://www.dailyindia.com/show/232191.php/Cane-and-bamboo-project-launched-for-North-East

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25. India: Bugs to boost Assam’s muga silk production

Source: Calcutta Telegraph, India, 6 April 2008

New Delhi: Armed with hand-held canisters of plant-friendly microbes, biochemist Bala Gopalan Unni is hoping to turn Assam’s celebrated muga silk stronger, softer, and more plentiful than it is today.

A cocktail of microbes called rhizobacteria that Unni has helped put together, improves the quality and quantity of silk when sprayed over plants that host silkworms that make muga, exclusive to the region.

Muga, which grows only in India’s northeastern states and comes with an indelible natural, shimmering golden colour, is one of India’s most expensive silks. It is used in traditional woven materials, fabrics and even umbrellas that absorb ultraviolet rays.

In an effort to find ways to boost the quality and production of muga silk, scientists at the North East Institute of Science and Technology (NEIST) in Jorhat turned their attention to a class of rhizobacteria that can promote growth.

“These microbes increase carbohydrates, essential fatty acids and proteins of the host plants,” Unni, a senior scientist at the biology division of NEIST said. “The silkworms get better nutrition and produce more silk of higher quality,” he said.

The quantity of silk produced from such well-fed silkworms can increase by 10 to 30 per cent, Unni said. An increase in elasticity and longevity leads to production of stronger and softer variety of silk, he said.

Scientists estimate some 40,000 households along Assam’s stretches of the Brahmaputra are involved in harvesting muga silk. However, a decline in muga production in recent years is worrying farmers as well as scientists.

According to muga silk scientists, attacks by pests and parasites, non-availability of high-yielding seeds and lack of personnel to take up farming operations have contributed to this decline.

Last year, Unni and his colleagues at the NEIST came out with another silk-boosting technology for farmers that has its origin in fruit juices of a medicinal plant called Terminalia chebula. Spraying the fruit extract on host plants’ leaves protects silkworms from the bacteria, leading to a higher yield from each plant. The NEIST and the Central Muga Eri Research and Training Institute in Jorhat are now trying to persuade silk farmers across Assam adopt the technology.

According to researchers, field tests of spraying of rhizobacteria have so far yielded positive results and evoked good feedback from farmers.

Silk farmers and processors, however, appear unhappy with the tardy pace of application of the technology.

Unni admits that the cost of rhizobacteria spray is yet to be worked out. The NEIST has been producing the spray to conduct experiments. It, however, hopes to transfer the technology to the industry.

The rhizobacteria release certain biochemicals that allow plants to draw nutrients from the soil which they are unable to do without the help of the bacteria.

For full story, please see: http://www.telegraphindia.com/1080406/jsp/frontpage/story_9101757.jsp

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26. India Lac farming boost to tribal families

Source: Calcutta Telegraph, India, 21 April 2008

Dhanbad: Lac, known for its use in making bangles, is soon going to help 250 families in the tribal areas of Dhanbad.

The divisional forest department here is undertaking the cultivation of lac on palaash (Budea monosperma) trees in a three-year project involving Rs 29 lakh. It would involve support, cultivation and marketing of the product. Spread over 12 villages of Govindpur, Nirsa, Tundi and Baghmara blocks of Dhanbad, selected families would undertake the cultivation by forming self-help groups.

The project plan has been sent to the state government for approval, while 50 selected farmers are undergoing a two-day training at Indian Lac Research Training Institute (ILRTI) in Ranchi.

Divisional forest officer (DFO) Sanjeev Kumar said that palaash is a very common tree in this part of Jharkhand, which grows mostly in the degraded soil. At least 10 per cent of the forest cover here comprises palaash. “We planned using the trees to generate income for the poor villagers in the tribal areas. Lac cultivation is easy and reaps profits in a short time,” the DFO said.

Under Lac Vikas Yojana, the government has at present sanctioned Rs 83,000, out of which Rs 25,000 is being used for the training and the rest for purchasing agricultural equipment. The 250 families in the 12 villages, comprising men and women, would be given a target of cultivating lac in 25,000 trees with a support of Rs 10,000 each in the first phase.

The forest department has arranged for brood lac at the rate of Rs 70 per kg from Kanker district of Chhattisgarh. Availability and quality of brood lac is highly uncertain but the department has taken the onus of its unhindered supply.

Lac is a secretion from the body of an insect called laccifer or kerria lacca. It secretes lac resin and forms hard resinous layers as the insect goes into the pupa stage. This resin is scraped off, dried and processed to form lac or shellac.

For full story, please see: http://www.telegraphindia.com/1080422/jsp/jharkhand/story_9169851.jsp

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27. Indonesia: The sweetest way to save forests

Source: Jakarta Post, Indonesia, 15 April 2008

A new honey harvesting operation is proving to be a good business model with an added sweetener: it could help preserve the country's forests.

"We aim to promote sustainable honey harvesting, preserve the forest as the bee's habitat, maintaining indigenous cultures and improve the quality of the honey," said Indonesian Forest Honey Network (JMHI) executive Valentinus Hari. He was speaking during the Honey Festival in Bogor Botanical Garden on Saturday, on the sidelines of a product launch in collaboration with the Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFP) Exchange Program and another Bogor-based environmental watchdog, Telapak.

The Dorsata brand honey is produced by the indigenous people of the preserved forest Sentarum Lake National Park in West Kalimantan.

Surianto, a member of Apis Dorsata honey farmers group in Sentarum, said they harvested honey in the forest from October and March, while relying on freshwater fishing to make a living for the rest of the year.

Previously the tribe had cut trees down to harvest the honey. "Local environmental group Riak Bumi taught us how to take honey without destroying the ecosystem ... We rely too much on the forest for our livelihood, so we are keeping it safe," Surianto said.

National Park management head Suwignyo said the 132,000-hectare forest is the biggest wetland ecosystem in Kalimantan, and home to the indigenous Iban and Malay tribes. "We support the environmentalists in training residents on the best way to harvest honey and how to make and install beehives in tree tops ... they have an approach of 'saving the forest through honey production'," Suwignyo said. "Each family usually has 60 tikung (beehives) that can produce five kilograms of honey each," he said.

Riak Bumi and NTFP Exchange Program formed the network, which has currently expanded to work with honey farmers, cooperatives, local non-governmental organizations and the regional administrations in Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Sumatra islands and Sumbawa in West Nusa Tenggara, Valentinus said.

