Non-Wood Forest Products News

World Bee Day: Why we need bees for a nutritious future 20 May 2019 Bees are under threat. Present species extinction rates are 100 to 1 000 times higher than normal due to human impacts. Insects will likely make up the bulk of future biodiversity loss with 40 percent of invertebrate pollinator species – particularly bees and butterflies – facing extinction. [more]
8 April 2019 Do you have an interesting solution or business idea to solve a technological, social or environmental challenge for non-wood forest products (NWFPs) in the Mediterranean? The INCREDIBLE project has just launched the Open Innovation Challenge (OIC) which will select the five most innovative ideas with the potential to increase the environmental, economic or social value of Mediterranean NWFPs. Prize-winners will be invited to attend the INCREDIBLE business acceleration programme led by an international team of leading forestry, business and NWFPs experts. [more]
5 April 2019 According to WRI's ‘ Global Forest Watch ’, from 2001 to 2017, 337 million hectares of tropical tree cover was lost globally – an area the size of Indi a.A key question, then, is what can forest sector investors, governments and other actors do differently to reverse these alarming trends?One way to speed up our efforts is to proactively include the role of women in the design of forest landscape restoration and conservation efforts. [more]
How forests improve kids' diets 5 April 2019 A first-of-its-kind global study shows that children in 27 developing countries have better nutrition -- when they live near forests. The results turn on its head the assumption that improving nutrition in poorer countries requires clearing forests for more farmland -- and, instead, suggest that forest conservation could be an important tool to improve the nutrition of children. [more]
14 January 2019 It's a little-known fact that truffles grow wild in Japan. But at least one researcher here sees the potential for the widely sought-after delicacy to rise from its underground status to becoming a made-in-Japan luxury item. While the native-grown fungus has attracted scarce attention in the country, efforts are being made in Kumamoto and Ibaraki prefectures to develop technologies to cultivate the gourmet mushroom for commercial use. [more]
Sustainably managing non-timber products to improve livelihoods, equity and forests 3 September 2018 New Guidelines for Equitable and Sustainable Non-timber Forest Product Management offer field-tested strategies and good practices on how to pursue the multiple goals of gender equality and social inclusion, environmental integrity, and livelihoods improvement through the sustainable use and management of non-timber forest products. [more]
16 July 2018 For the sixth time, COFO will be held in conjunction with the World Forest Week (WFW) - a series of meetings and events sponsored by FAO and its partner organizations and institutions. This WFW side event will discuss the importance and potential of NWFPs for the cosmetic and fragrance sector globally. Specific experiences from Asia and the Pacific will be presented based on 12 country studies prepared as part of the “Forests and Beauty” initiative. The event aims to raise awareness on the immense potential of NWFPs for use in the cosmetic and fragrance sector, the total value of which is estimated at US$460 billion (2014) and is expected to grow rapidly to reach US$675 billion by 2020. Recommendations for future work will be gathered. [more]
New report highlights global trade in wild plant ingredients 25 June 2018 Wild at Home: An overview of the harvest and trade in wild plant ingredients , released to coincide with the beginning of FairWild Week 2018, demonstrates how sustainable wild plant harvesting can contribute to wider wildlife conservation goals and why global industry must adapt.People are utterly reliant on plants for their survival, yet few appreciate that many of the consumer products in common use—ranging from herbal remedies, food, and drink to cosmetics, health supplements, and even furniture—derive from wild harvested plants. [more]
18 June 2018 A new synthesis report coordinated by the European Forest Institute considers the elements required to radically transform production and consumption patterns in this region, with its huge diversity of landscapes and land use. The report considers the drivers, enablers and barriers for the forest-based sector in southern Europe. Exploring the potential for forests to contribute to a circular bioeconomy, it focuses on emerging bio-products and technologies, building with wood, and how to develop untapped value of non-wood forest products and the services provided to people by forests. [more]
Living in and from the forests of Central Africa 8 June 2018 Living in and from the forests of Central Africa is intended first and foremost as a full-scale extension tool concerning NWFPs in Central Africa. It is a work on the groups who have always lived in these forests, forests that contribute to every aspect of their daily lives, both material and spiritual, and enable them to survive even in periods of extreme crisis. The book is divided into seven parts. The first gives an overview of Central Africa and NWFPs, while the second shows how animal and plant NWFPs contribute to the food and nutritional security of forest people. [more]
Non-wood forest products in international statistical systems 4 June 2018 This report compares the international statistics on non-wood forest products (NWFPs) by review-ing the three main international statistical classifications: the Harmonized System (HS), the Central Product Classification (CPC) and the International Standard Industrial Classification (ISIC). It discusses specific issues in linking major NWFPs across the three reference systems, as well as how countries deal with these issues. It proposes ways for improving the international classification sys-tems and presents some of their main NWFPs. Each product group is fully described in the annex-es, which provide information on where it is situated in the existing international classifications, as well as production and international trade data sources. [more]
Valorization of Forest Products : Beekeeping 1 June 2018 In Zimbabwe, FAO has been implementing a four year EU funded project to improve food and nutrition security of vulnerable rural communities through participatory sustainable forest management and value addition to forest products. The project, entitled Forest Forces, established the correlation between forest management and a thriving honey production business far beyond his expectations - a source of livelihood for his family and a sustainable business for his community. [more]
