No. 04/09

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:

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 also appreciate any comments or feedback.

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


  1. Bamboo, cornstalk used in cement-bonded boards in the Philippines
  2. Bamboo demise in Bhutan
  3. Bamboo firewood, charcoal program to be launched in Ghana, Ethiopia
  4. Bushmeat: Primate hunting reaches crisis point in Latin America
  5. Handicrafts: Kashmir artisans give traditional walnut products a new look
  6. Honey provides livelihoods in Nepal
  7. Honey use in Cambodia, a symbol of commitment to sustainable forest management
  8. Shea butter: Ghana to build processing plant
  9. Silk: Nainital Research Centre, India, achieves world record in breeding silkworm eggs
  10. Wildlife: U. S. imports 1 billion pet animals from the wild between 2000 and 2006


  1. Armenia Tree Project works with Yale's Global Institute of Sustainable Forestry
  2. Cambodia: Community forests signed over to Kampong Thom villagers
  3. Cambodia: Forests of eastern provinces in jeopardy
  4. Canada: Non-timber forest products get their own directory
  5. Canada: There is more to a forest than its wood
  6. Colombia: Indigenous groups recover forests
  7. India: Community forest management as good as state management, more cost-effective
  8. India: Small-scale forestry project wins CDM certificate
  9. Nepal: International logos for local products
  10. Peru: NGOs, producers partner to ensure a sustainable Brazil nut industry
  11. Uganda: Forest conservation receives $200,000 from FAO
  12. United Kingdom: Wild harvest reaps big rewards in foraging rush


  1. Developing countries funded to plan forest protection
  2. Indigenous Peoples Summit on Climate Change convenes in Anchorage, Alaska
  3. Mangroves 'protect coastal villages during cyclones'
  4. New study warns damage to forest from climate change could cost the planet its major keeper of greenhouse gases
  5. Palm oil may threaten the Amazon


  1. Request for contributions to the nest issue of Non-wood News


  1. International Symposium “Localizing products: a sustainable approach for natural and cultural diversity in the South?”
  2. Second Gender and Forestry Conference
  3. First Global Forum of Ecological Economics in Forestry
  4. International Training Workshop on Non-Timber-Forest-Products (NTFPs) Industrial and Commercial Development
  5. VIII World Bamboo Congress Thailand 2009: Bamboo, the Environment and Climate Change


  1. Other publications of interest
  2. Web sites and e-zines


  1. Finland: Camping center for youth in Evo state owned forests
  2. West Africa caught in 'megadrought' cycle



1. Bamboo, cornstalk used in cement-bonded boards in the Philippines

Source: The Philippine Star, Philippines, 7 May 2009

MANILA, Philippines – The Forest Products Research and Development Institute (FPRDI) of the Department of Science and Technology has developed a low-cost construction material from bamboo and cornstalk.

Dr. Dwight Eusebio, head of FPRDI’s Composite Products Section, said the alternative construction material called the cement-bonded board or CBB is made from locally available agro-forest waste materials.

Eusebio said two bamboo species — kauayan tinik (Bambusa blumeana) and bayog (Bambusa merrillianus), which thrive all over the country — were selected in making the boards.

The other material, cornstalk, also abounds in the countryside and has no use in most farms in Cagayan and the Ilocos provinces, including La Union.

Eusebio said the CBBs have shown good properties and met required standards in laboratory tests. He said they based the standards on a previously developed wood wool cement board (WWCB) made of yemane (Gmelina arborea).

“The CBBs are generally known for their resistance to fire, water damage, fungal and termite attack. They also provide excellent sound and thermal insulation,” Eusebio said.

The CBBs passed tests on such properties as static bending, nail head pull-through, thickness swelling, and water absorption, he said. He said these boards are commonly used as exterior panels, interior partition walls, and ceilings, and in cabinets.

Eusebio said he and a building product manufacturer in Bay, Laguna have already produced 24 2’ X 8’ boards, which are more than enough to use for a housing unit in Tandang Sora, Quezon City to test the serviceability of the CBBs.

The FPRDI is mandated to conduct basic and applied research and development to improve the utility and value of wood and non-wood products.

For full story, please see:


2. Bamboo demise in Bhutan

Source: Kuensel Online, Bhutan, 10 April 2009

Dying bamboos on the hills of Jarey gewog in Lhuentse, north eastern Bhutan, create a resource crisis for the villagers who depend on the plant for roofing and other domestic purposes.

Villagers have started penetrating deeper into the forests, but say there are not many bamboos around. “Whatever’s available is very far and difficult to transport,” said a villager. “We’ve started scaling the other side of Jarey hill in the hope of finding bamboos to re-roof our houses before monsoon sets in.”

Elders in the village said that they have never faced such problems in the past

For full story, please see:


3. Bamboo firewood, charcoal program to be launched in Ghana, Ethiopia

Source: Modern, 5 April 2009

The International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR), in collaboration with the European Union (EU), and other partners will launch the bamboo firewood and charcoal programme in Ghana and Ethiopia on Monday 6 April 2009.

The “Bamboo as sustainable biomass energy: A suitable alternative for firewood and charcoal production in Africa” programme, is a collaborative project between INBAR, EU, the Forestry Research Institute of Ghana (FORIG), Rural Energy Development and Promotion Centre (EREDPC) of Ethiopia, the Federal Micro and Small Enterprises Agency (FeMSEDA) of Ethiopia, the Bamboo and Rattan Development Programme (BARADEP) of Ghana and Nanjing Forestry University of China.

A statement signed by Dr Coosje Hoogendoorn, Director General of INBAR was issued to the Ghana News Agency Kumasi on Friday. The release said the project is the first of its kind that seeks to develop bamboo firewood and charcoal as an alternative to wood charcoal in the countries that would be expected to benefit from the venture. The project aimed at increasing the range of useable bamboos available in Africa establish bamboo charcoal micro and macro enterprises and help governments and civil society organizations to support bamboo firewood and charcoal production and use.

The statement said the new bamboo charcoal technologies developed in Asia by INBAR and its partners over the past decade had enormous potential to help reduce deforestation and generate sustainable incomes. It also marked a major step in their application for improved energy security, environment and livelihoods of the people of the bamboo-growing regions in Africa.

The programme would be implemented in Benishangul-Gumuz State, Amhara National Regional State and Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples Regional State in Ethiopia and Western region of Ghana. It is expected to attract at least 1,000 enterprises that would produce bamboo charcoal and 30,000 households would be expected to use it.

The statement said over 6,000 people were expected to be trained in bamboo cultivation, best bamboo firewood practices and bamboo charcoal production, set up bamboo charcoal technology centres and develop marketing strategies for bamboo charcoal.

The EU said the programme was in line with its major concern of promoting sustainable and long term development.

For full story, please see:


4. Bushmeat: Primate hunting reaches crisis point in Latin America

Source: Spiegel Online International, 13 April 2009

Monkey numbers in Latin America have fallen dramatically in recent years as primate hunting reaches unsustainable levels. Most are used for food, but an increasing number of souvenirs are also produced using dead monkeys.

The authors of a report published this week by the British wildlife charity Care for the Wild International and the German organization Pro Wildlife claim that the number of primates hunted in Latin America could be as high as 10 million a year. In some parts of the Amazon basin, the numbers of medium and large size primates has dropped by a staggering 93.5 per cent over the last 20 years.

The report concludes that primate populations in 16 of the 22 Latin American countries are under threat, particularly larger species such as woolly, spider, howler and capuchin monkeys. One of the report's authors, Sandra Altherr of Pro Wildlife, said it appeared that the extent of primate hunting in Latin America was higher than in Africa or Asia.

"While the devastating effects of the bush meat trade in Africa continues to hit the headlines, the largely uncontrolled hunting of primates in Central and South America has been all but ignored," Altherr told Spiegel Online. "At an international level there is almost no discussion about this problem. We need to change this because the situation is becoming worse."

