No. 13/11

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 and to Maria Agnese Bazzucchi for her help with this issue.
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2011 International Year of Forests
The United Nations General Assembly declared 2011 as the International Year of Forests to raise awareness on sustainable management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests.
www.un.org/en/events/iyof2011/ or www.fao.org/forestry/en
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IN THIS ISSUE:

PRODUCTS

  1. Bamboo: Traditional rafts get technology makeover
  2. Berries: Experts find a super blueberry
  3. Berries: Extracts fight intestinal parasite
  4. Ecotourism in Africa: The future is bright, the future is green
  5. Edible insects: The future of food?
  6. Gum Arabic: Sudan’s miracle commodity
  7. Moringa in Sierra Leone: ‘Miracle plant’ boosting health
  8. Mushrooms: Hurricane Irene’s aftermath
  9. Sandalwood in Sri Lanka: Scientists ‘knock on wood’ to keep species popular
  10. Spices: Campaign to make India the land of spice-veda
  11. Wildlife: Could India’s Buxa National Park be a safe haven for abandoned Tiger cubs?
  12. Wildlife: How to find a chimpanzee colony

COUNTRY INFORMATION

  1. Australia: Fires brought change to Australian park ecosystem
  2. Canada: The economic value of NTFP
  3. China's new forests aren't necessarily green
  4. India: Frog species discovered in Arunachal Forest
  5. Indonesia: A battle is under way for the forests of Borneo
  6. Philippine: Tribes try to save their forest
  7. Sierra Leone: WHO pledges support for Traditional Medicine
  8. Uganda saves chimpanzees from extinction
  9. Uganda: Acholi Forests in danger as charcoal becomes gem
  10. Ugandans mobilise to save Mabira forest from sugarcane plantation
  11. USA: Whitebark Pines dying in the Rocky Mountains

NEWS

  1. Converting rainforest to cropland in Africa reduces rainfall
  2. 2011 Future Policy award: Celebrating forest policies and forest food
  3. 2011 Future Policy award: FAO-supported forest policy in Gambia wins award
  4. Traditional medicine gains ground in African universities
  5. “The Tree Mother of Africa” dies at 71

EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES

  1. MA in International Environmental Policy
  2. MSc European Forestry

EVENTS

  1. 11th Asian Apicultural Association Conference
  2. 2011 INBAR Bamboo Industrial Tour
  3. IUFRO Forests for People – International experiences and the vital role for the future
  4. International Conference on Managing Non Wood Forest Products (NWFPs) for Sustainable Livelihood

REQUESTS

LITERATURE REVIEW AND WEBSITES

  1. State of Europe’s Forests 2011: Status and Trends in Sustainable Forest Management in Europe
  2. Traditional knowledge in context
  3. Other publications of Interest

MISCELLANEOUS

  1. Oldest woolly rhino fossil found in Tibet

 

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PRODUCTS

  1. Bamboo: Traditional rafts in the Philippines get technology makeover

      Source: Malaya.com, Philippines, 23 September 2011

Philippines - A makeover of the traditional bamboo raft is now ready, come Ondoy or high waters. The raft, or balsa, is now made of the strongest bamboo scientists could find, treated with environment-friendly chemicals to last for 10 years or more, and retrofitted into a collapsible version for easy storage and quick deployment.
"It is a safe, inexpensive and ready-to-use tool in search and rescue operations after typhoons and floods," said Dr. Alexander R. Madrigal, Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Director for Southern Luzon.
In the aftermath of Typhoon Ondoy two years ago, Madrigal and Vicente F. Tomazar, Director of the Southern Luzon of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), helped conceptualize the local fabrication of the bamboo raft and another motorized rescue vessel.
The DOST Forest Products Research and Development Institute (FPRDI) in Los Banos designed the bamboo raft and DOST Region IV-A technicians designed the all-fiberglass rescue boat that was built by the Bayog Boatmakers Association of Los Baños.
The fibercraft boat is meant to substitute for expensive inflatable rubber boats that are prone to punctures caused by flood debris. The raft is made of bamboo poles at least three years old and sourced from the best kauayan tinik (Bambusa blumeana), kauayan killing (B. vulgaris) and Bolo (Gigantochloa levis). These are among the most common and strongest bamboos in the country. The kauayan tinik is traditionally used in raft-making while the others are not because they are more susceptible to decay – until now.
"The bamboos were treated with water-based preservatives of copper chrome arsenate to make them durable against biological deterioration and make them last for at least 10 years," said Catalino Pabuayon, a wood preservation specialist at FPRIDI’s Materials Science Division. "It’s the first time such treatments have been made in the country for bamboo rafts," he said. Testing was made by FPRDI while prototype construction was made in Barangay Maimsim, Sta. Teresita, Batangas, a village known for its balsa craftsmen.
The cost of a 12-foot, four-passenger raft is about P3,500; the same size but with double layers of bamboos meant to carry 15 passengers is about P10,000, said Pabuayon, an engineer who designed the makeover. Test rides and rescue drills in Taal Lake found the rafts sea-, or rather, flood-worthy, he said. "Bamboos are cheaper materials than wood and are more buoyant because of the air spaces inside the poles that creates a vacuum," he said.
Bamboo materials were chosen for their buoyancy, stability, maneuverability and loading capacity and test runs loaded with passengers were made in the open waters of Taal Lake.
The bamboo raft is an  example of community preparedness – they were made in cooperation with the Buklod Tao of San Mateo, Rizal, and with financial support from the Calabarzon Stars and the Tagalog Association of Texas.
For full story, please see: www.malaya.com.ph/sep23/envi1.html

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  1. Berries: Experts find a super blueberry

     Source: Examiner.com, USA, 17 September 2011

Four of the neotropical species that were tested in New York researchers’ study were from the Nolen Greenhouses for Living Collections and the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory at The New York Botanical Garden. The discoveries from their work support evidence that blueberries are not only delicious, but beneficial for memory in older adults.
Professor Edward Kennelly, a biologist at Lehman College in the Bronx and an expert in medicinal plants, was quoted on Science Daily as saying about two of the species, "We consider these two species of neotropical blueberries to be extreme superfruits with great potential to benefit human health." They are the Cavendishia grandifolia and Anthopterus wardii.
The co-author of the study was Paola Pedraza, Ph.D., a botanist at The New York Botanical Garden. South American blueberries are her specialty.
These two species, along with the three others used in the study, are not commercially available yet, but they have the kind of high antioxidant content that may recommend itself to marketing.
For full story, please see: www.examiner.com/alternative-medicine-in-buffalo/new-york-city-medicinal-plant-experts-find-a-super-blueberry#ixzz1YzxP2U00

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  1. Berries: Extracts fight intestinal parasite

     Source: NaturalProducts.com, 20 September 2011

In vitro results pointed to a range of polyphenol-rich extracts from berries and other fruits—strawberry, arctic bramble, blackberry and cloudberry—as anti-giardials with the ability to kill Giardia duodenalis, an intestinal parasite of humans (Parasitology. 2011;138(9):1110-6). Polyphenol-rich extracts were prepared from berries and applied to trophozoites of Giardia duodenalis grown in vitro. All the berry extracts (166 μg of gallic acid equivalents (GAE)/ml phenol content) caused inhibition, but extracts from strawberry, arctic bramble, blackberry and cloudberry were as effective as metronidazole, a currently used drug, causing complete trophozoite mortality in vitro.
Cloudberry extracts (66 μg of GAE/ml) were the most effective, causing complete trophozoite mortality. The polyphenol composition of the more effective berry extracts suggest the presence of ellagitannins (polyphenols found in berries and other fruits) could be an important factor. However, the potency of cloudberry could be related to high ellagitannin content but also to the presence of substantial amounts of unconjugated p-coumaric acid and benzoic acid. Researchers noted, these in vitro effects occur at concentrations easily achievable in the gut after berry ingestion, suggesting a likelihood that berry extracts could be effective anti-giardial agents in vivo.
For full story, please see: www.naturalproductsmarketplace.com/news/2011/09/berry-extracts-ward-off-intestinal-parasite.aspx

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  1. Ecotourism in Africa: The future is bright, the future is green