He said the Dorsata honey, which could reach up to four tons in harvest time, has been certified as national organic product by BioCert. Sole distributor PT Dian Niaga sells a 300 gram bottle of honey for Rp 75,000 (US$7.89). "We focus on selling to the national market, but we have started to receive orders from Korea and Japan," said the company's president director Johnny W. Utama.

For full story, please see: http://old.thejakartapost.com/detailcity.asp?fileid=20080415.C03&irec=2

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28. Namibia: Community Forestry Project in Omaheke

Source: The Namibian (Windhoek), 8 April 2008

Rural people and communal farmers in the Omaheke Region can now derive an income from the bush with the launch of a four-year community forest project in that region.

Agriculture, Water and Forestry Minister Nickey Iyambo officially inaugurated the N$40 million project at Drimiopsis last Wednesday.

The project, with financial support from the German government, aims to promote local skills and capacity building, income-generating opportunities and to fight unemployment.

Speaking at the event, Minister Iyambo said the importance of forests and forest products could not be over-emphasised. "All along, technical staff claimed to be in a better position to manage and regulate such resources. As a result, local communities have been excluded from forest management and denied direct involvement for them to derive income from such resources," the Minister said.

"Trees and shrubs of forests provide habitat to many organisms like fruit-bearing plants and large mammals. Forest products like wood and charcoal are essential for the livelihood of communities to generate income. Forests store large quantities of carbon dioxide and release oxygen, thereby sustaining life on earth, and thus require protection," Dr Iyambo added.

The Country Director of the German Development Bank (KfW), Olof Cramer, said his government was supporting Namibia in its efforts for the sustained utilisation of natural resources. "Increasing the productivity of land and water resources and ensuring their sustainable use is at the centre of this support", he said. "Looking back to our co-operation since Independence, I can say with great confidence that many of the programmes which we have supported resulted in substantial benefits to the Namibian people.

"So far, 45 community forests are supported, of which 13 have been officially gazetted. Within the community forests, the sustainable and productive use of forest resources is done on 2,2 million hectares. "Over 150 000 rural Namibians have directly or indirectly benefited from the project, contributing to poverty eradication," Cramer added.

According to him, community forests also play a vital role in the establishment of buffer zones between intensively used agricultural areas and national parks. He said that together with conservancies, community forests allow the establishment of co-management areas which benefit both nature and people.

Two earlier community forest project projects are already running in the Otjozondjupa, Caprivi and Kavango regions.

Partners such as the governments of Finland, Denmark and Germany have participated in the forestry sector since 1990.

For full story, please see: http://allafrica.com/stories/200804080639.html

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29. Portugal: A revival of the region’s cork producing history

Source: Algarve Resident, Portugal, 3 April 2008

São Brás de Alportel has developed two projects which aim to raise awareness among residents and visitors to the region about the cork industry and products which can result from recycling.

São Brás has a long cork producing history with more than 80 factories having been dedicated to the industry. Now, the volume of production continues to be the same because of industrialised machinery, however only around 10 factories are left in the council.

On March 12, São Brás Câmara hosted their third discussion entitled À Volta do Sobreiro, Around the Cork Oak, to support the launch of the Rota da Cortiça, the cork route, in July aimed at highlighting the decline of cork manufacturing, the council’s current ranking in national cork production tables and plans for the future of the industry in São Brás de Alportel.

Vitor Guerreiro, vice president of São Brás Câmara and a spokesman for the Associação Rota da Cortiça, the cork route association, said that the next discussion, which will take place on May 5 in the Salão Nobre of the Câmara will focus on the investigation and new applications for cork.

These discussions which end in July coincide with a national conference about the industry, as well as the inauguration of the São Brás cork route which will be officially presented to the public during the council’s Feira da Serra.

An exhibition about the history of workers involved in the cork industry, entitled Gente da Cortiça, is now open until May 31 at the Centro Museológico do Alportel. This exhibition is open Tuesday to Sunday between 2pm and 5pm. For more information, please telephone 289 843 711.

For more information about the cork industry, please telephone 289 840 028 or email ambiente@cm-sbras.pt. Alternatively, please visit the Associação da Cortiça website, available only in Portuguese at www.aiec.pt

For full story, please see: http://portugalresident.com/portugalresident/showstory.asp?ID=25767

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30. Sri Lanka: Ceylon cinnamon a money spinner

Source: Sunday Observer, Sri Lanka, 4 May 2008

The medicinal value of Sri Lanka’s cinnamon has widened the market opportunities in the international market, said senior research officer ITI K. R. Dayananda.

True cinnamon or Ceylon cinnamon (Cinnmaomum zeylinicum) produced only in Sri Lanka has a greater opportunity in this emerging market. However, there are two challenges which have to be addressed immediately.

Firstly, the traditional fumigation method used in the industry has to change immediately to meet international standards. The sulphur residual level of our cinnamon is higher than the European standards and today the market enjoys a temporary respite.

Secondly, true cinnamon has to be separated from cassia or Chinese cinnamon because both are traded commonly as cinnamon. This is a disadvantage for Ceylon cinnamon because cassia has a high percentage of coumarin, a toxic substance, Dayananda said.

ITI conducted research on the coumarin content of Ceylon cinnamon and the results were impressive, Dayananda said. This is the first comprehensive analysis on Ceylon cinnamon for its coumarin content.

Dayananda said that the results of this study confirmed that Ceylon cinnamon contains the least amount of coumarin compared to cassia and it is within safe limits recommended by FAO/WHO guidelines.

Recent research has proved the medicinal and neutriceutical value of cinnamon. Scientists have isolated and characterised several poly-phenolic polymer compounds from cinnamon bark that could one day become natural ingredients in products aimed at lowering blood sugar levels.

During a decade of efforts to find natural compounds that could help maintain normal blood sugar levels, scientists tested several components of cinnamon.

Today Ceylon cinnamon dominates the world market in terms of value and it fetches a very high price compared to cassia. According to 2006 trade statistics, Sri Lanka has exported 10,685 tonnes of cinnamon and earned $ 5,509 per tonne, a very high price compared to $925 per tonne received for cassia.

However, a large quantity of cassia is coming to the market and it is a close substitute. We can promote this advantage of low coumarin content, to compete with cassia, Dayananda said.

For full story, please see: http://www.sundayobserver.lk/2008/05/04/fin03.asp

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31. UK: Campaign to save forest reptiles

Source: BBC News, 12 April 2008

Wildlife experts in Worcestershire are urging people to help them protect the Wyre Forest's reptile population. They say the number of snakes and lizards at the woodland has declined over the past 20 years, leading some of the reptiles to now be under threat.

