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5.1 State of NWFP statistics

Chile hosted and contributed a country report to the 1994 FAO Workshop on NWFP in Latin America and the Caribbean held in Santiago, Chile (FAO 1995). In addition, a more detailed study of the Chile’s NWFP was recently completed and published in 1998 (Campos Roasio 1998). These two studies provide an accurate account of the current status of NWFP in the country, to the extent that it can be determined from data which are currently gathered and reported. Chile stands as an example of the limit to which NWFP can be studied and understood from existing data sources. The identified data gaps that exist, discussed below, can only be filled by carrying out field and market surveys to estimate production quantities, the levels of subsistence and commercial use and exports as applicable. Results of such surveys could lay the groundwork for periodic systematic data collection on these non-wood goods and services. Chile’s current status is reflected in the 14 product classes in the accompanying table.


5.2 Non-wood goods and services

Because of its great latitudinal spread, the country of Chile possesses a wide range of environments and forest and non-wood forest products. The leading NWFP are the following:

Chile has a number of attractions for nature tourism, ranging from desert in the north to temperate rain forest in the south. A total of 31 protected areas have been established in Chile, 15 of which are national parks. The land area under protection exceeds 3 million ha. (IUCN 1982).


5.3 Non-wood goods

The total production and value of Chile’s NWFP have not been calculated, but it is estimated that about 220 000 people are involved in the collection, processing, production and commercialization of NWFP. It is further noted that this is more than twice the number (approximately 100 000 people) directly involved in the country’s timber industries (FAO 1998). Export data are easier to obtain and they indicate that in 1997 the value of NWFP goods Chile exported amounted to US$34 169 199 (Campos Roasio 1998).

Chile has unknown levels of production of ornamental plants, fodder (especially from Prosopis in the arid north where an estimated 20 000 ha exist), bamboo, tannins, spices and palm honey (miel de palma); all these products represent significant gaps in the national data on NWFP. Taking miel de palma (tapped from the endemic Chilean wine palm (Jubaea chilensis) as an example of a data gap, the canned product is sold in supermarkets in Santiago, along with, in season, the coquitos (seeds) of the palm. But apparently no study has yet been done on the economic value of this production for the domestic market.

Extensive timber tree plantations of pine and eucalyptus (1,8 million ha in 1994-95) are sources of turpentine (425 t exported in 1997), pine oil (142 t produced in 1997) and essential oil from eucalyptus leaves (6 t exported in 1997). Tree seed is another commercial product with about 350 permanent nurseries involved in the production. In 1997, there was production of 1,54 t of seed with a value of US$1,19 million. Pine plantations also provide habitat for the growth of pine mushroom (Boletus luteus) (Petit 1998).

5.3.1 Fiber

Basket willow (mimbre) is cultivated, predominantly around the village Chimbarongo and supports an estimate 1 200 small furniture industries. An estimated 6 200 t of raw basket willow are produced annually on about 200 ha of land.

5.3.2 Medicine

Boldo and quillay are native trees exploited for their medicinal products. In 1997, exports of 1 205 t of boldo leaves and 873 t of quillay bark were recorded. Together they had a value of nearly US$4 million.

5.3.3 Essential oil

Essential oil is derived from the seed of the native avellano, and 6 t were exported in 1997. The cultivated rosa mosqueta is also a source of essential oil with exports of 84 t, valued at about US$1,2 million, reported for 1997.

5.3.4 Nuts

Nut growing exists on a small scale with walnut production amounting to 13 000 t in 1997.


5.4 Other food products

Honey production (5 000 t in 1997), mushrooms (exports of 4 405 t, valued at over US$7 million in 1997) and hares, hunted for meat which is exported (105 000 kg in 1995) constitute the three other major food NWFP.

5.4 References

Campos Roasio, J. 1998. Productos Forestales no Madereros en Chile. Serie Forestal No. 10.FAO, Santiago.

Coppen, J.J.W., Hone, G.A. 1995. Gum naval stores: turpentine and rosin from pine resin. Non-Wood Forest Products 2. FAO, Rome.

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. FAO, Santiago.

FAO. 1998a. Latin America and the Caribbean: national forest programmes. Update 33. FAO, Rome.

FAO. 1998b. FAO production yearbook. Vol. 51 – 1997. FAO, Rome.

Iqbal, M. 1995. Trade restrictions affecting international trade in non-wood forest products. Non-Wood Forest Products 8. FAO, Rome.

IUCN. 1982. IUCN Directory of Neotropical Protected Areas. Tycooly Publishing, Dublin.

Petit A., J. 1998. Los hongos de pino. Bosques y Desarrollo 17:32-34.


5.5 Resource People

Daniel Barros, Depto. de Silvicultura, Instituto Forestal, Huerfanos 554, Santiago, Chile.

Tel: 562 639 6189; Fax 562 638 1286.

José Antonio Cabello Medina, Corporación Nacional Forestal, Avda. Bulnes 285, 7 piso, Of. 703, Santiago, Chile. Tel: 562 696 66 77; Fax 562 671 5881.

Jorge Campos Roasio, Instituto de Investigaciones Technológicas, Avda. Santa María 6400, Vitacura, Casilla 19002, Santiago, Chile. Tel: 562 242 8100; Fax: 562 218 5307.

René Carmona Cerda, Depto. de Tecnología de la Madera, Universidad de Chile, Casilla 9206, Santiago, Chile. Tel: 562 541 7703 A. 220; Fax: 562 541 4131.

Roberto Garfias Salinas, Depto. de Manejo de Recursos Forestales, Universidad de Chile, Casilla 9206, Santiago, Chile. Tel: 562 541 7703 A. 233; Fax 562 541 4952.


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