      Source: GTGlobalTrader.com,  20 September 2011

Ecotourism has grossly been misunderstood partly due to its vague and ambiguous definition. However, a lot of effort has been made over the years in order to ensure the primary goals of ecotourism are achieved. Sustainable tourism guidelines and regulations should be enforced by government agencies and stakeholders in the tourism industry to ensure ecotourism growth in Africa.
Many species in Africa’s varied ecosystem were on the verge of extinction in 1980. Efforts to preserve species like the mountain gorilla in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo were hampered not only by unstable political systems, but also from tourism and conservation policies that excluded local and indigenous people. This was solved by the emergence of many successful community-based tourism enterprise models in Eastern and Southern Africa which have contributed to the drastic improvement in conservation of wildlife and other natural resources through direct involvement of local people in tourism. By 1987, tourism was Kenya’s number-one foreign exchange earner, surpassing both agriculture and manufacturing industries. By the 1990s, no other country was earning as much as Kenya from wildlife tourism and Kenya was being hailed as the ‘world’s foremost ecotourism attraction’.
Since then, Africa has developed a style of ecotourism that played to its natural attributes. But poor planning and management of tourism in popular wildlife parks and reserves led to environmental degradation arising from habitat destruction and animal harassment due to vehicle congestion, lodge construction and off road driving. Pollution from irresponsible waste disposal led to the emergence of massive dumpsites and blatant draining of raw sewage from tourist accommodation facilities into nearby rivers and wetlands. In effect, many tourists began avoiding the degraded wildlife refuges in favour of less disturbed areas. Hence, ecotourism is now used as a mechanism for addressing the negative trends.
The growth of ecotourism is constrained by a weak policy, legal and regulatory framework; limited level of community involvement, market penetration, and product development limited financial incentives and increased environmental degradation.
In South Africa for instance, ecotourism lacks a separate development policy, although one exists for the development of the tourism sector as a whole. A need for an ecotourism agenda is emerging, however, in light of the increasing focus on its sustainability as well its meaningful contribution to tourism.
Despite the internal political conflicts and security problems, Kenya is emerging as a leader in ecotourism, with the continent’s first certification programme, the oldest and most successful national ecotourism society and a growing array of innovative community run ecotourism developments.
Ecotourism development is designed to educate people through the process, forging the capacity to facilitate long-lasting integrity and high potency. Education and training are vital components in driving the ecotourism development agenda, where it should include both
literacy and numeracy skills and extend to such areas as business skills, accounting, cross-cultural training and best tourism practices.
The creation of community-owned wildlife and forest reserves has accelerated ecotourism development in Africa where local people are improving on their social, economic and environmental conditions as they benefit directly from tourists attracted by exceptional and pristine natural resources.
Many farming communities in Kenya have created their own wildlife conservancies as a viable land use for generating income from tourism. Apart from Kenya, this trend is now commonplace in Namibia and Tanzania.
In Namibia for example, conservancies that are communally-owned and managed like the Okarohombe Campsite in the Marienflüss Conservancy and Salambala Campsite in the Salambala Conservancy have put structures in place that decide how to spend income from ecotourism and pay dividends to individual households or use income for community development projects.
Continued development of ecotourism products must happen in Africa as tourists’ needs are dynamic and there is high demand for authentic, unique and a wide-range of life-changing experiences. Since 1975, Elderhostel, now known as Road Scholar, has provided opportunities for learners ‘of a certain age’ to travel and gain experiences at different destinations in Africa.
The growing trend in Africa is community – private investor management partnerships in running community-based tourism enterprises where many community groups have entered into management agreements with private investors.
This has enhanced ecotourism development in Africa, with classic examples from Il Ngwesi in Kenya and Oliver’s camp in Tanzania, which is a privately owned tented camp on the edge of Tangangire National Park that has successfully negotiated written agreements with the Maasai communities who own the land. The owners, Paul Oliver and Jim Howitt, signed agreements with two Maasai villages to pay $12 per night for each overseas tourist and $6 for tourists from Tanzania. The funds generated go into a wilderness conservation fund and are split evenly between the two villages.
Further, ecotourism development recognises that traditional religious ceremonies are precariously interlinked to the natural environment. Environment protection is the preserve of many coastal cultures in Kenya. This attracts ecotourists to destinations in Africa where the proceeds accrued are invested locally to educational and commercial development.
Policy and research formulation are vital for ecotourism development in the future where values of equitable socio-economic benefits for all participants and communities, community involvement in decision making and responsibility, and sustainability is promoted.
The Strategic Framework for Tourism Development in South and Southern Africa, compiled by South African Tourism and the Development Bank of S.A., is seen as a significant step towards achieving this important milestone.
Ecotourism presents an opportunity for Africa to support local communities, while presenting a highly positive alternative for livelihood diversification, economic, environmental and social benefit for development in the continent.
For full story, please see: www.gtglobaltrader.com/opinions/kenya-tourism-future-bright-future-green

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  1. Edible Insects: The future of food?

     Source: PSFK.com, 20 September 2011

Back in 1885, the same year that the first issue of Good Housekeeping appeared and the Statue of Liberty arrived in New York, British entomologist Vincent M Holt published a pamphlet entitled Why Not Eat Insects? Alongside a recipe for wood-lice sauce (excellent with fish, apparently) and some example menus (curried cockchafers, anyone?), Holt spends much time agonising over the Western abhorrence for meals made from our scuttling insect cousins.
“Is it not a wonder”, he asked, “that people do not look around them for the many gastronomic treasures lying neglected at their feet? Prejudice, prejudice, thy strength is enormous!” As Victorian kitchen classics go, this flimsy tract might not be viewed with the same affection as more famous works by Isabella Beeton or Agnes Marshall, but it’s quite possible that Holt’s time has at last arrived.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation is exploring the possibilities of insects providing a greater share of global food needs, and the statistics appear to suggest that a future of crunchy critter consumption isn’t beyond the realms of possibility.
With the planet’s population heading ever more rapidly towards the seven billion mark (we’ll get there in October) and an ever-less-economical reliance on meat, farmed insects might just provide an answer. They produce much more meat per kilogram of feed than the more usual farmed animals do, and more of their body mass is edible.
What’s more, they produce a fraction of the greenhouse gasses pumped out by cattle and are rich in minerals, vitamins and proteins. Just four locusts provide as much calcium as a glass of milk, while mopani worms, gram-for-gram, contain more protein than beef.
Insects are already eaten in four-fifths of nations, from the grasshopper tacos popular in Mexico to China, where almost anything goes.
Elsewhere, western tourists are approaching the idea of insect and arachnid cuisine with more open minds. The consumption of a delicious Cambodian deep-fried tarantula was once the preserve of macho food tourists like Anthony Bourdain. Then the experience was added to the gap-year checklist alongside full moon parties in Koh Phangan and bungee jumps in Queenstown. The signs are that the “edible insect movement” is finally being treated much more seriously with chefs getting in on the act. Even the New Yorker, that bible of urban sophistication, recently devoted 6,500 words to the subject.
For full story, please see: www.psfk.com/2011/09/insects-the-future-of-food.html

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  1. Gum Arabic: Sudan’s miracle commodity

     Source: SudanVision Daily, 19 September 2011

Vital to human manufacturing, Gum Arabic is used in a wide variety of industries including pharmaceuticals, soft drinks, paints, detergents, chocolates, textiles, metal corrosion inhibition, glues, pesticides and much more. This sap from the branches of the ‘Acacia Senegal’ trees, is a natural emulsifier, which means that it can keep together substances that normally would not mix well.
Since most of the world's Gum Arabic comes from Sudan, it is considered to be Sudan's Miracle Commodity where a thick belt of the trees stretches from one end of Sudan to the other.
The resource-rich African country exports tens of thousands of tons of raw gum Arabic each year, feeding 80% of global demand. Sudan's output has dropped to nearly half of what the nation produced in its heyday. As the once abundant belt of Acacia Senegal trees across Sudan shrinks, climate change appears to be one of the culprits.
The humanitarian crisis in Darfur and now in Southern Kordofan and blue Nile are having a negative impact by sullying Sudan's reputation to the point that many companies do not want to admit that they buy a Sudanese commodity.
For example, Coca-Cola, which uses Gum Arabic to keep the sugar from precipitating to the bottom of its sodas, won't say where it gets the emulsifier. The raw sap is sent to Europe for processing then it’s disseminated to customers worldwide. Referenced in the Qur'an, Bible and Torah, modern research has proved its role in fighting diseases including diabetes, kidney disease, colon cancer, heart disease and high blood pressure.
Ly Hoang, Quality Manager of “Alan and Robert”, one of the companies working in Sudan, admits that the commodity is used in an unimaginable number of commodities. Ly Hoang  said that recently a forum in Khartoum took place "To exchange ideas and research topics on Gum Arabic by different universities and professors and students to review the future of Gum Arabic are the main ideas behind the forum," said Ly Hoang. In the same context, she said Sudanese Gum Arabic in the most important gum in the world in the volume
For full story, please see: http://news.sudanvisiondaily.com/details.html?rsnpid=199433

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  1. Moringa in Sierra Leone: ‘Miracle plant’ boosting health

     Source: Agence France Press, 16 September 2011

A tropical plant said to be nutritional dynamite is being plugged by Sierra Leone's government as a natural cure-all in the country, which has some of the worst health indicators in the world.
The Moringa plant, native to northern India, has been called the "tree of life" and its use is spreading in Africa, advocates say, where it can prevent diseases and malnutrition and even boost development by creating job opportunities.
In Sierra Leone, President Ernest Koroma himself regularly takes Moringa oil, one form of the plant, boasts Jonas Coleman of the country's Moringa Association.
In a recent interview with AFP, Agriculture Minister Sam Sesay described Moringa as "the most nutritious plant on earth, and each and every part of it has nutritional and medicinal values that have the propensity to cure over 300 diseases, including hypertension and diabetes." "Very soon, the cultivation of the Moringa tropical plant in Sierra Leone may likely put some medical practitioners out of business," he quipped.
Doctors may not agree with that, but they do agree on the value of Moringa."It sure is a good herbal plant complementing our medical practice. Anything that provides good health is worth our nod," said private practitioner Harry Sankoh in the northern city of Makeni.
In Sierra Leone, where some 70 percent live on less than a dollar a day, only one in four children live to see their fifth birthday, according to UN figures. The country, which was ravaged by a decade-long war which ended in 2002, has one doctor for every 17,000 people and one nurse for every 8000, according to health ministry statistics.
It is unclear how the plant first came to Sierra Leone. The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) which has promoted its use in Ghana and Liberia says it first brought the seeds to Sierra Leone in 2001, later training some 150 farmers on how to cultivate it.
Freetown botanist Christian Jones, says: "It is likely that it was one Pakistani soldier serving in the UN Peace mission who discovered the presence of Moringa in the 1990s in the back yard of a house in the capital."
Catholic NGO Caritas recently led a campaign to popularise the use of Moringa by distributing samples in the northern city Makeni, urging some 2000 residents to replant them in their back yards and farms. Coleman said "a total of 250000 seeds were distributed to people across the country last year to engage people in some form of economic venture."
Makeni, however remains the hub of Moringa production where a factory has been established and is marketing the commodity to other parts of the country. District Forest Officer Fomba James, who has over 15 years of herbal experience, describes Moringa as "a powerhouse of nutritional values." "It contains seven times the vitamin C found in oranges, four times the calcium in milk, four times the vitamin A in carrots and three times the potassium in banana," he told AFP.
According to UMCOR's website, the plant contains some 46 antioxidants and is loaded with phytonutrients, which flush toxins from the body, purify the liver and bolster the immune system.
In the northern town of Port Loko, tribal headman Jimmy Lagbo told AFP by telephone: "We see it as a cure-all and many folks in my community are no longer visiting the local clinics as they are now using either moringa teabags or sprinkling the powder on their daily meals."
For full story, please see: www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hGQE2xrUNiWXCOk5BJnjtS4-TLIA?docId=CNG.a384f19a3236237b50eb9007a6386321.141

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  1. Mushrooms: Hurricane Irene’s aftermath

