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Department ofBotany

No. 165
March 1997

Editor: Jane Villa-Lobos


The Papua New Guinea (PNG) National Forest Plan is based on forest resource mapping supported by Australia and the World Bank. It identifies 20 million ha of the country's 39 million ha forest estate for logging - 12 million ha of this to be handed out before the year 2000.

To put this into proper perspective, the area to be allocated by the turn of the century equals three times the total rainforests of Australia and the rest of the Pacific combined. Within these forests are the majority of the planet's species of birds of paradise and arboreal marsupials, more orchid species than any other country on earth and an impressive avian biodiversity.

The plan greatly increases both the rate and the impact of what is already a grossly unsustainable industry. An Australian government assessment in 1995 found that PNG's logging allocations were three times above economically sustainable levels. The new plan almost triples the concession areas.

The treatment given to environmental protection in the Plan is nothing more than cynical. The PNG Forest Authority's remit to identify protection forests (regions of high conservation areas) is fulfilled by listing these areas in the plan. However, these areas are then duly ignored in the final concession maps. Forestry areas are declared over existing conservation areas; proposed conservation areas have been disregarded; and regions identified as having the highest priority for biodiversity conservation are slated for logging.

The Plan reaches its most absurd in West New Britain Province (the western half of the island of New Britain) where all but 98,000 ha of the Province's 1.6 million ha of closed forests have been given over to logging. The remaining portion is only excluded because it is largely needle and cockpit karst that would challenge the most adventurous foresters (although helicopter logging has been proposed even here ...). New concessions have been allocated across the ecologically important Whiteman's Range and Lake Namo wetlands, as well as the entire lowland forests of the region.

Under the Forest Plan, logging and oil palm operations are planned for a significant area of the forests of the Torricelli Ranges, on the Sepik coast of PNG. This area has perhaps the highest localized marsupial endemism in the world, and is among the top areas for localized mammalian diversity and endemism on the planet. All of these animals are dependent on their forest habitat and each is already threatened by hunting pressures.

Local community organizations are deeply concerned about the effect that this rapid push to open new forest concessions will have on people living in rural areas. Ursula Rakova, Land and Environment Officer for the Individual and Community Rights Advocacy Forum says "this is not a Forest Plan but a Forest Logging Plan. It is disastrous for PNG's tropical rainforests and clearly violates the rights of the indigenous communities. The proposed logging areas are strongly condemned by PNG NGO's"

Tied with recent changes in forestry legislation that centralize power in the Forest Minister, the scene is set for an increasingly narrow focus on timber production and slow erosion of one of the world's most important centers of biodiversity. (Source: Arborvitae Vol. 4 & 5)


The Jatun Sacha Foundation offers opportunities for volunteer interns to participate in research, education, community service, station maintenance, plant conservation, and agroforestry activities. For more information, contact Ana Lucia Benitez, Fundacion Jatun Sacha, Casilla 17-12-867, Avenida Rio Coca 1734, Quito, Ecuador; Tel.: 02-441-592; 250-976, 253-267; Fax: 02-441- 592, 253-266; E-mail:


The Committee for the National Institute for the Environment (CNIE), a US non-profit organization, announces their new Directory of Higher Education Environmental Programs (DHEEP) located on the World Wide Web at The Directory contains detailed information on undergraduate and graduate interdisciplinary programs in the US, including the full spectrum of environmental disciplines. CNIE is in the process of collecting information for the Directory and wants to make sure that all US institutions are included. A similar database is under construction for international programs.

Administrators, faculty and staff can submit information through a survey form posted on the Web Site. The form is designed to collect information about program objectives, information on the process of establishing the program, special opportunities for students, employment statistics and contact names for colleagues and prospective students.

The Directory is suitable for degree-granting programs only; it is not suitable for certificate programs or for programs that offer a minor with an environmental focus.

The Directory is a free resource for those who seek environmental education information. Those programs that submit information are asked to consider a $100 contribution to help defray program operating costs.

The Directory is hosted by the Center for Conservation Biology Network (CCBN) at Rice University under the leadership of Dr. Alan Thornhill at The mission of CCBN is to develop the technical means for the protection, maintenance and restoration of life on this planet. Please contact Alison Lee for more information at: CNIE, 1725 K Street, NW, Suite 212, Washington, DC 20006; Tel.: (202) 530-5810; Fax: (202) 628-4311; E-mail:


The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) has released its 1997 Conservation Directory, the most comprehensive listing available of organizations, agencies, and officials concerned with natural resources. This year's 560-page directory contains the names of more than 16,000 individuals and 2,600 international, national, and regional organizations and commissions, environmental departments, agencies and offices of the U.S. government, state agencies and citizens' groups in countries other than the U.S. and Canada, and colleges and universities that offer conservation and environmental education programs. Over one hundred new organizations were added to the 1997 Directory.

Each entry includes the address and telephone number of the organization, as well as each organization's leaders. The Directory provides an index covering more than 90 environmental subject areas, from acid rain to zoology.

The Directory is available for US$60 from: National Wildlife Federation, P.O. Box 9004, Winchester, VA 22604-9004; Tel.: 800- 477-5560; Fax: (540) 722-5399.


The School for Field Studies (SFS) has announced the opening of three positions at their various global posts. The School for Field Studies is the largest private educational institution designed to give students the opportunity to contribute to critical environmental management issues in various ecosystems. SFS utilizes case studies in order to teach students the complex variables involved in management decisions regarding environmental change.

SFS seeks a Program Director for their Center for Coastal Studies, Bamfield, British Columbia and Center for Rainforest Studies, Queensland, Australia. The Program Director would lead an interdisciplinary team of faculty in a unique educational program for college undergraduates.

