% But agarwood was not new to the required. Later, in 2004, all agarwood Bhutanese living at the foothills. Tenzingla, species were also added to the list. Agarwood is considered “ of the gods” a Bhutanese expert on plant genetics, Although overall trade volumes of the in Bhutan recalls how a Bhutanese businessman wood may appear small in “timber trade” When agarwood (Aquillaria ) – approached him with an idea of extracting terms, they are not small in monetary commonly called wood and eaglewood agarwood oil. “I found out that the tree terms. Agarwood chips and segments may – gets infected, naturally or artificially, it produced the oil as a by-product of a sell for several hundred to several produces a with a strong musky microbial fungal reaction,” he said. “The thousand dollars per smell, which is highly sought after in the tree as such has no value. It becomes kilogram. In the Qatar market, 18 g of the international market. valuable only when it gets infected.” wood can cost QR500. Locally called ogur, agarwood is valued The Department of says that the The wood is mainly used to make in many cultures because of its distinctive tree is nearing extinction in Bhutan, which customary and for other cultural fragrance. From Saudi royalty to Bhutanese Tenzingla said is a result of smuggling. purposes in the region. The demand for the monks, it is used widely in and Agarwood has been identified as an wood is high because of its medicinal, . endangered species, and because the religious, cultural and aromatic value An expert from Bhutan, Chang Dorji, market for agarwood is increasing, some throughout the world, mainly within Asia. calls the tree a treasure. “In the Buddhist countries have adapted measures to “The trade history of the wood goes back community, it is known as ogur sang shing control the of the tree. In centuries, and hence there is a huge (agar incense wood) and considered wood anticipation of the growing international mismanagement as it does not look into for the gods,” he said. “The dark wood is market, valued in billions of United States having a trade system that can ensure the used to make special incense that is dollars, 55 million agarwood have conservation of the agarwood reserves. offered only to Bhutan’s chief protective been planted in (), 1.5 million in This is a key CITES issue,” said Compton. deity Palden Lham.” the Lao People’s Democratic Republic and The quality and quantity of agarwood One kilogram of the infected tree’s chips 2 million in . from the wild are also going down because costs about USD190 (about Nu8 400), with In 1995, CITES listed the Aquillaria tree of extreme exploitation. “People are better grades fetching USD10 000/kg. The as a potentially threatened species in the looking to make money out of this kind of cheapest oud oil, distilled from agarwood, world. At the recent CITES conference, the harvesting; hence that is also another can cost about USD20/kg, while the finest need to protect Aquillaria trees was also challenge for CITES to differentiate oud oils distilled from agarwood can cost discussed. (Source: www.kuensenonline. between wild and the domestic species,” as much as USD7 000/kg. com [Bhutan], 18 April 2010.) he said. In Bhutan, the National Institute of Consumer countries, including Qatar, Traditional Medicine is the only Agarwood needs protection should work together with producers to organization that currently buys agarwood The GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) ensure an agarwood industry that for medicinal use. It costs about Nu60 for countries should make the right choice encourages legal and sustainable trade 1 kg of agar. According to pharmacists, they immediately to protect depleting agarwood and curbs the black market. (Source: The use about two trees. resources. The agarwood trade industry Peninsula [Qatar], 15 March 2010.) The Aquillaria tree is native to Southeast with its billion dollar value is in need of Asia and grows in eight countries: , proper management for its sustainable Bhutan, Thailand, the , Viet Nam, continuation, according to James Compton, , India and . Asia-Pacific Programme Coordinator for In Bhutan, it grows in the subtropical TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring foothills, especially in Samdrupjongkhar, network. “The CITES conference is an Sarpang, Samtse and Zhemgang. important turning-point for agarwood According to sources, the late Dasho conservation and trade as some of the Nishoka accidentally discovered it in major consumers are in the region,” he told Bhutanese forests. “Two people The Peninsula. “There should be a trees illegally in Panbang were caught and, collaborative management between both on investigation, they were found the consumer countries and the producers. smuggling agarwood,” recalled a colleague If consumer countries such as the GCC % of the late Dasho, adding, “Dasho used to states, Taiwan (Republic of ), Japan say that there was a lot of of the and others make the right choice and Bamboo nations prepare to shoot into tree in southern Bhutan by people from commitment now, a long-lasting change carbon markets across the border”. A study carried out by will happen. If something is not done, in Interest in using bamboo for climate change the Department of Forests, with assistance five years the chance of a sustainable trade mitigation is picking up in . from the World Wide Fund for Nature, is very low.” The Philippines and , both rich in found that the Aquillaria trees were almost Agarwood, an aromatic wood, is at threat bamboo, used the opportunity offered by the extinct because of uncontrolled of depletion in the wild. In 1995, one United Nations Framework Convention on exploitation. “When the late Dasho learned species of agarwood was listed in CITES Climate Change (UNFCCC) last year to open about the value of these trees, he collected Appendix II, meaning that trade could up the definition of “” for bamboo and seeds and planted 3 000 of them.” continue, but a CITES export permit is palms. The two countries have taken a


national decision to broaden their forests to promocional de la Sociedad Civil Habitat- bamboo and palms, and have Cuba, a través de un trabajo sistemático que communicated this to the UNFCCC (clean comenzó por la divulgación y capacitación, development mechanism [CDM] Executive así como las experiencias en países del área Board). Technically, this enables CDM que revelaron resultados positivos. En el / (A/R) projects 2003 se celebró el Primer Taller Nacional de with and palms. Viet Nam is taking Bambú organizado por la ACTAF y a similar decision in the immediate future. patrocinado por el Fondo Canadá-Cuba para While the potential of bamboo in carbon iniciativas locales, donde se presentó el sequestration is considered high, the Programa Desarrollo de Alternativas standard A/R methodologies designed for Agroecológicas para el uso del bambú en tree forests need adjustments to Cuba. En la actualidad, se continúa con el accommodate the peculiarities of bamboo. It desarrollo de este programa en siete is anticipated that the voluntary carbon provincias, patrocinado por la ONG COSUDE. markets are providing better opportunities La regeneración natural de los bambúes for bamboo, with their wider range of la guadua alcanza su punto culminante como ocurre estacionalmente por medio de accepted mitigation activities. material, hoy denominado «Acero Vegetal». semillas y por la activación asexual de las Integrated bamboo carbon projects can En la industria papelera en Brasil, se yemas del rizoma y de los culmos. Estas vías be designed to: (i) plant bamboo on eligible destaca el grupo Joao Santos, y la de propagación son limitadas, aún más lands for sequestration; (ii) improve stand industrialización de las chusqueas (bambúes cuando se desea introducir la especie a la management to enhance carbon stocking; de altura) en Chile, son dos buenos ejemplos producción. Una alternativa a la propagación (iii) make long-lasting products for locking de seguir. En la actualidad, todos los países vegetativa es la regeneración y up carbon; and (iv) promote fuel switches del mundo fijan su atención en el recurso multiplicación de plantas in vitro. Esta from coal and diesel to the use of dead bambú y su potencial, que ya no es futuro, técnica ha sido utilizada para la propagación culms and processing waste in generating sino un presente. de otras especies de bambú, utilizando rural electricity. All such activities can Aproximadamente, el 50 por ciento de las primordios foliares de ápices, semillas generate carbon offset credits, which can be especies de bambú existentes en la maduras y hojas inmaduras. sold and revenue collected. A payment for naturaleza, se hallan en América. Se El cultivo in vitro ofrece varias ventajas en environmental services (PES) scheme would encuentran prácticamente en todos los la propagación de las plantas, los bambúes provide a robust mechanism for engaging países americanos, desde los 40° de latitud no escapan de esta posibilidad. La farmers with bamboo in carbon finance. norte hasta los 47° de latitud sur, y desde el propagación en laboratorio de este grupo de (Contributed by: Mr Jukka Tissari, nivel del mar hasta los 4 000 m de altura en plantas de diferentes especies, se ha Officer [Forest Products Trade and los Andes. Cabe mencionar algunos desarrollado en varios países. En Cuba, se Marketing], Forest Products and Industries aspectos referentes a la Guadua angustifolia, trabaja en el establecimiento de protocolos Team, Forest Economics, Policy and una de las más valiosas especies de la de propagación en el laboratorio de algunas Products Division, FAO Forestry naturaleza, endémica desde Venezuela hasta especies de interés para los programas de Department. Fax: +39-06-570 55137; e-mail: las selvas amazónicas del Perú, reforestación que se están desarrollando en [email protected]) aproximadamente 50 millones de personas algunas provincias. Sin lugar a dudas las en el continente americano, utilizan tasas de multiplicación que se alcanzan con Desarrollo y uso del bambú como una bambúes en su vida diaria, ya sea de manera estas técnicas, en tan poco tiempo, no se alternativa agroecológica tradicional o en usos modernos. pueden lograr por ninguno de los métodos El bambú, patrimonio de la humanidad, es la A principios del Siglo XX llegaron los de propagación referidos para estas especie vegetal de más rápido crecimiento nuevos materiales, como el cemento y el especies. en la naturaleza. Dependiendo de la especie, acero. Sin embargo, el uso del bambú en las Los bambúes son de vital importancia en Asia se utiliza para alimento, materia comunidades rurales y en las áreas para los programas de construcción y de prima para extracción de celulosa, periféricas de pequeñas y grandes fabricación de muebles que se están artesanías, medicinas, laminados, refrescos, poblaciones, se convirtió en el «material de llevando a cabo en las provincias de licores y mil usos más, la mayoría de estos los pobres», encontrado en infinidad de Granma y Holguín, entre otras. La Guadua usos se realizan a nivel industrial. El bambú aplicaciones industriales, desde alimentos angustifolia y la Bambusa bambos son ha sido utilizado en América de diferentes hasta medicinas, pasando por tejidos, bambúes con ciertas características formas desde tiempos precolombinos, y hoy artesanías, bebidas y construcciones entre particulares, y de crecimiento rápido, lo se vislumbra su uso de manera otras. cual es de interés para estos programas de industrializada. Entre los centenares de La construcción de 1000 casas anuales de reforestación y de construcción. especies de bambú endémicas de América, bambú con material proveniente de 60 h de Aunque los trabajos de propagación in se destaca el género guadua, y entre ellos la una plantación de Guadua, equivale a la vitro fueron iniciados con Guadua especie Guadua angustifolia, considerada madera de 500 h de valiosos árboles angustifolia, esta especie se comportó como una de las variedades más importante tropicales. recalcitrante, por lo que se continuaron los para la construcción por sus propiedades A mediados de la década de 1990 fue que trabajos con otras especies de bambúes. físico mecánicas. Con la edificación del se comenzó a hablar del cultivo organizado En el Centro de Bioplantas de la Pabellón Zeri, en la feria de Hannover 2000, del bambú por medio de la gestión Universidad de Ciego de Avila, se han