     Source: Environmental News Network.com, 21 September 2011

When Hurricane Irene tore through the Northeast United States last month, it caused severe flooding and damage to homes, trees and power lines. But it also left behind something rather delicate: mushrooms. Foragers say they've seen more fungi in the past few weeks than ever before.
On a recent weekday morning in Northampton, Mass., three 50-something adults wander into the woods. The oak leaves fall alongside the pine needles, and the tall maple trees are just starting to show colour.
Pat McDonagh often takes friends out to forage for mushrooms and teaches them which species are edible, "It does not have gills like a store mushroom," she says while picking up a mushroom. "It has spongy tubes. It's very distinctive. It has these black flaky scales on top. You can usually see if they're wormy, because there'll be little worm holes. This one's nice and clean. It can go in my basket."
Even though it hasn't rained in days, there's still a damp feeling in the air. It smells brisk and slightly musky. McDonagh has been taking to the woods almost daily. In her 40 years of foraging, she's never seen a harvest like this one. She often brings her friend Paul Redstone."This is like treasure hunting," Redstone says. "I walk through the woods with her and it's like, 'Oh, look there, there's a little lump of gold.' "
There are more than 1000 mushroom varieties in these woods, McDonagh says, but she eats only about 24 of them. She recommends taking a course on edible fungi before foraging alone.
McDonagh gets down on her hands and knees to pick black trumpets. "They smell a little bit fruity, like apricot," she says.      
For full story, please see: www.enn.com/top_stories/article/43277

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  1. Sandalwood in Sri Lanka: Scientists ‘knock on wood’ to keep species popular

     Source: Science Network, Western Australia, 21 September 2011

A collaborative team of West Australian and Sri Lankan scientists have been awarded a Sri Lanka National Research Council Grant to help continue their international study to protect and repopulate the highly threatened sandalwood tree Santalum album.
Curtin School of Pharmacy PhD student Dhanushka Sugeeshwara Hettiarachchi says the team will use silviculture to set up a healthy sandalwood population in Sri Lanka.He says that seeds will be selected from high quality sandalwood trees, rather than a single tree and that these seeds will be planted in nurseries.
Being a semi-parasitic species, sandalwood taps the roots of surrounding trees for water and nutrients but photosynthesises independently. Using the study results, seedlings will be established with a proper host-tree species in pots then transferred into the ground.
“These silviculture methods are not just for successful seed germination but also for seedling health [and suitable host species] until they are planted with a suitable ground host,” Mr Hettiarachchi says. Dhanushka says determining the quality of sandalwood is simple as standards have been established for many years, but one of the challenges arose when dealing with seedling sample sizes.
“It is a challenge because the seedling heartwood [sample] size is less than 1g. The main challenge is to use a database to identify the quality of essential oils,” Mr Hettiarachchi says.
There are also plans to introduce the sandalwood to protected reserves and to home gardens of rural villagers in Sri Lanka. Dhanushka says this will benefit the community because “sandalwood is one of the most expensive timbers in the world—it’s considered an asset to have a tree that could provide 100kg of quality heartwood”.
“It’s a huge boost to the villages as not many crops could yield such an income. Also it’s seen as a long term investment by many people. It’s also common practice in Western Australia and Southern India that sandalwood trees are added to value of a land in estimating the land value.”
An initial part of the study involving germination method development and host tree establishment was conducted within the Sri Jayewardenepura University.
For full story, please see: www.sciencewa.net.au/3632.html

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  1. Spices: Campaign to make India the land of spice-veda

      Source: Times of India, 20 September 2011

India which is known as the land of ayurveda might soon acquire another distinction globally as 'land of spice veda' if the proposed Spices Board campaign yields the targeted impact.
The Spices Board is working out a campaign focusing on the health benefits of spices as part of the efforts to promote exports, the Board Chairman, Dr. A.Jayathilak, said during an interaction programme with TOI journalists here recently.
Almost all the spices have medicinal values. Peppercorns contain an impressive list of plant derived chemical compounds that are known to have disease preventing and health promoting properties. Peppers have been in use since ancient times for its anti-inflammatory, carminative, anti-flatulent properties
Cinnamon tea has been consumed to alleviate colds and congestion, and to treat diarrhoea. Cinnamon contains a number of powerful antioxidant compounds, so it helps to prevent premature destruction of healthy cells in the body. It also processes anti-microbial activity, so it helps to reduce the risk of diseases caused by bacteria. But the medicinal use of cinnamon gaining the most attention these days concerns blood sugar stabilization. Cinnamon contains a compound called cinnamtannin B1 that helps to combat Type 2 diabetes.
Small cardamom is a stimulant and carminative; it is used for indigestion and flatulence.
In India, green cardamom is broadly used to treat infections of teeth and gums and to prevent and treat throat trouble, congestion of the lungs and pulmonary tuberculosis, inflammation of eyelids and also digestive disorders. It is also reportedly used as an antidote for both snake and scorpion venom.
In Arab countries, cardamom is used as an aphrodisiac. In several places, nutmeg is used as an ingredient to flavour hot drinks like rum.
Turmeric is used extensively in the Indian systems of medicine since time immemorial. It is used as a carminative and stomachic in the treatment of digestive disorders such as flatulence, bloating, and appetite loss. It is currently being evaluated for its ant carcinogenic and anti-mutagenic properties. Garlic appears to have anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. As a remedy, it is used for the cure of wounds, ulcers, skin infections, flu, athlete's foot, some viruses, strep, worms, respiratory ailments, high blood pressure, blood thinning, cancer of the stomach, colic, colds, kidney problems, bladder problems, and ear aches.
According to the Chairman, details of the Spice Board’s campaign are being worked out. Spice exports from India doubled from $0.52 billion in 2005 to US$1.17 billion in 2010. In 2010-11 it had shot up to US$1.20 billion and the target is to jack it up to US$10 billion in 2025, said.
The elimination of pesticide content will be a prerequisite for promotion of exports and the Spices Board is launching various initiatives to ensure that Indian spices are free from pesticide residue, the Chairman added.
For full story, please see: http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2011-09-20/kochi/30179233_1_spices-board-spices-exports-indian-spices

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  1. Wildlife: Could India’s Buxa National Park be a safe haven for abandoned Tiger cubs?

      Source: Times of India, 16 September 2011

Buxa's bane — low tiger density — may prove to be its boon as foresters hunt for a suitable home for tiger cubs that have been abandoned or orphaned. "Apart from Kaziranga, the northeast doesn't have a healthy tiger density in any of its reserves. The same is the case with Buxa. So, these could be preferred sites for the reintroduction," said Y V Jhala of the Wildlife Institute of India, adding the exercise was inspired by the ongoing Caspian tiger reintroduction campaign (to repopulate Iran and Russian jungles).
So far, only Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh have reported abandoned cubs. S B Mondal, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife), said the Centre was welcome to reintroduce tigers in Buxa. Though a recent study based on fecal DNA analysis by Guwahati-based NGO Aaranyak projected the number of tigers in Buxa at 15, there have been no sightings to back the claim. Based on scat and pugmark analyses, forest officials believe tigers do frequent the park, but never settle down due to pressure from 37 villages within the park. Buxa has excellent connectivity with the larger tiger landscape at Manas Reserve in Assam and Bhutan's Royal Manas National Park, which causes big cats to disperse. Manas has seven to 10 Tigers while Royal Manas has a cat count of around 15.
However, not all wildlife experts are upbeat about the idea to reintroduce tiger cubs into the wild. "You must have infrastructure before carrying out such things. Nobody patrols or even visits low-density tiger reserves and not even the project tiger director. So how can you introduce a young or sub-adult tiger there? Inter-state tiger transfer is another hurdle," said Valmik Thapar.
For full story, please see: http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2011-08-26/flora-fauna/29932406_1_tiger-cubs-tiger-density-buxa

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  1. Wildlife: How to find a chimpanzee colony

      Source: Environmental News Network.com, 28 September 2011

Waking at dawn and trekking into the forest to meet one of the most intelligent species on the planet is a dream for many people. And for Steve it was exactly that, a dream come true. However with five times the upper body strength of a typical human male, Steve had to tread carefully. Luckily, he had his trusty team and an experienced escort on side to ensure that this close up encounter, was anything but deadly.
Chimpanzees are our closest living relatives, probably the most intelligent non-human animal. In East Africa the chimpanzee is found in the wild in Tanzania and Uganda, which is where Steve and the team went in search of them. Chimps are found in rainforests and wet savannas living in communities which can number anywhere from 10 to over 100 individuals sharing a home range which can cover thousands of acres. Chimps spend much of the time moving through the forest in search of fruiting trees, making them difficult to find and follow.
Here's how the team tracked them down:

  • The right location: They opted to go to Kibale National park, the most accessible of Uganda's major rain forests.
  • The right guides: The deadly crew were escorted by Uganda Wildlife Authority guides, who knew the parks and the chimpanzees.
  • Habituated chimps: Kibale is home to "habituated" chimps — meaning that they are used to seeing people, and more likely to tolerate the team following and watching them.
  • Monitored chimps: The habituated group are part of a scientific study in Kibale where field staff conduct daily behavioural observations on a group of about 50 chimpanzees. This meant that our team could be taken to the chimps as the guides knew where they had spent the previous night.

Here are the other places in Uganda you can see and track chimpanzees in organised tours:  Queen Elizabeth National Park and Murchison Falls National Park.
For full story, please see: www.enn.com/top_stories/article/43268

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COUNTRY INFORMATION

  1.  Australia: Fires brought change to Australian park ecosystem

 Source: UPInews.com, 19 September 2011

In the wake of bushfires that ravaged an Australian national park, rare plants are springing up, plants never recorded there before the fire, researchers say.
The February 2009 bushfire disaster that claimed 173 lives damaged more than 90 percent of Kinglake National Park in Victoria, NewScientist.com reported. "Very few areas were unaffected by the fire, leaving minimal refuge for flora and fauna," Richard Francis, a botanist based in Melbourne, said.
A two-year survey of the park by Francis and colleagues found that the fires not only stimulated dormant native seeds to grow in the 815,000-acre park, but also attracted more than 60 plant species never seen in there before. And some local plants species under threat before the fires are now germinating prolifically, the researchers said. The seeds of these species were buried in the soil but could not grow because mature plants such as rough tree ferns were overpowering them until the fires decimated the mature plants.
However, Francis said the change probably would not last: "It's likely that these species will be gradually out-competed once more." Already, he said, some of the rare plants that proliferated in the first year after the fire have begun to retreat as ferns, trees and wet forest shrubs have started growing back.
For full story, please see: www.upi.com/Science_News/2011/09/19/Fires-brought-change-to-Australian-park/UPI-99911316476968/

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  1. Canada: The economic value of NTFP

Source: Natural Resources, Canada, 20 September 2011

The economic wealth of Canada’s forests has long been measured in terms of the trees used to make conventional forest products, notably softwood lumber, newsprint and wood pulp. In fact, numerous forest-derived resources make a significant contribution to many rural communities and households across Canada through sales revenue and seasonal employment.
The range of NTFPs is very diverse and includes those that are:
gathered from the wild, in either timber-productive or non-timber-productive forests and lands (e.g., mushrooms); produced in forests under varying levels of management intensity (e.g., maple syrup); produced in agroforestry systems (e.g., forest species such as wild ginseng planted as field crops)
The types of NTFPs that are found in Canada consist of:

  • Forest-based foods – These include maple syrup, wild blueberries, wild mushrooms and native understorey plants such as wild ginseng and fiddleheads. By-products of the forest industry can also be converted into prepared foods (e.g., lignin, a natural constituent of wood is used to make artificial vanilla).
  • Ornamental products from the forest – These include: horticultural species bred from wild species (such as cedars and maples); and decorative or artistic products such as Christmas trees and wreaths, fresh or dried floral greenery (e.g., salal), and specialty wood products and cravings.
  • Forest plant extracts used to make pharmaceuticals and personal care products – These include paclitaxel (commonly known by the trade name Taxol®), which is most often extracted from yews like the Canada yew (ground hemlock). Taxol is widely used as a chemotherapy agent. Other forest plant extracts, particularly conifer essential oils, are used in a wide range of creams and other personal care products.