Valorization of Forest Products : Marula ,Baobab,Mangetti 1 June 2018 In Zimbabwe, FAO has been implementing a four year EU funded project to improve food and nutrition security of vulnerable rural communities through participatory sustainable forest management and value addition to forest products. [more]
Vivre et se nourrir de la forêt en Afrique centrale 1 June 2018 Ce livre nous emmène au cœur des zones de forêts denses et sahéliennes de l’Afrique centrale, un écosystème précieux et essentiel à la vie quotidienne de ses habitants, représentant l’un des trois principaux ensembles boisés tropicaux de la planète. Dix pays (Burundi, Cameroun, Congo, Gabon, Guinée Equatoriale, République Centrafricaine, République Démocratique du Congo, Rwanda, Sao Tomé & Principe, Tchad) abritent ces forêts et savanes, riches d’importantes ressources naturelles. Ils ont en commun une longue histoire liée à la colonisation, suivie d'une expérience de coopération multiforme depuis les indépendances qui évolue incontestablement vers une intégration économique et monétaire. [more]
Living in and from the forests of central Africa - in brief 1 May 2018 Since time immemorial, non-wood forest products (NWFPs), particularly wild forest foods, have played animportant role in the diets and health of people living inand outside forests, in both rural and urban areas. Some of these products, such as wild game, fruit, seeds, roots, nuts and fungi, are still used as a source of food, contributing to both food and nutritional security, while others are used for building materials or medicines, or support ancient customs and traditions. [more]
Researchers to study ramps' market, flavor profile, vulnerability to pest 29 March 2018 Among the first green things to pop out of the ground in the spring across the sprawling forests of Appalachia, ramps ( Allium tricoccum ) taste stronger than leeks, which generally have a mild onion flavor, and are more "garlicky" than a scallion. As such, the uniquely pungent plant has become the darling of chefs and foodies and a much-sought-after commodity. All the attention on ramps of late has convinced Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture officials that they need to know more about the market for ramps and the wild stocks of the plants to manage and perhaps protect them. [more]
Wild nourishment:Forest foods boost local diets in Zambia 1 November 2017 Researchers from CIFOR trying to understand how forest foods contributed to local diets found that despite being financially very poor, the communities they studied had relatively diverse, healthy diets, and that the wild foods gathered from the forests played a significant role . [more]
Greater recognition needed for value of ‘wild nutrition’ 30 May 2017 One in seven people are thought to benefit from “wild” nutrition, or wild plants and animals, for food and health, yet these foods do not receive sufficient recognition, a seminar in Rome heard last week. The seminar, “Wild but edible and nutritious – Exploring new (and old) ways to contribute to the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition and the SDGs,” pooled together some of the most recent scientific evidence on forest foods and their contributions to nutritious and diverse diets. [more]
How A Wild Berry Is Helping To Protect China's Giant Pandas And Its Countryside 16 May 2017 In the cool mountains of the Upper Yangtze region, Chinese villagers clamber up dogwood and maple trees to gather what Dr. Oz has called a "miracle anti-aging pill." The small, red schisandra berry has a peculiar taste — five tastes, in fact, because it's considered to be at once sweet, sour, salty, bitter and pungent. Chinese restaurants serve it macerated in alcohol from tall glass containers, like the office water cooler, where customers can fill a cup. Long before it became a "superfood" in the U.S., schisandra was made into bright-colored juices, jams and savory soups. It has always been a medicinal plant, prized for its ability to calm chronic coughs, night sweats, incontinence and insomnia. [more]
Now in English: Living in and from the forests of Central Africa 20 April 2017 The contribution of forest foods to food and nutritional security is greatly underestimated, according to a recent report on the Congo Basin issued by FAO. The report, Living in and from the forests of Central Africa, originally published in French and now available in English, is based on a decade of work across central Africa and the Congo Basin, which is home to 130 million people, many of whom still depend directly – just as their ancestors did – on non-wood forest products (NWFPs) such as game, fruit, seeds, roots, insects and fungi for nutritious food and overall well-being. [more]
New Issue of the NWFP quarterly looks at forest berries 20 April 2017 After popular demand, this issue focuses on forest berries. In this edition, we feature a wide variety of berries coming from vastly different production systems, regions and environments -- from the Amazonian “superfruit” acai to the “wild” blueberries in Maine to several others in between. [more]
TECA moderated discussion: Aspects of honey adulteration 18 April 2017 Honey is a nutritious natural food produced by bees. It is appreciated worldwide for its taste, proven health benefits, cultural values, etc. However, recent reports have shown that an increasing amount of honey traded internationally is adulterated. From 14 April to 14 May 2017, TECA Beekeeping Exchange Group will look into this issue and try to address the following questions: How big is the problem? What are the consequences for the beekeeping sector? What can be done? Join the discussion! [more]
FAO takes steps to improve data collection on NWFPs in new report 6 March 2017 A new FAO report takes steps to improve data collection on non-wood forest products (NWFPs) in order to better understand their contribution to lives and livelihoods. The report, Non-wood forest products in international statistical systems, seeks to ultimately improve the overall availability and quality of international statistics for evidence-based decision-making. [more]
Forests foods and healthy diets 21 February 2017 New research by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) shows that forests play an important role in the diets of many households and communities living in close proximity to tropical forests. The findings contribute to a growing body of evidence that suggests deforestation and forest conversion to crops pose a threat to communities that receive their nutritional requirements from forests. [more]
