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There are more than 600 species of rattans, of which only about 10 percent are traded internationally. A wide variety of terms and terminologies are used in the rattan sector worldwide, often with different meanings, or which are not well understood by many rattan users. An expert consultation on rattan, organized in December 2000 in Rome by FAO and the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR) proposed a number of immediate steps to promote the sustainable use of rattan. One of the conclusions of the meeting was that there is a need to compile and clarify terms and definitions used in the management, utilization, processing and trade of rattans and their products among the many stakeholders in the various countries. In follow-up, FAO contacted Dennis Johnson, a world-known palm specialist, who kindly accepted FAO's call to compile a glossary on terms, concepts and definitions related to rattan and its products. The glossary is structured according to the following major sections: rattan resources (biology, management, plantations, harvesting); rattan as a raw material (transport, storage, grading and post-harvest handling, rattan trade); rattan processing (for local artisanal uses; for industrial level furniture manufacturing); and rattan trade in raw, furniture and other products. In order to give special emphasis to the emerging rattan sector in Africa, FAO subsequently contracted Terry Sunderland, a well-known rattan specialist in Africa, who kindly prepared a separate compilation of terms specifically focusing on those used in Africa. FAO wishes to thank the two authors for their work and is pleased to publish and disseminate this rattan glossary in support of the development of the rattan sector worldwide.

Wulf Killmann
Director FAO
Forest Products and Economics Division

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