Maple products represent a $354 million dollar industry in Canada. In 2009, the country produced over 41 million litres of maple products, including maple syrup. Canada produces 85% of the world’s maple syrup. More than 1.8 million Christmas trees were sold in Canada’s domestic and export markets in 2009. This seasonal industry is worth about $39 million annually. Furthermore, Canada is the world’s largest producer of wild (low-bush) blueberries. It exported $127 million of fresh and frozen berries in 2009. Most wild blueberries are planted commercially in Quebec and the Atlantic provinces as field crops.
Research by the Canadian Forest Service (CFS) on opportunities related to NTFPs has focused on treatments to increase the levels of paclitaxel and related compounds (taxanes) in Canada yew before harvesting. New methods to extract taxanes from Canada yew have also been researched.
As part of Forest 2020, the CFS also conducted research on other wood perennials that have medical uses. Those species include larch, willow and hawthorn. Another focus of CFS research has been on the sustainable harvest and cultivation of forest based foods, such as mushrooms and several wild berries.
For full story, please see: http://cfs.nrcan.gc.ca/pages/150

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  1. China's new forests aren't necessarily green

      Source: Mongabay.com, 21 September 2011

When most of Asia is cutting down its forests, China stands apart. In the last two decade the massive country has gained over 30 percent forest cover. However, a new opinion piece in Nature by Jianchu Xu, with the World Agroforestry Centre and the Kunming Institute of Botany, argues that China's growing forest is not what it appears to be. The problem, according to Xu, is that the statistics of forest cover include monoculture plantations.
"Most of [the gain in forests] results from the increase in tree crops such as fruit trees, rubber and eucalyptus, not recovery of natural forest, yet Chinese data do not record this shift. The change threatens ecosystem services, particularly watershed protection and biodiversity conservation," Xu writes.
A number of studies have shown that monoculture plantations are losers in terms of biodiversity conservation and carbon sequestration over natural forests. In China, Xu says some landowners have taken to cutting down natural forests and replacing them with plantations, but such environmental degradation is not reflected in the data.     
"Since 2008, forest tenure reform has encouraged the privatization of former collective forests, with more than 100 million hectares affected. Privatization can benefit local economies. But in the absence of any management framework, it has also promoted conversion of natural forests into plantations: smallholders often fell natural forests for immediate income, then plant monoculture tree crops for long-term investment," Xu explains.
China's reforestation project is not without positive results however. A study this year found that tree planting on the eroded banks of the Yangtze and Yellow Rivers had decreased erosion by up to 68 percent in some areas. Landslides linked to massive deforestation killed nearly 400 people in the region in 1998. Participants in this program received subsidies for foregoing farming on the land.
Still to safeguard ecosystem services, Xu recommends that China employ the best science possible in its tree-planting initiatives with a focus on payments for restoring natural forests, not planting artificial ones. In addition, he writes, the rural poor should be aided in planting industry trees within farmland.
For full story, please see: http://news.mongabay.com/2011/0921-hance_china_forests.html

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  1. India: Frog species discovered in Arunachal Forest

      Source: IBN Live, India, 20 September 2011

A new frog species with blue eyes has been discovered in Eagle Nest Wildlife sanctuary at Sessa in West Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh. Dehradun-based naturalist Sanjay Sondhi discovered the amphibian species in the early part of this year, during a survey conducted as part of Eagle Nest Biodiversity Project with support of the State Forest Department, official sources said here today.
The frog, named Bompu after the locality in the sanctuary where it was found, is native to the forest streams at an altitude of 2000 metres and lives under leaf litter and rotting logs. "The discovery of the new species of frog shows that the forests of Arunachal still host many new species waiting to be found. Therefore conserving the forests and their biodiversity is crucial," Chief Wildlife Warden Jawahar Lal Singh said. It was described in the international journal Zootaxa in June 2011 by Sodhi and French scientist Annemarie Ohler. The frog belongs to the family Megophrydae and the genus Leptobrachium. Only 28 members of this genus are known worldwide, and most of them are found in Myanmar, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam and China .Only two other members of the genus are known from India, which makes the discovery significant. The Eagle Nest Wildlife Sanctuary has been the ground for discovery of several species .In 2006, Ramana Athreya described Bugun Liochchla, the first new bird species to be described from mainland India in 50 years.
For full story, please see: http://ibnlive.in.com/generalnewsfeed/news/frog-species-discovered-in-arunachal/829613.html

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  1. Indonesia: A battle is under way for the forests of Borneo

      Source: NPR.org, USA, 15 September 2011

A spry 80-year-old cruises through the thick vegetation of western Borneo, or western Kalimantan, as it's known to Indonesians. Dressed in faded pinstripe slacks and a polo shirt, Layan Lujum carries a large knife in his hand. The chief of the island's Sekendal village is making his morning rounds. Layan is a member of an indigenous ethnic group called the Dayaks, who once had a reputation as fierce headhunters. As on most mornings, his first job is to tend to his rubber trees. He uses a blade to cut a few grooves in each tree, allowing its white latex sap to trickle into a cup. Then he plucks a handful of fern leaves and snaps off the tops of a dozen or so bamboo shoots and puts them in a bucket. In a few minutes, he has enough for lunch. He goes to the river to wash and chop the shoots.
Environmentalists say Layan's lifestyle is a form of "indigenous knowledge" that has allowed the Dayaks to both use and protect Borneo's forests. But those same forests are now a staging ground for a complicated clash. It involves economic growth, land rights and environmental concerns, development and traditional cultures, as well as a broader fight in Indonesia against entrenched corruption.
Back near Sekendal, Layan explains how the Dayaks in his community view ownership of the surrounding land. "These stands of bamboo don't belong to anyone in particular. Anyone can take some," he says. "The rubber trees belong to me. The bamboo here is very abundant. If you go upstream, there's even more. "This is not virgin forest, Layan says. It's owned by the community, and it's been cleared and replanted with useful flora such as cocoa and rambutan trees. There is one stand of virgin forest left in the area, but it's used for something very different. "This is our padagi, or sacred grove," Layan says in a hushed voice. "It's been here since the time of our ancestors, and we come here to pray."
Birdsongs resonate through the forest canopy towering overhead. Down below, moss grows on an altar for making sacrifices. The spirits of the Dayak ancestors inhabit this hallowed glade, Layan says, and it is forbidden to take any plants or animals out of it. We come here to ask for help in times of trouble, for example in times of war, and then we are victorious," he says. "We ask for bountiful rice harvests. We ask for the sick to heal. We make offerings to the spirits, even though we can't see them."
Indonesia remains Asia's most-forested nation, but it has suffered serious deforestation in recent decades, contributing to Indonesia's status as the third-largest emitter of carbon after the U.S. and China.
And perhaps there is no starker example than Borneo — roughly three-quarters of which belongs to Indonesia, the rest to Malaysia and Brunei. Conservationists are urging Indonesia's government to respect the Dayak's rights to their traditional lands and to affirm their stewardship of the forests based on their animist religion. But in much of Borneo, it appears too late.
Where forests once stood, towns now hum with traffic and commerce. According to Indonesian government statistics, 60 percent of Borneo's rainforests have been cut down. Only 8 percent of its virgin forests remain, mostly in national parks. Western Borneo is the most denuded.
Efforts to combat deforestation are under way. In May, the Indonesian government announced a two-year moratorium on cutting down virgin forests. As well, a U.N.-backed scheme will see developed countries paying Indonesia to protect its rainforests. But it's too soon to say how effective these measures will be, calling into question the sustainability of Indonesia's current economic boom, which is largely dependent on the extraction of natural resources.
Many Dayaks see it as just a matter of time before paved roads reach their villages and palm oil companies buy their land to convert into plantations. Farmer Lambai Sudian sold his 25 acres of land for the equivalent of about $1,000. He says the company offered locals jobs on the plantation, water, roads and 20 percent of the palm oil profits. Four years later, none of it has materialized. "Of course I regret selling," he says. "I regret it because the company didn't do what it said it would. If it did, we would be getting a share of the profits, and we'd be fine."
Sujarni Alloy is an activist with a civic group called the Indigenous People's Alliance of the Archipelago. He says his village's land was sold to a palm oil company without residents' knowledge or consent. "In the future, the children and grandchildren of the indigenous people will not own these lands," he says. "They will become beggars or criminals, because the bounty before their eyes is no longer theirs."
Conservationists' hopes of saving Borneo's rainforests and its inhabitants' traditions may be unrealistic, romantic, or simply too late. They may also obscure indigenous peoples' fight to control the terms on which they develop and modernize. Some Indonesians see the Dayaks as culturally backwards, and many Dayaks themselves seem unsentimental about shedding the ways of their forefathers.
For full story, please see: www.npr.org/2011/08/21/139788964/a-battle-is-under-way-for-the-forests-of-borneo

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  1. Philippines' tribes try to save their forest