logrado, en sólo dos semana de cutivo in This means that if the product is not made vitro, altas tasas de proliferación para directly of bamboo fibre, but is a Bambusa bambos. manufactured fibre for which bamboo was El bambú ha sido, es y será un valioso the plant source – it should be labelled and recurso natural de América, por lo que es advertised using the proper generic name necesario su estudio, su manejo, su for the fibre, such as . explotación sostenible, su In , the Canadian Competition aprovechamiento industrial, así como su Bureau (CCB) requires importers and protección para las generaciones retailers to comply with the country’s presentes y futuras. Labelling Act (TLA) and the Textile Aportación hecha por: Marcos Daquinta Labelling and Advertising Regulations Gradaille, Centro de Bioplantas, (TLAR). The correct generic name depends Universidad de Ciego de Ávila. Carretera on the cellulose process used. If the Morón, Km 9. CP 69450. Cuba. Correo product is made of commercially produced electrónico: [email protected] rayon fibres derived from bamboo, the generic fibre name must first make EU releases Ghana ¢28million to promote reference to either “rayon” or the bamboo as an alternative energy source in clothing and other textile products – such corresponding process outlined in the Ghana and Ethiopia as towels, socks and T-shirts – on the TLAR, followed by the words “from The (EU) has released 28 market, which hail the virtues of bamboo bamboo”. (Source: INBAR, 15 April 2010.) million Ghana cedis to support a project and are labelled “made from bamboo”. that seeks to promote bamboo as a new However, with the increase of such source of energy in Ghana and Ethiopia. products, the scrutiny of the labels and The project, dubbed: “Bamboo as a claims made about the origins of the fibre Sustainable Energy – A suitable have increased and, in many cases, the FTC CRACKS DOWN Alternative for and Firewood authorities have concluded that such ON “GREENWASHING” IN THE Production in Africa”, aims at increasing claims or labelling practices do not comply UNITED STATES OF AMERICA the use of bamboo as a source of energy for with the relevant laws and regulations. the poor, while providing a more Bamboo fabric can be produced from Seventy-eight companies nationwide sustainable, environmentally friendly and bamboo fibres. If the natural fibres are have received Federal Trade economical option to firewood and used and made into yarn, the fabric is made Commission (FTC) letters warning that charcoal. from bamboo and in some countries can be they may be breaking the law by The 48-month project launched in March labelled as such. selling clothing and other textile 2009 is being coordinated by the However, most “bamboo fabric” is products that are labelled and International Network for Bamboo and actually viscose or rayon, a regenerated advertised as “bamboo”, but are Rattan (INBAR), in collaboration with the cellulose fibre that is chemically actually made of manufactured rayon governments of Ghana and Ethiopia. manufactured from bamboo, by a very fibre. The letters make the retailers A statement issued by the EU said it was similar process used to make rayon from aware of the FTC’s concerns about absolutely critical that the processes of the wood or other biomass and waste by- possible mislabelling of rayon products project in both Ghana and Ethiopia respect products. as “bamboo”, so the companies can existing government policies and help In the largest markets for these textile take corrective steps to avoid FTC proactively in promoting sector governance products – the European Union (EU), the action. issues and raising awareness of United States of America (USA) and Canada The FTC has a publication designed environmental aspects and consequences – the authorities have all issued specific to help businesses that sell clothing of the project. rules on the labelling and marketing of and textile products that are labelled In this respect, people should be mindful “bamboo” . as bamboo to market their products in of the taking place in both For the EU market, the European ways that are truthful, non-deceptive countries and must understand the causes Commission has issued a directive on and in compliance with the law. for this and be aware that simply textile names. The Directive, published on “Avoid bamboozling your customers” introducing a new energy source may not 14 January 2009, addresses labelling can be found at www.ftc.gov/bamboo. necessarily in itself solve all the problems. requirements and textile fibre names, The FTC also has an alert entitled (Source: Ghana News Agency, 19 February describing conditions and rules for the “Have you been bamboozled by 2010.) labelling of textile products to be placed on bamboo fabrics?” that provides useful the EU market. information for consumers shopping Labelling and marketing “bamboo” Also, in the USA, the Federal Trade for bamboo-based fabrics. It can also textiles Commission (the USA’s consumer be found at www.ftc.gov/bamboo. Bamboo is becoming more popular in protection agency) has ruled that unless a (Source: Wall Street Journal, commercial usage and is often marketed product is made directly with bamboo fibre 3 February 2010.) as a “sustainable” and “green” product in – often called “mechanically processed many countries. There are now many bamboo” – it cannot be called “bamboo”.


Bamboo bikes: the ultimate ecofriendly down the river from them, they make much ride of their living from the açaí harvest, which Craig Calfee is known as the master of they calculate is 8 000 açaí palms on 35 bamboo-bike builders. In his workshop on acres (14 ha). “Two or three years ago, we the Californian coast, the frame designer had a lot of trouble selling the product,” builds breathtaking bikes out of the fast- Orisvaldo Ferreira de Souza said. “We had to growing bamboo, the largest member of bring it to town, and sometimes we came the grass family. back without selling it.” Back then, he said, Bamboo is native to all the Earth’s a standard lata, or 14 kg basket, brought continents, including North America, and about two or three Brazilian reais, or for the new bike prototype Calfee used roughly five cents a pound (0.45 kg) at Californian bamboo. He found that the bike today’s exchange rates. But now, the had impressive impact resistance and was harvesters don’t even have to leave their tougher than carbon fibre and less prone to % BERRIES land: buyers ply the river right up to their fracturing. These results were confirmed rickety wooden pier offering ten reais or after the bamboo frames were tested at the Açaí – global super – is dinner in the more. “Just yesterday, six buyers came by,” EFBe bicycle testing laboratory in Amazon he said. “We sold ten baskets each to two of . Clustered high up in the slender, tilting them.” Calfee has now found a whole new area palms of the eastern Amazon, the little Exact export figures are hard to come by, of operations for his bamboo bikes: Africa. purple orbs known as açaí (from the Euterpe but in Pará, which produces almost “In developing countries, bicycles are oleracea tree) look mighty. Virtually 90 percent of ’s açaí, the export enormously important for transporting unknown outside the Amazon two decades category that essentially refers to açaí goods and going to school or to the ago, and until 2000 not exported from Brazil surged from 380 tonnes in 2000 to 1 700 market,” he says. And the big advantage – its major producer – açaí is now an tonnes in 2005 – to 9 400 tonnes last year. that bamboo bikes have over steel bikes is international celebrity, riding the wave of the For the de Souzas and families around that the raw materials to make them are antioxidant craze and rain forest chic. them, added income has meant that they growing right there. But for families who live here along the can buy and chicken in town, attach Calfee founded Bamboosero, an winding, interlaced rivers at the hub of açaí motors to their boats, purchase power initiative supported by, among others, the production, the fruit has long been a vital generators or solar panels and afford Earth Institute of Columbia University, part of their diet, a cheap way to fill up and a parabolic antennas and televisions. which supports sustainable development of home. And now, for some, it is a The fruit was traditionally collected from benefiting the world’s poor. The source of newfound prosperity. wild palms. Now companies have açaí Bamboosero project endeavours to teach In places such as Cametá, a town of about , and collectors are raising more locals in developing nations how to make 117 000 people, and Belém, the capital of açaí palms on their land, according to their own bicycles, with the long-term goal Pará state, a bowl of açaí pulp is a filling side Antônio Cordeiro de Santana, an agricultural of eventually founding a bicycle-making dish especially valued by poorer families. economist at the Rural Federal University of business. Unlike the pulp used in Rio’s , the the Amazon. With cultivation more In February 2008, Calfee helped teach kind here is not pre-sweetened or frozen, concentrated, resistance to disease and three groups in Ghana the basics of but fresh from cylindrical machines known productivity have decreased, he said, even bamboo bike frame building. There are now as batedores de açaí, “açaí beaters”, which as the number of açaí palms in Pará has several projects ongoing in that country. remove the thin layer of fruit from the pit. exploded. (Source: The Times in And further projects are planned, Almost every neighbourhood has stands or Amazon News, 24 February 2010.) everywhere from Uganda and Liberia to the small stores where customers get a daily or Philippines and . (Source: weekly supply. Belém’s most famous açaí Maqui berry, super berry Spiegel Online, 8 January 2010.) market, the Feira do Açaí, bustles before Another year, another super berry. It used to dawn as wholesalers stack baskets of the be said that açaí berries packed the most Philippines town turns taxis green fruit on the cobblestone square. powerful antioxidant punch, but research The Philippine town of Tabontabon, in the Açaí’s international reputation as an now suggests that the maqui berry (the fruit province of Leyte, has commissioned taxis energy booster and diet aid tickles those from the maqui tree or Aristotelia chilensis), with bodies made of indigenous bamboo. who grew up with it as a caloric side dish. which grows in Chile and Argentina, is even Not only, they burn biodiesel fuel made While the old ways of eating açaí continue more potent. from locally available nut oils. in the Amazon, increased demand The deep purple colour of the fruit Tabontabon mayor Rustico Balderian is elsewhere in the world has driven up prices suggests incredibly high level of antioxidants the inspiration behind these “ECO taxis”, and made life easier for people such as 53- and it also boasts an ability to prevent which are 90 percent bamboo. They provide year-old Orisvaldo Ferreira de Souza; his premature ageing, aid weight loss and boost employment opportunities for local youth, younger brother, Josivaldo; and their elderly the immune system. and safer transport for families who parents. The de Souzas live in a battered The maqui has long been used by the otherwise ride four or five together on a wooden home on stilts on Itanduba Island, Mapuche Indians for its amazing health single motorcycle. (Source: www. about an hour by boat from Cametá’s town benefits. It is also believed to have powerful greencarreports.com, 19 March 2010.) centre. Like the families who live up and anti-inflammatory properties that can help


to alleviate the pain of sore joints, aching about five tonnes of bushmeat gets into Paris flourish but in a hidden economy that makes muscles and swelling. each week. They also noted that penalties for it more difficult to manage or control. Maqui extract is also widely used as a importing illegal are light and rarely “Those in the bushmeat trade who make colouring for Chilean wines. (Source: imposed. Under French law, the maximum money out of the commercialization of rare www.liverpool.echo.co.uk, 22 February 2010.) penalty is confiscation of the goods and a species for the healthy urban markets need USD556 (450 ) fine. to be strictly controlled. However, those Bushmeat is widely eaten and sold in who eat bushmeat for their own nutrition or % BUSHMEAT Central and West Africa, with the Central sell bushmeat to pay for medicines or African Republic, Cameroon and the Republic school fees, should not be presented as Bushmeat trade creates new luxury of the Congo being the main sources. It is criminals,” she says. market in typically allowed where people are permitted Dr Van Vliet will coordinate a session Traders sell an array of bushmeat: monkey to hunt, as long as their prey is not dealing with the hunting of bushmeat in carcasses, smoked anteater, even preserved endangered and they can prove the Central Africa at the 2010 IUFRO World porcupine. But this is not a roadside market in were killed in the wild. Congress in Seoul. She hopes her session will Africa – it is the heart of Paris, where a new A bushmeat ban is enforced in , but it reach beyond conservationists to integrate study has found more than five tonnes of is legal in most parts of the Republic of the the input of social, health and economic bushmeat slip through the city’s main airport Congo, where hunters may stalk wildlife stakeholders to help develop more integrated each week. parks that are not heavily guarded. bushmeat strategies and policies. (Source: Experts suspect similar amounts are Even after several outbreaks of the deadly IUFRO News, 29: 2, 2010.) arriving in other European hubs as well – an Ebola virus linked to eating bushmeat, the illegal trade that is raising concerns about practice remains widespread. Scientists diseases ranging from monkeypox to Ebola, warned that eating bushmeat was a potential and is another twist in the continent’s health hazard. Malcolm Bennett, of the struggle to integrate a growing African ’s National Centre for immigrant population. Zoonosis Research at the University of The research, the first time experts have Liverpool, said bushmeat had a high risk of documented how much bushmeat is like salmonella and might also be smuggled into any European city, was carrying new diseases. published on Friday in the journal Nina Marano, chief of the quarantine unit at Conservation Letters. the United States Centers for Disease Control “Anecdotally we know it does happen ... But and Prevention, said similar underground it is quite surprising the volumes that are markets for bushmeat exist across America. coming through,” said Marcus Rowcliffe, a “We have to be culturally sensitive and Rare animals being “eaten to extinction” research fellow of the Zoological Society of recognize this is important for some African in the Congo Basin London and one of the study’s authors. communities,” she said. “But there are no Research in the Congo Basin in Africa has In the Chateau Rouge neighbourhood in regulations for the preparation of meat from found that more than three million tonnes of central Paris, bushmeat is on the menu – at wildlife to render it safe.” bushmeat are being extracted from the area least for those in the know. The scale of Europe’s illicit bushmeat trade every year. Most of the animals are small For the study, European experts checked suggests the emergence of a luxury market. antelopes such as the blue duiker or rodents 29 Air flights from Central and West Prices can be as high as USD18/pound (30 such as porcupines, but larger Africa that landed at Paris Roissy-Charles de /kg), double that of more mundane such as monkeys and even gorillas are also Gaulle airport over a 17-day period in June supermarket meats. (Source: Business Daily taken. 2008. Of 134 people searched, nine had [Kenya], 23 June 2010.) The study published in Review bushmeat and 83 had or fish. The found the rate of hunting is higher than ever people with bushmeat had the largest Bushmeat: beyond the ecological crisis because of malnutrition in the area and is amounts: one passenger had 51 kg of Contemporary African societies are a mix of calling for more funding to help the local bushmeat – and no other luggage. Most of the modernized Western society and traditional community find alternative sources of . bushmeat was smoked and arrived as dried African roots. Those traditions mean that Bushmeat is one of the most important carcasses. Some animals were identifiable, people – rural and urban – still consume sources of for many people around although scientists boiled the remains of bushmeat for reasons linked to culture, taste the world, especially in Africa. But in a others and reassembled the skeletons to and attachment to healthy, natural products. 500 million-acre (202 343-ha) region of the determine the species. Experts found 11 However, the scale of hunting occurring in Congo Basin stretching into eight countries, types of bushmeat, including monkeys, large Central Africa poses a threat to many tropical hunting has reached an unprecedented scale. rats, crocodiles, small antelopes and forest species. The response to this has Researchers from the Overseas pangolins, or anteaters. Almost 40 percent typically been legal: ban the trade in Development Institute calculated that were listed in the Convention on International bushmeat and criminalize the hunters and 3.4 million tonnes of bushmeat are removed Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna consumers. every year from that area alone, equivalent to and Flora (CITES). This, said Nathalie Van Vliet, bushmeat the weight of 40.7 million men. Based on what officials seized – 188 kg of strategic advisor for TRAFFIC, has not been John Fa, Chief Conservation Officer at the bushmeat – the researchers estimated that terribly effective. The trade continues to Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, said it