The report also found that primate hunting in Latin America, once a subsistence-level activity, is becoming increasingly commercialized with traditional hunting methods being replaced by modern weapons.

"Shotguns have a longer range and hit a wider target area than blow pipes and bows and arrows or nets increase the variety of potential target species," Altherr said. "Besides the proliferation of modern weapons, the use of other equipment such as outboard motors, trucks, flashlights and batteries further enhance hunting efficiency."

The report also claims that the hunting of primates for food rather than habitat loss poses the most serious threat to the survival of large primates in Latin America within the next two decades. As the rain forest is cleared away by loggers, new paths and roads into forest regions allow hunters increasingly easy access to primate breeding grounds.

Primate hunting is already illegal in most Latin American countries, but Altherr said that the authorities in many areas turned a blind eye to the problem.

For more information, please contact:,1518,471471,00.html


5. Handicrafts: Kashmir artisans give traditional walnut products a new look

Source: The Gaea News, Kashmir, 3 April 2009

To boost the demand of the walnut products, artisans in Kashmir crafted a variety of innovative walnut craft pieces.

Kashmiris traditionally have a natural flair for the arts, and Kashmir’s handicrafts have made their impact on the national as well as international markets. To increase its demand and popularity, the artisans who are engaged with walnut wood carving, are changing the traditional items in size and design. The new products are available in various sizes, innovative designs and look more attractive and decorative.

“We thought of making new and innovative things. We use wood as a base material instead of copper both in making small and big sizes like gift items, which can be famous all over the world. This art requires a lot of craftsmanship skills and efforts. It takes three to four years in learning, after that we start working. The wood that is used is not an ordinary one, but a special one,” said Shafeeq Ahmad, a walnut business dealer.

One of the artisans said that to create a piece from walnut required highly skilled expertise and time. “It took almost one year in making. I do not use any mechanical device in making. It is purely a hand work. It is a real wood craving work,” said Bilal Ahmad, an artisan.

The walnut wood has a unique colour, grain and sheen and the carving and fretwork done on it is of the finest quality.

Walnut is the most common wood used for carving and Kashmir is one of the few places where walnut trees thrive.

For full story, please see:


6. Honey provides livelihoods in Nepal

Source:, Nepal, 26 April 2009

ARGHAKHANCHI - Beekeeping is becoming popular in Dhanchaur and Dhikura village development committees (VDC). The farmers here have been going for beekeeping as it requires little investment and provides high returns. The farmers have been practising the traditional way of beekeeping and a majority of the households in these VDCs are engaged in this profession. The farmers earn about Rs. 5 million yearly by selling honey.

According to the chief of the VDC Pitamber Bhusal, the honey is exported to various parts of Nepal including Dang, Butwal, Sindhikharka and Kathmandu. The District Agriculture Development Office (DADO) has been providing a concession in the form of beehives to the farmers. Honey production has doubled in the recent past.

Suprakash Ghimire, a local farmer, said that he earns about Rs. 100,000 from his 20 beehives. The new hives on an average extract about 8 kg of honey while the traditional variety produces only 3-4 kg of honey. The honey produced by the farmers is sold at Rs. 300 per kg. Sumitra Magar, a resident of Dhanchaur, earns Rs. 80,000 yearly from the beekeeping business. "The standard of living has increased," she said.

On an average, each house in Dhanchaur maintains about two to three beehives. The villagers have been raising the AP Serena breed of bees. The DADO has been providing technical assistance and training to the farmers in order to increase output. There are about 17 beekeeping groups in the district. The DADO has provided about 150 new hives to the farmers engaged in beekeeping.

For full story, please see:


7. Honey use in Cambodia, a symbol of commitment to sustainable forest management

Source: WWF, Cambodia, 7 April 2009

Minority ethnic Phnong communities of Krang Teh and Pou Chrey and the local government of Mondulkiri were joined by many ministry level government officials, representatives of international and local NGOs, journalists, local villagers and Sen Monorom citizens, to celebrate the launch of the communities’ fresh Mondulkiri Wild Honey product to mark the commitment to protecting forest resources and promoting livelihoods development based on non-timber forest products.

The Mondulkiri Wild Honey is the result of a forest-based livelihoods project the two communities began in 2007 to respectively operate enterprises of Krang Raton and Prey Rodang raising the value of forest resource as an important means for improving their living standard. Such an achievement is also motivated by the community’s understanding of their role and participation in natural resource management as a key component to successfully protecting the surrounding plains and wildlife.

Honey is one of the important forest-based livelihoods that communities living in and around the protected areas of Mondulkiri are dependent upon. By motivating the communities with processing of wild honey, the intimate relations between people, forests and NTFPs are promoted.

“WWF works with NTFP-EP to promote and support NTFP based community processing activities by organizing them in groups, providing capacity building, inviting them in processes of forest management and helping them promote their achievement among the public,” said Mrs Amy Maling, WWF Community Extension Technical Advisor.

Forest honey from the wild bee species living in protected areas and community forests has the potential to attract domestic and international markets if honey products meet standard requirements with regard to quality, quantity, price, packaging and product use. To ensure that forest honey collection is a sustainable community livelihood, honey collectors handle harvesting following proper methods; adopt hygienic and standardized practices in honey processing and product packaging with attractive labelling.

“Although the honey market is wide in Cambodia, the Mondulkiri Wild Honey is not yet widely promoted. It can achieve competitive advantage if it is a sustainably harvested, quality product.” said Ms Femy Pinto, Country Facilitator of NTFP-EP Cambodia.

The launch of the honey product of Mondulkiri is organized to coincide with celebrations of community networking and marketing campaigns as the WWF promotes NTFP based community enterprises in other parts of the country, including Phnom Penh, Ratanakiri as part of the April Festival on Forests, People & NTFPs and later in the year in Siem Reap and Koh Kong provinces.

For full story, please see:


8. Shea butter: Ghana to build processing plant with Brazilian help

Source: Ghana Home Page, Ghana, 27 March 2009

The Produce Buying Company (PBC) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Sysgate Limited of Brazil towards the establishment of a sheanut processing plant in the country. The establishment of the plant, which is a brainchild of Vice President John Mahama, would allow for the export of sheabutter and help Ghana tap into a fast expanding global shea trade projected to gross US$500 million/year within the next five years. The estimated market value of shea in Brazil alone is US$40 million/year. The establishment of the plant would enable PBC to process between 40 to 100,000 tonnes of nuts yearly.

Vice President Mahama who witnessed the signing ceremony at the Castle, Osu, described the event as the "first conspicuous step" towards revamping the shea industry and making it a driving force in the accelerated development of the savannah area of Ghana. He recounted government's decision to promote the shea trade as crucial in the socio-economic development of the northern parts of the country in order to optimize its value chain and promote improved rural livelihoods for women.

Though the shea crop is widely available in northern regions of Ghana, the difficulty in harvesting the wild crop and the lack of processing facilities had negatively contributed towards the downturn of the industry, a situation the government has been working to reverse. Following his election as Vice President, Mr Mahama held a series of meetings with the management of The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), the parent company of PBC, towards revamping the industry.

Mr Anthony Osei Boakye, Managing Director of PBC, who initialled for his company, commended the Vice President for the leadership he provided towards reviving an industry, which he said, had been in the lull for the past nine years. He gave the assurance that the PBC would work towards the stability and progress of the industry to ensure its long term sustainability.

Mr. William Mensah, Deputy Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of COCOBOD, corroborated Mr Boakye views, adding that the intervention of the Vice President enabled his outfit to resume the supply of protective clothing to the women who pick the fruits in the wild to boost production. Mr. Luis Fernando Serra, Brazilian Ambassador who also witnessed the ceremony, tasked the two organizations to use the pact to demonstrate that it is through fair and free trade, rather than aid that poverty could be significantly reduced. Mr Serra promised to work towards integrating the economies of the two countries through the promotion of trade.