      Source: Aljazeera, 14 September 2011

In the Philippines, when the rest of the population goes to sleep, a reclusive community of indigenous people prepares for another restless night of fear and uncertainty. Far away in the dense, dark forests of Occidental Mindoro, where Mangyan people are scattered in small remote settlements, tribal leaders now routinely contemplate their future in feverish debates that usually last until daybreak.
"We are petrified that big mining companies will take over our ancestral land. If the government gives them license to operate, our land and heritage will be lost forever," says Juanito Lumawig. The 62-year-old supreme leader of all seven tribes of Mangyan is a worried man. For him, it is a battle for survival for his people, who for centuries have inhabited the rough and hard-to-reach highlands of this Philippine island.
Over 40,000 hectares of land, including vast swathes of forest is claimed by Mangyan as their ancestral domain. The land is believed to be rich in gold, natural gas and minerals worth many millions of dollars. The stakes are high and Mangyan are against all odds. In numbers, they are an ethnic and linguistic minority group of fewer than 25,000. Not only are the Mangyan physically and socially isolated from the rest of the Filipino population, they are also among the poorest and most marginalised.
A Mangyan family earns on average just $0.34 a day. Nine out of ten Mangyan have poor access to safe drinking water and the majority are illiterate. Historically nomadic and forest gatherers, the tribes often struggle to feed themselves, particularly during the rainy season which lasts four months. It is such a routine part of their life that they refer to it as "hungry period" like any other season of the year. The consequences are obvious as 60 per cent of Mangyan children are malnourished and infant mortality rates are so high that a child is considered fortunate to reach the age of ten.
Generations of isolation, discrimination and historical encroachment of their land by others have left Mangyan untrusting and fearful of the outside world. "First the lowlanders invaded our land and forced us to move to highlands and now we might be driven out again. Only this time we have nowhere to go," says Yagay Sebastian, leader of Buhid - one of the seven Mangyan tribes.
According to the government regulations, all indigenous peoples like Mangyan tribes must prove their ownership of the land they claim as rightfully theirs through title deeds and legally valid documentation. Given that majority of Mangyan are illiterate with limited contact with the outside world, their ability to support their claim is fraught with great challenges rendering them even more vulnerable.
"The threat of commercial exploitation of Mangyan's ancestral domain is real. Mining activities can pose threat to local environment and this may also result in displacement of the indigenous people," says Reynante Luna, Provincial Officer of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples.
In the absence of a legal title, it will be a greater struggle for Mangyan tribes to challenge commercial use of their land. Luna confirms there are three pending applications related to commercial mining in the Provincial Office record alone. However, he assures that these applications will undergo field based investigation to determine if they overlap with any ancestral domain. "It will also be referred to the concerned local government for any existing moratorium on mining," he says.
Already battling with severe poverty and exclusion, excessively private Mangyans are finding themselves in a morass of overwhelming bureaucracy. Most cannot comprehend that the land they have tilled and worshipped for centuries now requires a proof of ownership. They are relying on support from local and international community development organisations like Plan International to save the environment that they have strong spiritual and cultural connections with. "Some Mangyan tribes have already been awarded title of their ancestral land. We are assisting those who are still in the process," says Naty Silorio, a senior Plan official overseeing development projects with the Mangyan in the region.
Since 2005, Plan has been actively engaged in child-centred community development for Mangyan. "We are working with the local government in enabling the community to secure their rights and preserve their culture," says Silorio. For title claim, the organisation with support from the European Union is assisting Mangyan to survey their land, create 3D maps of their domain and document their oral history which is replete with references to geographical landmarks.
Frustration is growing among Mangyan, but, just like the forests they inhabit, their dissent is remarkably peaceful. Shaken, they are resting their hopes on their ancestors to guide them through. "Non-violence is part of our beliefs. Our ancestors told us that God created the forests for Mangyan. I am sure they will protect us," hopes Lumawig. He believes he stands a chance with his prayers.
For full story, please see: http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/features/2011/08/2011847716192773.html

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  1. Sierra Leone: WHO pledges support for Traditional Medicine

      Source: AllAfrica.com, 20 September 2011

The World Health Organisation Managerial Process and National Development Officer in Sierra Leone, Ade Renner, has registered his organisation's continued support to the promotion and protection of traditional medicine in the country.
Speaking at a one-day symposium in commemoration of this year's African Traditional Medicine Day at the Atlantic Hall of the National stadium, Mr. Renner described the theme of the celebration, 'Conservation of plants: Africa's heritage' as crucial.
Dilating on the importance of traditional medicine, the WHO expert said it is accessible to majority of people and plays an important role in the health needs of communities. He called on everyone to recognise and analyse its potential and encouraged its parishioners to improve on their practices. He also stressed the need to promote the conservation of endangered medicinal plant species through the implementation of strong national policies and advocated for the cultivation of medicinal plants including the development of botanic gardens, establishment of comprehensive databases on existing medicinal plants and translation of relevant information on the practice in local language to enhance public awareness.
The focal point for traditional medicine in the Ministry of Health, Alhaji Babara Turay said frantic efforts have been made by the Sierra Leone Traditional Healers Association SLENTHA to promote traditional medicine in the country and urged government to ensure that the developed policy on traditional medicine is speedily ratified by parliament to enhance its smooth implementation.
Alhaji Turay expressed concern over the rate at which traditional medicine plants are depleting and urged everyone to help protect the environment. He thanked WHO, West African Health Organisation WAHO and Concern Worldwide for their continued support.
A modern medical practitioner, Dr. Modupeh Wilson emphasised the need for traditional medical practitioners to work alongside conventional medical counterparts to ensure an effective health service delivery. Former Minister of Health, Agnes Taylor-Lewis called for proper harnessing of the country's botanic potential and the application of modern technology in the manufacturing of herbal drugs.
The Public Relations Officer, SLENTHA, Kwame Boakye- Yiadom enumerated a number of problems facing the association including the lack of budget line to keep it functioning, office space and commitment on the part of the relevant authorities to approve the national policy on traditional medicine.
Chairman of the board of SLENTHA, Dr. Ahmadu Fadlu-Deen who also chaired the programme said health for all cannot be achieved without the meaningful contribution of traditional healers. He paid tribute to past and present founders of the association and thanked all those who in diverse ways have contributed in promoting traditional medicine in Sierra Leone.
For full story, please see: http://allafrica.com/stories/201109210617.html

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  1. Uganda saves chimpanzees from extinction

      Source: Manila Bulletin, 19 September 2011

The saviours of Kazawukire were shocked by the conditions in which they found her. She had been trapped for months, with a metal cuff around her waist, and squeezed into a tiny box that was hanging on a rope tied to a pole.
Volunteers at the chimpanzee sanctuary on Ngamba Island on Lake Victoria painfully recall the 2002 rescue of Kazawukire, now aged 9. ''At the time we rescued her, she had no hair, was wrinkled and in a very poor condition. Worms were nestling around her,'' recalls a visibly moved Stany Nyandwi, a caregiver at Uganda's Ngamba Chimpanzee Sanctuary.
''They were feeding her with nothing but sugar cane. Her legs were partially paralyzed and she could not stand up, since she had been kept in the same position for a long time,'' says the 43-year-old Nyandwi, who has worked more than half his life with chimpanzees.
The sanctuary was opened in 1998 with support from international conservation groups led by the Jane Goodall Foundation. It is home to 44 orphaned chimpanzees rescued from poachers, animal traffickers and circus operators.
The animals are now safe on the island and its forest areas, surrounded by the sounds of swirling waves from the world's second-largest freshwater lake. Caregivers, veterinarians and conservation experts are all on hand to offer their skills and love to the playful primates.
Chimpanzees - the closest living relatives to humans, as their DNA is nearly identical - have been classified as endangered. Africa was teeming with millions of these primates centuries ago, but today there are only about 200,000 left, including 4,900 chimpanzees in the Ugandan wild. ''If we do not do anything now, in five to 10 years the primates will become extinct,'' Marc Cronje, a South African conservation expert, told the German Press Agency dpa at Ngamba.
A combination of factors threaten chimpanzees. They include the disappearance of forests due to farming and logging, the bushmeat trade, the pet trade, and traditional beliefs that involve eating chimp meat. Because chimpanzees protect their families, poachers and collectors often kill many in order to nab just one. ''To get one young chimp, you must kill five elders because they fight for their babies. That is why these chimps are orphaned,'' caregiver Nyandwi says.
The degradation of forests is also leading to conflicts between humans and chimpanzees. As forests are cleared, natural habitats are destroyed. ''Communities are frustrated that the animals raid their gardens, and the chimps are frustrated that their habitat is disappearing. Humans spear them or use metal traps or snares to catch or kill them,'' Lilly Ajarova, the sanctuary's director, told dpa.
Some of the chimpanzees at Ngamba were brought from the Democratic Republic of Congo, where there is a tradition of eating primate meat. The custom also exists in parts of Uganda. ''A pregnant mother may eat chimp meat with the belief that her baby will be strong. It is believed that meat from chimps' fingers, toes or heads treats diseases like AIDS,'' Ajarova explains.
Space at the sanctuary is limited. It would need another island, and more funds, to hold additional animals. Contraceptive devices are pegged to the female chimpanzees so they do not conceive. A gigantic 19-year-old chief or ''alpha male'' called Mika has emerged to lead the 24 female and 20 male chimpanzees at Ngamba.
For full story, please see: www.mb.com.ph/articles/334872/uganda-saves-chimpanzees-extinction

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  1. Uganda: Acholi Forests in danger as charcoal becomes gem

     Source: AllAfrica.com, 21 September 2011

The Acholi sub-region has witnessed rapid depletion of its forest cover over the last five years as communities, which had been used to hand-outs while in the camps, turn to charcoal burning for survival.
The development comes after thousands of formerly displaced persons were asked to leave camps and resettle on their ancestral land following a lull in peace after more than two decades of war.
However, no adequate plans have been put in place to ensure food security for the former IDPs, even as charity organisations, including World Food Programme, withdraw from northern Uganda and suspend distribution of food relief. Now in the villages, many have resorted to illegal tree-felling for charcoal, a practice which is gradually leaving the otherwise forested areas bare.
In Laliang village, Paicho Sub County, following the increased rate of deforestation by locals mainly for charcoal and timber, at least 15 charcoal burners were arrested.
The police, politicians and other law enforcement officers on Friday rounded them up and also impounded over 300 bags of charcoal and wood logs worth millions of shillings.
Betty Atim, the sub-county councillor, claimed that people from other parts of Uganda drive the locals to use power saws to indiscriminately fell trees in the area, posing a serious environmental hazard to the otherwise once-forested area.
Our people are being exploited, mainly by foreigners, to degrade their own environment. We are not going to allow this to continue, and the law must take its course," Ms Atim said, adding that trucks usually ferry the products in the night to evade paying taxes.
The district of Gulu initially had 371 square kilometres of forest cover, but now environmentalists estimate the cover at only 200 square kilometres, a reduction they attribute to charcoal burning, the need to open up farmlands, and attempts by people to expand construction in their villages.
Ms. Concy Auma, a resident, said people have sold their plots of land between Shs200,000 to Shs1 million to business people who only cut down the trees for charcoal.
For full story, please see: http://allafrica.com/stories/201109210445.html

