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UN book highlights benefits of Amazon plants

(Xinhua)

15:26, December 21, 2011

UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 20 (Xinhua) -- A United Nations book released on Tuesday aims to provide people in the developing world with accessible knowledge of Amazon plants and foods they can use to improve their livelihoods.

The book, "Fruit Trees and Useful Plants in Amazonian Life," is written in easy-to-grasp language with folklore and customs of rural villagers so readers can easily put the recommendations into practice, UN officials said here.

"Some 80 percent of people living in the developing world rely on non-wood forest products such as fruits and medicinal plants for their nutritional and health needs," said Eduardo Rojas- Briales, assistant director-general for forestry at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

"This new book provides comprehensive information on Amazon fruits and plants, and is a perfect example of how to make our knowledge accessible for poor people to help them maximize the benefits from forest products and services and improve their livelihoods," he said.

FAO estimates that 25 percent of people in developing countries are functionally illiterate, and that in rural areas this figure can be up to 40 percent. The layout of the book takes this into account and allows readers who lack formal education to extract knowledge using pictures and numbers.

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