Mr Erickson Ferrer da Rosa, initialled for Sysgate. According to the PBC, Sysgate was chosen, because of the company's expertise in providing a special technology to maximize yields from shea processing through the supply and installation of the equipment on turn-key basis. The government, earlier this week, announced its intention to make the development of shea industry a priority in its national development agenda to help harness the resources in the savannah belt of Ghana for accelerated development.

For full story, please see:


9. Silk: Nainital Research Centre, India, achieves world record in breeding silkworm eggs

Source:, 18 April 2009

Nainital, (ANI): Nainital-based Regional Oak Tasar Research Centre has created a world record in the field of silkworm egg-laying. The scientists and other staff members of the research centre are very pleased by the way the project has shaped up.

The average eggs per moth at the research centre are in the range of 240 to 260 as compared to China’s 160 to 200 eggs. The number of eggs per gram in the research centre is 108-110 in comparison with China’s 120 eggs per gram. These yardsticks signify that the eggs of Oak Tasar Research Centre are healthy. The main reason for the success can be attributed to the innovative measures taken by the scientists at the centre.

“We provide good feed to the silk worms due to which the silk worm gains more weight. When it converts into pupa, it becomes big and therefore the moth is also big, and when the moth is big, it will certainly produce more eggs,” said Dr. R. S. Yadav, a scientist of Regional Oak Tasar Research Centre. The institute has also been taking special care to minimise the egg losses. “.

The Appropriate Technology India (ATI), the biggest silk research organization in the country, has given an award to the Regional Oak Tasar Research Centre in recognition of its immense contribution in the field of Oak Tasar development.

India is the second largest producer of silk after China and the largest consumer of silk in the world.

For full story, please see:


10. Wildlife: U. S. imports 1 billion pet animals from the wild between 2000 and 2006

Source:, 30 April 2009

Poor regulation of the international wildlife trade has increased the vulnerability of the U.S. to outbreaks of disease and alien invasive species, report researchers writing in Science.

Analyzing Law Enforcement Management Information System (LEMIS) data gathered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from 2000 through 2006, Katherine Smith of Brown University and colleagues found that of the more than 1.5 billion live wildlife animals legally imported to the United States during the period, only 14 percent were classified to the level of species despite federal mandates for such labelling. The lack of accurate reporting makes it impossible to "accurately assess the diversity of wildlife imported or the risk they pose as invasive species or hosts of harmful pathogens," they write.

"If we don't know what animals are coming in, how do we know which are going to become invasive species or carry diseases that could affect livestock, wildlife or ourselves?" asked Peter Daszak, president of Wildlife Trust and a co-author on the paper.

"The threat to public health is real. The majority of emerging diseases come from wildlife," added Smith, assistant research professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Brown University and lead author on the paper. "Most of these imported animals originate in Southeast Asia — a region shown to be a hotspot for these emerging diseases."

The researchers found that 92 percent of imports were designated for commercial purposes, the majority of which were for the pet trade. Almost 80 percent of shipments contained animals from wild populations, "the majority of which have no mandatory testing for pathogens before or after shipment," they note.

"That's equivalent to every single person in the U.S. owning at least five pets," said Smith.

The authors call for stronger regulation to improve monitoring of the live wildlife trade. They note that Congress is currently deliberating the Non-native Wildlife Invasion Prevention Act (HR 669), which would tighten regulations on wildlife imports but say that the proposed legislation doesn't go far enough to control what they term "pathogen pollution."

The authors further urge education programs to make individuals, importers, veterinarians and the pet industry aware of the "dangers of diseases transmitted from wildlife to humans and domesticated animals." They also call for captive-breeding initiatives to reduce pressure on wild populations and reduce the risk of disease introduction.

For full story, please see:

Realted article:



11. Armenia Tree Project works with Yale's Global Institute of Sustainable Forestry

Source: The Armenian Reporter, Armenia, 8 April 2009

The Armenia Tree Project (ATP) recently completed a two-year project to develop sustainable forestry training models for Armenia. Through a collaborative effort with Yale University's Global Institute of Sustainable Forestry, ATP worked with Chadwick Oliver and Zachary Parisa to conduct an analysis of the forests around the village of Margahovit.

"The degradation of forested areas in Armenia necessitates a new and bold approach to forestry practices," stated ATP Executive Director Jeff Masarjian. "With Yale's expertise, ATP has been able to collaborate with forestry officials to bring cutting edge forestry training to Armenia. It is our hope that the project will literally reshape the nation's landscape and ensure a sustainable future for its population."

Working with students from the Agricultural Academy of Armenia, local residents of Margahovit, and World Wildlife Fund, ATP planted a 20 hectare model forest using indigenous tree species to be used for future sustainable forestry training.

ATP also presented a new Sustainable Forestry Manual to stakeholders in Armenia and developed a seminar training model to use as a guide. The manual is currently being published in Eastern Armenian, and an English-language version is available at the ATP Web site.

Finally, ATP assisted the local community of Margahovit in identifying NTFPs, bringing environmental education into the local schools, and through stakeholder meetings that outlined the benefits and challenges of community forestry. ATP is currently developing a plan to conduct sustainable forestry training seminars throughout Armenia.

"The project was designed to evaluate the condition of the forests in Northern Armenia, paying particular attention to the factors that are limiting the ability for regeneration," explained Masarjian. "An assessment was made of plants, herbs, and other NTFPs that may be harvested for generating alternative income for residents living in proximity to the forests. Additional trainings on rotational grazing will also be held with livestock owners to prevent soil erosion and further degradation of forests."

"The collaboration between ATP and Yale has been a great success. We worked together to create an instructional manual designed specifically for conditions in Armenia that will be used to train local stakeholders in global best practices of forest management. We're grateful for the vision and generosity of Sandra and Jim Leitner, who introduced us in the hope of creating a sustainable future for Armenia," concluded Dr. Oliver, director of the Yale Global Institute of Sustainable Forestry.

This project was funded by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund, a joint program of l'Agence Francaise de Developpement, Conservation International, the Global Environment Facility, the Government of Japan, the MacArthur Foundation, and the World Bank.

Since 1994, the Armenia Tree Project has planted and restored more than 2,500,000 trees and created hundreds of jobs for impoverished Armenians in tree-regeneration programs. The organization's three tiered initiatives are tree planting, community development to reduce poverty and promote self-sufficiency, and environmental education to protect Armenia's precious natural resources.

For full story, please see:


12. Cambodia: Community forests signed over to Kampong Thom villagers

Source: The Phnom Penh Post, 31 March 2009

Thirty-two Community Forest Agreements were signed in Kampong Thom province in late March, formally handing over the management of 15,000 hectares of forest land to local communities. This is part of a 15-year social land concession that development officials say will reduce exposure to deforestation and offer residents a new stream of income.

Development groups involved in the handover say forests in the hands of local communities have fared better than forests on public land or unregulated private land.

"[Villagers] have the most to gain and the most to lose from what happens to the forests they depend upon," said Yam Malla, executive director of Regional Community Forestry Training Centre. "They are the most willing and most able to invest time, effort and their considerable human resources to ensure the forest is protected and well managed."

Ty Sokun, director general of the Forestry Administration, said the Kampong Thom concession could be the beginning of a much broader project. He promised a total of 2 million hectares of Cambodian forest to community forestry, although he did not specify a timeline. Such a plan would put 20 percent of the country's forests into the hands of local communities, according to Brampton, adding that currently the figure stands at just 3 percent.