was “unsustainable”. He pointed out that roots, which traditional peoples have illegal is also destroying habitats, and long used to treat toothache. predators such as leopards will be unable to • Carissa carandas is commonly known survive without prey. “People are taking rare as caronda and is eaten raw and in animals out of the forest at an enormous rate jams, jellies and sherbet. The sweeter yet we know very little about them,” he said. may be eaten raw but the more The animals most vulnerable to acidic ones are best boiled with plenty extinction by hunting include the Drill of . The fruit produces a gummy baboon, red colobus monkey, black colobus when cooked and the rich red monkey, Preuss’s guenon monkey, juice is used in cold beverages. In India, moustached guenon monkey, crowned the ripe fruits are utilized in , guenon monkey, gorillas and chimpanzees. Carissa tarts, puddings and chutney. When the (Source: The Telegraph [United Kingdom], fruits are not yet mature, they are often 23 March 2010.) picked to make a jelly. % CARISSA • Carissa macrocarpa, commonly called the Natal plum, is a shrub native to Carissa: a neglected fruit of the forest South Africa, where it is known as the India is rich in plant diversity. An estimated large num-num. It grows well in salt- CAMEROON REGULATES TRADE 15 000 species can be found in different laden winds, which makes it well- OF BUSHMEAT climatic zones, 1 000 of which are edible. suited for coastal areas. It is commonly Many of them are popular fruits among found in the coastal bush of the In an attempt to preserve endangered tribal and forest dwellers. Eastern Cape and Natal. It grows to species in Cameroon, the Carissa is a genus of 20–30 species of heights of 0.6–2.15 m, reaching a width Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife has shrubs or small trees native to the tropical of 2.15–3.05 m. Natal plums produce authorized the sale of wildlife meat, and subtropical regions of Africa, shiny, deep green leaves and snowy or bushmeat, on designated markets. and Asia. It belongs to the Apocynaceae white flowers, whose scent intensifies The government hopes to get a grip family. The species can range between at night. Like other Carissa species, on the rampant selling, trading and 2 and 10 m in height, with spiny branches. this is also a spiny, evergreen shrub trafficking of bushmeat in Cameroon. The leaves are thick and waxy, typically containing latex. The plump, round, The authorization of the bushmeat between 3 and 8 cm long. The flowers are crimson fruit appears in summer and sales on designated markets will allow produced throughout most of the year; they autumn when it blooms. In moderate, sellers to distinguish themselves from range between 1 and 5 cm in diameter, with coastal areas the fruit can appear those who are illegally trading in a five-lobed white or pink corolla. The fruit throughout the year. It can be eaten seriously endangered wildlife species. is a plum-shaped berry, and can be red or freshly picked or made into pies, jams, The Last Great Ape (LAGA), a dark purple depending on the species. It jellies and sauces. The fruit is the only wildlife law enforcement organization can contain as many as 16 flat brown part of the plant that is edible. that fights “the commercial poaching seeds. Only the fruit of the plant is edible. (Source: Kavya Dashora, Reshma Shaheen, with its related trade of protected Conservation strategies ought to include Anjali Gupta and Meenakshi Bhardwaj in species”, applauds the decision to the protection of less popular fruits such as MFP News, XX: 2, 2010.) regulate the bushmeat trade. “I Carissa, because they are an important believe that it will go a long way to source of nutrition for forest peoples. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT: start better enforcement of the The most important Carissa species Kavya Dashora, National Bureau of Plant wildlife law for the benefit of all; the commonly consumed by tribal peoples Genetic Resources, Pusa, New Delhi – 110012, benefit of wildlife in the country and include C. acuminata, C. arduina, C. India. Fax: + 91-11-25842495; the benefit of the sellers themselves,” bispinosa, C. boiviniana, C. carandas, C. e-mail: [email protected]; said Ofir Drori, Director of LAGA. macrocarpa, C. oblongifolia, C. opaca, C. www.nbpgr.ernet.in/ The hunting and trading of septentrionalis and C. spinarum. bushmeat are ingrained in society to The uses of some of these Carissa plants the extent that these activities have are described below. %CORK become the sole source of income for • Carissa bispinosa can grow up to 5 m many local residents. The government tall. The plants need moderate Cork, plastic or twist? The cork industry has set up projects to offer alternative watering and grow best in partial shade tightens the screws on the wine industry ways to make a living. Drori says that and sunny conditions. They are More wineries are moving towards plastic it is in fact the rich people who benefit particularly resistant to windy and aluminium caps and away from from the illegal trade, whereas the conditions, are moderately drought cork stoppers. poor are exploited. (Source: Epoch resistant, and are best suited for Some would say this is unfortunate for a Times [United States of America], warmer and coastal areas. host of reasons. Harvesting cork is an 17 February 2010.) Traditionally, the plants are not only ancient practice that keeps a cluster of valued for their edible fruits, used in cork trees – which are almost entirely in jams and jellies, but also for their Portugal and – alive.


More winemakers around the world, removed every 9–12 years without ever which is used as insulation on the Space however, are turning to synthetic damaging the tree, which lives for more Shuttle’s external fuel tank – has not been alternatives. Wineries in Australia and New than 200 years. Cork only has the used more often. DynAero, which has a Zealand gravitate towards metal caps qualities needed for the production of factory in Portugal’s central-south Alentejo because importing cork is expensive. Some wine stoppers – its main region, says the carbon fibre-cork would argue that synthetics avoid cork application – after the third harvesting. composite could be used in airframe parts mould that can taint wine while providing an • The ancient Greeks and Romans used such as the fuselage and wings. The easier way to seal a bottle. cork in combination with natural material would be lightweight and fire While many high-end vintners still use to stopper wine and oil amphorae. Now, retardant, two important, if not obvious, cork, synthetics are still gaining in some 70 percent of all cork produced is factors in aeroplane design. (Source: popularity, so now the cork industry is used to make wine bottle stoppers. www.wired.com, 4 February 2010.) pressuring winemakers and distributors to Portugal alone makes 40 million stay with cork for environmental and stoppers per day. economic reasons. • The tree’s acorns are used to feed the Corticeira Amorim, a leading Portuguese pigs that make some of the cured ham cork manufacturer, has launched a Web site for which Spain and Portugal are detailing all sorts of facts and statistics. The famous. company touts a PricewaterhouseCoopers • Thanks to cork’s cell-like structure, the study explaining that synthetic corks create material is elastic, resilient and highly a carbon footprint exponentially higher than impermeable. that of naturally derived cork. Other studies • Ground-up cork is “baked” and explain that cork taint is overhyped, outline compressed to make floor and wall tiles, Amorim’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas good for acoustic isolation. Granulated emissions and articulate how cork recycling cork is added to concrete for thermal is increasing and how the results of this are insulation and reduced weight. beneficial for the planet. All these reports Shredded cork is used in ablative %FERNS and campaigns have the purpose of thermal protection coating on booster pressuring winemakers to turn away from rockets, including the Space Shuttle’s Breakthrough breast cancer treatment synthetics and return to cork. external tank, which is jettisoned as it The next treatment for breast cancer could The environmental and social impacts of leaves the Earth’s atmosphere. stem from a fern. “The fact is ferns had to cork’s decline are clear: cork provides some (Source: Reuters India, 1 February 2010.) adapt to land conditions and make some of the world’s few remaining high-paying major biochemical adaptations for agricultural jobs. A decline in cork Cork aeroplanes could prop up purposes of protection from predators,” production could devastate cork forests, bottle-shocked industry explained Dr Sarah Crawford, who which house trees hundreds of years old and The old pilot’s rule of “eight hours from oversees research at Southern Connecticut contain rare ecosystems that would bottle to throttle” will take on a new State University (SCSU) in New Haven disappear should cork production cease. meaning if researchers in Portugal find a (Connecticut, United States of America). Finally, much of the Mediterranean has way to make aeroplanes out of cork. With So far, the medicinal properties of the suffered from drought – cork trees protect the wine industry turning to alternative ways fern are showing promising results in the local soil from drying out and halt erosion. of capping a bottle, Portugal is scrambling fight against aggressive forms of breast (Source: Environmental News Network, to find new markets for its huge cork cancer. “What we’ve found is that our 23 July 2010.) industry. The country produces about half of concentrated extract works at least as well, the world’s cork supply. Because the conservatively speaking, if not better than Key facts about cork and its use material is lightweight and naturally Taxol and some of the standard Following are some key facts about cork resistant to fire, one idea is to redirect the chemotherapy currently used in the and its main applications, from bottle country’s USD1.4 billion cork industry from treatment of the disease,” Dr Crawford stoppers to the aerospace industry. wine bottles to aeroplane parts. explained. • Cork is made from the bark of the cork The French aircraft manufacturer In short, the highly concentrated fern oak (Quercus suber) – the predominant DynAero hopes to develop two- and four- extract interferes with cancer cells. tree species in Portugal. Portugal seater aeroplanes, using cork as a “Attachment is essential for viability of accounts for just over half of the world’s substitute for other composite materials, the cells, so if the chemicals in the plants cork output, producing 157 000 tonnes according to Reuters. While the idea of interfere with that attachment, that will annually. There are also plantations in flying in a cork aeroplane may not inspire then start to kill the cancer cells,” said France, Spain, , Algeria, Morocco much confidence, we are not talking about Deana Diamond, SCSU. and Tunisia. a rickety ultralight model. DynAero plans to The evidence is in the tumours, which • Over 100 000 people depend on cork wrap a cork core with carbon fibre, in much are grown outside the body in a laboratory growing and processing in these the same way as lightweight plastic foams practice that is becoming standard. “It countries. are wrapped in aircraft today. actually disrupts the solid mass that we • The bark is harvested for the first time With decades of interesting ideas having see in the dish, we can actually see it when the tree is 25 years old. It is then come and gone, it is surprising that cork – broken apart,” said Rafaela Penarreta,


