Non-wood forest products
What are non-wood forest products?
NWFP are products of biological origin other than wood derived from forests, other wooded land and trees outside forests.
NWFP may be gathered from the wild, or produced in forest plantations, agroforestry schemes and from trees outside forests.
Further information on the definition of NWFP are presented in the article Towards a harmonized definition of non-wood forest products, published in Unasylva, Issue No. 198.
Examples of NWFP include products used as food and food additives (edible nuts, mushrooms, fruits, herbs, spices and condiments, aromatic plants, game), fibres (used in construction, furniture, clothing or utensiles), resins, gums, and plant and animal products used for medicinal, cosmetic or cultural purposes.
Who uses NWFPs and to whom are they important?
Several million households world-wide depend heavily on NWFP for subsistence and/or income. Some 80 percent of the population of the developing world use NWFP for health and nutritional needs. Women from poor households are generally those who rely more on NWFP for household use and income.
At a local level, NWFP also provide raw materials for large scale industrial processing.
Some NWFP are also important export commodities. At present, at least 150 NWFP are significant in terms of international trade, including honey, gum arabic, rattan, bamboo, cork, nuts, mushrooms, resins, essential oils, and plant and animal parts for pharmaceutical products.
NWFP have also attracted considerable global interest in recent years due to the increasing recognition of their contribution to environmental objectives, including the conservation of biological diversity.