Africa: Forestry Newsletter, 09/29/00

Africa: Forestry Newsletter, 09/29/00

Africa: Forestry Newsletter Date distributed (ymd): 000929 Document reposted by APIC

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Region: Continent-Wide Issue Areas: +economy/development+ Summary Contents: This posting contains a sample issue of Semillero Africa, a new newsletter dedicated to forestry issues in Africa, from the International Center New Forests Project. The issue contains a compilation of other related on-line sources. For earlier issues or to get on the list to receive Semillero Africa regularly, please contact the New Forests Project directly as indicated below.

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Semillero AFRICA

Issue 1, No. 3: September 28, 2000

For Past Issues Go To

Welcome to Semillero AFRICA, a new resource for development news and networking, produced and distributed free of charge by International Center New Forests Project. Semillero means "seed source" in Spanish, and the name embodies our goal to be a source of information to the groups that work in development in Africa, and to those who work on African issues around the world. To subscribe or to stop receiving this newsletter, please follow the directions at the end of this issue. Please send this newsletter to anyone that would be interested!! Don't forget to subscribe so you won't be dropped from our email lists! Any and all comments and suggestions are welcome. Send to

In this issue:

Focus on Forestry - Deforestation Linked to Natural Disasters

Developments in Development - Global Forests Watch Monitors Threatened Forests Worldwide

Who's Doing What - Agencies and Info Sources for African Forestry Projects

Coming Events

FOCUS ON FORESTRY - Deforestation Linked to Natural Disasters

There has been quite a lot of discussion about the link between deforestation and desertification. And, for a number of years groups have been making efforts to slow the increase of deserted area by planting trees. Now, the important connection between maintaining healthy forests and preventing another type of environmental disaster is becoming ever more apparent.

Over the past few years the Earth has seen large areas on every continent devastated by floods. These floods have taken a heavy toll on human life, killing thousands in countries like Mozambique, China, Venezuela, and India, while hundreds of thousands have been displaced by floods and subsequent diseases. The toll on property is also devastating. In 1998 it was estimated that $78 billion was lost to floods worldwide.

But, climate change and the increasing severity of weather is not the only culprit causing these floods. Research has begun to show that land-use decisions have a large influence on the impact of floods. Clearing trees from the land is proving to have devastating effects.

The forests and wetlands act as sponges, soaking up the rains and releasing them slowly. Without these natural sponges water quickly runs off the land taking topsoil with it, raising rivers, and washing away people and property. Almost all of the areas that have recently been devastated by flooding, particularly China, Venezuela, Southern Africa, India, etc., have all been heavily deforested. Research and experience are showing intact forests to be very important to keeping the ecological equilibrium and acting as a safety net in the face of heavy rains.

To find out more about the link between deforestation and flooding check out the articles below:

[note: you may have to retype these URL's, as some are longer than one line]

"Natural Disasters- At the Hand of God or Man" 932.asp

"Environment, Poverty Aggravate Latin America Floods" Dec-1999

"Deforestation in Himalayas Blamed for Killer Flood"

"UN Agency Blames Mekong Floods on Deforestation"

DEVELOPMENTS IN DEVELOPMENT - Global Forests Watch Monitors Threatened Forests Worldwide

Global Forest Watch, an initiative launched by the World Resources Institute in February 2000, is combining the latest in digital technology with on ground observers to accurately map the threat to the world's remaining frontier forests. The initiative is finding that the remaining frontier forests are being rapidly opened to logging and development. Today only one fifth of the world's original forests cover remains, and Global Forests Watch is predicting another 40 percent of the remaining forest will be lost in the next 10 to 20 years.

Global Forest Watch hopes to check this rapid disappearance by using digital technology and local observations to create an accurate map of remaining forested areas and the threats to keeping them intact. The information and findings are available through the Internet, empowering local groups and organizations through knowledge that is often hidden from them in an attempt to mine local forests.

In a press release about Global Forests Watch World Resources President, Jonathan Lash, summed up the scope of the project, "The key is the power of information....What Global Forest Watch does is to put communities, people, activists, and wood consumers together to provide them with information about what is happening to forests."

Global Forests Watch also focuses on identifying and promoting successful management of forests and to enable government and local groups to have the information they need to network and participate in management practice. The networks can then use the information and share their resources to keep an accurate picture of the threats to the forests and work on keeping the forests intact.

To date Global Forests Watch has released reports on logging in Gabon, Cameroon, and Canada. These are available on the Global Forest Watch website: Over the next five years the initiative is planned to expand to a network in 21 countries to cover over 80 percent of the world's remaining frontier forests.

The web site has a lot of interesting information, and interactive maps to let the user draw an accurate picture of the forests and its threats, as well as reports.

For background information on frontier forests and the threats to these important areas, visit the Forest Frontiers Initiative (also sponsored by World Resources Institute) at The Global Forest Watch was born of this initiative. A report full of information on frontier forests worldwide, "The Last Forest Frontiers: Ecosystems and Economies on the Edge," is available at that site. Of particular importance in this report is the map that shows the scale of historical forests to the remaining forested land. There are also charts showing how much forest has been lost, how much is being threatened, and lists some causes and effects of this destruction. This and several other reports that focus on specific areas are available at


WHO'S DOING WHAT - FORESTRY - Agencies and Info Sources for African Forestry Projects

For those working on forestry issues, finding good information, case studies, and sources of financial and material help can be very difficult. Below is a list of organizations that offer information and help on forestry issues. Many of these organizations have information, reports, and studies on forestry-related issues available directly on their websites, some of them will offer guidance and advice, and many will supply free publications upon request.

AfricaLink - AfricaLink is a USAID sponsored project that offers technical and financial assistance to USAID partner networks. Support is aimed at networks in the environmental, agricultural, and natural resource management sectors.