For full story, please see:


13. Cambodia: Forests of eastern provinces in jeopardy

Source: The Phnom Penh Post, 13 March 2009

WWF-Cambodia warns that if exploitation of forests in the eastern provinces of Mondulkiri and Ratanakiri is not managed, it could push local communities over the brink. The provinces are home to some of the country’s poorest communities including hill tribe minorities. Such groups have largely remained outside the market economy and depend on their natural surroundings for survival. The areas they live in are among the most vulnerable to anticipated climate change impacts. Development workers say recent land development and land speculation have degraded the area’s environment at an alarming rate. In some instances, development pressures have led some indigenous groups in the region to clear-cut their land and sell it before it is appropriated without compensation.

For full story, please see:


14. Canada: Non-timber forest products get their own directory

Source: The Daily Gleaner, Canada, 2 April 2009

Blueberry wine, fiddleheads, bird-watching tours, mushrooms, birds-eye wood sculptures and maple butter are just some of the items in a new non-timber forest products directory in Atlantic Canada.

Called From Our Atlantic Woods, the new directory was put together by several forestry organizations in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Maine and has more than 260 items.

The directory is available at and a free printed version will be available at Sobeys stores, farmers markets and tourism bureaus across the region.

For full story, please see:


15. Canada: There is more to a forest than its wood

Source: New Brunswick Business Journal, 23 April 2009

Gig Kierstead only cuts his trees when the price is right. The retired teacher and his family make money running weekend maple sugar bush tours on their 400-acre Erbs Cove lot in the spring and tour about 6,000 school children through the woods each fall. Through the winter, cross-country skiers frequent 12km of groomed trails that cut through Kierstead's property. "100 percent of our income (from the woodlot) right now is from NTFPs because we haven't sold any wood for two or three years," Kierstead said, adding that his wife still teaches to supplement income they earn through eco-tourism.

The private woodlot owner isn't opposed to selling timber, in principle. "When the markets are right, I do," he said. But for the last few years his family's business venture, Elmhurst Outdoors, has been the breadwinner.

Kierstead has found a way to profit off his land and handle what some private woodlot owners are calling the worst downturn in the sector they have ever seen. Forest research groups are pushing the landowners to take advantage of opportunities to turn NTFPs – blueberries, wild mushrooms, plants for landscaping, nutraceuticals, eco-tourism and a slew of other opportunities - into cash.

For full story, please see:


16. Colombia: Indigenous groups recover forests

Source: The Miami Herald, 6 April 2009

KANKAWARWA, Colombia -- The indigenous name of this tiny village of thatch-roofed homes on the north western slopes of Colombia's Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta means “where knowledge is stored.''

For decades, this sacred place of knowledge and wisdom had been lost to the Arhuaco Indians who once made spiritual offerings here. But now, thanks to an unusual convergence of interests, the Arhuacos have returned by founding Kankawarwa (pronounced Kan-ka-WAHR-wuh) using government money and support.

This mountain village is the sixth of 10 ''barrier'' villages being built by the Colombian government in a pact between President Alvaro Uribe and the joint governing council of the four different indigenous tribes that share these mountains: the Arhuaco, Kogi, Wiwa, and Kankuamo. Once completed, the 10 villages will effectively form a new buffer zone between indigenous lands and private property owners in the foothills of the mountains.

''From here on up, you are the ones in charge of protecting the environment,'' Uribe told the Arhuaco, Kogi and Wiwa Indians at the recent inauguration of the village, sweeping his hand toward the high mountain peaks. ``You are the best cultivators of the forests, the best protectors of the water.''

That's what they had been trying to tell a succession of governments for decades, repeatedly asking for financial and legal support to reoccupy the lowlands by buying off lands owned by peasants and coca leaf farmers. Private donors have been helping the four indigenous groups buy back almost 90,000 acres in an effort to protect the ecologically fragile midlands and highlands in an area these groups consider to be the heart of the world. Seeing environmental, political, and security advantages, the Uribe government joined the effort, buying land and funding the construction of the new ring of villages.

Some government officials have been pushing the idea of developing ecotourism in the Sierra. Rogelio Mejía, governor of the Arhuaco reserve, said the tribes won't accept such plans because ''it could be dangerous for our cultures.'' Already, hundreds of adventurous backpackers trek each year to the archaeological ruins known as the Lost City, one of the largest and oldest pre-Columbian settlements in the Americas within the Kogi reservation.

Trying to attract more tourism ''is crazy,'' Mejía said. ''Our only interest is to save nature and to save our culture,'' he says. ``We don't care who helps us with this, as long as we recover our territories.''

Territorial recovery is critical; according to the U.N. refugee agency, at least 27 of Colombia's 80 different indigenous groups are at risk of extinction, mostly because the three decades of civil war have pushed them off their territory. ''Their survival depends greatly on being able to remain on their traditional lands,'' UNHCR Spokesman Ron Redmond said in a recent statement.

As the indigenous groups here seek to continue to expand their territories, the potential for conflict with the local peasant communities remains strong. At the recent inauguration of the Kankawarwa village, farmers from the nearby town of Cristalina Baja complained to Uribe that while tens of thousands of dollars were spent on the Indian communities, the peasants continue to wait for electricity, water, and road improvements.

Mejía recognizes that it is in his tribe's interest that the government attends to the needs of the farmers as well to reduce pressure on the indigenous communities.

''All we want is to be left to live in peace with nature, with the water, with the forest,'' he said.

For full story, please see:


17. India: Community forest management as good as state management, more cost-effective

Source: LiveMint.Com of the Wall Street Journal, 6 March 2009

A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) claims that in Uttarakhand state, local community forest management is more cost-effective than state management, while no worse (and possibly better in some cases) in achieving conservation objectives.

Researchers compared satellite images of forests managed by village forest councils (known as Van Panchayats) to those by the state government in 271 villages and found degradation levels similar. However, state forests also cost at least seven times as much to administer per hectare than those managed by community councils. Some experts, though, question whether the findings from this study can be extrapolated to other regions of the country.

For full story, please see:


18. India: Small-scale forestry project wins CDM certificate

Source: SciDev.Net Weekly Update (20 - 26 April 2009)

[NEW DELHI] A community forestry project in north India has become the first small-scale afforestation project in the world to get a clean development mechanism (CDM) certificate.

CDM is an arrangement under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which allows industrialised nations to invest in clean energy projects in developing countries.

Each tonne of carbon saved in a green project counts as a unit of carbon emission reduction (CER). Countries can sell the CERs, currently priced at US$5, to help meet their greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.

The community project, in India's Haryana state, which won the CDM certificate, is part of a larger, ten-year community forestry project to provide tree cover in thousands of hectares of wasteland. It is supported by the European Commission (EC) and the Haryana state government.

Inspired by the success of the ten-year project, which ended in 2008 and increased tree cover from nine to 34 per cent, project officials designed another small-scale pilot in 370 hectares of land — covering eight villages and 227 farmers — to see if it could qualify for a CDM.

Veerbhan Singh Tanwar, a state forest conservator who heads the CDM project, told SciDev.Net that the trees are expected to absorb 12,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide over the next 20 years. The project will begin earning carbon credits after five years, which will be distributed among the farmers.

Robert Donkers — minister counsellor for environment at Delegation of the EC to India, Bhutan and Nepal — says that the EC has no plans to replicate the project elsewhere in the country, mainly due to the difficult procedure of applying and qualifying for a CDM certificate.

Varun Gulati, an analyst with Agrienergy, a Mumbai-based CDM consultancy company, says that the UN needs to simplify the CDM process for social forestry. It takes 4–5 years for a forestry project to earn CERs, compared to a wind energy project that takes just six months to a year.

Still, Tanwar hopes that the Haryana project will serve as a model for others. Three more Indian states — Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat and Chhattisgarh — have taken a cue from the project and appointed CDM officers to design similar projects, he says.

For full story, please see:


19. Nepal: International logos for local products

Source: The Himalayan Times, 13 April 2009

KATHMANDU: Nepali Lokta paper and Nepali Pashmina along with their own brands are set to rule the international market. Nepali Lokta Paper is being promoted with the brand ‘Nepalokta, the new spirit in paper,’ while Nepali Pashmina has developed its brand name as ‘Chyangra Pashmina’.