Improving livelihoods of indigenous women in Nicaragua 7 February 2017 Telma Maria Rena Ramirez, a member of the Bonanza municipality of Mayangna Territory, belongs to a group of indigenous Mayangna women who work with the bark of the native tuno tree to make handicrafts, such as bags, folders and wallets. “This is a raw material that our ancestors left which has rich value for us,” Telma says. “Now, as Mayangna women, we are starting to achieve economic independence for our families through the products we sell thanks to the tuno .” [more]
30 January 2017 A project is working to increase the capacity of collectors of wild medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs) in Bac Kan Province (Viet Nam) to protect biodiversity and improve local livelihoods. To achieve these outcomes, TRAFFIC, the Bac Kan Forest Protection Department (FPD) and two local pharmaceutical companies assisted the local harvesters to establish collector groups and cooperatives in Bac Kan. [more]
NWFP Update 10: Living in and from central African forests 13 January 2017 Issue No.10 is dedicated to a new FAO report, Vivre et se nourrir (Living in and from central African Forests), based on ten years of FAO work on NWFPs in Central Africa. [more]
19 December 2016 The contribution of forest foods to food and nutritional security is greatly underestimated, according to a new report on the Congo Basin issued today by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Living in and from the forests of Central Africa is based on a decade of work across central Africa and the Congo Basin, which is home to 130 million people, many of whom still depend directly – just as their ancestors did – on non-wood forest products (NWFPs) such as game, fruit, seeds, roots, insects and fungi for nutritious food and overall well-being. [more]
1 December 2016 Responding to the mounting impacts of malnutrition on public health and economic development — estimated to cost $3.5 trillion per year — via a shift to healthier diets and food systems will be the subject of a high-level symposium kicking off here today. The International Symposium on Sustainable Food Systems for Healthy Diets and Improved Nutrition (1-2 December) will look at country-level challenges and successes to shed light on effective approaches to reshaping food production, processing, marketing and retail systems to better tackle the problem of malnutrition, which blights the lives of billions of individuals and can trap generations in a vicious cycle of poverty and malnutrition. [more]
New Issue: NWFP Update 9: Wild edible fungi 3 November 2016 This new quarterly issue focuses on wild edible fungi (WEF), sometimes referred to as “ wild useful fungi ”. [more]
It’s all organic: Finns could certify almost all picking areas of wild berries 12 September 2016 Up to 99 per cent of Finland’s forests could be certified as organic. Even now, Lapland is the world’s largest contiguous area for picking organic berries. The Finns love their healthy and wholesome forest berries. Especially bilberries and lingonberries are picked all over Finland in July and August. The famous everyman’s rights allow people to pick commonly found berries in every forest and even in national parks. [more]
Participate in our survey on NWFPs! 3 August 2016 Help the FAO Forestry Department by taking this short survey on non-wood forest products! [more]
3 August 2016 The open consultation on the draft document on NWFP statistical classification has been extended to 1 October 2016! Readers are cordially invited to participate by submitting input by email to . Please include your full name, organization, phone number and complete mailing or email address. A final report will be formulated based on feedback. This activity will lay a solid foundation for improvement in the data collection of NWFPs at the national, regional and global levels. [more]
Laura Snook on the link between forests, nutrition and food security 21 July 2016 Laura Snook, Flagship Leader of the Management and Conservation of Forest and Tree Resources of the Forests, Trees and Agroforestry Programme of the CGIAR, tells us about the relationship between forests and food and nutritional security on the sidelines of the 23rd Committee on Forestry. Sharing lessons from the Beyond Timber Project, she gives examples of how forest products meet local nutritional and economic needs, and how competing interests affect forests’ capacity to supply these products, and villagers’ ability to access them. [more]
Inseparable: Forests, Wildlife and Food Security 21 July 2016 Come and listen to David Wilkie (Wildlife Conservation Society) deliver a “Tree Talk” on the role of wildlife in the forest-food nexus, and hear what our panel of experts has to say this Friday, 22 July during World Forest Week, on the side lines of the 23rd Committee on Forestry. [more]
NWFP Update No. 8 30 June 2016 Just launched, special issue No.8 of the NWFP Update: "Perspectives on NWFPs: Taking stock, and moving forward." [more]
Beyond Timber: Forest management models for transforming conflict into cooperation 28 June 2016 A new study by Bioversity International finds that the competing needs of different groups who depend upon the Congo Basin rainforest can be met if innovative, new research-based models for multiple-use forest management are employed. The models, together with accompanying policy guidance, have been endorsed by the region’s forest administration body COMIFAC and offer the potential to alleviate both the conflict between groups and the pressures on the landscape, allowing livelihoods and forest to flourish. Underpinned by groundbreaking, multi-disciplinary, international research, the models embody combined insights into local people’s needs, the ecologicaland genetic basis of forest sustainability and regeneration, and the interests of commercial logging outfits. [more]
Beekeepers rejoice as karri forest in full bloom for first time in decades 21 June 2016 The giant trees near Pemberton only flower once every seven to 10 years but this season, there is a uniform budding across the whole forest and the bloom has lasted for almost a year. Karrakup beekeeper Mike Spurge said it was an extremely unusual event. "It hasn't flowered like this for 40-odd years or more; nearly 50 years that it's been over the whole forest," he said. [more]
