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14.1 State of NWFP statistics

Venezuela participated in the FAO Workshop on NWFP in Latin America and the Caribbean, held in Santiago, Chile in 1994 (FAO 1995b). A country report written by Judith Petit presented an excellent analysis of the status of NWFP in Venezuela. Subsequently, Petit (1996) published a book entitled "Productos Forestales no Madereros de Venezuela," which provided additional information. These studies document well those plants and products for which production data, etc. are known, and identifies the gaps that remain to be filled. The accompanying table includes data on 12 NWFP.


14.2 Non-wood goods and services

Venezuela’s diversity of environments provide a variety of NWFP. Products for which data are available are summarized as follows:

Venezuela has a diverse geography and attractive landscapes of seacoast, mountains and forests for nature tourism. The country has an extensive system of 43 protected areas, with a total area of 7,7 million ha. Of these, there are 26 national parks, the highest protected status (IUCN 1982). In addition, Venezuela has designated the Alto Orinoco-Casiquiare Biosphere Reserve which serves as a buffer zone to two national parks and has extractive reserve functions (Ruiz Pérez 1993).


14.3 Non-wood goods

It does not appear that an attempt has yet been made to calculate the total value of NWFP at the national level in Venezuela. No data are available for ornamental plants, fodder, latex, tannins, essential oils, medicinal plants, spices, dyestuffs, gums and mushrooms.

Wild fruits are commercialized, as documented by Melnyk (1996) in Amazonas State, but data are lacking.


14.3.1 Bamboo and other fibers

Bamboo is known to be widely used in South America, but Venezuela is the rare country with statistical data to document its use; in 1992 production was nearly 565 000 units. Statistical data on three fibers in 1992 show production of 128 000 kg of chiquichique fiber, nearly 4 million kg of reeds and 508 600 kg of bejuco mimure.

14.3.2 Resin

Venezuela has an estimated 600 000 ha (1994-95) of pine and eucalyptus plantations, nearly all industrial. Pine plantations are the source of an estimated 7 000 t of crude resin annually in the mid 1990s.

14.3.3 Nuts

Coconut plantations yielded 131 000 t of coconuts and 15 000 t of copra in 1997.

14.3.4 Edible oil

Cultivation of African oil palm is found in Venezuela. The total area under this tree crop is not available, but in 1997 production of palm kernels amounted to 13 000 t and palm oil 51 000 t.

14.3.5 Cocoa

This crop is important in Venezuela; 19 000 t of cocoa beans were produced in cocoa plantations in 1997.

14.3.6 Palm hearts

Venezuela’s palm heart industry is concentrated in the Orinoco Delta where extensive stands of manaca palm supply the raw material. Production of 1,9 million palm hearts is reported for 1992, most of which is for the export market.

14.3.7 Honey

Honey production in 1997 was estimated at 1 000 t.

14.3.8 Important Commercial Wild Animals

Although no data could be found on quantities of animals hunted or captured and their commercial value, the key species have been identified and are given below:



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)

Lutra longicaudis (3)

Amazona spp. (4)

Pteronura brasiliensis (3)


Leopardus paradalis (3)


Panthera onca (3)


Tapirus terrestris (2)

Podocnemis unifilis (2)

Tayassu pecari (2,3)

Peltocephalus dumerilianus (2)

Tayassu tajacu (2,3)

Geochelone denticulata (2)

Mazama americana (2,3)

Caiman crocodilus (3)

Odocoileus virginianus (2)

Boa constrictor (3)

Hydrochaeris hydrochaeris (3)

Eunectes murinus (3)

Agouti paca (2)


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

Source: TCA, 1995.


14.4 References

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. 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. FAO, Santiago.

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

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

Melnyk, M. 1996. Indigenous enterprise for the domestication of trees and the commercialization of their fruits. In: Leakey, RR.B. et. al eds. Domestication and commercialization of non-timber forest products in agroforestry systems. Non-wood Forest Products 9, FAO, Rome.

Petit A., J. 1996. Productos forestales no madereros de Venezuela Instituto Forestal Latinoamericano, Mérida, Venezuela.

Ruiz Pérez, M., Sayer, J. A. and Jehoram, S.C. 1993. El extractivismo en América Latina. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.

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


14.5 Resource Persons

Judith Petit, Instituto Forestal Latinoamericano, Av. Chorros de Milla, Nucleo Forestal, EDF IFLA, Apartado 36, Mérida, Venezuela. Tel: 5874 440 535; Fax: 5874 448 906.

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