The Program Director will ensure that the program design and delivery is being met by all faculty and staff and will work with the Center Director on overall program design, hiring of local guest lecturers, program evaluation, and grant preparation. The Program Director will deliver as many as 1/2 of the lectures per semester and oversee student directed research projects. The candidate will have a Ph.D. in a field related to the center topic; at least three years teaching at the undergraduate level; experience teaching and working in an interdisciplinary team; program management, supervisory/management experience; and a demonstrated work history of commitment to working on environmental issues from a problem solving basis.

SFS is also searching for a Resource Economist/Resource Sociologist Faculty Position at their Center for Coastal Studies located in Bamfield, British Columbia. The candidate will be experienced in cost benefit analysis, sustainable development, extensive experience developing survey tools, experience with First Nation peoples, knowledge of local politics in a social and cultural context, assessment and evaluation methodology, the social science of natural resources, the human dimensions of wildlife and conservation biology.

All faculty positions are residential and require faculty to live on site with students. Programs are offered to 32 college students for semester and summer programs. Faculty will teach the equivalent of one and one half courses per semester, oversee student directed research projects, and participate in all daily living at the center. Room and board are provided by SFS. Salary is US$25,000, and health insurance is provided.

Requirements include: a Ph.D. or Masters degree with at least four years of applied experience; relevant work/living experience in British Columbia or similar ecosystem; at least two years at the undergraduate level with full course responsibility; and a demonstrated commitment to conservation and experience working with applied conservation/management issues.

The third resident faculty position is for a Tropical Ecology: Botanist for The Center for Rainforest Studies in North Queensland, on the Atherton Tableland in Australia. The SFS teaching approach requires faculty who are committed to interdisciplinary, team oriented, field-based, hands-on research. Qualifications include: a Ph.D. or Masters degree in tropical ecology with emphasis on botany or zoology; at least four years of applied, work/living experience in a tropical ecosystem; at least two years teaching at the undergraduate level with full course responsibility; a demonstrated commitment to conservation; experience working with applied conservation/management issues; proven leadership skills; and the desire to motivate students.

Faculty positions are residential and require faculty to live on site with students. Programs are offered to 32 students for semester and summer programs. Salary is US$25,000. SFS provides room and board.

To apply for any of the above positions, please indicate the position applied for, and send a detailed letter with interests, research experience and skills, and CV to: The School for Field Studies, 16 Broadway, Beverly, MA 01915; Tel.: (508) 922-7200, ext. 304; Fax: (508) 927-5127; E-mail:

Defenders of Wildlife, a leading conservation organization with over 160,000 members, seeks a qualified Director, Science Division, to be responsible for coordinating the work of staff scientists and developing and supporting new projects. This position will also be expected to initiate science-based projects dealing with conservation and recovery of endangered species, wildlife, biodiversity and habitat in the United States. The position involves working closely with other staff in developing coordinated strategies, national campaigns, workplans, publications, coalitions, communications, proposals and budgets.

Interested candidates should have a doctoral degree in landscape or community ecology, wildlife biology, natural resources, conservation biology or related field; experience in scientific research and publishing in peer-reviewed journals and some familiarity with current analytical tools such as GIS; at least five years experience working on conservation issues; strong management background; understanding of federal agencies, laws, and policies dealing with the use and conservation of natural resources, particularly the Endangered Species Act, species recovery plans and public land regulations. Strong writing and oral communication skills and experience in fund raising for research are important.

Applicants should send a cover letter and resume to: Director, Science Division Search, Defenders of Wildlife, 1101 14th St., NW, Suite 1400, Washington, DC 20005.


The Center for Plant Conservation (CPC) has published a Guide to Educational Resources on Rare Native Plant Conservation in the United States, which includes contact information for members of CPC and outlines resources available from the 25 member institutions of CPC, as well as from those outside the network.

CPC has also recently published a revised and expanded version of Plants in Peril, a guide to help middle school teachers incorporate native plant conservation and biodiversity issues into the science curriculum. This new version has more background information, pictures and student activities.

For prices and further information about either of these publications, please contact: Center for Plant Conservation, Missouri Botanical Garden, P.O. Box 299, St. Louis, MO 63166- 0299; Tel.: (314) 577-9450; Fax: (314) 577-9465: Web Site:


May 8-10. The North American Forests for Life Conference, sponsored by World Wildlife Fund US and World Wildlife Fund Canada, will be held at the Crowne Plaza Parc Fifty Five Hotel, San Francisco, California. This conference will emphasize cooperation between conservationists, timber certifiers, the Forest Stewardship Council and businesses interested in a shared vision for the ecological and economic sustainability of North America's forests. Registration: $180 (full price) or $144 (non- profits/students only).

For more information contact Kathy Kessler at World Wildlife Fund, 1250 Twenty-Fourth St., NW, Washington, DC 20037-1175; Tel.: (202) 861-8346; Fax (202) 887-5293; E-mail:


The Latin American Fellowship in Mammalogy is established to promote the support of field research by Latin Americans in Latin America. Eligible students must be citizens of Latin American countries (excluding Puerto Rico), and enrolled in a graduate program in either a Latin American or North American university. The award will be US$1000. Proposed projects must be primarily field oriented with research emphasis in the areas of natural history, conservation, ecology, systematics, wildlife biology, biogeography, or behavior. These areas of research in mammalogy shall be considered equally important by the selection committee.

Deadline for applications is May 15, 1997. Application information and forms may be obtained from: Dr. Janet K. Braun, Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, 1335 Asp Ave., University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73019; Tel.: (405) 325-2828; Fax: (405) 325- 7699; E-mail:


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Christie, P. and Rigby, R. 1996. Historia natural de Laguna de Perlas. WANI 20: 4-21. (Pearl Lagoon, Atlantic coast of Nicaragua)

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