Foraging the untapped value of Europe's forests 6 June 2016 EU-funded researchers have identified the untapped commercial potential of products like wild berries, mushrooms, nuts and plants growing in Europe's forests for the benefit of rural communities - a way to generate growth and jobs. Forests provide a huge range of goods and services, but their true economic potential to Europe remains underestimated. [more]
Bees are bellwethers for the healthy agricultural ecosystems they help create 25 May 2016 Bees make a priceless contribution to agriculture and are a bellwether for environmental health, working without pay while both delivering and reflecting biodiversity. "A world without pollinators would be a world without food diversity - and in the long run, without food security," FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said today during a visit to Slovenia at the national beekeepers' festival. Slovenia, a promotor of declaring May 20 the World Bee Day, has sought assistance from FAO in this endeavor and has already received its support and that of 53 countries at the last Regional Conference of Europe. [more]
More than mushrooms, beyond berries. Wild forest products in Europe 26 April 2016 The StarTree project is organising an international conference on Wild Forest Products in Europe on 13–14 October 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. The two-day conference will include invited keynote talks, sessions with contributed oral presentations, a poster exhibit, and a panel discussion with decision makers and stakeholder representatives. Call for abstracts has been extended until 29 April! [more]
Poachers or Protectors? Local Communities at the Frontline of Conservation – What really drives wildlife trade, hunting and trafficking? 26 April 2016 Wildlife is in crisis in many parts of the globe, and decision makers need sound expertise and experience to inform their actions. In order to understand the drivers of escalating patterns of poaching, organised illegal wildlife trade, and habitat loss, this event places the indigenous and local communities that live close to wildlife at the forefront of thinking and action, and provides insights on how wildlife conservation can be reconciled with supporting community rights and livelihoods. [more]
Six ways mushrooms can save the world 26 April 2016 Mycologist Paul Stamets lists six ways the mycelium fungus can help save the universe: cleaning polluted soil, making insecticides, treating smallpox and even flu viruses. [more]
9 February 2016 Training Schools are an important part of European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) Actions and are intended to share knowledge and support collaboration. Within the scope of COST Action FP1203, a Training School offering a general overview on methodological aspects related to NWFP marketing has been prepared by Task Force 4 (Marketing). The course will combine theoretical lessons, case studies analysis and the presentation of some tools for marketing research. The Training School will be held in San Vito di Cadore, Belluno, Italy from 14-18 March 2016. Trainee candidates can submit their applications until 19 February 2016. [more]
NWFP Update Issue 7: Trees and bees 4 February 2016 A special issue on the relationship between trees and bees from the FAO Forestry non-wood forest products team. [more]
Rattan bone implants set for human trials 23 December 2015 Rattan wood — the stems of a climbing palm that grows in Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka — could be the source for bone implants by 2019. An Italian firm announced last month that trials on sheep prove that the technology works. [more]
NWFP Update Issue 6 17 September 2015 This month marks an important milestone in development, as the post-2015 development agenda is set to be adopted at the United Nations Summit in New York, USA . In this issue, we look at health and well-being, Goal No. 3 of the new Sustainable Development Goals, through the prism of NWFPs and forests. [more]
Bee products: providing nutrition and generating income - Honeybees, beekeeping and bee products in our daily lives 2 September 2015 Honeybees provide a wide range of benefits to humans from honey, other bee products, pollination of food crops and ecological services. Beekeeping is practiced around the world, and can provide a valuable source of income to people in developing regions with relatively little investment. This month, the Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition “FSN Forum” – an online venue for multi-stakeholder dialogue where policy decisions on food security and nutrition are collectively inspired, developed and linked with practice – is hosting a discussion on bee products, nutrition and income generation. [more]
New Report: Forests could be the trump card in efforts to end global hunger 7 May 2015 About one in nine people globally still suffer from hunger with the majority of the hungry living in Africa and Asia. The world's forests have great potential to improve their nutrition and ensure their livelihoods. In fact, forests and forestry are essential to achieve food security as the limits of boosting agricultural production are becoming increasingly clear. [more]
Forest Farming Ramps 2 April 2015 Ramps, these tasty spring ephemerals with the scientific name Allium tricoccum , are generally called ramps in the south and wild leeks in more northern areas. They are native to the hardwood forests of eastern North America. In many areas, ramps are viewed as a sign of the coming of spring and people flock to the forests to “dig a mess of ramps.” [more]
Where the wild vegetables are: Moroccan food from the forest 9 March 2015 Winter has arrived here in Morocco. From December to March, there is a lot of rain (more than the rest of the year) – and widespread availability of wild vegetables. Although wild foods, especially wild vegetables, have held an important place in Moroccan culinary practice for generations, up until recently, they have been largely overlooked by research and policy initiatives. But, two recent publications have changed this. In one recent publication, Nassif and Tanji , reported almost 80 species of edible vegetables in Morocco. [more]
NWFP Update 2015/1 3 March 2015 In this first issue for 2015, we tackle bushmeat, or the harvesting of wild animals from forests for food and non-food purposes (medicine, culture, recreation). Bushmeat has long been a part of the diets of forest dwellers as an important source of protein, micronutrients, fats and also fibre and is increasingly consumed in urban areas. It is also an important source of income for many communities. At the same time, the scale of wildlife hunting threatens important forest species and ecosystems. Compounding the problem is the threat of zoonoses – diseases transmitted from animals to humans – arising from bushmeat hunting, trade and consumption. Ebola is a recent reminder of this threat. [more]
