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Forests offer more than wood
Vietnam - June 13th 2007 - A four-day international conference began yesterday in Ha Noi to explore the role of non-timber forest product (NTFP) in poverty alleviation and biodiversity conservation. Profitable NTFPs can include a number of food, medicines, and construction materials and include fibres like rattan and bamboo, edible plant products, resins and gums, tannin and dyes, essential oils, insecticides, medicinal herbs, ornamental plants and animal products. These "minor" forest products could have a major impact on poverty alleviation and promote biodiversity conservation, said Katherine Warner, World Conservation Union country group head for Cambodia, Laos and Viet Nam.
The conference entitled The Role of NTFPs in Poverty Alleviation and Biodiversity Conservation, held by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and the World Conservation Union, among others, is part of the NTFP Support Project being executed by MARD with financial support from the Netherlands and technical support from the World Conservation Union. Participants in the conference, including enterprises that have found ways to address rural poverty while maintaining biodiversity, are sharing methodologies, product and market information and other lessons learned from NTFP and conservation initiatives. The third day of the conference will include a trade fair for NTFP producers to display products and meet potential buyers. On Thursday, the last day of the conference, participants will make a field trip to Quang Ninh Province. The NTFP Support Project has been ongoing in Viet Nam since 1998 in two phases and will continue through next month. The first phase in 1998 – 2002, entitled Sustainable Use of NTFPs, focused on two field sites in Bac Kan and Ha Tinh. The second phase, entitled NTFP Sub-Sector Support Project in Viet Nam, began in 2003 and took place in five field sites including Bac Giang, Quang Ninh, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh and Quang Tri.
The overall objective of the project is forest and biodiversity conservation through strengthening sustainable use of NTFPs. The project’s main achievements so far include capacity building for planning and research, the transfering of sustainable NTFP development methods and raising awareness on NTFP, according to MARD.
Source: Vietnam News
Posted By Anne-Sophie Samjee at 10:23am on June 13, 2007
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