Experts said the Wyre Forest was one of the last places in the UK where adders can be found. It is also home to grass snakes, slow worms and common lizards.

People are urged to report any reptile sightings to forest managers.

The project to record the reptiles is being funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and supported by the Forestry Commission, Natural England, Wyre Forest Study Group and the National Trust.

For full story, please see: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/hereford/worcs/7344063.stm

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32. USA: Untapped resource – maple sugar

Source: Albany Times Union, NY, USA, 30 April 2008

New York has untapped potential in its trees -- an opportunity only saps would ignore.

That's the word from the state's maple syrup industry, which says only about 1 percent of New York's estimated 300 million sugar maples are accessed for their sap. The percentage is believed to be considerably higher in Vermont and, especially, Quebec.

The problem? Limited access to private land.

The industry is backing a bill by Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., that would sweeten the pot for private landowners. The Maple Tapping Access Program Act would offer money to states that establish land-access grants and incentives.

The Maple TAP Act would provide a national total of $20 million annually from 2009 to 2012, a Schumer spokeswoman said, and states would be in charge of designing and implementing their own grant program.

The measure comes as demand for maple syrup is growing, driven by a growing thirst for the product in Japan, China and Russia. The price paid to producers has increased by about 30 percent over the last year, to about $3 per pound, and there are worries about potential for a syrup shortage.

"The world demand is outpacing production," said Rick Marsh, president of the Vermont Maple Sugarers' Association. "There was a surplus, but that was depleted last year."

Many Capital Region syrup producers just experienced a strong season. Weather conditions here in March and April were good for strong maple runs -- cold at night, warm during the day -- while sugarers in Quebec and Maine struggled with snow depths that kept trees cold and made tapline access tricky.

David Campbell, president of the New York Maple Producers Association and owner of Mapleland Farms in the Washington County town of Salem, said this would be a great time to ramp up his annual production of about 3,500 gallons of syrup, if he had access to more than the 8,000 trees he currently taps.

A program that offered grants to landowners who allow access to their trees could work, he said. "They don't have to do the work," he added. "We do it for them."

U.S. producers believe Quebec taps nearly a third of its sugar maples. And that, Campbell said, "is why they produce so much more maple syrup than us."

Indeed, Quebec produces as much as five million gallons of syrup annually.

Vermont, by contrast, in 2007 produced 450,000 gallons, while New York trees generated 224,000 gallons, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Schumer, in a statement, said the state has "hundreds of millions of trees" that "are just sitting there, full of a lucrative natural resource that could propel New York to the top of the maple industry."

Tapping all those trees would require an army of new producers willing to traipse through spring snow -- or worse, mud -- to collect the sap, and who would be willing to work for hours in a steamy sugar shack as the sap is boiled down to syrup.

"There are a lot of untapped trees," said Walter Blank, owner of the Fitting Creek Farm in Ghent. "The problem is that the production (of maple syrup) is very labour-intensive."

Schumer's bill would apply to all states, not just New York. That opens potential for other states to also increase syrup production, to the detriment of New York farmers.

But Campbell downplayed that possibility, noting that only Northeastern states produce significant amounts of maple syrup.

For full story, please see: http://timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp?storyID=684892&category=BUSINESS&BCCode=HOME&newsdate=4/30/2008

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33. Vietnam: Ecological tourism development to protect forest biodiversity

Source: VietNamNet, 10 April 2008 in RECOFTC Community Forestry E-News April 2008

At a seminar held in Da Lat, participants established that eco-tourism could be a helpful way to protect natural resources in Vietnam’s national parks and reserves. However, the dependence of people dwelling near these forests on the parks’ natural resources has resulted in the unfavourable loss of biodiversity in these areas.

Delegates noted that because forest-dependent people live in poverty, improving their living conditions is necessary in order to reduce their reliance and resulting exploitation of the forest resources desired for conservation. These speakers emphasized that the needs of local communities thus must be addressed before plans for eco-tourism and preservation can be successful. Full text

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34. Vietnam: Fragments of grace

Source: Thanh Nien Daily, Vietnam, 26 April 2008

Using brilliant butterfly wings to recreate traditional paintings, an entomologist-turned-artisan is reinventing time-honoured Vietnamese art.

Dong Ho folk painting, a traditional Vietnamese art form that highlights scenes from ordinary life, landscapes and symbols, is having new life breathed into it thanks to a professor-turned-artisan who uses butterfly wings to recreate traditional art pieces.

A professor and entomologist, Bui Cong Hien is the director of the Entomology Center at Hanoi University of Science and he is perhaps the first in Vietnam to employ such a unique material in his artwork.

His small office on the third floor of the Center of Termite Research and Prevention is like a miniature insect museum which boasts hundreds of varieties of insects including butterflies, moths and beetles.

Several Dong Ho paintings hang on his walls including Chan trau (Herding Buffaloes), Dam cuoi chuot (Mice’s Wedding) and Muc dong tha dieu (Herdsmen Flying Kites).

At first glance, they seem out of place.

But a closer look reveals that in fact, the exquisite art is actually crafted entirely out of brilliant, delicate butterfly and moth fragments.

A symbol of beauty and fragility, the butterfly pieces reveal new heights of complexity, refined details and radiance in Hien’s artwork.

For full story, please see: http://www.thanhniennews.com/entertaiments/?catid=6&newsid=37987

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35. Zambia: Two tree crops provide Zambians with nutrition and fuel

Source: Voice of America, USA, 21 April 2008

Development specialists in Zambia are encouraging farmers to plant trees – the Jatropha and Moringa -- to help with their nutritional and even fuel needs. Voice of America English to Africa Service reporter Sanday Chongo Kabange in Lusaka tells us Southern Africa has long struggled with shortages of energy and food, and the malnutrition caused by the food shortages. But scientific studies have proved that a tree native to India, the Moringa, can reduce malnutrition, especially among people living with HIV.

The “miracle tree,” as it is sometimes called, is rich in nutrients such as proteins, copper, sulphur, vitamins and iron. It’s grown throughout the tropical and sub-tropical regions of Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Development experts are encouraging farmers to feed the leaves of the Moringa to their livestock. They say the leaves increase milk production in cattle and goats, and help improve the size and number of eggs produced by chickens.

The Moringa tree can also help improve the health of rural people.