NWFP Update 2014/4 20 November 2014 This issue focuses on “foraging”, understood as the practice of gathering uncultivated plants from the wild. We open the issue with CIFOR and IRD Scientist Edmond Dounias’s piece which questions several misconceptions about foraging activities and explores the potential of gathering for feeding the world. In this issue’s Interview, we speak to Nora Berrahmouni, FAO Forestry Officer for dryland forests, who reminds us of the important role NWFPs play in arid zones, particularly fodder which is often forgotten in discussions on NWFPs [more]
NWFP Update 2014/3 26 September 2014 This issue is dedicated to education and communication initiatives related to NWFPs/NTFPs. In our special feature, Citlalli López Binnqüist and colleagues share their experiences from the Universidad Veracruzana in Mexico. Also featured are two interviews: INBAR Director General Hans Friederich fills us in on training, research and knowledge management initiatives on bamboo and rattan; Cesar Sabogal from FAO provides us with an overview of a new tool: the Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) Toolbox, recently launched at the 22nd session of FAO’s Committee on Forestry. [more]
Non-timber forest products: the way forward for the rural woman? 7 March 2014 Historically, NTFP gathering and food crop cultivation were mainly for domestic use. But those days are gone — the opening of remote areas, better access to urban markets, and new opportunities of income have motivated women and men in forest communities to be actively involved in the sale of NTFPs and agricultural products in order to make more money. [more]
NWFP Update 2014/02 21 February 2014 Welcome to our first issue for 2014, which will focus on the institutional dimensions of NWFPs and the degree to which legal and institutional frameworks on NWFPs should be improved. [more]
Morocco - Plants could be at the root of new jobs 17 February 2014 A new photo story ” Plants could be at the root of new jobs ” has been released by the EU Neighbhourhood Info Centre, highlighting the achievements of an EU-funded research project in Morocco. [more]
Call of the wild 15 February 2014 One way of categorising wild foods gathered for subsistence is through their importance for people’s survival. Some are exclusively famine foods (leaves of celosia and bidens, usually regarded as weeds), some are seasonal (bamboo shoots during monsoon), some are occasional (bamboo seeds during the periodic flowering), some are collected routinely as a staple (various yams and greens) and some may be delicacies (such as the larvae of Vespid wasps). [more]
Vietnam tries “community forestry” model to protect forests 24 December 2013 To date, 280,000 hectares of the total 15.3 million hectares of forests have been allocated to local people for forestry production and 513,000 hectares have been allocated for management and protection. The figures would be increasing sharply in the future as local authorities have realized that Vietnam needs to rely on the community to protect forests [more]
Amazon condom factory: a sustainable way to profit from Brazil's forests 20 December 2013 Deep in the Amazon rainforest , in Brazil 's far western region, tappers walk the forest trails, harvesting liquid latex from the trunks of the bountiful native rubber trees. [more]
FAO urges policy-makers to strengthen forest producer organizations 25 November 2013 25 November, 2013, Guilin/Rome - Strengthening forest producer organizations should contribute significantly to reducing poverty, improving livelihoods and enhancing economic development of smallholder forest owners and farmers, FAO said today at the International Conference on Forest Producer Organizations , taking place in Guilin, China, 25-28 November 2013. [more]
Strength in Numbers: Effective forest producer organizations 25 November 2013 This document is a compilation of cases showing how forest farmers have organized themselves and the lessons drawn so far, with the aim of providing ideas and motivation to service providers and farmers alike. It highlights the need for farmers to have their say on forest policy and legal issues, and to have better access to markets, services and finance. It also provides an insight into the kind of activities and processes that can be supported by the Forest and Farm Facility hosted by FAO, and by the Farmers Fighting Poverty programme at AgriCord. [more]
Harvesting both timber and Brazil nuts in Peru’s Amazon forests: Can they coexist? 7 November 2013 In the Brazil nut forests of the Peruvian Amazon, scientists from the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) are trying to resolve a controversial question: can selective timber harvesting coexist with Brazil nut production? [more]
Uganda: Bwindi Study Shows Poverty Is Not Major Cause of Wildlife Loss 19 September 2013 The first findings of a project that aims to help low-income communities benefit more from living near Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, where conservation priorities can impose limits on their livelihoods has dispelled perceptions that poor people who live closer to the park pose a danger to wildlife conservation efforts. Researchers from the London-based International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) alongside other partners who met in Kampala from 17-18 September noted that there are complex links between poverty and threats to wildlife. [more]
Poaching pangolins: An obscure creature faces uncertain future 19 September 2013 The pangolin does not make headlines the way elephants or rhinos do. But the survival of this non-charismatic, armor-plated animal is being threatened by a gruesome trade in its meat and its scales.If you have never even heard of pangolins, much less pangolin poaching, you are not alone. Even conservationists tend not to know much about these armor-plated animals that are commonly known as scaly anteaters, perhaps because they are small, uncharismatic, and nocturnal. But almost unnoticed, the illegal trade in pangolins has raged out of control, to meet demand in East Asia for both their meat and their scales, which are roasted and used, like rhino horn, in traditional medicines. [more]