SCSU. And it appears the extract has a less from locally produced In addition to antibiotic resistance and an toxic side effect. frankincense. Then he separates the oil array of negative side effects, antibiotics Next week, Dr Crawford and her into its constituent agents, such as have another downside. They are students will travel to Washington, DC to Boswellic . indiscriminate killers, destroying as much present their findings before the American “There are 17 active agents in bacteria in the body as they can. This Association for Cancer Research. (Source: frankincense essential oil,” says Dr Suhail. removes the good bacteria along with the www.wtnh.com, 8 April 2010.) “We are using a process of elimination. We bad. The body contains intestinal flora that have cancer sufferers – for example, a is necessary for normal functioning. in South Africa – and we are giving offers a better solution by destroying only % FRANKINCENSE them tiny doses of each agent until we find the harmful, infectious bacteria and leaving the one that works.” good bacteria. Could frankincense be a cure for cancer? “Some scientists think Boswellic acid is There are many different types of honey. Oman’s land of frankincense is an 11-hour the key ingredient. But I think this is wrong. It is important to know that some honeys drive southwards from the capital, Muscat. Many other essential oils – such as oil from have more healing properties than others; Warm winters and showery summers are the – contain Boswellic acid, but this depends on the floral nectar used by perfect conditions for the Boswellia sacra they don’t have this effect on cancer cells. the bees that produced it. Manuka honey tree to produce the sap called frankincense. So we are starting afresh.” from New Zealand has been found to have a These trees grow wild in Dhofar. Wadi The trials will take months to conduct and significantly higher level of antibacterial Dawkah, a valley 20 km inland from the main whatever results come out of them will take activity than any other type of honey. city of Salalah, has a forest of them. longer still to be verified. But this is a blink However, even manuka honey should be “Records show that frankincense was of the eye in the history of frankincense. chosen wisely. In New Zealand, a rating produced here as far back as 7 000 BC,” Nine thousand years ago, Omanis system exists for manuka, e.g. manuka says tour guide Mohammed Al-Shahri. gathered frankincense and burnt it for its honey with a unique manuka factor (UMF) Most of the B. sacra trees grow on public curative and cleansing properties. It could be rating of between 10 and 16 is ideal for land, but custom dictates that each forest a key to the medical science of tomorrow. medicinal use; less than UMF 10 it is not is given to one of the local families to , (Source: BBC News, 9 February 2010.) potent enough; and more than UMF 16 is and Wadi Dawkah is his turf. too potent and usually overpriced. Using Immunologist Mahmoud Suhail is hoping manuka honey without an active UMF to open a new chapter in the history of rating is not recommended. frankincense. Scientists have observed that When using an active, medical-grade there is some agent within frankincense manuka honey, it is possible to treat that stops cancer spreading and induces effectively conditions such as sore throats, cancerous cells to close themselves down. strep throat, stomach ulcers, cold and flu He is trying to find out what this is. symptoms, acid reflux disease, heartburn, “Cancer starts when the DNA code within irritable bowel syndrome and gastritis. the cell’s nucleus becomes corrupted,” he Manuka honey can also be used topically on says. “It seems frankincense has a reset the skin to treat infected wounds, acne, function. It can tell the cell what the right ringworm, cold sores, pressure sores, skin DNA code should be. Frankincense ulcers and MRSA. (Source: SBWire.com, separates the ‘brain’ of the cancerous cell – 12 January 2010.) the nucleus – from the ‘body’ – the cytoplasm, and closes down the nucleus to Bee decline linked to cell phones stop it reproducing corrupted DNA codes.” HONEY AND BEE London, United Kingdom. A new study has Working with frankincense could %PRODUCTS suggested that cell phone radiation may be revolutionize the treatment of cancer. contributing to declines in bee populations in Currently, with chemotherapy, doctors blast Doctors find the health benefits of manuka some areas of the world. Bee populations the area around a tumour to kill the cancer, honey to be buzz-worthy dropped 17 percent in the United Kingdom but that also kills healthy cells and weakens Since the dawn of time, honey has been used last year, according to the British Bee the patient. Treatment with frankincense for medical purposes. Honey is an ideal Association, and nearly 30 percent in the could eradicate the cancerous cells alone natural medicine, mostly because of its United States of America, says the US and let the others live. antibacterial properties. In the mid-1940s, Department of Agriculture. The task now is to isolate the agent when antibiotics were invented, doctors Parasitic mites called varroa, agricultural within frankincense which, apparently, assumed they were a better treatment option pesticides and the effects of climate change works this wonder. Some ingredients of than honey. Even today, most Western have all been implicated in what has been frankincense are allergenic, so you cannot doctors are trained to believe in dubbed “colony collapse disorder” (CCD). give a patient the whole thing. pharmaceuticals, not natural alternatives. But researchers in India believe cell Dr Suhail has teamed up with medical However, with the dilemma of infections phones could also be to blame for some of scientists from the University of , caused by antibiotic-resistant strains of the losses. United States of America, for the task. In bacteria, the medical community is In a study at Panjab University in his laboratory in Salalah, he extracts the desperate for other solutions. Chandigarh, northern India, researchers


fitted cell phones to a hive and powered DVD – Honey hunters of the Blue Mountains, them up for two 15-minute periods each India day. After three months, they found the RESOURCES FROM BEES Honey hunters of the Blue Mountains is a bees stopped producing honey, egg FOR DEVELOPMENT film that has been shot over three years to production by the queen bee halved, and document in detail the lives of the last honey the size of the hive was dramatically Bees for Development helps hunters and their intricate relationship with reduced. beekeeping projects and groups in Apis dorsata (giant rock bee), in the Nilgiri Andrew Goldsworthy, a biologist at the developing countries by sending out hills of southern India. The film has been United Kingdom’s Imperial College, resource boxes – a pack of publications made by Riverbank Studios, a professional London, has studied the biological effects and materials for use for a training group from New Delhi. It is headed by Mike of electromagnetic fields. He thinks it is course or workshop. Pandey, a noted wildlife film-maker. possible that bees could be affected by cell Beekeeping Training Modules are The Kurumbas of the film have been phone radiation. The reason, Goldsworthy new. Designed for use by trainers in associated with the Keystone Foundation – a says, could hinge on a in bees Africa, each one is a 16-page booklet group that works with indigenous bees and called cryptochrome. “Animals, including that provides one day of training on people in the Nilgiri hills – since 1995. insects, use cryptochrome for navigation,” one topic. These are: (i) value and life Keystone has tried to understand them Goldsworthy told CNN. “They use it to of the honey bee; (ii) choosing and closely in order to design and implement sense the direction of the earth’s magnetic making a beehive; (iii) harvesting and appropriate interventions for development. field and their ability to do this is processing beeswax; (iv) harvesting and This film project is an outcome of that compromised by radiation from [cell] processing honey; and (v) honey bee interaction – to bring to the world a whiff of phones and their base stations. So colony management. the lives of these indigenous people, who are basically bees do not find their way back to The modules are accompanied by struggling to keep in tune with forests. the hive.” Training Cards. The set of nine double- The film tries to capture the very essence Goldsworthy has written to the United sided A4 cards provides over 60 of living with bees and the myths Kingdom’s communications regulator illustrations and plans. These are surrounding the honey hunter. On the natural OFCOM suggesting that a change of phone laminated to provide durability for history aspect, the film has some frequencies would stop the bees being long-term use. The subjects covered are breathtaking images of A. dorsata. The film confused. But the United Kingdom’s Mobile pests and predators; biology of the is of interest to the bee lover, scientist and Operators Association – which represents honey bee; choosing a beehive; the development planner wanting to address the country’s five mobile network operators beekeeping diary; comb; separating the issues of indigenous people in a – told CNN: “Research scientists have honey; rendering beeswax; hives in changing environment. It will also appeal to already considered possible factors Africa; and top-bar hive dimensions. others interested in learning, looking and involved in CCD and have identified the In addition, there are the understanding a little more about this Earth areas for research into the causes of CCD Beekeeping and Development Guides – and its people. which do not include exposure to radio 32-page illustrated booklets, also Part of the proceeds from the sale of the waves”. intended for use in Africa. These film will go towards “The Honey Hunters Norman Carreck, Scientific Director of address Market access for beekeeping Development Fund” set up by Keystone. the International Bee Research Association and Information for honey packers. at the University of Sussex in the United Resource boxes also include copies FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT: Kingdom says it is still not clear how much of the Bees for Development Journal, Mathew John, Keystone Foundation, radio waves affect bees. “We know they are information posters (available in Post Box 35, Kotagiri – 643 217, Nilgiris, sensitive to magnetic fields. What we don’t English, French, Mandarin, Portuguese Tamil Nadu, India. Fax: + 91-4266-272277; know is what use they actually make of and Spanish) and other booklets. e-mail: [email protected] them. And no one has yet demonstrated Projects and associations in that honey bees use the Earth’s magnetic developing countries can apply for a field when navigating,” Carreck said. sponsored resource box by completing % MAPLE SYRUP (Source: CNN, 30 June 2010.) an application form available on the Bees for Development Web site or by Research reveals impact of climate requesting a form by post or e-mail. change Projects in other areas can purchase Even though the maple syrup you drizzle on resource boxes and the items described your stack of pancakes may taste as sweet above through the Web site store. as ever, the tasty condiment is actually undergoing changes that may shed light on For more information, please contact: the impact of climate change. Bees for Development, PO Box 105, According to a new study by William Monmouth NP25 9AA, United Kingdom. Peck, Colgate University Associate E-mail: [email protected]; Professor of Geology, and student co- www.beesfordevelopment.org author Stephanie Tubman, the burning of fossil fuels is altering the chemical composition of syrup as well as other