David Mubita is center manager for the Livestock Development Center of the Golden Valley Research Trust (GART LDC.) He says “It is called the ‘miracle tree’ because [seed cake – when left to settle at the bottom of a bottle – will purify water]. That is why we encourage all farmers to grow this tree. Not only farmers, even people in towns can grow them in the backyard and use the leaves for the family.”

The Livestock Development Center is offering two Moringa seedlings to people living with HIV around the Choma area of Southern Zambia. It’s expected that the tree’s leaves – which have a high concentration of the micronutrient selenium – will help supplement their diet. They can also serve as a supplement to baby food.

People pound the seeds into powder for use in tea, drinking water, or stews.

Another tree, the Jatropha, is also being cultivated in Zambia. It was introduced into Zambia around 1850. It’s thought to have originated in Central America and Mexico, where it occurs naturally in coastal regions.

Today, scientists and private interest groups consider multiple uses for the tree. It can serve as a windbreak, or act as a fence that helps stabilize the soil. Its leaves are used in organic pesticides. Oil from the Jatropha can be used to make lubricants, soap and cosmetics.

Jennipher Handoondo is the chairperson of the Zambia National Farmers Union’s Oil Seed Commodity Unit. She is a single parent who has been growing Jatropha and using it to make soap for several years.

Handoondo says it provides an income that allows her to take care of her family and put her children in school. Handoondo explains that using Jatropha oil to make soap is cheap and easy, “Soap making is very good because women will be saving. Instead of buying soap from the shops, they will be making their own. Then the money they were supposed to [set aside to] buy soap they will [be used for] something else.”

The Biofuels Association of Zambia is urging government to use Jatropha to help reduce acute power shortages.

Tyson Chisambo is the director of the group. He says it’s helping smallholder farmers purchase new presses to expel the tree’s oil – which can then be sold as an additional source of income.

Report on two tree crops providing nutrition and fuel - Download (MP3) audio clip

Report on two tree crops providing nutrition and fuel - Listen (MP3) audio clip

For full story, please see: http://voanews.com/english/Africa/2008-04-21-voa34.cfm

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NEWS

36. American Botanical Council announces Peruvian Amazon and Andes Ethnobotany Ecotour

Source: Market Wire (press release), USA, 11 April 2008

Austin, TX - Two nonprofit educational organizations, the American Botanical Council (ABC) and the Amazon Center for Environmental Education and Research (ACEER), have announced their 2008 annual Botanical Medicines from the Amazon and the Andes workshop tour. This year's trip will take place September 26th - October 5th, 2008 in various locations in the Peruvian Amazon rainforest and the Andes mountains, including the famous, ancient Incan city of Machu Picchu. Continuing education credit is available for certain healthcare providers.

Amazon activities will focus on the edible and medicinal plants of the Peruvian Amazon, including visits to markets where local herbs are sold, explorations of the Inkaterra Field Reserve, the Useful Plants Trail, and the Garden of Medicinal Plants. A literal highpoint of the Amazon portion of the trip includes traversing the Inkaterra Canopy Walkway that soars 100 feet above the forest floor, allowing people to view plants and animals that dwell in the upper canopy.

Andean activities include a workshop by a traditional Incan shaman in the sacred Urubamba Valley, the Pisac traditional crafts market, and the inspiring "lost" mountaintop ruins of Machu Picchu. Each stop of this trip will focus on the native ethnobotany of the area and ways the indigenous Inca people traditionally used and currently use local medicinal plants.

Space for the Peru tour is limited. Full itinerary and registration forms can be found online at the ABC website: http://abc.herbalgram.org/site/PageServer?pagename=Ethnobotany_Tours.

ABC published a short article by former ABC Pharmacy intern, Codi Scarbrough Triesch, sharing her experiences on the trip to Peru a few years ago. The article can be found at: http://content.herbalgram.org/abc/herbalgram/articleview.asp?a=2902.

Links to photos from last year's ecotour can be seen at: http://www.stevenfoster.com/photography/subjects.html

For full story, please see: http://www.marketwire.com/mw/release.do?id=842775

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37. Biodiversity key to fighting climate change

Source: Mongabay.com, USA, 29 April 2008

Scientists from Brown University have discovered that an ecosystem's productivity is directly linked to its diversity of plant species. The discovery has granted biodiversity new importance in the fight against climate change: the more productive the ecosystem the more carbon it captures.

"It's a double whammy," Osvaldo Sala explained. "We not only are disturbing our planet by putting more carbon into the atmosphere, but we're reducing the ability of ecosystems to capture and store it." Sala is the director of the Environmental Change Initiative and the Sloan Lindeman Professor of Biology at Brown.

The Brown scientists conducted their study for six years in Patagonia. They divided an area into ninety plots then began to systematically remove native species from each plot and chart the changes in the plot's productivity. Productivity dropped as species were removed.

The scientists believe that productivity is linked to the diversity of species because of "niche complementarity". In other words, in an intact environment each species has evolved its own niche without interrupting other species' niches. This harmony between species allows them to positively interact with each other and fully utilize the resources of a given space.

In the experiments "the water is the same, the nitrogen is the same, the sunlight is the same, what is different is the diversity of the plants," said Sala. Artificial landscapes proved far less productive than natural ones. According to the paper: "In contrast [with artificial landscapes] natural ecosystems presented mature individuals, populations, and species coexisting for long periods of time in natural soils without chemical treatments and low artificial disturbance regimes."

The findings appear to have important ramifications beyond plant species, since high biodiversity of plants depends on non-plant species. Insects, birds, and bats are major pollinators for plant species; some plant species depend on a single insect or animal species for pollination. Therefore, to have a truly productive ecosystem all of the region's biodiversity must be retained.

According to the paper, "this result supports previous findings and also suggests that the effect of biodiversity in natural ecosystems may be much larger than currently thought." The findings give wildlife conservationists a new powerful argument for species protections. Many biologists believe that we are currently entering a mass extinction, entitled the Holocene Extinction Event, estimations range from 20-50 percent of species becoming extinct within approximately hundred years. The reasons are varied for species extinction but include climate change, habitat loss, pollution, the bush-trade, invasive species, and the trafficking of species for medicinal products.

Citation: Pedro Flaumbaum and Osvaldo E. Sala (2008). "Higher effect of plant species diversity on productivity in natural than artificial ecosystems". Proceedings of the National Academy of Science in the United States of America, April 22nd 2008.