Nepali Lokta Paper has already got its brand registered with the EU and also received approval to be used in government correspondence work. Nepal Pashmina Industries Association (NPIA) has been trying to register its brand logo, and Australia has become the first country to grant confirmation of the pashmina brand registration.

“After the cabinet approval, now Nepali Lokta Paper will be used in official documenting work. The decision has brought Nepali handmade paper back to life,” said Milan Dev Bhattarai, president of Nepal Handmade Paper Association (HANDPASS) during the Nepalokta brand promotion programme today.

Use of Nepali handmade paper in the past was compulsory in government legal correspondence, but it was suddenly phased out from government offices. The property ownership certificates issued by the Ministry of Land Reform and the certificate of citizenship and passport issued by the Home Ministry used to be made from handmade paper, but after 1998 the government started using imported paper for these purposes. Instead of handmade paper, imported white paper is used for making property ownership certificate and imported ivory paper for making passports.

According to Bhattarai, in 2008 the total export of Nepali Lokta Paper was more than Rs 300 million directly and about Rs 200 million indirectly through tourists arriving in Nepal. NPIA is in the process of registering applications in 24 more countries aside from the EU and 10 other countries where it has already registered its application for brand registration. NPIA is has set the Chyangra Pashmina brand to establish its impact in the international market.

For full story, please see:


20. Peru: NGOs, producers partner to ensure a sustainable Brazil nut industry

From: Eco Index, Peru, March 2009

Commercially harvested in Bolivia, Brazil, and Peru, the Brazil nut is an important part of the region's economy, producing a large number of jobs and a considerable source of income for rural communities. In Peru, Brazil nut production is mainly carried out through concessions and small businesses that extend throughout the entire production chain, from harvesting and processing the nut through selling the final product to international exporters.

As part of the Initiative for Conservation in the Andean Amazon (ICAA) of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Rainforest Alliance is working with forest concessionaires in Peru's Madre de Dios department to provide training and technical support in sustainable forest management and to strengthen markets for NTFPs, such as the Brazil nut.

Brazil nut producers in Madre de Dios -- an area known as the "biodiversity capital of Peru" for its rich and exuberant vegetation -- are receiving support in how to conserve and sustainably use their natural resources while also earning a profit. The Rainforest Alliance and its local partner Comercio Alternativo de Productos No Tradicionales y Desarrollo para Latino América Perú (Candela Perú) are working together to train more than 60 Brazil nut producers in how to meet the certification requirements of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) for their harvested nuts.

Candela Peru was founded in 1989 with the goal of finding forest resources that could provide the residents of Madre de Dios with a steady income while not damaging the biodiversity-rich environment, thus assuaging many of the social and economic problems in the area. The organization currently works with 280 Brazil nut producers to process and export the nuts to international markets, mainly the United States and Europe.

Candela Perú’s organic production program involves 171 Brazil nut producers, including members of the Grupo Recolectores Orgánicos de Nuez Amazónica de Perú (RONAP), based in Madre de Dios. Nearly 70 of RONAP’s Brazil nut producers have achieved Fair Trade certification, making it easier for them to meet the requirements necessary to achieve FSC certification through the Rainforest Alliance's SmartWood certification program -- the world's leading (FSC) certifier of forestlands.

Daniel Navarro, a director at Candela Peru comments, "It is extremely important to us to be involved in the whole production process, but in particular with harvesters who are usually at a disadvantage when they try to access markets -- they are our best partners and the true guardians of the forest in Madre de Dios." Candela is not only interested in developing the commercial side of Brazil nut production, but it also wants to find "alternatives that will ensure the conservation and long-term sustainability of this incredibly biodiverse region by improving the quality of life for local residents," he adds.

Navarro believes that certification is a key tool to improve the Brazil nut production process and maintain the high level of quality that is needed to obtain a niche position in international markets and therefore increase the income of Brazil nut harvesters. He endorses SmartWood certification because of its comprehensive approach that takes into account social, environmental, economic, and quality issues. Additionally, many of the Forest Stewardship Council's criteria are in line with the mission of Candela Peru. "Trees that are left standing generate the income needed to improve the quality of life of the harvesters in Madre de Dios," he states.

Katherine Pierront, manager of the Rainforest Alliance's Sustainable Forestry Division in South America, explains, "Our goal is to use this model and replicate the experience in other regions in Peru and with other products." To date, the total of certified forests in Madre de Dios is 519,600 acres (210,280 hectares), of which 444,520 acres (179,894 hectares) is Rainforest Alliance/FSC certified. Through similar partnerships between the Rainforest Alliance and organizations such as Cesvi Peru and the Asociación para la Conservación de la Cuenca Amazónica, this number will continue to grow and help to ensure the conservation of Peru's "biodiversity capital."

For full story, please see:


21. Uganda: Forest conservation receives $200,000 from FAO

Source: The New Vision, Uganda, 9 April 2009

Kampala. Uganda has received a $200,000 (sh430m) grant from FAO to implement forestry conservation activities between 2009 and 2012.

The grant will finance the second phase of the National Forestry Facility Programme. Uganda is one of the 70 countries supported by the FAO-NFP. Phase one covered Wakiso, Mukono, Mubende, Luweero, Hoima and Masindi districts. The program is implemented through a partnership between Uganda Forestry Working Group, the Government and a network of forest conservationists across the country.

For full story, please see:


22. United Kingdom: Wild harvest reaps big rewards in foraging rush

Source: Guardian.Co.Uk, 27 April 2009

It has quietly become something of a green gold rush. In woods and forests across Britain, wild garlic is being harvested for soup makers, wood sorrel gathered for Michelin-starred chefs, and spruce needles picked to infuse hand-made chocolates.

Harvesting "wild food", the seasonal salad leaves, nuts, fruit and fungi that grow abundantly across the UK, has led to a new industry in professional foraging for restaurants and a sharp surge in public interest.

They are harvesting - for free - nearly 200 ingredients throughout the year: from common crops such as hazelnuts, brambles and wild strawberries, to dozens of different fungi, through to specialist crops such as elm and lime leaves, or sweet cicely. Chefs are now paying up to £50/kg for wood sorrel, with its sharp lemony tang, and £40/kg for elusive morel mushrooms, handpicked from the forest floor.

In Scotland alone, where the wild food movement is thought to be strongest, the Forestry Commission estimates that wild harvesting, including harvesting lichens and mosses for natural remedies and horticulture, is worth as much as £21m a year. Its rapid growth - by as much as 38% since 2001 - has led the Commission to launch a campaign this month to promote wild foods with a code of good practice, to ensure the increasing number of foragers harvest carefully and, where needed, with the landowner's permission. It is no longer a niche, cottage industry.

The search for wild food mirrors the surge in popularity for home-grown produce, allotments and "guerrilla gardening" - where patches of vacant and under-used inner-city land are converted into al fresco fruit and vegetable patches - championed by chefs such as Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

To cope with the surge in demand, the charity Reforesting Scotland has set up a "wild harvesting" trade association supported by the commission and the Scottish government. "We've had a huge response from the general public on foraging," said Emma Chapman, the charity's project coordinator. "It ties into environmental concerns: you're getting a little bit of your food in a low-impact way. A lot of the salads you get at this time of year have a huge amount of energy associated with them, with refrigeration, transport, being grown abroad and under artificial conditions, and they just don't taste so good."

Roger Coppock, the Forestry Commission's head of business policy development, said one recent survey suggested that well over a million people in Scotland alone had foraged at least once in the past two years.

Coppock believes that much more could be taken sustainably from the commission's land. "It is nowhere near being over-harvested," he said. "There's an awful lot of potential there."