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  1. Ugandans mobilise to save Mabira forest from sugarcane plantation

      Source: The ecologist.org, 20 September 2011

One of Africa's last remaining tropical forests, Mabira is home to precious wildlife and is an eco tourist attraction. But it is now under threat from sugarcane production, Esther Nakkazi reports
In July this year, when sugar prices tripled, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni took the opportunity to try to convince the public that the only way to bring down prices was to increase sugar production. To do this, Ugandans would give away 7,100 hectares of Mabira Central Forest Reserve to the Sugar Corporation of Uganda Limited (SCOUL) to produce more sugar.
If SCOUL got the land it would increase sugar production and save the country foreign exchange to the tune of $20-$25m per annum and create 3,500 jobs with annual earnings of UGX 3 billion ($400,000). Add to that, Uganda's economy is in crisis, with the highest inflation in 20 years and a weak shilling. So Museveni probably never anticipated the strong resistance from stakeholders around the country.
But history may repeat itself. In 2007, the government attempted to give away Mabira but backed down after facing strong resistance from civil society organizations and the public. Three people died and there was hostility to the Indian community because the owner of SCOUL, Mr. Mahendra Mehta, 75, is Indian.
Mabira forest is a core conservation area for critical biodiversity, a hub for ecological and environmental conservation, a habitat to many animal and plant species, a water-catchment protector for the many rivers and streams that feed the lakes in East Africa, a recharger for underground aquifers, a crucial component of micro-climate moderation in the region (which aids agricultural production), a necessary catalyst for carbon sequestration in the region, and an economic boon to Uganda's ecotourism industry.
‘Mabira is not like any other forest. It is a tropical, natural forest with rich biodiversity. It is irreplaceable. Its value is incomparable to sugar cane growing,' said Beatrice Anywar, member of parliament for Kitgum aka ‘Mama Mabira'. ‘We have an alternative, start a bee project and have honey instead of sugar. After all it is a luxury and not healthy. The bees will act as security to the trees in the forest,' said Anywar.
Mabira Central Forest Reserve covers an area of 306sqkm or 30,000 hectares and has a natural habitat of 312 indigenous tree species, 218 butterfly species and 97 moth species. It is home to 315 bird species, which is equivalent to 30 percent of all the bird species found in Uganda. Among these are two endemic species to Mabira, the Papyrus Gonolek and Nahan's Francolin.
It is one of the last remaining portions of the natural, great tropical forest belt of Africa that once stretched from Uganda to DRC - Congo, a part of the great Amazon forest that was separated by earth's movements.
Its location between Lakes Victoria and Kyoga as well as between Rivers Nile and Sezibwa gives it an important role in water distribution, and the control of deposition of silt and erosion in these rivers.
And as a water catchment area, it controls the water levels and flow of Lake Victoria and the River Nile, which give a livelihood to millions of people in not only the East African region but also in countries that share the Nile downstream- Sudan and Egypt.
Conservationists have warned that in the event that the ecology of Mabira is disrupted, the future of Ugandan dams like Bujagali and Nalubaale would equally be at stake.
They say a change in land use of 7,100 hectares of natural forests to sugarcane may reduce the water retention capacity of the watershed and eventually affect water flow and water levels to the lakes and rivers in the East African region.
‘A rainforest like Mabira is simply too intricate and delicate a body to slice apart. It will be unable to perform these functions amputated,' said Tony Otoa, a researcher with Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment Uganda (ACODE-U).
Mabira also acts as a carbon sink to the capital city of Uganda, Kampala, and one of its major industrial towns, Jinja.
For full story, please see: www.theecologist.org/how_to_make_a_difference/wildlife/1057616/ugandans_mobilise_to_save_mabira_forest_from_sugarcane_plantation.html

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  1. USA: Whitebark Pines dying in the Rocky Mountains

      Source: Kulr8 News, Montana, USA, 20 September 2011

The highest forests in the northern Rocky Mountains are dying. They're being attacked by native and foreign invaders.
A group of scientists and citizens explored the forests in the Beartooth Mountains this weekend. They met to see what they could do to save the forests. Native beetles that have lived in Rocky Mountain forests for thousands of years are killing the trees now. Whole stands started dying in the Shoshone Forest a decade ago. But, in 2008, scientists warned the beetles that normally live at lower elevations, were killing the highest forests: White Bark Pines.
As he used a hatchet to peel back the bark of a green tree, Forest Scientist Jesse Logan announced, “It’s a dead tree, attacked this year.” What his cut revealed was a live beetle, and beetle tracks under the bark. Whitebark pines live at or near timberline, withstand cold, windy conditions that no other tree can take. They can live over 1200 years. But, they have not evolved with mountain pine beetles, that are moving higher with a warmer climate. And, now, an Asian blister rust is killing the trees, too. So, the animals that feed on their fat rich seeds have to find food elsewhere if they can.
Natural Science Curator Dr. Charles Preston explained, “White bark pines, at certain times of the year, are a critical food source for grizzly bears in this region.” Scientists, citizens, and forest managers met at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, to discuss ways to save the trees.
An Ecologist at the University of Colorado in Denver, Dr. Diana Tomback said, “Trees are being identified that are resistant to the disease, and cones are being collected from the trees that look like they are resistant. Seedlings are being grown." Tomback heads up the White Bark Pine Ecosystem Foundation. She said the seedlings may produce future forests resistant to blister rust, and insect repellants may save some stands from beetles.
Tomback explained, “This conference is very important because we’ve had some key people talking about a restoration strategy for the Greater Yellowstone” But, Tomback said government budgets are shrinking, so, “We need to do private and NGO partnerships, and we need to bring in a lot of people from the west who care about their forests, and we need to start this process.”
Tomback feels it will take a couple of human generations, but she thinks it is possible to save the trees that have survived many human lifetimes.
For full story, please see: www.kulr8.com/news/local/Whitebark-Pines-Dying-130187398.html

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NEWS

  1. Converting rainforest to cropland in Africa reduces rainfall

      Source: Mongabay.com, 19 September 2011

Converting West African rainforests into cropland reduces rainforest in adjacent forest areas, reports research published in Geophysical Research Letters.
The study, based on a computer model used to simulate rainfall under different land-use conditions, found that cutting down tropical forests in West Africa reduces precipitation over neighbouring forest areas by about 50 percent due to increased temperatures over cropland areas. Higher temperatures affect the formation of rain clouds.
"Rainfall was four to six times higher over warm areas (cropland) than when no deforestation has occurred, while rainfall over the remaining forest was half or less," stated a press release from the American Geophysical Union, which publishes Geophysical Research Letters. "The difference in rainfall is caused by the temperature change between cropland and forest, which produces winds that converge over the crop area and form clouds."
The researchers say their work, while applied to a small region, could have implications elsewhere. "We already know from satellite observations that changes in land use can have a big impact on local weather patterns," said lead author Luis Garcia-Carreras with the University of Leeds School of Earth and Environment. "Here we have been able to show why this happens."  "Our findings suggest that it's not just the number of trees removed that threatens the stability of the world's rainforests. The pattern of deforestation is also important."
Research elsewhere has shown that patterns of deforestation can have a signifiant impact on rainfall. A 2006 study found that deforestation which follows a "fishbone" pattern may be less damaging relative to traditional clearing. It said fishbone deforestation patterns may create conditions that increase precipitation levels which help cleared vegetation recover quicker.
The authors of the latest study say their results could help planners reduce the impact of deforestation. "This has implications for planners in terms of how deforestation is managed," said study co- author Doug Parker of the University of Leeds, UK. "If forest must be removed to create cropland, we need to think about what are the shapes and distributions of deforestation that will be least damaging to the adjacent forests and national parks."
The findings are particularly important in West Africa, which has less rainfall than other tropical forest regions.
"African rainforests already have the lowest rainfall of any rainforest ecosystem on Earth, which could make them particularly sensitive to changes in local weather patterns," said Garcia-Carreras. "If rainfall is reduced even further as a result of deforestation, it could threaten the survival of the remaining forest by increasing the trees' sensitivity to drought."
For full story, please see: http://news.mongabay.com/2011/0919-west_africa_rainfall.html

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  1. 2011 Future Policy award: Celebrating forest policies and forest food

      Source: Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, 22 September 2011

The Future Policy Award celebrates policies that create better living conditions for current and future generations. The aim of the award is to raise global awareness for these exemplary policies and speed up policy action towards just, sustainable and peaceful societies. The Future Policy Award is the first award that celebrates policies rather than people on an international level. Each year the World Future Council chooses one topic on which policy progress is particularly urgent.
This year forest policies were on the agenda and forest food on the menu. Caterpillars, mushrooms and other forest foods were sampled during the Award Ceremony. Pictures of the event can be seen on the FAO’s Washington Blog.
For full story, please see: http://faowashington.org/celebrating-forest-policies-and-forest-food.html

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  1. 2011 Future Policy award: FAO-supported forest policy in Gambia wins award

      Source: FAO, 21 September 2011

Gambia's Community Forestry Policy, put in place with support from  FAO, has won silver in the 2011 Future Policy Awards as one of the world's most inspiring and innovative forest policies.
Three policies which most effectively contribute to the conservation and sustainable development of forests for current and future generations were chosen as prizewinners today by the World Future Council at UN Headquarters in New York.
Rwanda's National Forest Policy was proclaimed the first prize winner while the US Lacey Act with its amendment of 2008 and The Gambia's Community Forest Policy shared the Silver Award.
Gambia, with the support of FAO and other development partners, has developed and implemented the first policy and legislation in Africa to provide local populations with secure and permanent forest ownership rights. Transferring forest tenure from state ownership to management by local communities enabled them to reduce illegal logging and forest fires, slow desertification and benefit from using the forest products.
"The success of the Gambia's Community Forest Policy proves that even in the world's poorest countries, with the right policies and legal framework in place, rural populations can benefit economically from forests and significantly improve their food security and environment," said FAO's Assistant Director-General for Forestry Eduardo Rojas-Briales.
"The Gambia's experience has shown that the challenge of sustainable forestry can be attained through the government's willingness to empower rural populations," he added.
Gambia has managed to buck a strong deforestation trend in Africa, with over 350 villages managing 12 percent of the country's forests and a net increase in forest cover of 8.5 percent over the last two decades.
FAO Goodwill Ambassador and Olympic track legend Carl Lewis, who attended the Awards ceremony, said that "the Gambia's people-centered approach has been highly successful and represents a model to replicate in other countries with similar forestry environment."
Between 2000 and 2004, FAO has facilitated the introduction of economic incentives in the community forestry concept. In 2009 Gambia joined the National Forest Programme Facility hosted by FAO and received help with expanding community forestry areas and enhancing the capacity of stakeholders to derive economic benefits from community forestry. A recent FAO-supported project provided assistance to the revision and popularization of the forest policy.
It is intended that by 2016, nearly half of the forests in Gambia will be under community management. Communities have established producer groups, generating income from forest management.
Based in Hamburg, the World Future Council is a political advocacy group led by 50 leading personalities from all five continents. It focuses on environmental and social issues with the aim of safeguarding the rights of future generations.
For full story, please see: www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/89896/icode/