For full story, please see: http://news.mongabay.com/2008/0429-hance_biodiv.html

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38. CMS Gorilla Agreement enters into force

Source: MEA Bulletin - Issue No. 45

The Gorilla Agreement, negotiated in October 2007 by representatives of nine African range States under the auspices of the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS), has been signed by three range States and will enter into force on 1 June 2008. The Central African Republic and the Republic of Congo signed the agreement during the meeting of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership on 26 October 2007, while Nigeria signed on 9 April 2008.

The first Meeting of the Parties will take place on 29 November 2008, in Rome, Italy, immediately prior to the ninth Conference of the Parties to CMS ( http://www.cms.int/).

For full story, please see: http://www.iisd.ca/mea-l/meabulletin45.pdf

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39. E-discussion forum on underutilized species

From: Paul Bordoni, Global Facilitation Unit for Underutilized Species

You are invited to participate in the DGroup on underutilized species starting today Monday 21 April and will carry on until Friday 20 May 2008.

A group of more than 200 participants gathered in Arusha 3-7 March 2008 to discuss about the contribution underutilized species can make to better food and nutrition patterns, contribute to income generation and to sustainable development.

From this gathering a series of recommendations were developed to explore opportunities, define the way forward and contribute to an action plan around the following four thematic areas:

What can we do on Underutilized Plants:

• To address the opportunity of using underutilized plant species as risk buffers in times of climate change?

• To address the opportunity of using underutilized plant species for better nutrition?

• To meet the challenge of enhanced and sustained market access for underutilized plant products?

• To address the challenges regarding using underutilized species without undermining agrobiodiversity?

Later I shall be placing background information on the four thematic areas and more details with regards to the questions we will discuss.

The link to the DGroup is www.dgroups.org/groups/cta/Underutilisedplants2008/index.cfm. You may register from now, post links and documents that will be the basis for our interactions and share your thoughts on how to best lobby in favour of the underutilized species.

We would like this to be an informal space that CTA kindly made available for us to get together and share our passion for these forgotten, neglected, minor, Cinderella, and awesome plant species.

We will appreciate your support in forwarding this invitation to your relevant contacts encouraging them to participate.

Looking forward in meeting you on line for lively and stimulating discussions,

For more information, please contact:

Global Facilitation Unit for Underutilized Species
Via dei Tre Denari 472/a
00057 MACCARESE (Fiumicino)
Rome, Italy
e-mail: underutilized-species@cgiar.org
tel: +39 06 6118-302
fax: +39 06 61979661
www.underutilized-species.org

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40. How is a tree valued?

Source: BBC News, UK, 23 April 2008

A plane tree in central London has been valued at £750,000 under a new system that puts a "price" on trees. How?

A six-foot-wide plane in Berkeley Square, Mayfair, is thought to be the UK's most valuable tree.

Large, mature, city trees like this one are being blamed - sometimes wrongly and often fatally - for damage to neighbouring properties.

But it is hoped a new valuation system will make it harder for "expensive" trees to be felled due to doubtful suspicions they are to blame for subsidence.

So how are trees priced? Size is the biggest factor, followed by population density of the surrounding area (how many people enjoy the tree), the size of the canopy, its life expectancy, its impact (does it flower or drop annoying honeydew) and any special factors, such as Queen Victoria planting it.

The system has been trialled in London and is gradually being adopted by local authorities elsewhere, such as Bristol.

For full story, please see: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/7362363.stm

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41. Is the answer to HIV-associated diarrhea found in South America's rain forest?

Source: AScribe (press release), USA, 14 April 2008

Houston. As more and more shamans (traditional healers) in the Amazonian rain forest die as they age, the new generations of indigenous people are moving on to jobs in cities, forgetting valuable medicinal knowledge gathered through centuries. Recognizing this potential loss in key know-how, a small team from a company called Shaman Pharmaceuticals in South San Francisco went searching for medicinal plants in South America's rain forest by working hand-in-hand with local shamans. With the help of ethnobotanists and physicians who worked with the traditional healers to document the therapeutic qualities of the foliage, Shaman Pharmaceuticals created a library of 2,600 medicinal plants.

"Indigenous people led us to a situation where we could make and improve a safe and effective pharmaceutical product and give back to the population that provided the information," said Lisa Conte, founder of Shaman.

"We ensure that medicinal plants are cultivated with replanting that requires careful management and conservation in conjunction with the indigenous and local peoples who reside in the forest where it grows," added Steven King, PhD, Vice President of Sustainable Supply, Ethnobotanical Research and Intellectual Property, one of the main experts involved in the search for medicinal plants in South America.

One of their earliest targets was Sangre de Drago ("Dragon's blood" or Croton lechleri), a plant with a blood-like sap (properly called "latex") that has been used by indigenous people for centuries to treat wounds, diarrhea, stomach problems, and other ailments (Jones 2003).

Shaman's researchers isolated and purified the main component from the latex, named "crofelemer," and formulated crofelemer into standard oral medication. The company produced a supplement called "Normal Stool Formula" that was widely used in the HIV community in the 1990s to successfully treat diarrhea.

"It was our best seller for diarrhea," said Fred Walters, founding director of the Houston Buyers Club, a Houston-based non profit that provides supplements at cost to people with HIV nationwide. "We were sad to see Shaman close its doors due to financial difficulties back then, so we are glad to see Napo Pharmaceuticals acquiring the rights for the pharmaceutical-grade of the product for new research and potential FDA approval," added Mr. Walters.

Crofelemer has been tested in clinical studies involving approximately 1,700 patients with diarrhea of various causes. Its novel mechanism is important to people living with chronic diarrhea, so much so, that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted Napo a fast-track designation for the crofelemer drug for use in treating HIV-related diarrhea (Napo Pharmaceuticals, data on file.) Napo is currently conducting a clinical study in HIV positive individuals with chronic diarrhea. More information can be found on the company's Web site ( http://www.napopharma.com).

For full story, please see: http://newswire.ascribe.org/cgi-bin/behold.pl?ascribeid=20080413.094508&time=11%2021%20PDT&year=2008&public=0

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42. The buzz on energy drinks

Source: Calgary Herald, Canada, 16 April 2008

Energy drinks are flooding the market. They've become so popular that sales at convenience stores are surpassing those of soft drinks. It's common now to see coolers by checkouts containing only energy drinks.

Naturally, kids frequent corner stores and are big consumers of these beverages, but parents should be aware that there are health implications to this choice that children and teens are making.

