The International Conference on Domestication and Commercialization of Non-Timber Forest Products in Agroforestry Systems, hosted by ICRAF, was held in Nairobi, Kenya, from 19 to 23 February 1996. This was the first world-level meeting to be held exclusively to draw attention to issues dealing with domestication and commercialization of non-timber forest products in agroforestry systems.
Coordinated by ICRAF, a number of international and national agencies, namely: FAO, IUFRO, Unesco, the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, the British Development Division in Eastern Africa, the Centre Technique de Coopération Agricole et Rurale, the International Foundation for Science, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, the Overseas Development Administration - Forestry Research Programme, the United States Agency for International Development, and the International Society of Tropical Foresters, collaborated in this undertaking by providing funds, background materials and papers, by sponsoring participants and/or by direct attendance.
The outcome of the Conference was substantial, with clear recommendations for action. We have pleasure in sharing it with all interested persons and institutions.
We wish to take this opportunity to acknowledge with thanks the contribution of all those who attended the Conference and their active participation in the discussions, which made this meeting a remarkable success. We also wish to thank all those who collaborated with, and supported the efforts of, ICRAF in organizing this Conference. Special thanks are also due to the Chairpersons of the five working groups (C. Kleinn, C.K. Mwamba, V. Shah, F. Sinclair and I. Kone) and the respective rapporteurs (R. Kindt, D. Kiambi, J. Were, I. Dawson and P. Rudebjer). We fully appreciate the contribution of R. Leakey, A. Temu, M. Melnyk and P. Vantomme in reviewing and editing the Conference report. Finally, we wish to thank M. Kimenye and H. Abdalla for their hard work retyping the manuscripts, D. Odanga for the design and layout, and H. van Houten and K. Kebaara for editorial support.
No doubt, the perspectives on domestication and commercialization of non-timber forest products in agroforestry systems, as they emerged from the discussions at the Conference, and the light they throw on how to address issues dealing with resource assessment, indigenous knowledge, product development, socio-economic benefits, environmental impact, and institutional and policy aspects, will help national and international agencies in designing and implementing their activities on non-timber forest products. ICRAF and FAO are committed to pursue the outcome of the Conference and to support the implementation of its recommendations, in collaboration with partner agencies and countries.
Forest Products Division