. Their research, funded by Colgate’s As a result of this loss of indigenous Upstate Institute, was published in the knowledge, people cut Maya nut trees for Journal of Agricultural and firewood and burn forests to plant , and reported recently in Nature. beans and other crops. The Maya nut tree is What began as a laboratory in danger of extinction throughout its demonstration to teach Colgate students range, a situation that threatens the food about isotope analysis led to the findings, security of both and animal which could have implications for food populations. quality control. The students got a surprise The Equilibrium Fund’s Maya Nut when they compared the samples against programme is working to rescue lost isotope values of maple syrup from the late traditional knowledge about the tree for 1970s and early 1980s. Their research food, fodder and ecosystem services. Since revealed a change in the chemical its inception in 2001, the programme has composition of the syrups, which Peck trained more than 8 000 women from 450 suspected could be attributed to Mild weather zaps sap of maple syrup communities in Honduras, Nicaragua, environmental factors. Upon further farmers in New England, United States of Guatemala, El Salvador and Mexico. It has analyses of samples from a 36-year time America resulted in the conservation of more than period, Peck’s suspicion was confirmed. The unusually tepid spring in New England 400 000 ha of Maya nut forests and the The research team found increased has been a problem for maple syrup planting of more than 800 000 new amounts of carbon-12, the isotopic form of producers. The quick warm-up this spring seedlings. carbon that is released through burning switched sugar maple trees from sap The programme focuses on women as fossil fuels. producing to bud popping, lowering maple the caretakers of the family and the This research is significant because syrup production. environment, and addresses key factors for isotope analysis plays a key role in food In New York, there was a 30 percent sustainable livelihoods – sociocultural, regulation; regulators use the isotope decline in maple syrup production from last environmental and economic – by creating makeup to determine whether fillers have year, and Maine’s production dropped leadership, educational and economic been added to foods such as maple syrup, 22 percent. In Vermont, maple syrup opportunities for women and girls. honey and fruit juices. production suffered a 3 percent drop. The Equilibrium Fund’s newest As a result of the impact of (Source: USA Today, 28 June 2010.) programme, “Healthy Kids, Healthy environmental change on the chemical Forests” (Bosques Sanos, Niños Sanos), composition of food, it may become more aims to provide Maya nut-based school difficult for regulators to determine the %MAYA NUT for rural children. Starting in quality of food products. The Nature article Guatemala in 2008, it is feeding 8 124 noted that “the findings raise the possibility Maya nut: an ancient food for a healthy children from 46 communities in the Petén that producers of foods that are monitored future region of Guatemala. These communities ... might be able to add cheap sweeteners Maya nut (Brosimum alicastrum) – or are planting more than 300 000 new Maya without being caught”. (Source: Ascribe ramon, ojoche, masica, ujuxte, ojushte, nut trees as “food forests” to sustain the Newswire, 18 February 2010.) ojite, ash, , capomo, mojo and breadnut – programme in the future. (Source: Eco- is a delicious, nutritious, abundant Index, 7 January 2010.) Scientists highlight health benefits of pure Neotropical rain forest tree that provided a maple syrup for pre-Columbian hunter Scientists have revealed that pure maple gatherers. %MORINGA OLEIFERA syrup is good for health, encouraging its Maya nuts are exceptionally nutritious, use. providing high-quality protein, , Seeds from the moringa tree can be used Researcher Navindra Seeram from the iron, , fibre and vitamins A, E, C and for water purification University of Rhode Island (United States of B. They are also one of the best native Pure water is a key requirement for good America), who specializes in the research forage species and show great promise to health and alternative cheap and safe of medicinal plants, has discovered that provide ecological alternatives to pasture methods are required in many countries. In there are over 20 compounds in Canadian for ranches in the Neotropics. a paper that has just been published in the maple syrup that can be directly linked to In recent history, the Maya nut has been leading American Chemical Society Journal human health, with 13 of these compounds critical to rural food security; thousands of on interfaces, Langmuir, researchers from being discovered for the first time ever. villages throughout Central America and Uppsala University, , in cooperation Also, eight of the said compounds have Mexico have survived drought and famine with the University of Botswana, describe been discovered in the Acer (maple) genus by eating the nuts when no other food was how extracts from seeds of the Moringa for the first time. available. oleifera tree can be used for water Many of these antioxidant compounds Unfortunately, knowledge about Maya purification. that have been discovered in maple syrup nuts is being lost as globalization, export Flocculation of particulate impurities is a reportedly contain anticancer, antibacterial crops, and deforestation negatively impact common first stage in purification of water. and antidiabetic properties as well. indigenous cultures and the forests that This often uses addition of either (Source: www.topnews.us, 22 March 2010.) sustain them. aluminium or iron salts. Aluminium,


particularly, has undesirable health drought resistant and has remarkable implications. An alternative procedure that survival instincts. Moringa can also grow in uses a natural extract from seeds of the M. POOR MISSING OUT ON THE the semi-arid regions of the country, oleifera tree is used in Africa. WATER-PURIFYING POWERS rendering several benefits for local Cooperation with the University of OF MORINGA SEEDS communities. (Source: Central Chronicle Botswana, where there is a long interest in [India], 12 March 2010.) exploiting natural products, has led to a Michael Lea of Clearinghouse, a research project that provides important Canadian organization that investigates insights into the way that protein molecules low-cost water purification from M. oleifera seeds interact, binding technologies, has published a step-by- strongly both to each other and surfaces so step procedure online (www.jalmandir. as to cause aggregation into large lumps com/moringa/moringa-seeds.html) that that are readily removed from the water. shows how the seeds from Moringa “It is nice to see how the basic oleifera can be crushed to produce a interactions of molecules can play a role in natural flocculant – a substance that solving practical problems,” says Adrian aggregates suspended particles. He Rennie, Professor at the Department of hopes that making the technique freely Physics and Astronomy at Uppsala available in this way will facilitate University. “Understanding of the process dissemination to those who need it the may lead to further development in water most; the role of the seeds in purification with materials that are locally purification has been known for available and environmentally friendly.” centuries but use has been limited. (Source: Uppsala University News Writing in Current Protocols in %MUSHROOMS [Sweden], 18 February 2010.) Microbiology, he said that the seeds can provide a low-cost, accessible Rare fungus on Tibetan plateau faces Fight malnutrition by eating moringa purification method for poor extinction Veena S. Rao, a former secretary to the communities where diarrhoea caused Every summer since he was 18, Ma Youcai Government of India, in her book by waterborne bacteria is the biggest has combed the craggy, barren slopes of the Malnutrition, an emergency: what it costs killer of children aged five and under. mountains that surround his village in rural the nation, estimated that malnutrition has “M. oleifera is the only indigenous Qinghai province for dongchongxiacao, a led to a loss of 4 percent in the gross treatment technology that addresses rare, insect-like fungus used in traditional domestic product (GDP) of India. Stressing poverty and nutrition while also Chinese medicine. that malnutrition was a huge human providing potable water.” A parasite that attacks and eventually kills resource calamity, she called for making Vallantino Emongor, a M. oleifera moth larvae on the Qinghai-Tibet plateau, “high-energy, low-cost food” available to expert at the University of Botswana, just a few grams of the fungus can be ground the poor. said: “What is exciting is that this tree into powder and dissolved to make a tonic This is precisely where Moringa oleifera, is drought resistant and is accessible that is believed to boost energy. the “miracle tree”, our humble drumstick throughout Africa and India. But as Ma prepares for yet another tree, has a role. The tree is increasingly Communities need to learn what the summer search, the 40-year-old considered one of the world’s most seeds can do”. Some countries, herder fears this valuable fungus, which valuable natural resources, since its main including Burkina Faso, Benin, Ghana, provides almost half of his annual income, constituents have several nutritive Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda, have is in danger of disappearing forever. Last ingredients. Its leaves, pods and flowers formed associations to facilitate this. year, he found only half as many fungi as he are considered good sources of vitamins A, (Source: SciDev.Net, 24 March 2010.) did a decade ago. In some areas, the

B, B2, B3, B6 and C, folic acid, ascorbic acid, population has dropped almost tenfold in beta-carotene, calcium, iron and amino the last five years, according to Guo Jinling, . More important, its leaves are highly an expert on medicinal plants and a nutritious, being a significant source of dried and powdered, when added to the diet professor at the Chengdu University of beta-carotene, , protein, iron and of undernourished children enhance their Traditional Chinese Medicine. . appetite and increase their weight. Among Scientists say the decline is largely a It has been claimed that the moringa nursing it markedly increases result of habitat loss and overharvesting, tree provides seven times the Vitamin C in , providing greater nutrition for which is being driven by skyrocketing oranges, four times the calcium in and . It also makes great fodder for demand for costly and exotic herbal in carrots, twice the protein in cattle. Studies have revealed that the remedies among China’s growing middle milk and three times the potassium in weight of livestock increased up to and upper classes. “Animals and plants bananas. 32 percent through moringa feed, need time to grow. When demand causes A versatile plant with a multitude of increasing their milk by 43 percent. them to be harvested too fast, they can’t natural attributes, moringa is great food for Native to India and widely distributed in keep up and their populations decline,” said and animals alike. Its leaves, the country in virtually every region, it can Long Chunlin, a professor at the Kunming flowers and fruits are all edible. Its leaves, grow quickly and under any conditions. It is Institute of Botany in Yunnan province.


Although classified as a mushroom, But if the fabulous fungi are found in Colombia and Ecuador. It, too, fell out of use caterpillar fungus (Cordyceps sinensis) – Japan and Sweden, says the team, they in lieu of plastic, but it is coming back into or dongchongxiacao, which literally means might grow in forests at similar latitudes use for various crafts. “winter insect, summer grass” – is a everywhere else as well. (Source: When Richardell’s family came to the parasite that attacks moth larvae. It slowly www.techeye.net, 28 June 2010.) United States of America about ten years grows inside them until it kills and ago, her aunt wanted to start a business that mummifies them, eventually producing a would also help their home country. She fruiting body that releases spores that %PALMS discovered the tagua nut. Her extended infect other caterpillars. The fungus is family, along with six other families, lives in harvested in May and early June, just Nutty jewellery made from the tagua palm the rain forest and collects the tagua seeds, before the spores are released. If In the village of Ivoryton (United States of which fall naturally so the harvest does not consumed, it is said to boost stamina, as America), small images of elephants adorn harm the trees. The seeds then have to dry in well as strengthen the immune system, shop signs. For almost 100 years, some the sun for six to ten months. lungs and kidneys. 90 percent of all the ivory imported to the The nuts are sent to her aunt, whose Caterpillar fungus only grows at high country from Africa was shipped to factories husband is a woodcarver. He carves them altitudes on the Tibetan plateau in an area in Ivoryton or the nearby Deep River. By 1850, into pieces, polishing some, dyeing some and that stretches from , through northern a few small companies were using elephant leaving others in a natural form. Richardell Sichuan province and into Qinghai province. tusks to make combs, toiletries, billiard balls then turns the pieces into chunky bracelets, However, warming temperatures and and sewing implements. The business grew necklaces, earrings and rings, some overharvesting have caused populations to into making piano keys, fuelled by a national wrapped in wire designs. fall by nearly 90 percent in some areas, say demand for a piano in every parlour during Richardell said the families in Ecuador are experts. the Victorian period. paid a salary, so they have a monthly income, As a result, it is one of the most valuable These days, plastic materials have which is important to her because the medicinal products on the market today. replaced ivory in many of poverty rate in her home country is about One jin – roughly equal to 500 g – sells for up these products, but consumer demand for 38 percent. to 80 000 yuan (USD12 000), with some ivory remains in some parts of the world. “I know I’m not changing the world, but experts claiming prices can top 100 000 Although the international commercial ivory this is something that can help,” Richardell yuan. The largest markets for the fungus trade was banned in 1989, poaching said. (Source: The Day [United States of tend to be in South China and around continues to threaten the endangered America], 21 March 2010.) Shanghai. (Source: China Daily in China animals. Tibet Online, 16 April 2010.) Ivoryton resident Desiree Richardell could The new economics of babassu palm help change that. Originally from Ecuador, forests in Brazil Japanese delicacy grows like weed Richardell is part of a family business that is Contemporary societies everywhere live in Sweden marketing “ ivory” as an alternative under the aegis of convergence, where all DNA analysis has revealed that Japan’s to the real thing. systems and processes may be integrated as second-most expensive gourmet mushroom Richardell makes jewellery from the tagua one. This new kind of complexity is daily is actually pretty common in Sweden. palm tree (Phytelephas aequatorialis) that present in economy and markets, science, The hon-shimeji mushroom – Lyophyllum grows in the forests of . It is research, technology and even in political shimeji – costs about USD5 000/kg in Japan, the only plant product that produces a institutions. and is by all accounts jolly tasty. Until this material so white, durable and pure, she In economy and markets, convergence has discovery, it was thought to grow nowhere says. The plant version, however, is lighter, blurred sectorial divisions towards an else. But, it seems, people had been harder and less porous than real ivory. integrated system of management. trampling the things underfoot in Sweden During the First and Second World Wars, Integrated forest and land-based industry under the impression that they were another tagua was used for buttons on United States respond to this new technological imperative related species. army uniforms, making it a major industry in where the same economic cluster processes “We were visited by a Japanese wood and other materials for timber, non- mycologist who found a fungus on a pine timber, energy, chip pellets, composites, heath outside Skellefteå which she thought carbon sink and other environmental was similar to hon-shimeji,” says Henrik services. Sundberg, a student at the University of In this way, after 30 years of crisis and Gothenburg. “Using molecular techniques, decline, the market for products from the we’ve now been able to show that this babassu palm (Orbignya spp.) forests of the northern Swedish fungus is identical to the Brazilian tropics has been reborn and is Japanese one.” growing again, led by new demands, such as Hon-shimeji has become rarer and rarer activated charcoal, green markets, biofuels, in Japan, probably because of pests veneers and chip pellets. attacking host trees and changes in forestry. This large set of demands requires a Wild hon-shimeji is currently sold only by a refined system of pricing and marketing few specialist dealers and served at the very strategies. There are many market smartest restaurants. segments and niches that intertwine,