Andy Fraser, who runs Fresh Direct Local Scotland, one of the country's largest wild food suppliers and a subsidiary of Fresh Direct UK, said amateur foragers needed to be very careful about what they picked - some plants and mushrooms could be lethal.

Fraser believes the Forestry Commission could increase the availability of wild foods by actively sowing its plantations with mushrooms, berry bushes and wild salads.

For full story, please see:



23. Developing countries funded to plan forest protection

Source: SciDev.Net Weekly Update (14 - 19 April 2009)

Five developing countries have received US$18 million in funding to plan how to implement a proposed scheme to reward countries that protect forests and reduce deforestation. The Democratic Republic of Congo, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Tanzania and Vietnam will share the funds, which will enable them to prepare national action plans to take part in the proposed Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) mechanism — likely to be agreed upon at climate talks in Copenhagen in December this year. REDD will provide financial incentives for countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation while improving the livelihoods of forest-dependent communities.

The UN-REDD programme — a collaboration between the FAO, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the UN Development Programme that aims to support preparations for REDD — has provided the funding. Funding was approved last month (18 March) at a high level UN-REDD board meeting in Panama, where each country presented national plans for a future REDD regime.

Tanzania will receive US$4 million of the funding, says Niklas Hagelberg, program officer in the Division of Environmental Policy Implementation at UNEP. The Tanzanian REDD program will be led by the Forestry and Beekeeping Division. Hagelberg says Tanzania will prepare itself for REDD by ensuring a national governance framework and strong institutional capacity. They also need a system for capturing information — such as forest loss, carbon emissions and land use assessment — to feed into a REDD process. Other preparations will include improved capacity to manage REDD locally and pilot the scheme in chosen districts, outline how payments would be distributed and raise REDD awareness. New methodologies and technologies will be required for carbon accounting and ensuring real emission reductions, says Hagelberg. These will be addressed during the program implementation, he says. Hassan Nkya, senior scientist at Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute, says Tanzania is one of Sub-Saharan Africa's most promising countries for implementing a REDD scheme, with its enabling policies and well-defined local governance. There are already policies in place that enable local people to establish forest reserves, leading to increased biomass and poverty alleviation, he says. Nkya agrees that there is a lot of work to be done to measure and monitor carbon storage in the country's forests. Carbon auditing will require intensification and, as it is a new subject, public awareness is essential, he says.

For the full story, please see:


24. Indigenous Peoples Summit on Climate Change convenes in Anchorage, Alaska

Source:, 22 April 2009

Efforts to create an international climate framework — including a carbon financing mechanism for forest conservation — must involve forest people, said indigenous leaders attending the Indigenous Peoples Global Summit on Climate Change meeting this week in Anchorage, Alaska.

Speaking at a press conference organized by The Nature Conservancy in connection with the Summit, Egberto Tabo, General Coordinator of the Coordinating Body of Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon Basin (COICA), said that indigenous knowledge will play a critical role in addressing climate change. "For thousands of years, indigenous peoples have been the ones conserving the forests," Tabo said. "Our ancestors talked about climate change. We’ve known for generations that this was going to happen...We are the true conservationists. But our role in conserving the forests has not truly been recognized."

Indigenous people serve as guardians of forest carbon throughout the Amazon. Research has shown that deforestation rates in indigenous reserves are considerably lower than in unprotected areas. Johnson Cerda, a leader of the Quichua community in Ecuador and advisor for Conservation International’s Indigenous and Traditional Peoples Program, agreed that indigenous communities have so far had a limited role in helping shape climate policy. “Participation is the key element. We cannot only go there as observers. We have knowledge in conservation and based on that knowledge we should participate in these talks." Cerda said that reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD), a proposed mechanism for compensating countries for protecting forests, could be a powerful tool for indigenous communities to protect themselves against climate impacts, but only if the rights of forest people were recognized. "In REDD, there must be recognition of local and Indigenous knowledge," Cerda said. "Why under REDD should forests be recognized and not the people who have lived there for generations?"

Sarene Marshall, Director of The Nature Conservancy’s Climate Change Program, added that REDD will not work unless indigenous people are part of the development process. “Reaching an effective climate agreement in Copenhagen this year will require the full and open participation of Indigenous Peoples,” Marshall said. “The benefits of REDD must reach local and Indigenous Peoples. Without those benefits, conservation is not sustainable.”

Joanna Durbin, Director of the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Alliance (CCBA), said her group is working to develop new forest carbon certification guidelines that ensure that benefits from REDD projects reach Indigenous communities. "We hope world leaders will adopt a policy framework that supports developing countries, forests, local and indigenous people and biodiversity to benefit from global climate change efforts," she said.

Indigenous claims to forest carbon recently received a boost when the Brazilian Supreme Court reaffirmed the rights of indigenous people to the revenues accrued from the "natural wealth" within their territories. While the decision didn't explicit cite forest carbon, it suggests carbon credits and payments for environmental services generated from their lands are rightfully due to them. Meanwhile a separate legal analysis by Baker & McKenzie and Forest Trends on behalf of the Surui tribe in the state of Acre concluded that Indians indeed own rights to carbon on their lands under Brazilian law.

For full story, please see:


25. Mangroves 'protect coastal villages during cyclones'

Source: SciDev.Net Weekly Update (20 - 26 April 2009)

[NEW DELHI] Mangrove forests, common along tropical coasts, can provide a protective shield against destructive cyclones and reduce deaths, a study has found.

The finding follows a report published earlier this year (January) which said that mangroves were not effective against tsunamis (see Mangroves do not protect against tsunamis). It adds to a growing debate on using mangroves as bioshields in coastal areas.

The new study, conducted by scientists at the University of Delhi, India, and Duke University in the United States, analysed the 1999 'super cyclone' that ravaged Orissa state in eastern India, killing an estimated 10,000 people. The scientists found that coastal villages in Orissa with the widest mangrove belts suffered fewer deaths, compared to those with narrower or no mangroves.

Their statistical models suggest that without mangroves, villages within 10km of the coast would have suffered an average of 1.72 additional deaths.

"Statistical evidence of this life-saving effect is robust" and remains "highly significant" even after taking into account other environmental and socioeconomic factors, the report says.

The January study, however, found that 'bioshields' have negligible effects against tsunamis. Others have argued that promoting green coastal belts as a buffer against tsunamis is diverting valuable funds from effective protection measures such as developing early warning systems.

Saudamini Das, an associate professor at the University of Delhi and a co-author of the new study points out that while the new study does not address whether mangroves protect tsunami-hit areas it does clear all doubts about their effects against cyclones.

For full story, please see:


26. New study warns damage to forest from climate change could cost the planet its major keeper of greenhouse gases

From: Alexander Buck, IUFRO, 16 April 2009

We are pleased to announce that the first ever compiled global assessment report on “Adaptation of Forests and People to Climate Change” will be published officially at the next session of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF), during the following side event: Making Forests Fit for Change – IUFRO-Led Activities at the Science-Policy Interface Wednesday, 22 April

The report is the first product of the IUFRO-led Global Forest Expert Panels of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) and presents the state-of-knowledge about the impacts of climate change on forests and people and options for adaptation. One of the key messages that emerged from this assessment is that the carbon-regulating services of forests are at risk of being lost entirely unless current carbon emissions are reduced substantially; this would result in the release of huge quantities of carbon to the atmosphere, exacerbating climate change. The report as well as a policy brief (available in all UN languages) can be downloaded at:

For further information, please, contact:

Alexander Buck, IUFRO

Mobile +43-664-1426852


An article published by Nature magazine on 16 April 2009 can be accessed at:

Information for the press is available at:


27. Palm oil may threaten the Amazon

Source: Biological Conservation Newsletter, No.293, May 2009

Already a significant driver of tropical forest conversion across Southeast Asia, oil palm expansion could emerge as threat to the Amazon rainforest, due to a proposed change in Brazil's forest law, new infrastructure, and the influence of foreign agroindustrial firms in the region.

