Previous PageTable Of ContentsNext Page


3.1 State of NWFP statistics

Bolivia took part in the FAO Workshop on NWFP in Latin America and the Caribbean, Santiago, Chile 1994 (FAO 1995b). Amelinda Zonta and Oscar Llanque Espinoza prepared and presented the country report which provided detailed information and production data on the six principal NWFP. Nevertheless there are several product categories, mentioned below, for which statistics apparently are not yet being collected. Therefore, it must be stated that this report is incomplete. Available data on 11 products are presented in the accompanying table.

3.2 Non-wood goods and services

Bolivia has a wide range of natural environments which provide an array of NWFP. According to available data, the most important NWFP are the following:

Bolivia, along with several other Latin American countries, has embraced the concept of extractive reserves. In Bolivia these are being defined as Indigenous Territories. Brazil nuts and natural rubber are the two major NWFP in the Indigenous Territories (Ruiz Pérez 1993).

Tourism is of an undetermined importance as a non-wood service, with the major attractions being in the historic culture sites of the highlands. There are 20 designated protected areas in Bolivia, including 10 national parks; the total land area under protection amounts to 4,35 million ha IUCN 1982).


3.3 Non-wood goods

The total value of NWFP in Bolivia apparently has never been calculated, but it must be considerable, especially in the highland portions of the country where human population densities are high. Inasmuch as Bolivia is a relatively poor country, subsistence use of NWFP is assumed to be important. Products of presumed importance lacking statistical production data are ornamental plants, fodder, bamboo, fiber, tannin, mushrooms and honey.

The total export value of non-wood forest products in 1990 was estimated to be US$20-25 million (Broekhoven 1996).

3.3.1 Rubber

Bolivia has millions of rubber trees in the forests of the eastern lowlands, but over the past two decades natural rubber production has declined steadily; in 1997 an estimated 10 000 t was recorded, but exports have decline to zero. Natural rubber is being underutilized at present.

3.3.2 Nuts

One of the leading Bolivian NWFP is Brazil nuts (7 900 t in 1993). All production comes from the wild and it is oriented toward the export markets. Brazil nut exports in 1997 had a value of more than 30 million US dollar. Chestnuts, on the other hand, come from plantation sources. The production in 1997 was reported to be 24 000 t.

3.3.3 Palm hearts

Another of the main NWFP of Bolivia (528 t of canned product in 1993). In the case of Bolivia, the tree being exploited is the single stemmed asaí (Euterpe precatoria), production which is probably not economically sustainable. Palm heart exports had a value of more than 12 million US dollars in 1997.

3.3.4 Essential oils

An unknown quantity of essential oils is produced in Bolivia and the source not given, but 76 t were reportedly exported in 1992.

3.3.5 Spices

The only spice reported is achiote (Bixa orellana) which is common throughout Tropical America. Production figures are not available but it is documented that 19 t were exported in 1993.

3.3.6 Edible Oils

Cusi palm oil is a typical subsistence source of vegetable oil; export of 10 t of seeds was reported in 1992.


3.4 Other NWF plant products

Cocoa bean production in 1997 amounted to 4 000 t. In 1992, Bolivia had recorded legal exports of coca leaves amounting to 135 t.

3.4.1 Colourants and dyes

Cochineal insect for red dye production is an unusual NWFP in Bolivia, with 400 kg reportedly exported in 1992.

3.4.2 Important Commercial Wild Animals

Wild animals are an important aspect of NWFP in Bolivia; live animals for biomedical research and as pets, and hunted as sources of meat and skins. A recent survey of these uses is given below. Statistical data were not found on the quantities hunted or captured or value of these animals.




Aotus spp. (1)

Ara spp. (4)

Saimiri spp. (1)

Aratinga spp. (4)

Cebus spp. (1,2)

Brotogeris spp. (4)

Alouatta spp. (1)

Pionites spp. (4)

Lagothrix lagotricha (4)

Amazona spp. (4)

Lutra longicaudis (3)

Emberizinae (4)

Pteronura brasiliensis (3)


Leopardus paradalis (3)


Panthera onca (3)


Tapirus terrestris (2)

Podocnemis expansa (2)

Tayassu pecari (2,3)

Podocnemis unifilis (2)

Mazama americana (2,3)

Caiman crocodilis (3)

Hydrochaeris hydrochaeris (3)

Melanosuchus niger (3)

Agouti paca (2)

Boa constrictor (3)


Eunectes murinus (3)

1. Live animals for biomedical research
2. Meat
3. Skin
4. Live animals, pets, etc.

Source: TCA, 1995.


3.5 References

Broekhoven, G. 1996. Non-timber forest products. IUCN, Gland.

Estrella, E. 1995. Plantas medicinales Amazonicas: realidad y perspectivas. Tratado de Cooperación Amazónica, Secretaria Pro-Tempore, Lima.

FAO. 1995a. Forest resources assessment 1990. Tropical forest plantation resources. Forestry Paper 128. FAO, Rome.

FAO. 1995b. 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.

Ruiz Pérez, et al. 1993. El extractivismo en América Latina. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.

Stoian, D. 1999. The palm heart industry of northern Bolivia: structure, benefits, and viability. In: de Jong, W. and Campell, B. (eds) (forthcoming) Contributions of non-timber forest products to socio-economic development. CIFOR, Bogor, Indonesia.

TCA. 1995. Uso y conservación de la fauna silvestre en la Amazonia. Tradato de Cooperación Amazónica, Secretaria Pro-Tempore, Lima.


3.6 Resource Persons

Oscar Llanque and Amelina Zonta, Instituto para el Hombre, Agricultura y Ecologia, Universidad Técnica del Beni, Casilla 6, Riberalta-Beni, Bolivia. Tel: 591 852 2426; Fax 591 852 8485.

Dietmar Stoian, Department of Forest Policy, University of Freiburg, Bertoldstr. 17, 79085 Freiburg, Germany. Tel: 49 761 203 3725; Fax 49 761 203 3729;


Previous PageTop Of PageNext Page