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  1. Traditional medicine gains ground in African universities

      Source: SciDev.Net, 15 September 2011

The number of African countries with national policies on traditional medicine increased almost five fold between 2001 and 2010, according to a report on a decade of traditional medicine on the continent.
The report, launched at a meeting of the WHO Regional Committee for Africa two weeks ago (29 August–2 September), also found that the number of countries with strategic plans for traditional medicine increased from zero to 18 in the same period, and those with national regulatory frameworks rose from one to 28.
In 2010, 22 countries conducted research on traditional medicines for malaria, HIV/AIDS, sickle-cell anaemia, diabetes and hypertension using WHO guidelines. According to the WHO, roughly 80 per cent of people in developing countries depend on traditional medicine for their primary healthcare.
Some African universities had incorporated traditional medicine into the curricula for medical and pharmacy students, the report found. Health ministers and the WHO African regional office agreed at the meeting to promote this integration as a way of increasing research in the field.
Karniyus Gamaniel, director-general of Nigeria's National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD), said: "This is a very good development … The issue of curricula in medical and pharmacy schools is fundamental as this would provide the right orientation and sensitisation of younger people to begin to develop career lines in this direction."
The WHO regional director for Africa, Luis Gomes Sambo, who presented the report, stressed that having national policies on traditional medicine placed the conservation and sustainable use of medicinal plants in the arena of public health. He called on African institutes to compile inventories of medicinal plants and to conduct research on the safety, efficacy and quality of medicinal plants.
Tamunoibuomi Okujagu, director-general of the Nigeria Natural Medicine Development Agency, told SciDev.Net that the decision to introduce traditional medicine into medical schools would reduce the cynicism expressed towards the practice in Africa, counteract 'quackery' and ensure professionalism. "A number of our health challenges require traditional medicines," he said. "Traditional medicine policies are good for Africa."
Joseph Okogun, a consultant phytochemist at the NIPRD, said the integration of traditional medicines into medical schools was overdue. "Many people in technologically advanced countries use alternative medicine, which includes traditional medicines. The reason for the increased attention is that traditional medicines have weaker side effects compared with synthetic drugs," he said, adding that they are also cheaper and often work as combination therapies.
For full story, please see: www.scidev.net/en/health/traditional-medicine/news/traditional-medicine-gains-ground-in-african-universities.html

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  1. “The Tree Mother of Africa” dies at 71,

      Source: Esi-Africa.com, 27 September 2011

Wangari Maathai ‒ Africa's first female winner of the Nobel Peace Prize ‒ has died in hospital following a battle with cancer. She was 71. Maathai believed that a healthy environment helped improve lives by providing clean water and firewood for cooking, thereby decreasing conflict. The Kenyan organisation she founded planted 30 million trees in hopes of improving the chances for peace ‒ a triumph for nature that inspired the United Nations to launch a worldwide campaign that resulted in 11 billion trees being planted.
Although the tree-planting campaign launched by her group, the Green Belt Movement, did not initially address the issues of peace and democracy, Maathai said it became clear over time that responsible governance of the environment was not possible without democracy. “Therefore, the tree became a symbol for the democratic struggle in Kenya. Citizens were mobilised to challenge widespread abuses of power, corruption and environmental mismanagement,” Maathai said.
At least three times during her activist years she was physically attacked, including being clubbed unconscious by police during a hunger strike in 1992.
Recognising her never-say-die attitude, Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga said Maathai's death “strikes at the core of our nation's heart.” He pointed out that Maathai had died just as the causes she fought for were getting the attention they deserved.
The United Nations Environment Programme called Maathai one of Africa's foremost environmental campaigners and recalled that Maathai was the inspiration behind UNEP's 2006 Billion Tree Campaign.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu called Maathai a “true African heroine,” and the Nelson Mandela Foundation also expressed sadness. The foundation hosted Maathai in 2005, when she headlined its annual lecture.
The spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Maathai was “a pioneer in articulating the links between human rights, poverty, environmental protection and security.”
In a statement released by the U.S. State Department, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she was inspired by Maathai's story and “proud to call her my friend.”
Maathai is survived by three children. Funeral arrangements were to be announced soon, the Green Belt Movement said.
For full story, please see: www.esi-africa.com/node/13560

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EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES

  1. MA in International Environmental Policy

      From: Monetary Institute of International Studies

The Masters of Arts in International Environmental Policy provides the next generation of environmental policy professionals with the skills to solve the world's most pressing environmental problems.
We train students to be the solution - to craft effective, efficient, and just strategies to tackle the world’s toughest environmental challenges. Our courses blend theoretical and practical applications to prepare students for the job market.
Faculty from disciplines including economics, business, political science, conservation biology, and energy and resources teach and develop courses together. Our students can choose from a large number of electives in the Graduate School of International Policy and Management in fields as diverse as conflict resolution, development, trade policy, public administration, non-profit management and business. In addition, speaker series, symposia, conferences, and extended one-on-one time with faculty contribute to a rich learning experience outside the classroom.
For more information, please see: www.miis.edu/academics/programs/environmentalpolicy?utm_source=emagazine&utm_medium=email&utm_content=sept&utm_campaign=EM%3A%2BEmail%2B-%2BIEP%2B-%2BMBA

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  1. MSc European Forestry

      From: European Commission

MSc European Forestry is a top class taught masters programme in the field of forest sciences. The quality of the programme was acknowledged by the European Commission already in 2004 when MSc European Forestry was awarded the Erasmus Mundus status.
The MSc European Forestry programme provides academic education in forestry focusing on the international dimension of sustainable forest management issues. The programme is an extra dimension to the already existing educational markets in forestry and nature management in Europe. In this programme, European forestry universities collaborate intensively to offer joint courses as well as their existing curricula, based on the knowledge and experience of forest management for which European forestry was the cradle already centuries ago.
The MSc EF programme responds to the increasing number of issues in forest and nature management at international as well as national levels, which provide a whole range of new challenges and demands for policy making and management at the national, European and wider international level. The European view on forest management is well founded both in the latest research results as well as centuries of experience.
The MSc European Forestry graduates are highly demanded by the international labour market. The majority of our graduates are currently employed around the world by organisations such as: Forest and nature management agencies and governmental bodies; research institutions; forest enterprises in paper and pulp industries and saw milling and environmental NGO's.
For more information, please visit: www.europeanforestry.net

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EVENTS

  1. 11th Asian Apicultural Association Conference

Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu, Malaysia
28 September - 2 October 2012
The Asian Apicultural Association (AAA) assists communication and the exchange of information between bee scientists and beekeepers in Asia. We need to co-ordinate bee research, extension and diversity of beekeeping promotion and to make efforts relevant to the business community and people everywhere.
The conference committee has identified the following areas as special areas of focus for the scientific presentation and discussion:

  • Bee Biology, Behaviour, Diseases and Pests
  • Bee pollination and bee plants
  • Bee products
  • Beekeeping and honey hunting equipment and technologies
  • Apitherapy & pharmaceuticals
  • Environment and conservation

For more information, please visit:
www.asianbeeconference.org/11thaaaconference/

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  1. 2011 INBAR Bamboo Industrial Tour

Zhejiang, China
18-24 November 2011
The objective of the annual bamboo study tours is to share the experience of Chinese bamboo development and to promote bamboo development in other countries.
The bamboo study tours have attracted much attention; hence we will organize the 2011 Bamboo Industrial Tour to China 18-24 November for 7 days to visit Zhejiang province (5 days classroom training are planned but it will be arranged if there are enough people interested in it). The cost in China is 1200$/person covering accommodation, food, transportation and entrance tickets in China between 18-24 November. Participants should cover their international flights and the domestic flights to and from Hangzhou as well as travel insurance and visa fee.
In Zhejiang we will visit some leading bamboo flooring manufacturers like DASSO (who produced bamboo fire-proof ceiling in Madrid international airport, which won 2006 Sterlinz prize. DASSO is producing bamboo veneer for 70,000 BMW cars’ interior decoration and 40m long bamboo wind turbine blade manufacturer), producer of strand woven bamboo lumber and floor), Shengbang(bamboo concrete form and firber board), Xieqiang(bamboo curtain and mat); Kangxing bamboo shoot processing company, Shenshi Bio-product company(bamboo extract like flavonoid, bamboo beer), Wenzhao, the biggest bamboo charcoal company(charcoal and vinegar) and the only China Bamboo Charcoal Museum in the world, some primitive processing workshops(bamboo strips) on community level, Huachun bamboo furniture company, Jitai bamboo processing machine company and Anji bamboo product market(hundreds bamboo products including bamboo clothes). We will also visit the biggest bamboo botanic garden in the world, Anji Bamboo Garden, which has more than 300 bamboo species plus two giant pandas, and Chinese Bamboo Museum in this garden; High-yield bamboo plantation, bamboo film production base (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Banquet) and eco-tourism sites, ornamental bamboo nursery.
We will visit some bamboo research institutions like Zhejiang Agro-Forestry University (visiting bamboo products showroom, bamboo charcoal, bamboo tissue culture lab). We try to dialogues with local politicians and experts on bamboo sector policies and technology, which encourage the enterprisers to invest in other bamboo production countries like Africa and Asia and America etc. We may help participants find suitable bamboo processing machine manufacturers (strand woven bamboo, bamboo floor, charcoal briquette and so on).
For more information, please contact:
Ms Li Xin and Dr. Fu Jinhe, INBAR
E-mail: xli@inbar.int  and  jfu@inbar.int
www.inbar.int/show.asp?BoardID=171&NewsID=750

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  1. IUFRO "Forests for People – International experiences and the vital role for the future"

Alpbach, Austria
22 - 24 May 2012
The conference is one important part of the new strategy of the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO). The aim of this conference is to build  a systematic body of knowledge about "forests for people" and its various facets, including possible future trends and challenges.
This conference and the follow-up process aim at integrating not only the knowledge across all IUFRO Divisions, but include the knowledge outside IUFRO.
The main themes of the conference are:

  • Livelihoods – issues of agro-forestry, food security, fuels, poverty alleviation, and human dislocation;
  • Health, Recreation and Tourism – issues of human health, recreation and nature-based tourism;
  • Urban and Rural Landscapes – issues of ecosystem services, economic benefit and development, spaces and places for living;
  • Culture and Education – issues of perceptions of forests, spiritual character, education, historical tradition and practice, communication and governance.