Energy drinks have their place. They're meant to supply mental and physical stimulation for a short period of time. But most are packed with double or even triple the caffeine of a caffeinated pop. And children as young as 12 are getting hooked on the buzz from these drinks.

Caffeine can have serious effects on young bodies and can cause headaches, muscle twitching and increased heart rate and blood pressure. It can also lead to increased feelings of anxiety and nervousness, and insomnia. High doses of caffeine in adolescents have been reported to cause severe heart palpitations and even seizures. A drink laced with caffeine can also cause diarrhoea, nausea and aggressive behaviour.

Last year, Health Canada received reports of nine adverse reactions involving the energy drink Red Bull. Teens are reaching for energy drinks to stay awake all night to study, party or to play computer or video games. Most have no idea of the effects these energy drinks have on their bodies and mental health.

Most energy drinks contain a variety of medicinal ingredients. Natural sources of caffeine such as guarana, a Brazilian plant whose seeds are high in caffeine, and yerba mate, a South American herb used to make tea, are commonly added. Many drinks also contain ginseng, a herb that can increase energy but may also cause anxiety.

Sometimes glucuronolactone is added and this type of carbohydrate is known to affect mood and act as a diuretic. Taurine is often contained, and it is an amino acid (building block of protein) that aids in circulation. Currently there is no research indicating how these ingredients work together or what effect they have on the human body. The combination of these substances could be quite harmful.

It's interesting to note that some energy drinks are banned in Europe because the safety of these energizing ingredients is not known and they are deemed potentially dangerous.

The difference between energy and sports drinks: Kids and parents should also recognize that energy drinks should not be confused with sports drinks, which rehydrate the body. Sports drinks provide sugars, which the body burns to create energy and replenish electrolytes, but do not contain caffeine.

But if kids down energy drinks to keep up their energy during periods of intense physical activity, or drink them after exercise to quench their thirst, they are not going to rehydrate their bodies. In fact, drinking these products may actually lead to dehydration, headaches, vomiting, heart irregularities and severe cramping.

How Much Is Too Much? A review undertaken by Health Canada has recently confirmed that for the average adult, a moderate daily caffeine intake of 400 milligrams a day is not associated with adverse effects. However, data has shown that children may be at greater risk from caffeine. Health Canada has developed additional guidelines for kids, stating that children should have no more than 2.5 milligrams of caffeine per kilogram of body weight.

For full story, please see: http://www.canada.com/calgaryherald/news/reallife/story.html?id=8ce18edf-3799-480c-9da3-a970ae0184b6&p=2

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43. World Challenge 2008 (Deadline: 31 May 2008)

Source: Global Facilitation Unit for Underutilized Species, www.underutilized-species.org

World Challenge is BBC World's global competition for sustainable enterprise and its back for its fourth season. Once again we're looking to highlight and reward small businesses or projects that have shown enterprise and innovation at a grass roots level. We would love to hear from you about social entrepreneurs who are making a difference without costing the earth. It could be you or someone you know.

So if you know of an initiative that's making a difference, go to www.theworldchallenge.co.uk and fill out the simple nomination form.

The 12 best nominees - chosen by a distinguished jury - will be featured in the 7-part series on BBC World.

For more information, please contact:

The World Challenge team

Saskia Roskam

Assistant to Robert Lamb

One Planet Pictures

20 Eastcastle Street

London W1W 8DB

UK
+44-0790 48 47 207/ 0207 580 1211

www.oneplanetpictures.co.uk

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EVENTS

44. IBRA International Workshop on Queen rearing and artificial insemination

3-12 August 2008

Mikelli, Finland

This workshop is being organized by the University of Helsinki and the International Bee Research Association (IBRA). There are a limited number of scholarships available giving between 30 and 50% reduction on the course fees. To apply please send your request and CV for assessment to the address below.

For more information, please contact:

Workshop Co-ordinator

Dr. Kamran Fakhimzadeh

Researcher

University of Helsinki

Ruralia Institute

Lönnrotinkatu 7

FIN-50100 Mikkeli

Finland

Mobile: +358 44 303 2212

E-mail: kamran.fakhimzadeh@helsinki.fi

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45. 2008 International Scientific Conference on Tropical Rainforests and Agroforests under Global Change

Bali, Indonesia

5-9 October 2008

Tropical rainforests disappear at an alarming rate causing unprecedented losses in biodiversity and ecosystem services. Despite an increased recognition of the value of these goods at national and international levels, rainforests continue to be seriously threatened by human-induced global change such as agricultural intensification and climate change. Understanding these processes needs an integrated scientific approach linking ecological, economic and social approaches at different scales, from the household and village level to landscapes and regions

Last Date for abstract: 30 May 2008

For more information, please contact:

e-mail: info@globalchange-2008.org

http://www.globalchange-2008.org/

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46. Provoking Change: Strategies to promote forest users in the Amazon

Centro Kolping, Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia

10-14 November 2008

The purpose of this International Congress is to create a platform for dialogue between scientists, politicians, development agencies and representatives from civil society to catalyse a process of reflection on the options and requirements of a broader operational framework for sustainable development based on the use, management and conservation of the forests of the Amazon region.

At this stage we invite expressions of interest from the public at large to participate in the Congress and from those who would like to submit papers to present at the event. Please send you expressions of interest to the Congress Secretary, Inka Montero, at inka.montero@waldbau.uni-freiburg.de.

Full registration of participants for the Congress will be possible from 1 May. Details of the procedure for the presentation of abstracts are available on the Congress website at: http://www.waldbau.uni-freiburg.de/forlive/05_Events/sc.html

For more information on the ForLive project, please see

www.waldbau.uni-freiburg.de/forlive/Home.html

or contact Inka Montero ( inka.montero@waldbau.uni-freiburg.de

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REQUESTS

47. Request for funding: Participatory forest management for herbal medicinal production in Peru

From: Charles Veitch, Environmental Change Institute, UK

Having finished the first phase of the project in December 2007, a book on the use and preparation of medicinal plants has been published in four languages for the use of the communities, and a model management plan has been made available for others involved in similar work.

The management plan can be downloaded in Spanish – see www.eci.ox.ac.uk/research/humaneco/peru-medicinal.php

We are currently looking for funding in order to start the second phase of the project, which will focus on two communities who have expressed an interest in putting the management plan into practice, and who have the commitment to establish and run community enterprises for the sustainable production of medicinal plants.