interchange and trade off, which in turn twice the price of R$0.50 (USD 0.20) per This new process has been successfully require sophisticated business strategies to kilogram paid by markets today for pod- implemented in the state of Ceará. The position both product and service. Therefore, break women. However, this price will be challenge now is to make this new it is not so simple to put babassu products paid by the National Company of Food technology or industrial process widely into this new set of converged market (Conab). available to be transferred and absorbed by opportunities. New technologies, innovation The new demand for biodiesel and special others interested in processing babassu of old products and services, and the oils. In February 2008, a Virgin Atlantic pods. creation of new ones are needed. aircraft made a test flight between London It is known that technology innovation by Technology innovation is the keyword for and Amsterdam fuelled by biodiesel from the disruption or radical organizational change the construction of a new forestry based on babassu nut. The technology to use babassu is not easy. Especially in areas such as the sustainable patterns of management – oil as feedstock for jet fuel, as a way to Amazon, where market asymmetries are innovation from procurement and harvest to increase combustion and reduce carbon huge, information is very costly, and sales and delivery of forest products. That is emissions was developed by Professor knowledge and human capital are not the entire supply and value chain. Expedito Parente, from TecBio. This project adequately managed by enterprises and Below we analyse seven new trends of the is funded by a consortium formed by Boeing, industry. Besides, Brazil has no national or babassu pod markets in the Brazilian General Electric Aviation, NASA and regional innovation system and policy to Amazon. Imperium Renewables. The B20 from make these changes faster, safer and The ban in burning the entire pod. babassu nut oil is the result of a blend with competitively efficient for stakeholders. Addressing the claims from industry, 80 percent of kerosene by transesterification. Land conflict and natural resources Tocantins state bans by law the industrial The potential of babassu for biodiesel is management. These new markets and processing of the entire babassu pod for huge, since its productivity and production for babassu pods have brought up charcoal-making and chip pellets for per hectare is very competitive in ancient social problems concerning the use heating. It is mistaken since this law creates comparison with other oleaginous crops. of natural resources in the Amazon. Around a negative market distortion. Free prices for Activated charcoal and market niches. 400 000 women still have income the babassu pod and its parts could signal Activated charcoal for industrial filters has expectations from the breaking of babassu correctly to markets. In this way, industrial also been addressed by babassu pod pods and the extraction and sale of the nut. demand to process the pod separately industrialization. This is the principal market In addition to the classic problem related to should have to compete with charcoal- niche for Tobasa AS. However, in Brazil this access to the land and its resources, they making and other energy demands that is a very small market niche and is not now face competition from alternative uses process the pod entirely. enough to require a large amount of pods. for babassu pods: charcoal, liquid biofuels Today large amounts of pods are left aside New technologies for small- and medium- and chip pellets. and rot in the forest because of a lack of sized enterprises (SMEs). The unique Today, land conflict between the charcoal markets. However, charcoal from the entire competitive and worthwhile technology to industry, landowners and pod collectors on pod has much tar because of the high process babassu nuts entirely is used by the one side, and pod-break women on the content of oil, which makes it less efficient Tobasa AS in the city of Tocantinópolis, other, has been increasing. Charcoal for heating. Tocantins. This process is patented and is an companies have rented large areas of The charcoal manufacturing cluster. After industrial secret. However, the Mussambê babassu to collect the pods, which reduces the crisis of the oil industry resulting from Foundation, in the northeastern state of the stock of pods to be broken by the women, the increasing open market for importing Ceará, promoted the creation of a new as well as reduce the prices of the nuts of the from Asia and the boost to Elaeis technology for SMEs to process the nut pods they sell. guineensis palm crops in Pará state, entirely and so extract the epicarp separately Conclusions. The sustainable management babassu pods have been largely used to to produce fibres; the endocarp to produce of the babassu palm forest requires new prepare charcoal to fuel the production of pig , amid and starch; the mesocarp to technologies, market perspectives and iron and alumina in the cluster of produce charcoal; and the nut to produce oil. marketing and business strategies. We Grande Carajás. There is today a new cluster believe that all these already exist. What is of small- and medium-sized enterprises lacking is making this innovation happen in involved in the manufacturing of charcoal practice. from babassu pods. This must not be seen as To do this would need a regional a problem but a new opportunity to trade the entrepreneurial system of innovation and pods. Charcoal from the endocarp (lignin) of technology transfer directed to make this babassu pods could produce 615 MW of new cluster of babassu businesses solid, energy yearly. competitive, lucrative and for jobs, Minimum price security policy. In September investments and people, able to create and 2008, the Brazilian Government launched a distribute wealth and well-being in the new price policy to subsidize NTFPs by region. making their harvest and commercialization It is clear that is not easy to conciliate financially worthwhile for the extractive multiple land uses, land rights, social population of the Amazon. The price for the fairness and sustainable natural resources trade of babassu pods is regulated at R$1.46 management. However, it is also clear that (USD0.60) per kilogram of nut debarked. It is efficient technologies are the vector to


reconcile use, protection and conservation and then heated in a furnace in a process WWF’s Viet Nam Rattan Project Manager, everywhere. that adds carbon and calcium to the wood. Vu Que Anh, said: “The important species of This research was funded by the Then the wood is heated under pressure rattan are now rare and often bought from Freezailah Fellowship Programme of the with a phosphate solution. After ten days, the Lao PDR. Rattan processors in the south International Organization the material is bonelike and ready to be of Viet Nam have now started to subcontract (ITTO). used. to northern processors, or stop operations (Contributed by: Vag-Lan Borges, Forest Scientists say that the material eventually altogether”. (Source: Viet Nam News Online, Life; Mônica Sousa Ferreira, Forestry fuses to bone and is capable of carrying 29 May 2010.) Student, Federal University of Tocantins loads without breaking, just like real bone. In [UFT]; and Gustavo Félix, Environmental addition, because rattan is porous, it is able Technician Student, Technical Federal to have blood and nerves travel through it. School of Maranhão, Brazil.) Sheep with the transplanted rattan have had the material fuse to their existing bone FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT: within a matter of a few months with a Vag-Lan Borges, Director, Forest Life, barely perceptible seam. The fused rattan Av. Taubaté 878, Jd. Paulista, 77.600-000 – material has functioned just like the sheep’s Paraíso do Tocantins – TO, Brazil. original bone, scientists say. E-mail: [email protected]; Funding for the project is being provided www.forestlife.com.br by the European Union. (Source: AllHeadlineNews [United States of America], Palm fronds point the way to integrated 12 January 2010.) In the days leading up to Palm Sunday, Vietnamese rattan companies learn about %SAFFRON planes loaded with greenery take off from sustainable farming in the Lao People’s Guatemala bound for the United States of Democratic Republic Saffron: hard to produce and more costly America and Canada. Every year, 30 million Nine rattan companies from Viet Nam, than gold, but there’s nothing else like it xaté palm fronds (Chamaedorea spp.) are where rattan availability has fallen Saffron is the stigma of a very pretty exported from Guatemala to North America. dramatically because of high demand and crocus native to a strip of west Asia. The Demand peaks around Palm Sunday, when unsustainable exploitation, visited the modern plant is sterile, the hard-won congregations decorate their churches with Sustainable Rattan Management Area in the result of cross-breeding and human-led fronds; the floral industry also uses palms Lao People’s Democratic Republic earlier Darwinism. Every year, people have to dig all year. The trade contributes millions of this month. The area is maintained by the it up, split the bulb-like corms that form dollars to the Guatemalan economy. Agriculture and Forestry Office (DAFO), part of its root and replant them. The Xaté fronds are one of an increasing Khamkeut district, Borikhamxay province flowers bloom in October, pushing out two number of products, besides timber, being and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). or three fragile, wispy stigmas that can profitably harvested from forests. In The sustainable rattan model has proved only be harvested by hand, and pickers Guatemala, the financial benefits of xaté such a success that DAFO plans to replicate work throughout the night to catch these collection have long been recognized. When it in other areas to improve local livelihoods, at their best. community forest concessions were set up in support poverty elimination and achieve It is punishing, fiddly work. So saffron is the department of Petén in the early 1990s, sustainable rattan management. notoriously the most expensive spice, its multiple forest use, harvesting both timber WWF plans to have this area certified by retail price, pound for pound, often and xaté, was explicitly incorporated into the end of 2011 and will share its successes exceeding that of gold. management plans. (Source: Thinking and achievements with partners in the rattan For as long as there have been people, beyond the canopy, 5 March 2010.) industry around the world. people have known about saffron. A dye Viet Nam imports more than 40 percent of from its stigmas colours 50 000-year-old its needs from the Lao People’s Democratic cave paintings in what is now Iraq. Ancient %RATTAN Republic and also sources significant frescoes on the Greek island of Santorini amounts from Cambodia. It has a significant depict a goddess watching – or perhaps Rattan used for transplants shortage of commercially valuable rattan – a woman picking saffron, Scientists are working on a process that species such as those available in the Lao presumably for medicine. The spice also turns rattan into a bone-like material that is PDR, particularly those in the rattan project appears in the sybaritic verses of the Song almost like human tissue and can bond to areas. of Solomon and in Chinese writings dating human bone. “Normally we import 5–7 000 tonnes of back to 1600 BC. Italian scientists say that a method for rattan a year from the Lao PDR, but none is The Romans grew saffron in Gaul but creating replacement bones for humans from sustainable management areas,” when the Empire fell, so did the civilized might be only a few years away. Right now, Nguyen Truong Thien, Director of the Au Co taste for the spice. The Moors reintroduced the scientists are doing trials involving sheep Rattan – Bamboo Export Enterprise, said. saffron to a benighted continent in the eighth that have had the new material implanted. “After learning about WWF’s rattan project, and ninth centuries. Basel was the centre of The scientists use tubular sections of we understand more about sustainable the European saffron industry in the Middle rattan wood that is cut into smaller pieces harvesting.” Ages, and unscrupulous dealers would,