Cameroon tribe in jeopardy as ancestral forest disappears 18 September 2013 A central African pygmy tribe is losing its identity and being driven off its ancestral forest lands by logging, according to a global charity. Despite instigating a social programme to integrate the Baka, the Cameroon government does not recognize the Baka tribe as indigenous and has given the rights to most of the region’s rainforest to international logging companies. It has also banned hunting of endangered species, as easier public access to forest areas and local market opportunities has meant increased wildlife hunting pressure. Consequently, several species of “bushmeat”, the tribe’s traditional food that can encompass chimpanzee and antelope, are now unavailable to the Baka. [more]
Deforestation deprives tribals of food security in India 13 September 2013 Large scale felling of trees in Chhatardandi, Mahakhand and other forest areas in Balangir, Northeast India that were once famous for high quality teak trees has affected the food security of tribals and landless people who depend mostly on collection, processing and marketing of NTFPs. According to an estimate, more than 30 percent of the population depends on forests for their livelihoods. NTFPs provide multiple benefits in terms of food, fibre, fodder and firewood. Fruits, flowers, roots, shoots and seeds are the main sources of food for poor people in the area [more]
Medicinal plants in the spotlight 2 September 2013 Concern about the unsustainable demand for indigenous medicinal plants, still used by an estimated 70 percent of South Africa’s 53 million people, is the focus of Kirstenbosch Biennale. The biennale is an exhibition of botanical art by artists from southern African and elsewhere with the theme “Medicinal and traditional plants of southern Africa”. Phakamani Xaba, a research conservation horticulturist at Kirstenbosch, says the biennale highlights the rich history of traditional-plant use among indigenous people, while also aiming to raise awareness about unsustainable over-exploitation. [more]
Why eating insects is good for the environment 28 August 2013 A growing number of forward-thinking chefs are putting insects on their menus – often grasshoppers and mealworms, but also more exotic fare such as creamy bee larvae or zesty carpenter ants. "It is amazing to me how it has snowballed," says David George Gordon, author of The Eat-a-Bug Cookbook and one of America's top edible-insect evangelists: "In the last five or six years there has been a real trend ... when I give talks, and ask who in the audience has eaten insects before, I'm amazed how many people raise their hands." [more]
WWF: Only 50 tigers left in BTFC 27 August 2013 There may be just 50 tigers left in the Belum-Temengor Forest Complex (BTFC), as detected under a comprehensive scientific study, says Dr. Mark Rayan Darmaraj. The WWF-Malaysia’s tiger expert and lead research scientist for the fund’s tiger conservation programme said that its minimum viable population there should be 80. Darmaraj also found evidence of poachers via the camera traps as well as snares and camps left at the site. “In Royal Belum, we caught photos of foreigners encroaching mostly for agar wood. [more]
Engaging the private sector in sustainable management of medicinal plants in China 23 August 2013 A workshop held earlier this month in Beijing brought together TRAFFIC, the World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies (WFCMS), Wecome Pharmaceutical Ltd and the WWF China Programme Office to kick-start the implementation of a project on Engaging the Private Sector in sustainable management of medicinal plants—the multiplier effect , to be carried out in China’s Zhejiang and Hunan Provinces from 2013 to 2015 using the FairWild Standard approach. [more]
India’s Jenu Kuruba forest honey industry sticks to tradition – study 20 August 2013 For a tribal community living in the forested Western Ghats mountain range in southern India, the central cultural, spiritual and economic role honey collection plays is illustrated by its name — Jenu Kuruba — which translates into “honey collectors”. Understanding how people learn directly affects what information they get and how they use their environments – understanding the transmission system of behavior as a whole can help predict how a culture evolves,” said Kathryn Demps, lead author of “ Social learning across the life cycle: Cultural knowledge acquisition for honey collection among the Jenu Kuruba, India ” [more]
Amazon degraded lands prompt new bushmeat hunting trends 19 August 2013 Hunting patterns are changing in the Peruvian Amazon, according to an expert on traditional forest knowledge at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR). But instead of looking at hunting just from a wildlife conservation viewpoint, Pinedo-Vasquez, the scientific coordinator of CIFOR’s Global Bushmeat Comparative Study, is adding a nutritional perspective — examining how small-game species constitute the main source of protein for rural families. [more]
Forests can help mitigate climate change, ensure food security 12 July 2013 Forests will have a role to play in ensuring food security and mitigating the impacts of climate change. "We know that about a billion people around the world are food-insecure, and that's about one-sixth of the global population (and) climate change will make the problem worse," Dr. Rodel Lasco of the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) said recently. "Forests provide people stable foods and supplemental foods such as fruits, edible leaves and nuts. For example, in Lao PDR, up to 80 per cent of the population rely on some kind of wild food," he said. [more]
Edible insects: future prospects for food and feed security 13 May 2013 Edible insects have always been a part of human diets. In this publication, we show the contribution that insects make to diversifying diets and improving food security. We also hope to raise awareness of the many valuable roles that insects play in sustaining nature and human life [more]
Information guide: The contribution of insects to food security, livelihoods and the environment 12 May 2013 The information guide "The contribution of insects to food security, livelihoods and the environment" is a 4 page summary of the key issues addressed in “Edible insects: future prospects for feed and food security.” [more]
Six-legged livestock: edible insect farming, collecting and marketing in Thailand 1 March 2013 Edible insects comprise a category of under-utillized foods that offer significant potenial in meeting future global food demands. Featuring information about the thriving Thai edible insect industry, it is hoped that this publication will spur other countries to: recognize the potential of edible insects to contribute to food security and nutrition in a sustainable sound manner; increase rural income and livelihoods; and reduce the environmental burden of feeding the growing world population. [more]
