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1. Introduction

The next global forest resources assessment (FRA 2000), describing the state of forest resources for the year 2000 and its changes over the last 20 years, will conclude and report its findings in the year 2000. Along with the core information on the state and changes in forests, FRA 2000 includes new parameters on ecological aspects of forests, sustainable forest management and non-wood goods and services. Experts in forest resources from member countries, international and national organisations, NGO’s and individuals contributed to planning the assessment during the Kotka III Expert Consultation on The Global Forest Resources Assessment 2000 (1996). One of the new parameters is the assessment of non-wood goods and services on a global basis. The collection of such information was seen as a necessary part of the assessment due to the major importance that non-wood products have in local economies and communities and represent important alternative uses of forests. At the same time however, the collection of such information was seen as a particularly challenging element of the assessment due to the enormous difficulties of collecting global comparable information on goods and services which are often site specific and highly diverse in their characteristics.

The original Kotka proposal suggested dividing non-wood goods and services into 6 major groups (food and medicine, fodder and forage, industrial extracts, protection, social and economic, aesthetic, cultural and spiritual) and requested for each major group a short description, an indication of their relative and absolute importance, changes in supply and demand, and indications of quantity and value supplied. This proposal was tested under the present working paper, where information on these elements was collected for the countries of Mexico, Cuba, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, French Guiana, Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina and Chile. The author of the paper, Dennis Johnson, Ph.D., worked extensively in many of the countries and in libraries in the USA and in FAO to compile the information.

This document represents the first un-validated information for these countries and is being forwarded to the participating countries for comments and validation. Validated reports will eventually be used in the FRA 2000 final publication.


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