under local law, be burned alive for selling individuals were tested with traditional eye Satlej, Indus and Chenab, especially during an adulterated product. Then, as now, cheap charts, a number of them could read one or the rainy season, he said. imitations based on and safflower two lines smaller than before assuming the Globally, some 40 countries have in the tempted the chancers and cheats. pill, while others could read books and past 20 years joined in the race for sea Saffron’s popularity had waned by the newspapers again. buckthorn development and its commercial eighteenth century as foods such as vanilla, All patients experienced improvements in utilization. cocoa and emerged to titillate the their vision while taking the saffron “Huge chunks of barren land in the palates of the rich. That is why comparatively supplement. But when they stopped taking it, possession of forest departments in the few classic European dishes feature saffron – the benefits quickly disappeared. Himalayan states would also be used for sea and those that do, such as paella and AMD is a disease affecting the macula (the buckthorn plantations and it would bouillabaisse, almost invariably come from part of the eye that allows one to see), accelerate the ecological rehabilitation of saffron-producing regions, as in Provence or associated with ageing that gradually degraded mountainous lands,” Singh said. Valencia. destroys vision. There are few treatments for Aerial seeding, participation of the local Cornish saffron cake, however, is a classic the disease. Saffron affects the amount of communities in the programme and English dish with an uncertain history. stored by the eye, making vision cells commercial utilization for the benefits of the Saffron grew most successfully in the east, tougher and more resilient. It has been used farmers are among the issues to be particularly in Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and in traditional medicine for centuries to treat discussed in finalizing the national plan, he Essex (Saffron Walden is named after the a range of ailments including cancerous added. crop that, for a time, made it rich, and a tumours and depression. The spice also has Forest ministers of the five beneficiary crocus still appears on its coat of arms). properties that encourage oxygen flow and Himalayan states, together with officials, vice Nobody knows why saffron cake should have prevent cell death. (Source: The Times of chancellors, directors and sea buckthorn come from Cornwall. It has been posited that Doon, 11 April 2010 in MFP News, XX: 2, experts of various research and development the Cornish, who were trading tin with 2010.) institutions have been invited for a 25 June foreign merchants – possibly Phoenicians – meeting to formulate the sea buckthorn as early as 400 BC, bought saffron at the development plan. (Source: Bombay time and retained it in their cooking. If this is SEA BUCKTHORN News.Net, 8 June 2010.) true, England is almost unique in Europe, %(HIPPOPHAE having cooked with saffron for more than two RHAMNOIDES) millennia. The Islamic Republic of now produces Sea buckthorn to green cold deserts around 90 percent of the world’s saffron. The in Himalayan states EU has tried and largely failed to persuade The cold deserts of the Indian Himalayas Afghan poppy farmers to switch to saffron; where the survival of many flora species is although the spice is quite lucrative and minimal may soon see massive plantations well-suited to most Afghan land, farmers of sea buckthorn, a medicinally rich plant, in earn only half as much for it as they do for a move that is expected to help check soil opium. Producing saffron has always been erosion and benefit farmers economically. difficult, and few countries do not even A long-term national policy aims to start attempt it today. (Source: sea buckthorn plantations in high-altitude www.guardian.co.uk, 29 June 2010.) areas of India spanning 75 000 km² in (Please see page 41 for more information on Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jammu saffron in Afghanistan.) and Kashmir, and Arunachal Pradesh. Saffron (Crocus sativus) antioxidant The policy has been prepared jointly by properties may reverse age-related scientists of the Defence Research and Hippophae rhamnoides macular degeneration (AMD) Development Organisation (DRDO) and the Saffron (keshar) is well known for its use in Palampur-based Chaudhary Sarwan Kumar Tibet boasts ancient sea buckthorn forest colouring food, as a spice and in traditional Himachal Pradesh Krishi Vishwavidyalaya. Along the Niangmu river valley in the Cona medicine for its antioxidant properties. According to Virendra Singh, a senior sea county of Lhoka Prefecture, lies the sea Researchers have now found that saffron buckthorn scientist at the Vishwavidyalaya, buckthorn forest, covering 2 000 mu (more also helps keep vision sharp, and can “sea buckthorn afforestation will not only than 3 000 acres/1 214 ha) with trees over prevent AMD – a common cause of blindness help in the conservation of the Himalayas by 15 m high and thousands of years old. in people of 60 years of age and older. checking soil erosion but its commercial Nyima, leader of Chomo village in Cona Professor Silvia Bisti of the University of cultivation will also be economically county, said: “In ancient times, Tibetans Sydney is the first to look at saffron’s effect beneficial for farmers because of its protected the sea buckthorn forest, which on eyesight. Patients suffering from AMD medicinal properties. Its extract is used for had been called in Tibetan ‘La xin’ (the were given a saffron supplement daily for making life-saving drugs for cardiovascular plants with souls). I hope in future, the fruits three months followed by a placebo for a diseases, ulcer and cancer”. The problem of of sea buckthorn could bring profits for local further three months. A second group took soil erosion is acute in most rivers Tibetans”. (Source: China Tibet Online, the supplements in reverse order. When originating from the Himalayas such as the 1 June 2010.)


%SHEA NUT Among the roughly 16 countries where shea grows, Burkina Faso, , Benin and Shea production vital to women’s incomes Nigeria represent the bulk of world SHEA : A NATURAL Across the semi-arid Sahel region of West production. Mali occupies an important MOISTURIZER THAT’S FOOD Africa, the shea tree (Butyrospermum parkii) position in the market. “With nearly 150 FOR THE SKIN is prized by women who produce a butter million shea trees, Mali is ranked the from its nuts that is a key ingredient in food second largest producer after Burkina Faso Shea butter is fantastically versatile, and cosmetics. However, drought and with an output of about 60 000 tonnes per especially the raw unrefined variety. A diseases threaten this source of income. year,” said Kadidiatou Lah, a shea butter real skin food, it is good for dry and “Shea represents 80 percent of rural exporter based in Bamako. She is also the sensitive skin, soothing for sore, cracked women’s income,” says Fatoumata Coulibaly, President of Mali’s National Federation of skin and its anti-inflammatory explaining how women go out to collect the Shea Exporters, which trains rural women in properties make it useful for sunburn, nuts and later process them to make shea shea . itchiness, insect bites, rashes and butter. Coulibaly is a member of La Maison The growth of international demand for eczema. It is rich in natural vitamins that du Karité (“the House of Shea”), a women’s shea outside Africa is explained in part by its promote healthy skin and cell repair. group in Siby, a village in southern Mali. IPS expanded use by the food industry in some Derived from the nuts of the spoke to the young woman during Global developed countries. In 2000, a decree came African karité tree (Butyrospermum Shea, an international forum on shea trade into effect in Europe allowing chocolate parkii), shea butter has been used as that took place in mid-March in Bamako, the manufacturers to use a limited amount of fat an African skincare and healing Malian capital. other than cocoa butter in their products, up ingredient for centuries. Now a widely Shea trees grow wild in West Africa. to five percent. used cosmetic ingredient, it is an According to experts, they take 25 years to This change in regulations, which had important resource and source of reach maturity and their lifetime can span previously been the case in Japan, the income for local communities. two centuries. In the rainy season, women United States of America and Eastern Historically, the women who gather pick the fruit: a sweet pulp wrapped around Europe, has opened up new opportunities shea nuts have received very little pay an oily kernel. In the dry season, they sell a for shea. “Today countries from all for their labour, particularly when the portion of their nuts to international continents import shea butter or shea nuts nuts are exported and processed abroad. companies and process the rest themselves to extract butter,” confirmed Lah. Increasingly, however, shea butter is for sale on the local market. Local shea producers have no influence available to buy as a certified fairtrade In West Africa, shea butter is used in over the price fetched by shea nuts and or as a “fairly traded” ingredient. cooking by nearly 80 percent of the rural butter internationally. “The prices change In its most pure, untreated state, population. It is also used in traditional frequently on the international market, but virgin shea butter looks like lumps of medicine, and the wood from the tree is at the moment a kilogram of shea nuts hard caramel ice . Just warm it up prized as fuel. costs between 500 and 600 CFA francs (just in your hands until it melts and softens The many uses of the trees have assured over USD1),” said Kone. and massage it gently into the skin. its protection for centuries by local Large companies prefer to buy their shea When buying branded body populations, some of whom even consider it nuts from villages through local buyers who or containing shea, beware: sacred. “We treat shea with respect. That is roam the countryside. However, these not all shea is the same quality. Most why we organize ceremonies when shea intermediaries make far more profit from shea butter on the market has been trees reach maturity,” said Nayouma the trade than rural women producers. extracted with a chemical solvent and Coulibaly, a woman from Tioribougou, a (Source: Inter Press Service News Agency “refined”, which not only removes the village in southern Mali. [IPS], 9 April 2010.) natural scent and colour of the natural But now, according to the Albert butter but also many of its beneficial Schweitzer Ecological Centre, a Swiss-based Global Shea properties. The best shea is obtained NGO, shea trees face many threats such as Global Shea, the Trade Hub shea brand, using a traditional method of drought, diseases and overuse as a source of represents industry aspirations: improved extraction, cold pressed without the firewood. quality and expanding markets. With Trade use of solvents. (Source: The Ecologist, Not all observers agree that there is a Hub assistance, the shea industry is 1 June 2010.) problem. “I don’t think there’s cause to expanding, creating jobs and improving worry. Actually, the number of shea trees is livelihoods. on the rise, because people have now Just a year after Sekaf Ghana started planting them. I’ve done so myself,” inaugurated its first shea butter village things getting better and a lot of repeat said Seydou Kone, a trade technician with near Tamale in northern Ghana, creating customers.” AMEPROC, Mali’s association of exporters of 40 jobs for women, the facility now employs Kpelly’s experience is just one reflection of agricultural products, headquartered in 250 women. And Sekaf is building two how well the shea industry is doing. Trade Bamako. AMEPROC is combating shea tree others like it in collaboration with Hub shea expert Dr Peter Lovett, a disappearance and disease by conducting international buyers. “Buyers like our biochemist intimately familiar with the public education in rural areas where shea approach,” Senyo Kpelly of Sekaf Ghana product’s valuable properties, has helped trees are threatened, training local said. “We have our own improved method dozens of companies and producer groups populations on shea planting and protection. of processing for the butter. We’ve seen across West Africa improve the quality of