The FAO/IAEA Spreadsheet for Designing and Operation of Insect Mass Rearing Facilities - Procedures Manual 31 December 2012 The interactive FAO/IAEA Spreadsheet for Designing and Operating Insect Mass-rearing Facilities is generic. The Spreadsheet assists in technical and economic decision making associated with design, costing, construction, equipping, and facility operation. [more]
5 July 2012 Research fellowships, edible insects and Amazonian fruit trees and other useful plants. [more]
Summary report: Assessing the Potential of Insects as Food and Feed in assuring Food Security 23 January 2012 Jointly organized by FAO and Wageningen University with financial support of the Government of the Netherlands, the meeting aimed to open a dialogue and foster an exchange of information and expertise on the potential benefits of using insects for food and feed as part of a broader strategy to achieve global food security. [more]
15 December 2011 An information bulletin on Non-Wood Forest Products [more]
Non-Wood News 23: November 2011 15 December 2011 An information bulletin on Non-Wood Forest Products [more]
2nd International Non-wood Forest Products Symposium - Abstracts 8 September 2011 In this meeting, the goal is to gather all the national and international researchers and practitioners to promote the discussions on NWFPs, and to take the issue one step further. [more]
4 August 2011 Cultivation of NWFPs, cork and NWFPs in Asia. [more]
Non-Wood News April 2011 4 August 2011 Non-Wood News highlights the many ways people have come to use and depend upon their forests. [more]
Tropical palms – 2010 revision 1 March 2011 Tropical palms, originally published in 1998, has been updated in 2010 by the author to include the most recent information and developments regarding the conservation status and use of various tropical palm species. The deteriorating conservation status of several tropical palm species, particularly in the rattan group, as well as recent developments regarding the use of palm products in the food, bioenergy and fibre processing industries, for example, required a thorough review of the first edition. [more]
Lao PDR and FAO - Raising edible insects to supplement poor diets 1 March 2011 In May 2010, FAO and Lao PDR launched a project onSustainable insect farming and harvesting for better nutrition, improved food security, and household income generation, financed entirely by FAO with a budget US $475 000 for implementation from 2010 to 2012. A comprehensive approach, recognizing the role of traditional collecting of insects from the wild, along with the introduction of insect farming, has been assessed as the most appropriate strategy for the project. The project focuses on strengthening the existing role of insects as a complementary food in the Lao diet [more]
Edible forest insects: humans bite back 21 February 2011 Proceedings of a workshop on Asia-Pacific resources and their potential for development. 19-21 February 2008, Chiang Mai, Thailand [more]
Fruit trees and useful plants in Amazonian life 3 January 2011 This book features the uncommon quality of bringing together original scientific knowledge on fruits and useful plants of the Amazon forest and the sensibility to detect the deep interaction between life, traditional knowledge of our forests and folk culture. [more]
28 October 2010 Edible insects, medicinal plants and a community approach to forest conservation and development. [more]
25 May 2010 NWFPs in Italy, food security and health care; and bamboo's role in climate change. [more]
Unasylva 236: Edible forest insects, an overlooked protein supply 1 March 2010 Worldwide, over 1400 insect species are reportedly eaten as human food; most are harvested from natural forests. Read more about this overlooked protein supply. [more]
The Role of Cities in Controlling the International Trade in Forest Products: Links to sustainable forest management 6 November 2009 This is published as an NWFP working document. It reflects the decisions taken at CITES CoP 13. [more]
Bees and their role in forest livelihoods 28 August 2009 A guide to the services provided by bees and the sustainable harvesting, processing and marketing of their products. Series: Non-Wood Forest Products 19 [more]
1 July 2009 Special features include the marketing of NWFPs, berries and the development of small and medium forest enterprises. [more]
1 January 2009 Boreal forests, wildlife and ecological restoration using non-wood forest products. [more]
Stories from the field: Insects on the menu 1 January 2009 Although rice is the key staple food in Laos, there is an acute need for improving the diet with regard to protein, energy and other nutrients in Lao PDR, where chronic malnourishment has been recognized as a serious problem. Insects offer a good source of nutrients with high protein content, as well as many vital vitamins and minerals. Read more about the This FAO project as it focused on strengthening the existing role of insects as complementary food in the Lao diet and on insect farming. [more]
1 July 2008 Bee products, climate change and Pacific sandalwood production. [more]
1 January 2008 Forest apiculture, NWFPs in the Pacific Islands and the history of NWFPs [more]
Non-Wood News 16 1 January 2008 This 16th issue highlights some of these historical aspects in a Special Feature, “History of NWFPs”, with articles ranging from “The forgotten heritage”and “Old glory”, to others that demonstrate how NWFPs were useful andimportant for people in ancient times, and are still so today (e.g. edible insects, Morinda citrifolia ). This traditional knowledge is an essential component of the NWFP world and has been underlined not only in “History of NWFPs”, but also in “NWFPs in the Pacific Islands” (the first Special Feature in this issue), where we have highlighted the many different traditional uses of the trees of the Pacific Islands. [more]
NWFP Working Document No. 6 - Trade measures - Tools to promote the sustainable use of NWFP? 1 November 2007 An assessment of trade related instruments influencing the international trade in Non-Wood Forest Products and associated management and livelihood strategies Additional case study: National Analysis of Trade-Related Instruments Influencing Trade in Sandalwood ( Santalum macgregorii F. Muell) and Eaglewood ( Acquilaria . and Gyrinops ledermannii spp): Applications and Impacts on Poverty Alleviation and Sustainable Forest Management in Papua New Guinea This is an assessment of trade-related instruments influencing the international trade in NWFP and associated management and livelihood strategies. It includes two case studies covering four products: Boliva (cayman and Brazil nuts) and Cameroon (parrots and Prunus africana ). [more]