In an article published by Tropical Conservation Science, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute's William F. Laurance, and Rhett A. Butler, founder of the environmental science web site, are concerned about the revision of the forest code in Brazil. Currently, the law requires land owners to retain 80% of forest on lands in the Amazon. The new law would allow up to 30% of this reserve to consist of oil palms.

Given the growing demands for edible oils and oil-based products and biofuel, oil palm could offer better returns and more jobs than cattle ranching and soy farms, the dominant agricultural activities in Brazilian Amazon.

But tropical forest conversion would have a deleterious effect on biodiversity, "Oil palm plantations are biological deserts compared even to logged forests," says Laurance. The expansion would also represent climate impact. More than half the Amazonia is suitable for oil palm cultivation. Primary forests store 42 billion tons of carbon. Conversion to palm oil plantations releases at least 60% of above ground biomass.

On the other hand, it is not likely that oil palm plantations will be concentrated on previously deforested lands in Amazonia. Oil palm producers favour clearing primary forest for plantations because they can reap immediate profits from timber production. These profits subsidize the costs of plantation establishment and maintenance for the initial 3-5 years until the oil palm plantations become profitable.

For full story, please see:



28. Request for contributions to the next issue of Non-wood News

From: Tina Etherington, FAO’s NWFP Programme

We are seeking contributions on any aspect of NWFP for inclusion in the next issue of Non-wood News. We would be particularly interested in receiving information on: (a) Marketing of traditional NWFPs; and (b) Berries.

Articles can be in French, Spanish or English and should be no longer than 500 words. Please send your contributions to by 15 May 2009.

Past issues of Non-wood News are available from the NWFP home page:



29. International Symposium “Localizing products: a sustainable approach for natural and cultural diversity in the South?”

Paris, France

9-11 June 2009

Unesco/Mab, IRD, CIRAD, MNHN, in collaboration with FRB, FFEM, AFD and IDDRI are organizing an international scientific symposium to explore the links between biological and cultural diversity, and the processes designed to enhance the value of local specialities in South countries.

Among the aims of this international conference is to bring together the scientific community, of South and North countries alike, from a range of disciplines whose complementary approaches are indispensable for a full comprehension of these issues. It will highlight the advances of research and development programs supported by national research agencies (biodiversity, agriculture, sustainable development, etc.), the European Union and other national and international organizations (French Global Environment Fund, MAB/UNESCO, WWF, etc.).

Many presentations in the agenda of the symposium cover issues facing the marketing of NWPF, including:

  • Constructing the identity of products (names, image, typicality, reputation)
  • Valuing local products in the frame of conservation politics
  • Valuing local products and potential impacts on biodiversity
  • Social and territorial changes linked to the valorization of local products

For more information:

Emmanuelle Gerard

Tel: +33 1 40 79 56 22

Maison de l'UNESCO

7 place de Fontenoy

75007 PARIS


30. Second Gender and Forestry Conference

Umea Sweden

15-18 June 2009

With this conference, we believe that another step towards a better understanding of gender in the forestry sector will be gained and ideas for resolving gender issues can be generated. We seek reports on progress and backlashes to help identify the means and actions that have proven to be effective. Those will be organized into the following topics:

  • Making a difference through education, knowledge exchange, and capacity building
  • Making a difference through policies and statistical analysis
  • Making a difference through cooperation, networking and the establishments of role models
  • Making a difference through advances in theoretical and empirical research

All those interested in making a difference – in practice or science – are invited.

For more information, please contact

Gun Lidestavgun,


31. First Global Forum of Ecological Economics in Forestry

Nanjing, China

19-21 August 2009

For more information:


32. International Training Workshop on Non-Timber-Forest-Products (NTFPs) Industrial and Commercial Development

27 August- 16 September 2009

Zhejiang Province, China

Working Language: English, Spanish

China is well-known in the world for its long history of large scale production and completed supply-chains of NTFPs. For example, China now produces 70% of the world’s edible fungus. The NTFPs development of China is an organic combination of sustainable resource cultivation, high-efficient industrial processing and a smooth marketing network, and a constructive institutional culture. NTFPs and their production has become one of the supporting poles of the economic development in the forest areas in China.

The objectives of the training workshop are to share with participants the experiences and technologies of China in the development and utilization of non-timber forest resources, sustainable development, management of forests, and the production, utilization and marketing technologies of the NTFPs.

The main courses will include:

  • Sustainable management and development of NTFPs
  • NTFPs in China and their development, industrialization and commercialization
  • "Company + farmers" – the best model for NTFPs industrialization
  • The main experiences in the sustainable development of China's bamboo sector and the bamboo processing technologies
  • Development of intangible resources in the Forest
  • The development model of eco-tourism and leisure industry in Lin'an and Anji, Zhejiang Province – a model which lead the local farmers on the way towards wealthy
  • The cultivation and processing technologies of wild medicinal plants and edible/medicinal fungus
  • The comprehensive development of forest bio-chemical products
  • Development of wild vegetables, fruits and nuts
  • The impact of NTFPs on poverty alleviation and rural sustainable development in the forest area
  • The role of government in promoting NTFPs
  • Industrial cooperation and NGOs are the links among companies, markets and farmers

Visits to the field will be arranged in combination with the indoor courses; during the workshop, 70% of the time will be for field visit. This Workshop will give introduction to the NTFPs development experiences of China, especially on the aspects of industrialization and commercialization. The field visit will provide opportunities to see the most developed and the largest-scale bamboo industry in China in Anji County, and the largest bamboo shoot and hickory production base of China in Lin'an City. The participants will also be able to see the development and utilization of local medicinal plants, the cultivation of edible and medicinal fungus and China's biggest honey industry base – Tonglu. There will also be chances to visit one of the most beautiful cities of China - Hangzhou, and the most beautiful mountain of China - the Yellow Mountain. The Yellow Mountain and its surrounding areas have not only developed various kinds of NTFPs, but also have formed the earliest civil culture and commercial zone in the Chinese history.

For more information, please contact:

International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR)

Tel: 86-10-64706161 ext. 209

Fax: 86-10-64703166

Zhu Zhaohua, Jin Wei


33. VIII World Bamboo Congress Thailand 2009: Bamboo, the Environment and Climate Change

Bangkok, Thailand

16-18 September 2009

The VIII World Bamboo Congress is intended to focus attention on the role of bamboo in rural, economic, industrial and environmental development. The congress will cover the following program fields of interest:

• Architecture, Engineering and Social Housing

• Protection and Construction

• Community and Economic development

• Industrial Aspects

• Products – Design and Technologies

• Plantation Development and Management

• Resources, Standards and Policy

• Biological Aspects

• Ecology and Environmental Concerns

• Horticulture and Landscape Design

• RegionalReports

And other topics to be determined

The Congress Program is currently under development. Tentative program details will be posted on the website,

Contact Persons:

Mr. Harsh Adhyapak

Event coordinator, Equinox Marketing Co., Ltd.


Cell: + (6681) 807 245, Fax: (662) 231-8121

Mr. Kamesh Salam

PresidentWBOand Conference Secretary


Mr. Smit Boonsermsuk





34. Other publications of interest

From: FAO’s NWFP Programme

Brosi, B.J. 2009. The effects of forest fragmentation on euglossine bee communities (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Euglossini). Biol. Conserv. 142(2):414-423.

Butler, R.A., and Laurance, W.F. 2009. Is oil palm the next emerging threat to the Amazon? Trop. Conserv. Sci. 2(1):1-10.

Chukwuone, N. 2009. Socioeconomic determinants of cultivation of non-wood forest products in southern Nigeria. Biodivers. Conserv. 18(2):339-353.

