Beyond wood: the value of non-timber forest products

Harvesting Pita in Oaxaca, Mexico (photo: Elaine Marshall)
Harvesting Pita in Oaxaca, Mexico
(photo: Elaine Marshall)

Thursday 2 December 2004 to Sunday 5 December 2004

What was the event?

A workshop to increase awareness amongst young foresters of the importance of Non Timber Forest Products (NFTPs) and the complex nature of their conservation, development and utilisation.

Event details (PDF-79K) 

Final report (MS Word®)

Suzanne Martin, of Forest Research presented:

"Commercialisation and beyond : the role of NTFPs in sustaining rural communities"

This was a Scottish case study, based on the early results of research into NTFPs which is being carried out in collaboration with Dr Marla Emery of the US Forest Service and Alison Dyke an expert on NTFPs in Scotland.  The aim of the work is to uncover the role that NTFPs found in Scottish woodlands play in sustaining rural and urban livelihoods.

Where did it take place?

Eden Project, St Austell, Cornwell

Additional background information

Over 150 non-timber forest products (NTFPs) such as roots, bark, fruit, latex and fungi, are traded by forest-dwelling people throughout the world.  In many countries these resources are critical, especially for the rural poor and women, and may provide them with their only source of personal income, medicine, construction material, and dietary variety. In contrast, in other countries the potential of NTFPs to provide income and maintain indigenous knowledge remains largely under-exploited.

However, there remain differences of opinion concerning the best way to utilise NTFPs to improve the livelihoods of rural poor, whilst protecting biodiversity and ensuring sustainability. This presents a challenge to forest managers, ecologists, socio-economists and policy level decision makers.