The conference is addressed to forest managers, scientists, science administrators, policy makers and the interested public audience.
The IUFRO conference is organized by the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU) Vienna, Department of Landscape, Spatial and Infrastructure Sciences, Institute of Landscape Development, Recreation and Conservation Planning.
For more information, please contact:
Tel.: +43 1 47654-7247
Fax: +43 1 47654-7209
ffp2012@boku.ac.at
http://ffp2012.boku.ac.at.

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  1. International Conference on Managing Non Wood Forest Products (NWFPs) for Sustainable Livelihood

Bhopal, India
17 – 19 Devember 2011
The importance of Non Wood Forest Products (NWFPs) contributing to rural livelihoods and alleviating rural poverty is well known. It is estimated that about 60 million highly forest dependent people in Latin America, West Africa and Southeast Asia, with an additional 400 to 500 million people especially communities living inside and on the fringes of forest areas depend on NWFP for food, shelter, medicine, cash income etc. Apart from meeting subsistence and cash income needs of the dependent communities, NWFPs also support large number of small to large scale enterprises engaged in processing and/or trading of NWFP and NWFP based products.
While there is growing appreciation of the importance of NWFPs for rural households, especially of the very poor, there are concerns about the potential impact of NWFP collection on biodiversity also. Madhya Pradesh Minor Forest Produce Federation, IIFM and Madhya Pradesh Forest Department have since long been involved in providing livelihood opportunities to forest dwellers and rural households through some direct intervention and also through research and development initiatives. But it is strongly felt that there are many grey areas where still a lot is needed to be done. Further, many good thing are happening around the globe in the field of NWFP management related issues. There are plenty of success stories regarding sustainable livelihood through NWFP marketing & trading. Madhya Pradesh wishes to learn from such experiences.
It is in this background MPMFP Federation is organizing an international conference on NWFP. The theme of the conference is "Management of NWFPs for Sustained Livelihood". It will be organized in commemoration of International Year of Forestry and Completion of 150 years of Scientific Forestry. In Madhya Pradesh the main organizer of the event is MPMFP Federation and the co partner is IIFM. MPFD is the sponsor of the event. We are looking for national and international participation of experts and eminent personalities working in the field of NWFP during this prestigious knowledge sharing event.
The conference gives an opportunity for researchers, policy makers, managers, professionals from different private sectors in Asia and other regions of the world to exchange and share methodologies, approaches, information on products, market and lessons learnt from NWFPs conservation and development initiatives.
For more information, please contact:
R.R.Okhandiar, CEO MFP Federation Secretary
NWFP Conference Secretariat
MFP Processing and Research Centre (MFP-PARC)
Barkheda Pathani, BHEL Township, Bhopal
MP India,
Ph: +91 755-2481965, 2417670 Fax: +91 755-2417670,
Website: www.nwfpcon.com,
E-mail: ntfpcon.secreteriate@gmail.com

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REQUESTS

  1. Estimating Bamboo Biomass

      From: H. Gyde Lund, Forest Information Services

Dr. Timothy Gregoire is researching on a way to assess bamboo biomass in Bhutan NFI. Dr Gregoire is especially interested in anything that has been done to date anywhere in any region of the world.
If you could assist, please contact: timothy.gregoire@yale.edu

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LITERATURE REVIEW AND WEB SITES

  1. State of Europe’s Forests 2011: Status and Trends in Sustainable Forest Management in Europe

      From: NWFP Programme

The State of Europe’s Forests 2011 report provides an overview of the status and trends of forests and sustainable forest management in Europe in the period 1990–2010. It is prepared for the FOREST EUROPE Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe Oslo, Norway 14-16 June 2011, as a continuation of reporting on European forests for FOREST EUROPE Ministerial Conferences.
This report was jointly prepared by the FOREST EUROPE Liaison Unit Oslo, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in collaboration with the European Forest Institute (EFI) and with significant support from the governments of Finland, France, Norway and Switzerland.
The State of Europe’s Forests 2011 report covers the 46 FOREST EUROPE signatory countries and the European Union. In order to display regional differences, FOREST EUROPE countries are grouped into six country groups (Figure B). Major parts of Europe’s forests are located in the Russian Federation, accounting for almost 80 percent of the region’s total forest area. The Russian Federation is therefore presented as a separate country group.
The report describes in a highly structured and documented way the status and trends of Europe’s forests, based on information supplied by governments and international data providers. The data presented has been provided by individual countries through joint FOREST EUROPE/UNECE/FAO enquiries on quantitative and qualitative indicators and by international data providers, namely the International Co-operative Programme on
Assessment and Monitoring of Air Pollution Effects on Forests (ICP-Forests), the EC-Joint Research Centre, Biodiversity International, the Statistical Office of the European Communities (EUROSTAT) and the UNECE/ FAO Forestry and Timber Section. Data quality and completeness has improved since earlier reports, but vary significantly, depending on the specific indicator and countries’ conditions. Due to changes in data collection and reporting methodology, data and analysis are not always comparable to previous reports.
The overall aim of this report is to provide policy and decision-makers and stakeholders with up-to-date information on the status and trends in forests and sustainable forest management in Europe. As it presents the most recent, objective and harmonized data on sustainable forest management in Europe, it can also provide a solid basis for future political commitments on forests and forest related issues.
To download the full State of Europe’s 2011 report, please see
www.foresteurope.org/pBl7xY4UEJFW9S_TdLVYDCFspY39Ec720-U9or6XP.ips

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  1. Traditional knowledge in context

      From: International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)

This briefing reflects on IIED's work to assist indigenous and local communities to protect their rights over traditional knowledge. It showcases how ‘biocultural heritage’ offers a framework for protecting community rights and biodiversity.
For more information, please see: http://pubs.iied.org/G03124.html?s=RA&b=d

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  1. Other publications of Interest

      From: NWFP Programme

Allebon,-Webb, S. M; Kumpel, N. F.; Rist, J.; Cowlishaw, G. 1; Rowcliffe, J. M.; Mlmer-Gulland, E. J.. 2011. Use of Market Data to Assess Bushmeat Hunting Sustainability in Equatorial Guinea. Conservation Biology. 25(3):597-606.

Ariyanti, N., Bos, M., Kartawinata, K., Tjitrosoedirdjo, S., Guhardja, E., and Gradstein, S. 2008. Bryophytes on tree trunks in natural forests, selectively logged forests and cacao agroforests in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia. Biol. Conserv. 141(10):2516-2527.

Blomley, T., Pfliegner, K, Isango, J., Zahabu, E., Ahrends, A. and Burgess, N.D. 2008. Seeing the Wood for the Trees: Towards an objective assessment of the Impact of Participatory Forest Management on Forest Condition in Tanzania. Oryx. vol. 42, no. 3, pp 380-391.

Brooks, T.M., Wright, S.J., and Sheil, D. 2009. Evaluating the success of conservation actions in safeguarding tropical forest biodiversity. Conserv. Biol. 23(6):1448-1457.

Flottum, Kim. 2011. The complete and easy guide to beekeeping. UK. Apple Press
Ishida, Yasuko; Demeke, Yirmed; van Coeverden de Groot, Peter J.; Georgiadis, Nicholas J.; Leggett, Keith E.A.; Fox, Virginia E.; Roca, Alfred L. 2011. Distinguishing Forest and Savanna African Elephants Using Short Nuclear DNA Sequences. Journal of Heredity. 102(5):610-616.

Mueller, J.G., Assanou, I.H.B., Guimbo, I.D., and Almedom, A.M. 2010. Evaluating rapid participatory rural appraisal as an assessment of ethnoecological knowledge and local biodiversity patterns. Conserv. Biol. 24(1):140-150.

Posmontier, Bobbie. 2011. The Medicinal Qualities of Moringa oleifera. Holistic Nursing Practice. 25(2):80-87

Safian, Szabolcs; Csontos, Gabor; Winkler, Daniel. 2011. Butterfly community recovery in degraded rainforest habitats in the Upper Guinean Forest Zone (Kakum forest, Ghana). Journal of Insect Conservation. 15(1-2):351-359.

Rao, R.R., Murugan, R., and Kavitha, S. 2009. Botanical conservatories and ex situ conservation of some rare and endemic medicinal and aromatic plants: a case study from Western Ghats. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. India B 79:350-368.

Wasser, Solomon. 2011. Current findings, future trends, and unsolved problems in studies of medicinal mushrooms. Applied Microbiology & Biotechnology. 89(5):1323-1332.

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MISCELLANEOUS

  1. Oldest woolly rhino fossil found in Tibet

     Source: Xinhuanet News, China, 10 September 2011

A fossil of woolly rhino unearthed on the Tibetan Plateau is believed to be the oldest specimen of its kind, according to a report carried in Science journal. The fossil was found in Tibet's Zanda Basin which is rich in fossil beds.
The creature lived 3.6 million years ago, long before similar beasts roamed northern Asia and Europe in the ice ages. "It is the oldest specimen discovered so far," said Xiaoming Wang from the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.
"It is at least a million years older, or more, than any other woolly rhinos we have known. It's quite well preserved - just a little crushed, so not quite in the original shape; but the complete skull and lower jaw are preserved," Wang continued.
The archaeologist team contended that the discovery of this ancient rhino fossil supports the idea that the frosty Tibetan foothills of the Himalayas were the evolutionary cradle for these later animals
For full story, please see: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/sci/2011-09/02/c_131093695.htm

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last updated:  Monday, April 30, 2012