For more information, please contact:

Charles Veitch at charlesveitch@yahoo.co.uk

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LITERATURE REVIEW AND WEB SITES

48. Indigenous and traditional peoples and climate change

Source: MEA Bulletin - Issue No. 46

This study (IUCN, March 2008) seeks to better understand the potential impacts of climate change on the livelihoods and cultures of indigenous and traditional communities, and recommends: formulating policies that actively involve indigenous and traditional communities in the international, regional and local climate change discourse; recognizing and actively promoting indigenous adaptation strategies; and monitoring the implications of mitigation efforts including the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Reduced Emissions from Deforestation in Developing countries (REDD) on indigenous and traditional peoples ( http://cmsdata.iucn.org/downloads/indigenous_peoples_climate_change.pdf).

For full story, please see: http://www.iisd.ca/mea-l/meabulletin46.pdf

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49. Introducing 'Journal of Medicinal Plant Research (JMPR)'

From: JMPR Medicinal Plants Research [jmpr.acadjourn@gmail.com]

The Journal of Medicinal Plant Research (JMPR) provides rapid publication (monthly) of articles in all areas of research in Medicinal Plants. The Journal welcomes the submission of manuscripts that meet the general criteria of significance and scientific excellence. Papers will be published approximately one month after acceptance. All articles are peer-reviewed. The following types of papers are considered for publication:

    • Original articles in basic and applied research.

    • Critical reviews, surveys, opinions, commentaries and essays.

Our objective is to inform authors of the decision on their manuscript(s) within four weeks of submission.

Instruction for authors and other details are available on our website www.academicjournals.org/jmpr Prospective authors should send their manuscript(s) to jmpr@academicjournals.org

Open Access

One key request of researchers across the world is unrestricted access to research publications. JMPR is fully committed Open Access Initiative by providing free access to all articles (both abstract and full PDF text) as soon as they are published. We ask you to support this initiative by publishing your papers in this journal.

Invitation to Review

JMPR is seeking for qualified reviewers as members of the review board team. JMPR serves as a great resource for researchers and students across the globe. We ask you to support this initiative by joining our reviewer's team. If you are interested in serving as a reviewer, kindly send us your resume to jmpr@academicjournals.org

Publication Alert

We will be glad to send you a publication alert showing the table of content with link to the various abstracts and full PDF text of articles published in each issue. Kindly send us an email if you will like to receive publication alert.

For more information, please contact:

Donatus Owa

Editorial Assistant

Journal of Medicinal Plants Research (JMPR)

E-mail: ajbm@academicjournals.org

http://www.academicjournals.org/JMPR

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50. Quality and adulteration problems in certain raw medicinal plants of central India

From: Manish Mishra, India, manishm@iifm.ac.in

Recently during the survey of different areas of central India (i.e. Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh & Maharashtra) it was observed that due to increasing demand of Ayurvedic medicines & raw materials, the traders as well as Ayurvedic manufacturers are using substandard medicinal plant material (raw) to manufacture crude/ bulk medicines. During the survey of the traders, collectors etc. in Malwa region (Indore, Ratlam, Neemuch) and Mahakaushal region (Katni, Jabalpur, Seoni) and Nagpur (Vidarbha region), it was found that peoples are using substandard raw material for making Ayurvedic medicines. There were no strict rules, policy, Govt. check etc., in this regard. Ayurvedic industries are manufacturing huge quantity of medicines to meet the increasing market demand without considering the quality. Most of the people involved in the trade are substituting costly Safed musli (Chlorophytum borivillianum), Baibidang (Emblia ribes), Kali haldi (Curcuma caesia), Satawar (Asparagus racemosus) etc. with other similar type of inferior medicinal plants.

Due to lack of correct identification, similar looking plants are collected from the field site along with the genuine medicinal plant by mistake. But many times similar looking (inferior) cheap alternatives are intentionally mixed along with some quantity of genuine plant. This may be due non-availability of the genuine medicinal plant in the large quantity. Generally the soil gets adhered with the medicinal plant or its useful part at the time of collection from the field. This renders the medicinal plants adulterated by soil. Due to lack of proper post collection care, the collected medicinal plants loose their pharmaceutical efficacy. After collection from the field, the medicinal plants are sold in local markets/middle man, ‘mandi’ sooner or later. The collected plants are kept in direct sun/rains, in sub-standard godown, having dust, fungus, termites and rats etc. which adversely affect the medicinal properties.

It was also observed that the adulterators not only mix similar species but also cheap and inferior quality produces such as rotten or substandard products which can be procured at very cheap rates. Like safed musli being adulterated with lesser priced Asparagus, rotten aonla powder in triphala, and so on... and as a result, the Ayurvedic drugs lose their efficacy. Adulteration is taking heavy toll on the credibility of Ayurvedic system and medicines. The safety and quality of raw medicinal plant materials and finished products depend on intrinsic (genetic) or external (environment, collection methods, cultivation, harvest, post-harvest care, transport and storage practices) factors. Inadvertent contamination by microbial or chemical agents during any of the production stages can also lead to deterioration in safety and quality. Medicinal plants collected from the wild may be contaminated by other similar looking species or plant parts through misidentification, accidental contamination or intentional adulteration, all of which may have undesirable consequences. Taking into consideration to the above issues, the Indian Institute of Forest Management have started a project on raw medicinal plant quality, adulteration and related problems in central India. The research project suggests appropriate ways and means to combat the problem of adulteration & substitution in selected medicinal plants. It will also suggest measures to maintain the quality/standards.

(Source: Executive Summary of a recent research & development project on Quality of raw medicinal plants of central India is initiated at IIFM, Bhopal. These observations are the part of the on going project conducted in three markets of central India, in 2007 by Dr. Manish Mishra (Principal Investigator) and Prof. PC Kotwal, Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal (M.P), India.)

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51. The Tropical Agriculturalist – Beekeeping

From: Sarah Jones, International Bee Research Association

The Tropical Agriculturalist – Beekeeping by Peter Paterson is published by Macmillan in cooperation with CTA and IBRA.

The bee can never be truly domesticated but it can be managed. This book reveals, through straightforward text and admirable illustrations, how such management can be achieved. It skillfully lays out the quintessence of good practice in African Beekeeping developed through years of careful, thoughtful observation and practice. Not many people have such a depth of knowledge and understanding and of those that do very few are able to share it with others. We are extremely lucky that Peter Paterson has been able to do both. Very many beekeepers, potential beekeepers and generations of as yet unborn beekeepers will be grateful to him for this excellent and superbly practical book.