Agroforester: Resource for Tropical Forestry and Agroforestry A seed source and consultancy group based in Hawaii, Agroforester offers an excellent source of information on agroforestry species and training materials for agroforestry projects. They even have regional focus projects online. Another bonus is that they offer an electronic newsletter featuring info on agroforestry EXCELLENT RESOURCE: Email: Agroforester, PO Box 428 Holualoa, HI 96725

Tree CABweb - Tree CABweb offers access to online journals concerned with forestry, forest products and agroforestry.

Central African Regional Program for the Environment (CARPE) CARPE is USAID initiative that addresses the important issue of deforestation in the Congo Basin. The Congo Basin is second only to the Amazon Basin in forested area.

CIDA Forestry Advisors Network (CFAN) - A project of the Canadian International Development Agency, CFAN aims to stimulate thought on international forestry issues and to provide a medium to show how CIDA is addressing world deforestation.

DANIDA Forests Seed Centre - DANIDA is the Danish international aid group. The Forests Seed Center works to conserve forests genetic resources, for the control of seed quality, and to solve problems with procuring seeds. This program also aids the development of national tree seed programs by supplying information, training, and consultancies.

ECHO - Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization- ECHO offers information on sustainable agriculture and agroforestry. This group emphasizes self-sufficiency. The main focus of ECHO is to empower people to solve problems of food scarcity through the wise use of resources. Email: ECHO, 17430 Durrance Rd., N. Fort Myers, FL 33917 USA

Forest, Farm, and Community Tree Network (FACTNET) - FACTNET is provided by Winrock International, and provides a large amount of information about nitrogen fixing tree and multipurpose trees. This is a great information source for agroforestry related information. Email: FACTNET, Winrock International, 38 Winrock Drive, Morrilton, AK 72110 USA

Forestry Programme of the FAO - The Forestry Programme of the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations focuses on how to use trees, forests, and resources to improve environmental, social, and economic conditions. E-mail: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Viale delle Terme di Caracalla 00100 Rome, Italy

The Institute of International Rural Reconstruction (IIRR) An excellent source of information on agroforestry, sustainable and integrated people-centered development. Email: IIRR Bookstore, Publications Unit of IIRR, YC James Yen Center, Silang, Cavite 4118 Phillipines

The International Centre for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF) - Part of the CGIAR, ICRAF conducts strategic and applied research for sustainable and productive land use. ICRAF often conducts research in partnership with national agricultural research projects. ICRAF has a wide range of information on agroforestry, a seed suppliers directory, and even information on courses in agroforestry. Email: ICRAF, PO BOX 30677, Nairobi, Kenya

International Union of Forestry Research Organizations (IUFRO)- The Research Group on agroforestry aims to promote exchange of information amongst researchers active in agroforestry and to periodically review the state of the subject or key parts of it and thereby stimulate new lines of research and set priorities. It reaches this aim through networking

Multipurpose and Fruit Trees Commonly Used in Agroforestry-

National Tree Seed Program (NTSP) Tanzania - This site provides information on procurement of seeds, tree improvement, botany, training and marketing

Coming Events

30 Oct - 1 Nov 2000, Nairobi, Kenya An international workshop "Tree Seeds: Matching Demand and Supply in Tropical Countries" sponsored by ICRAF, DANIDA, FAO, GREEN COLLEGE OF OXFORD UNIVERSITY, and Kenyan Forest Seed center will address issues of distribution (delivery for NGOs, NARIs, CBOs), dissemination (delivery to farmers), diffusion (farmer to farmer exchange). The immediate objectives are: (1) Determine practical ways to accurately forecast tree germplasm needs (2) Identify key constraints in tree seed supply and ways to reduce their effect (3) Recommend ways to set up and organise tree seed production and procurement (4) Elaborate technical aspects required with decentralized germplasm supply systems (5) Sharing of experiences and literature (formal and extension) among participants. Approximately 30 participants from a range of disciplines who have experience with tree seed supply or related issues will be invited. These will include persons representing: international institutions, NGOs, National Tree Seed Centres, private seed dealers, extensionists, nursery owners and farmers. For information about this workshop contact: Dr Tony Simons, Programme Leader, Tree Domestication, International Centre for Research in Agroforestry, PO Box 30677, Nairobi, Kenya, tel: 254-2-524151 (or via USA 1-650-8336645), fax:254-2-524001 (or via USA 1-650-8336646), email: T.SIMONS@CGIAR.ORG

20 November to 8 December NETWAS, in cooperation with IRC, will organise its first training course on Community Management of Rural Water Supply Systems in Nairobi, Kenya. It will address the main principles and key requirements for the successful implementation of community management of rural water supply systems The course is targeted at sector professionals, managers and planners working in the field of water, health, hygiene education and community development. All participants will receive a "community management kit" with manuals, a video and basic reference materials on community management. For more information contact: Pauline Ikumi at NETWAS, or Ton Schouten at IRC, _________________________________________________________________

Editorial Contact and References

This newsletter is published by the International Center New Forests Project, 731 Eighth Street, SE, Washington, DC 20003 USA. TEL: 1-202-547-3800 FAX: 1-202-546-4784 EMAIL: Find out more about the New Forests Project at

To obtain further information about the New Forests Project, or to obtain electronic copies of articles or information in this issue please contact the editor: Thomas Minney at

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We also welcome authors to submit information and articles to be published in Semillero AFRICA. Please send them to attention Thomas Minney.


Message-Id: <> From: "APIC" <> Date: Fri, 29 Sep 2000 15:43:38 -0500 Subject: Africa: Forestry Newsletter

Editor: Ali B. Ali-Dinar

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