their shea butter and link to international The Commission will “take note” of Meanwhile, if you want spotted owls in buyers. EFSA’s warning that its “acceptable daily the Pacific Northwest, you need flying Indeed, major international buyers of shea intake” level of 4 milligrams per kg of body squirrels, the bird’s favourite food. Which nuts and makers of speciality are weight set for stevia could be exceeded by means you need an environment rich in looking closely at opportunities in Nigeria. In both adults and children if the sweetener the squirrel’s favourite food: truffles. October 2009, a new exporter from Benin is used at the maximum levels proposed (Source: Scientific American, 6 April attended her first trade show. And shea by its makers. 2010.) stakeholders in Mali established an The value of the global sweetener association in November 2009 as Trade Hub market was estimated at about USD58.3 Researchers unlock truffle genome began organizing the third annual billion in 2009. The current global stevia The genome of the black, golf ball-sized international conference for the industry, market is worth about USD500 million, but edible mushroom known as the Périgord which took place from 16 to 19 March in is expected to reach USD2 billion by the truffle (Tuber melanosporum) has been Bamako, the country’s capital. end of 2011. (Source: Reuters, 16 April successfully decoded by French and Italian Kpelly’s company employs women who 2010.) researchers, a step that experts believe make shea butter much as it has been for will cut down in fraudulent sales of generations. Elsewhere, several high- T. melanosporum impostors. technology processing facilities are In a 28 March press release, officials producing tonnes of shea butter for the from the French National Institute for international speciality fats industry. 3Fs, an Agricultural Research (INRA), who worked international speciality fats manufacturer, alongside officials from the Universities of opened its facility in 2009 in Ghana; it now Lorraine and the Mediterranean and employs over 600 people. scientists at laboratories in , Parma, Trade Hub efforts have improved the Urbino, Rome and elsewhere in Italy, quality of shea butter made by women’s announced that they had published a groups in villages and of shea nuts traded in paper discussing the sequencing and international markets, and expanded decoding of the “black diamond” fungus. markets for producers through participation The paper, which was published online in international trade shows. Trade Hub’s in Nature, found that 6 000 of the truffle’s access to finance programmes has opened 7 500 protein-coding genes were similar to banks’ doors to the shea industry. And Trade %TRUFFLES other mushrooms, but that “several Hub is developing branding to bring the hundred genes are unique to the truffle industry together and increase consumer Truffles serve up environmental and play a fundamental role in mushroom demand in end markets. The result is more information formation and symbiosis with the host jobs and higher incomes over the past three Truffles play a part in environmental plant”. years. research by attracting animals that “Studying them will reveal the scientists need to observe. mechanisms behind the formation of this FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT: Quality truffles can sell for more than peculiar underground fructification,” INRA Dr Peter Lovett, West Africa Trade Hub Shea USD1 000 a pound (0.45 kg). They are also officials said in their press release. “The Sector Expert, West Africa Trade Hub, valuable in environmental research, work relevance of the study goes beyond the c/o USAID, PO Box 1630, Accra, Ghana. that is discussed in an article called “The purely academic,” the researchers claim. E-mail: [email protected] or hidden life of truffles” in the April issue of “Full sequencing of the black Périgord [email protected]; www.globalshea.org; Scientific American magazine, by truffle genome has also allowed the www.watradehub.com (West Africa Trade Hub) State University’s James Trappe and development of specialized diagnostic Andrew Claridge, Visiting Fellow at the tools for genetic polymorphism of this University of New South Wales in valuable product.” %STEVIA Australia. “DNA sequencing also made it possible Claridge is getting better estimates of to spot several thousand genetic markers EU could approve stevia sweetener Australian endangered species in the genome. About a dozen of these are by 2011 populations, thanks to truffles. Some currently being used to create a DNA Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana), a natural marsupials are as crazy for truffles as fingerprint file of some 50 populations of sweetener derived from the sunflower plant, some humans. Claridge soaked foam pads T. melanosporum from Italy, Spain and could receive European Union (EU)-wide with olive oil infused with the scent of France,” they added. “The DNA approval for use in food by next year, an EU European black Périgord truffles, and left fingerprints make it easier to carry out executive said on Friday. the pads near motion-sensing cameras. ‘typing’ of the geographic origin of The European Commission and EU The animals came in droves, with 50 times harvested truffles, and allow the use of countries will begin discussing whether to as many individuals counted as with other product certification and fraud detection authorize stevia in the coming weeks, after techniques. Claridge used the European tools.” an opinion from the European truffle product because it was easy to get; Truffles can reach prices of more than Authority (EFSA) on Wednesday said that it his team will next see the reaction of the US1 300 per pound (0.45 kg), and they are was safe for human consumption. animals to native truffles. often the target of fraud as individuals try


to pass off cheap imitations as the But the use of dogs to find truffles in the %WILDLIFE immensely valuable T. melanosporum. United States of America is in its infancy, (Source: www.redorbit.com, 29 March and places that train and sell dogs for the Coping with raiding elephants and hippos. 2010.) purpose are rare. FAO tests toolkit to lessen human and Recent news stories about truffle wildlife conflict thieves and the damage they cause to Rome. Are raiding elephants bothering young forest stands highlight the need for you? No problem. Drive them off with state-wide regulation of this resource. pepper spray. Are lions, cheetahs or Stricter trespassing laws will not help spotted hyenas attacking your farm alleviate theft; truffles, apparently, are animals? Consider a guard donkey. worth the risk. Nevertheless, new laws Marauding baboons giving you a hard and regulations are needed and must time? Offer them a snake . focus on truffle buyers, sellers and These are some of the colourful tips harvesters. contained in a toolkit produced by FAO to A state-mandated Oregon truffle help resolve, prevent and mitigate the season, in tandem with a permitting growing problem of conflict between The trouble with Oregon’s truffles system akin to hunting and fishing humans and wild animals. And while the Truffles and Oregon are becoming licences sold by the state, is necessary. measures suggested may raise a smile, synonymous – at least on the West Coast Without adequate regulations and there is nothing light-hearted about the of the United States of America. This is enforcement of truffle resources, on both problem they are designed to address. where many chefs appreciate the culinary public and private lands, landowners will With the world’s population growing at value of Oregon truffles – and harvesters continue to incur damage to their property some 75 million a year, humans and their cash value. But is this resource and lost revenues in the form of dead wildlife are having to squeeze ever more sustainable? trees. (Source: www.oregonlive.com, 19 tightly together, increasing the risk of In Oregon, and elsewhere across the March 2010.) conflict between them. The result is a country, commercial harvesters rake growing threat to people’s lives and truffles from the soil with a garden livelihoods and to their health from cultivator, sometimes called a fork, %WATTLE animal-borne diseases. in a mostly indiscriminate fashion. This Competition between humans and method procures more truffles in the Wattle (Australian acacia) comes to Africa wildlife goes back to the dawn of shortest amount of time, and with the A traditional Aboriginal food has become humanity. Fossil records show that the least effort. But it yields both mature (ripe) part of the staple diet of African first hominids fell prey to the animals and young (not so ripe) truffles. For communities. The seeds of Australian with which they shared their habitats. culinary purposes, only mature truffles are acacia, commonly called wattles, are tasty, “But now,” says FAO Forestry and worth their full value, both monetarily and high in protein (25 percent) and Wildlife Officer René Czudek, “things may gastronomically. (40 percent) and easily made be getting worse, particularly in Africa”. The reason commercial harvesters use into flour. The population of the continent, which this method is twofold. First, it is about the In the Niger, wattle has become a local has the world’s largest reserves of money – more truffles mean higher cash legend. The seeds are used in over 40 local wildlife, is set to double from one to two returns. Second, there is no other method dishes. In fact, village consumers say that billion in the next 40 years. Africans will readily available. Unscrupulous truffle eating wattle increases strength, improves not only be packing more tightly into the hunters hurt the land with their metal eyesight, cures night blindness and cities – they and their crops will also be forks. A walk through any accessible, stimulates milk let down in new mothers. increasingly pressing up against territory coastal tree farm reveals the scars: Since the global food crisis of 2008, a populated by wildlife. trenches run deep along tree roots; dirt heightened sense of urgency has driven the FAO’s human-wildlife conflict mitigation mounds, piled in high rows, look like a search for better sources of nutrition. toolkit thus largely focuses on problem- battleground cemetery; the once-sparse Following a famine in 1984, the Christian solving in Africa. It is designed not only to vegetation is gone; and erosion is severe. organization Serving in Mission (SIM) began help protect people, their livestock and In some forest stands, the truffles are a concerted effort to promote wattle- their crops from animals but, just as gone, too. Decades of abuse have growing in the Niger and acacia seeds important, to safeguard animals from devastated the truffle’s mycorrhizal became popular. Between 2006 and 2009, people. It suggests policies, strategies network. That abuse also threatens the over 50 000 acacia trees were planted on and practical tips to make increasingly continuance of Oregon’s truffle industry. 480 in 33 villages and more trees are tight cohabitation safer for everyone. But there is hope. Oregon truffles, being planted each year. According to the Southern African despite decades of haphazard harvest World Vision is now promoting wattle Development Community’s (SADC) methods, finally have a reprieve: the seeds in Senegal, Mali and Chad. Many of Technical Committee on Wildlife, wild increasing use of dogs to locate truffles is these projects have been funded through animals represent the number one replacing the potato fork. Using dogs child sponsorship from World Vision problem for Africa’s rural populations both instead of rakes ensures that only truffles Australia. (Source: http://eternity.biz, 9 April in terms of personal security and because at their peak ripeness are dug up. 2010.) of the economic damage they can cause.


Internet is biggest threat to endangered million were reptiles. About one million species, say conservationists birds and 400 000 mammals were traded, The Internet has emerged as one of the along with 18 million pieces of coral. greatest threats to rare species, fuelling The situation is so serious that experts the illegal wildlife trade and making it have invented a new term – empty forest easier to buy everything from live lion syndrome – to describe the gaping holes in cubs to wine made from tiger bones, biodiversity left behind. conservationists said today. “There’s lots of forest where there are The Internet’s impact was made clear just no big animals left,” says Chris at the meeting of the 175-nation Shepherd of TRAFFIC. “There are some Convention on International Trade in forests where you don’t even hear birds.” Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Vincent Nijman, a researcher at the Flora (CITES). Delegates voted United Kingdom’s Oxford Brookes overwhelmingly today to ban trade of University who has investigated the trade, Kaiser’s spotted newt, which the World said that “in Asia, everybody knows the Generally speaking, however, the best Wide Fund for Nature says has been value of wildlife, so people go into the way to reduce the problems that humans devastated by the Internet trade. forest and, whatever they encounter, they face from wildlife, and vice versa, is to Trade on the Internet poses one of the know it has a value and that there is educate farmers and villagers – and also biggest challenges facing CITES, said Paul someone they can sell it to”. policy-makers – to perceive wild animals Todd, a campaign manager for the Nijman’s research offers the first as an asset rather than as a threat to be International Fund for Animal Welfare. glimpse of the size of this widespread eliminated. Awareness and training in how “The Internet is becoming the dominant trade. While most people are aware of people can live better – alongside wild factor overall in the global trade in illegal sales of rhino horn and ivory, he animals – are fundamental to the use of protected species,” he said. “There will says it is the scale of the movement of human-wildlife conflict tools and in come a time when country to country trade lesser-known species that is most building local capacity for conflict of large shipments between big buyers disturbing. prevention and resolution. and big sellers in different countries is a The bulk of traded were in But obviously villagers will only stop thing of the past.” the form of dried specimens for Chinese seeing wild animals as a nuisance or Most of the illegal trade is in African medicine. “The moment you look into the worse if rural communities receive some ivory, but the group has also found exotic wildlife trade in Southeast Asia, China is tangible advantage from living cheek by birds along with rare products such as the biggest challenge, because they can jowl with animal populations. Paying them tiger-bone wine and pelts from protected use everything and they will use a percentage of the revenue derived from species such as polar bears and leopards. everything.” (Source: The Guardian [United tourism would be one way, while payments “As the Internet knows no borders, it Kingdom], 21 February 2010.) p for the environmental services they causes several new problems regarding provide is another. Compensation for the enforcement of the protection of damage to crops, injury or loss of life endangered species,” the group said in its should also be considered. report. “Whatever the specific measures taken, “The Internet itself isn’t the threat, but it is important that they are introduced it’s another way to market the product,” soon and properly implemented,” says said Ernie Cooper, who spearheads the Czudek. “The alternative could be the investigation for TRAFFIC Canada. progressive loss of wildlife as we know it (Source: www.guardian.co.uk, 21 March across much of Africa – representing a 2010.) tragic loss to us all.” The human-wildlife conflict toolkit, How the pet trade’s greed is emptying currently being tested in southern Africa, Southeast Asia’s forests was prepared in collaboration with CIRAD Countries across Southeast Asia are being (the Agricultural Research for systematically drained of wildlife to meet a Development Centre), WWF (World Wide booming demand for exotic pets in Europe Fund for Nature), CAMPFIRE (Communal and Japan and for traditional medicine in Areas Management Programme for China – posing a greater threat to many Indigenous Resources) and other partners. species than habitat loss or global (Source: FAO Media Centre, 19 July 2010.) warming. More than 35 million animals were There is one thing alone that stands FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT: legally exported from the region over the the brunt of life throughout its length: René Czudek, Forestry and Wildlife Officer, past decade, official figures show, and a quiet conscience. FAO Subregional Office for Southern Africa, hundreds of millions more could have Euripides PO Box 3730, Harare, Zimbabwe. been taken illegally. Almost half of those E-mail: [email protected] traded were seahorses and more than 17

NON-WOOD NEWS No. 21 October 2010