Consolini, A. E.; Ragone, M. I. 2008. Cardiovascular effects of some medicinal plants from the South American regions of the Rio de La Plata basin and Patagonia. Handbook of ethnopharmacology. 233-260. 100 ref.

Grønhaug, Tom Erik, Silje Glæserud, Mona Skogsrud, Ngolo Ballo, Sekou Bah, Drissa Diallo, and Berit Smestad Paulsen. Ethnopharmacological survey of six medicinal plants from Mali, West-Africa. 2008. Ethnobiol. Ethnomed., 4:26.

Guschanski, K., Vigilant, L., McNeilage, A., Gray, M., Kagoda, E., and Robbins, M.M. 2009. Counting elusive animals: comparing field and genetic census of the entire mountain gorilla population of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda. Biol. Conserv. 142(2):290-300.

Mali, P. Y.; Bhadane, V. V. 2008. Some rare plants of ethnomedicinal properties from Jalgaon district of Maharashtra. International Journal of Green Pharmacy. 2: 2, 76-78. 10 ref


An extensive ethnobotanical survey was conducted during 2000-2006 in Jalgaon district Maharashtra, India, based on information obtained from tribal and rural people. Two hundred and sixty-two species with medicinal properties were collected. Critical evaluation of abundance and frequency of distribution of collected and identified taxa yielded seven important medicinal plants, which are very rare, namely Eulophia nuda (Orchidaceae), Remusatia vivipara (Araceae), Sterculia villosa (Sterculiaceae), Costus speciosus (Zingiberaceae), Ensete superba (Musaceae), Curcuma pseudomontana (Zingiberaceae) and Gloriosa superba (Liliaceae). An urgent protection and conservation measures of habitat and diversity are suggested for posterity. Brief description, distribution, along with ethnomedicinal information such as local name, part used, and modes of administration are given for each species.

Marshall, E.; Cherukat Chandrasekharan. 2009. Non-farm income from non-wood forest products. (FAO Diversification Booklet No.12). 81 pp. Rome, Italy. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

Nantha, H.S., and Tisdell, C. 2009. The orangutan-oil palm conflict: economic constraints and opportunities for conservation. Biodivers. Conserv. 18(2):487-502.

Pattanaik, C., Prasad, S.N., and Reddy, C.S. 2009. Need for conservation of biodiversity in Araku Valley, Andhra Pradesh. Curr. Sci. 96(1):11-12.

Rayan, D.M., and Mohamad, S.W. 2009. The importance of selectively logged forests for tiger Panthera tigris conservation: a population density estimate in Peninsular Malaysia. Oryx 43(1):48-51.

Rayburn, A.P., and Schulte, L.A. 2009. Integrating historic and contemporary data to delineate potential remnant natural woodlands within midwestern agricultural landscapes. Nat. Areas J. 29(1):4-14.

Sanford, M.P. 2009. Valuating mangrove ecosystems as coastal protection in post-tsunami South Asia. Nat. Areas J. 29(1):91-95.

Silva, M.P.P., and Pôrto, K.C. 2009. Effect of fragmentation on the community structure of epixylic bryophytes in Atlantic Forest remnants in the Northeast of Brazil. Biodivers. Conserv. 18(2):317-337.

Soberon, J., and Peterson, A.T. 2009. Monitoring biodiversity loss with primary species-occurrence data: toward national-level indicators for the 2010 Target of the Convention on Biological Diversity. Ambio 38(1):29-34.

Tarawneh, K. A.; Omar, S.; Twissi, O. A.; Khleifat, K. M.; Al-Mustafa, A.; Al-Sharafa, K. 2008. Antifungal and antioxidant effects of extracts of some medicinal plant species growing in South Jordan. Bulletin of Faculty of Agriculture. 59: 3, 241-248. 27 ref

Van Sam, H., Baas, P., and Keßler, P.J.A. 2008. Traditional medicinal plants in Ben En National Park, Vietnam. Blumea 53(3):569-601.

Vikas Kumar; Chatterjee, S. S. 2008. Ethnopharmacology and rational evaluation of herbal remedies. Handbook of ethnopharmacology. 25-50. 112 ref.

von Oheimb, G., and Härdtle, W. 2009. Selection harvest in temperate deciduous forests: impact on herb layer richness and composition. Biodivers. Conserv. 18(2):271-287.


35. Web sites and e-zines

From: FAO’s NWFP Programme

British Columbia’s Buy BCwild Initiative – e-zine

British Columbia’s ‘Buy BCwild Initiative’ has recently launched the Buy BCwild e-Newsletter: ‘A Future Beneath the Trees’. The Newsletter is a tri-annual publication and is released In April, August and December. The first Issue is available online.

Coleopterists online newsletter

A new online newsletter for coleopterists has just been published as a pdf document. The first issue contains an article on the Orange Ladybird in Cheshire. The Newsletter can be downloaded from the following site:

Forum Unesco University and Heritage Website

Madhya Pradesh State, India, Minor Forest Produce Trading & Development Co-operative Federation Ltd.

NWFP Directory for Atlantic Canada and Maine

The National NTFP Network of Canada e-zine

The NTFP Network of Canada has recently launched a new electronic newsletter, NTFP Newsletter. This quarterly publication is available online and features news, events, research and other NTFP-related activities from across Canada. The newsletter contains articles written in both French and English.



36. Finland: Camping center for youth in Evo state owned forests

Source: Forest.Fi, Finland, 21 April 2009

The Guides and Scouts of Finland and the state forests administration have decided to establish a camping centre for youth in the forests of Evo in southern Finland.

The initial idea of establishing the 100 hectares camping centre came from the Guides and Scouts of Finland. The project was confirmed when the Ministry of Education today allocated 350,000 euros for it, in addition to the 350,000 euros previously allocated by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. The total budget is some one million euros.

The project goal is to increase the nature activities of young people. “We want to make a clear statement to support the well-being of young people. Activities that take place in forests and fields play an important role in developing children and young people’s relationship to nature,” says Ms. Liisa Sahi, Executive Director of the Guides and Scouts of Finland.

It is also very important that the camping ground is permanent. “Among other advantages, it enables us to organise the environmental aspects of large camps sustainably,” stresses Sahi.

The centre will be used by other youth organizations as well. It will be open to all.

For full story, please see:


37. West Africa caught in 'megadrought' cycle

From: SciDev.Net Weekly Update (14 - 19 April 2009)

Extreme droughts lasting centuries are the norm for West Africa, scientists have found. Researchers analyzed 3,000 years-worth of sediments in Lake Bosumtwi, Ghana, and found that the last such 'megadrought' ended 250 years ago. Droughts of this severity dwarf the region's driest season to date — the Sahel drought, which killed at least 100,000 people in the 1970s and 80s. "If the region were to shift into one of these droughts it would be very difficult for people to adapt; and we need to develop an adaptation policy," says Tim Shanahan at the University of Texas in the United States. There is also concern that man-made climate change could worsen the situation — but the droughts will happen either way, scientists warn.

Megadroughts not only last longer than other droughts but are also drier. Those lasting a few decades may be linked to the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) — a climatic cycle in which Atlantic Ocean sea surface temperatures vary over time — but the cause of the centuries-long droughts are not known. Michael Schlesinger, who first characterized the AMO, told BBC Online: "The only way I can see of dealing with [a 100-year long drought] is desalination; if push comes to shove and these megadroughts appear — and they will, and it will probably be exacerbated by man-made global warming — that will be the only thing to do".

For full story, please see:



This list is for information related to any aspect of non-wood forest products.

Cross-postings related to non-wood forest products are welcome.

Information on this mailing list can be reproduced and distributed freely as long as they are cited.

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

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

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

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

For technical help or questions contact

Your information is secure--We will never sell, give or distribute your address or subscription information to any third party.

The designations employed and the presentation of materials in the NWFP-Digest-L do not necessarily imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

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

last updated:  Friday, August 28, 2009