2.1 Status of NWFP statistics
Argentina participated in the FAO Workshop on NWFP in Latin America and the Caribbean, Santiago, Chile 1994 (FAO 1995). The country report, prepared by Cristina Résico, was brief (4 pages), because detailed national surveys of NWFP do not exist. Subsequently, a botanical database was compiled in Argentina, which provides scientific and vernacular names, geographic distribution and reported uses. However, the database does not provide any statistical information about the level of utilization of the respective species and whether or not they are for subsistence use or are commercialized. Nevertheless, the database is a valuable first step toward generating national information on the relative importance of NWFP. It must be acknowledged that this report on Argentina’s NWFP is incomplete since only 11 entries are found on the accompanying table.
2.2 Non-wood goods and services
In Argentina, a number of NWFP are extracted from natural forests as well as cultivated within and outside the forests and woodlands. Based upon data available, the most important NWFP appear to be:
Other non-wood goods exploited in Argentina at the national level include ferns (53 t in 1996) for ornamental use and rushes (240 t in 1996) for weaving various products. Palm heart production is known to occur in Missiones Province, but production data are not available.
Tourism is an important forest service, especially as related to the Lake District (Neuguén Province) and the area of Iguazu Falls (Misiones Province). Argentina has a network of 32 protected areas which includes 17 national parks; most are located in the northern and southwestern parts of the country. Nearly 2,7 million ha are under protection (IUCN 1982).
2.3 Non-wood goods
Subsistence use of NWFP is common in Argentina as it is in other countries and a few are commercialized. No estimates were found as to the value of all types of NWFP in Argentina and it is uncertain as to whether or not some products are being exported. Among the NWFP known to exist and under some level of exploitation in the country are ornamental plants, other than the helecho fern. Given that Argentina is a major livestock producing country, fodder is undoubtedly an important supplement in the diet of the animals. Essential oils and medicinal plants are likewise important, but again statistical data on the levels of production are lacking. Bamboo occurs in Argentina but data on its use are not collected. The magnitude of importance of wild mushrooms and the meat of game animals is likewise unknown at the national level.
The introduced and naturalized mimbre shrub is grown to provide raw material for furniture (955 t in 1996) and rushes are collected in the wild and used for basketry, etc. Formio is a native fiber plant, but in decline. Production of 80 t was recorded for 1996.
2.3.2 Resin and tannin
Tree plantations (800 000 ha in 1994-95), in addition to providing wood products, are the source of industrial resins (19 904 t in 1996). Tannins from native and introduced species (63 200 t in 1996) also figure among this group of products.
2.3.3 Essential oils
The tung tree is under cultivation for its seed which yields an oil (3 000 t in 1997) used in the paint and varnish industries.
2.3.4 Tree seeds
Seeds from the native Araucaria and other introduced species (316 t in 1995) are of commercial standing.
Argentina has a small production of walnuts (9 000 t in 1997).
The production of honey is of some importance in the country (65 000 t in 1997), although it is unclear whether the honey is derived from wild collecting or commercial bee keeping, or a combination of the two.
Coppen, J.J.W., G. A. Hone. 1995. Gum naval stores: turpentine and rosin from pine resin. Non-Wood Forest Products 2. FAO, Rome.
DRFN. 1997a?. Anuario de Estadística Forestal 1996. Dirección de Recursos Forestales Nativos. Buenos Aires, Argentina.
DRFN. 1997b?. Productos forestales no madereros. Dirección de Recursos Forestales Nativos. Buenos Aires, Argentina.
FAO. 1995. Memoria: consulta de expertos sobre productos forestales no madereros para America Latin y el Caribe. Forestry Series No. 1, Santiago.
FAO. 1997. Latin American and Caribbean Forestry Commission. State of forestry in the region - 1996. Forestry Series No. 8, Santiago.
FAO. 1998. FAO production yearbook. Vol. 51 – 1997. FAO, Rome.
IUCN. 1982. IUCN Directory of Neotropical Protected Areas. Tycooly Publishing, Dublin.
2.5 Resource Persons
Ruben Coirini, Facultad de Ciencias Agropecuarias, Universidad Nacional de Cordoba, Castilla de Correo 509, 5000 Cordoba, Argentina. Tel: 54 51 681 763; Fax 54 51 681 765.
Cristina Résico, Dirección de Recursos Forestales Nativos, Secretaría de Recursos Naturales y Ambiente Humano, San Martín 459, piso 2, 1004 Buenos Aires, Argentina. Tel: 54 1 394 1180; Fax 54 1 394 1180; E-mail: email@example.com