For more information, please contact:

Sarah Jones, Marketing

International Bee Research Association

16 North Road, Cardiff, CF10 3DY, U.K.

Registered Charity No: 209222

Tel:+44 (0)29 2037 2409

Fax: +44 (0) 5601 135640

e-mail: jonessl@ibra.org.uk

Web-site: www.ibra.org.uk

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52. Other publications of interest

From: FAO’s NWFP Programme

Adams, W.M. and Hutton, J. (2007) 'People, parks and poverty: political ecology and biodiversity conservation', Conservation and Society 5 (2): 147-183.

The report is available to download from: http://www.conservationandsociety.org/cs-5-2-1-147-adams.pdf

Anthony, B. 2007. The dual nature of parks: attitudes of neighbouring communities towards Kruger National Park, South Africa. Environ. Conserv. 34(3):236-245

Asmüssen, M.V., and Simonetti, J.A. 2007. Can a developing country like Chile invest in biodiversity conservation? Environ. Conserv. 34(3):183-185.

Caruso, A., Rudolphi, J., and Thor, G. 2008. Lichen species diversity and substrate amounts in young planted boreal forests: a comparison between slash and stumps of Picea abies. Biol. Conserv. 141(1):47-55.

Davidar, P., Arjunan, M., Mammen, P.C., Garrigues, J.P., Puyravaud, I.P., and Roessingh, K. 2007. Forest degradation in the Western Ghats biodiversity hotspot: resource collection, livelihood concerns and sustainability. Curr. Sci. 93(11):1573-1578.

Fyhrquist, P. 2007: Traditional medicinal uses and biological activities of some plant extracts of African Combretum Loefl., Terminalia L., and Pteleopsis Engl. species (Combretaceae). Doctoral thesis. Helsinki University Printing House. 183 pp.

Harvey, C.A. and J.C. Saénz (editors). 2008. Evaluación y conservación de biodiversidad en paisajes fragmentados de Mesoamerica. INBio, Heredia, Costa Rica. 620 pp.

Laurance, W.F. 2007. Forest destruction in tropical Asia. Curr. Sci. 93(11):1544-1550.

Lenaerts, Marc and Spadafora, Ana María (eds.). 2008. Pueblos indígenas, plantas y mercados. Amazonía y Gran Chaco. V Congreso CEISAL de Latinoamericanistas, Bruselas 2007 / Abril 11-14. Zeta Series in Anthropology & Sociology: 3. ISBN: 978-973-88632-7-9. (Languages: Spanish, Portuguese & English)

Indigenous people from Amazonia and Gran Chaco are not living apart from national or international markets, but take part in it according to their own patterns, which sometimes appear quite surprising. Plants and trees are their main source of income. It does not mean nevertheless that they are managed as simple commodities or as mere objects of knowledge. Rather, they are often viewed as partakers of large relational networks, bringing together human people as well as animal and vegetal beings: in many cases, plants and animals are even considered as true Persons. That was the reason why we decided to organize a symposium with a clear emphasis on this relational dimension. We present here eight selected papers from this panel. The topics are diverse, but all of them enlighten how such an approach opens new ways for the analysis, concerning everyday management of plants and ethnobotanical knowledge, as well as commoditisation, which is anything but a question of strictly economic rationality.

Tengo, M., Johansson, K., Rakotondrasoa, F., Lundberg, J., Andriamaherilala, J.A., Rakotoarisoa, J.A., and Elmqvist, T. 2007. Taboos and forest governance: informal protection of hot spot dry forest in southern Madagascar. Ambio 36(8):683-691.

Tewari, D.D. 2008. Management of Nontimber Forest Product Resources of India: An Analysis of Forest Development Corporations. Lucknow, International Book Distributing Co., 2008, xvi, 152 p., tables, figs., $33. ISBN 81-8189-223-2.

In this book, Professor Tewari reviews the management of nontimber forest products of India under the control of Forest Development Corporations during the last 30 years or so. Overall, Forest Development Corporations are not functioning as efficiently as they were expected to do initially. Most of them are showing losses and depend continually on taxpayers' money to survive. Thus, there is a need for new institutional innovations. The author suggests a new approach towards managing this economically important resource so as to reform the functioning of ailing corporations in the interest of tribal communities. A cooperative framework, which entrusts the management of nontimber forest products to the tribal communities, along with a support price program and effective coordination of market forces, is recommended for sustainable and socially rewarding management of nontimber forest products. Thus, a more decentralized management of nontimber forest products and nationally coordinated marketing framework is to be developed.

Wadt, L.H.O., Kainer, K.A., Staudhammer, C.L., and Serrano, R.O.P. 2008. Sustainable forest use Brazilian extractive reserves: natural regeneradon of Brazil nut in exploited populations. Biol. Conserv. 141(1):332-346.

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53. Web sites and e-zines

From: FAO’s NWFP Programme

Charles Darwin – complete works

Now available on line. This is the largest ever publication of Darwin papers and manuscripts, totalling about 20,000 items in nearly 90,000 electronic images

http://darwin-online.org.uk/manuscriptsBrowse.html.

(From Raju Acharya via the Nepalese Foresters List.)

DADOBAT project

The DADOBAT project aims at developing sustainable production systems of baobab and tamarind in three West-African countries based on characterisation, conservation and use of local genetic resources. This is expected to have a positive impact on food security and income generation in the countries included in the project. Issues of new crop/niche development are addressed through a holistic research approach and multidisciplinary research activities.

http://www.dadobat.soton.ac.uk/

ForestERA

A collaborative process that views forest ecosystems from a landscape perspective to discover better ways to restore their health and protect our communities

http://www.forestera.nau.edu/index.htm

(From Gyde Lund)

Wild mushroom identification and truffle hunting device

WildMushroomsOnline.co.uk has recently launched as a service for anyone who has a passion for Wild Mushrooms. This site has been created to assist newcomers to wild mushrooms and also, hopefully provide some useful info for others who are similarly passionate about the subject.

People are encouraged to email their wild mushroom finds into the site's editor and he will perform an online identification. He obviously urges extreme caution to anyone intending to eat their finds as wild mushrooms can kill if the wrong type are eaten.

The site also contains latest news and recipes on cooking wild mushrooms. In the future it will contain a section on a step by step guide to cultivating your own wild mushrooms right at home! (Source: PR-USA.net (press release) - Varna, Bulgaria)

http://www.wildmushroomsonline.co.uk

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last updated:  Friday, August 28, 2009