Non-Wood Forest Products 18 - World Bamboo Resources - A thematic study prepared in the framework of the Global Forest Resources Assessment 2005 1 November 2007 This publication is the result of one of the thematic studies prepared during the Forest Resources Assessment (FRA) [more]
4 July 2007 Participatory enterprise models for NWFP development, use and markets in the Amazonian subregions. [more]
FAO Forest harvesting case-study 23 - The impact of timber harvesting on the availability of non-wood forest products in the congo basin 9 January 2007 This study seeks to examine the impact of timber harvesting in two villages, one in Cameroon and one in the Central African Republic. It documents many plant-based and animal-based NWFPs of great signifi cance to the livelihoods of the local populations in terms of food security, income generation and health. [more]
2 January 2007 Bamboo, forest cosmetics [more]
4 April 2006 Economic value of NWFPs, trade [more]
Non-wood forest product community-based enterprise development: a way for livelihood improvement in Lao People's Democratic Republic 24 January 2006 NWFPs play an important role in food security and daily livelihoods, and the Government of Lao PDR perceives them as a valuable alternative in its basic poverty eradication strategy. [more]
9 March 2005 Global alliance on NWFPs, microfinance [more]
Wild edible fungi for food security: their role and sustainable use 1 October 2004 This paper discusses some traditional and contemporary uses of fungi as food or in medicine. This material is presented for information only and does not imply endorsement by the author or by FAO. Use of these products is not recommended unless taken under the care and guidance of a qualified expert or physician. Reports of edible and poisonous species are based on named sources. The accuracy of this information lies with these original sources. [more]
Gum Trees and Gum Arabic Field Manual 3 May 2004 One of the main problems in several African countries producing gum arabic and gum resins, is the lack of knowledge for the sustainable use of this important commodities and the need of providing enhanced value to the product, improving its quality according to the requirements of marketing and exporting sectors. The manual will be used by extension agents and forest technicians for training programmes for producers, collectors and other stakeholders. This manual is the first in a series to be produced. Additional manuals will be produced focussing on specific aspects after a programme on training needs has been elaborated covering both gums and resins. [more]
3 March 2004 World Forestry Congress, food security, [more]
Food for life. Indigenous fruit trees in Southern Africa 8 April 2003 This paper looks at the status and contribution of Indigenous Fruit Trees (IFTs) to Food Security in Southern Africa, and reviews and assesses the physical situation of IFTs in the Miombo Woodland. It contains infOlmation on use and trade of IFTs, and on biological developments in domestication and dissemination. It covers processing and marketing and explores avenues for the future of IFTs. [more]
3 March 2003 Bamboo and rattan statistics, bees and bee products, ecotourism [more]
Expert consultation on developing an action programme towards improved bamboo and rattan trade statistics 5 December 2002 The Expert Consultation on Developing an Action Programme towards Improved Bamboo and Rattan Trade Statistics was organized by the FAO Forestry Department in collaboration with, and with financial support from, the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR). The meeting was held at FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy, from 5 to 6 December 2002. The purpose of the consultation was to: (i) elaborate and agree on a proposed set of new HS trade codes for bamboo and rattan products; and (ii) elaborate a plan of action for improving bamboo and rattan statistics at national and global levels, with a programme of work and the roles of the different agencies discussed and agreed upon during the meeting. [more]
1 March 2002 Bushmeat, sustainable use of wild species for meat, Jane Goodall Institute, trade [more]
NON-WOOD FOREST PRODUCTS 13 - RESOURCE ASSESSMENT OF NON-WOOD FOREST PRODUCTS 4 June 2001 This publication is based on the outputs of the Forest Research Programme's (FRP) pre-project ZF0077 (of the United Kingdom Department for International Development - DFID), on the biometrics of current NWFP resource assessment methods. FAO undertook the publishing in its Non-Wood Forest Products Series, within the framework of a current partnership programme with the European Commission aimed at developing methodologies for NWFP assessment. [more]
1 March 2001 Sustainable development of rattan sector [more]
Report of the FAO Expert Consultation on Rattan Development 5 December 2000 The objectives of the expert consultation were to review and analyse: (i) essential baseline information on the rattan sector in producing countries, the critical global supply situation and key requirements to guarantee a sustainable future supply of rattan; (ii) the needs and methods for better cooperation and coordination among key agencies and stakeholders in relation to their ongoing activities on rattan development; and (iii) the desirability of developing an international programme aimed at promoting and undertaking rattan development activities with partner institutions in the various regions and strengthening global networking in rattan research and development. [more]
Report of the Meeting of the Network of Natural Gums and Resins in Africa (NGARA) 29 May 2000 The regional workshop of the Network of Natural Gums and Resins in Africa (NGARA) was organised by Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI) in Nairobi in May 2000, with the cooperation of (FAO) and International Association for the Development of Natural Gums (AIDGUM).The establishment of NGARA is a significant step in the development of the gum arabic and resins sector in the dryland Sahel for ensuring food security, rural development and hence poverty alleviation. [more]
1 March 2000 Food security, commercial use of biodiversity, definition of non-wood forest products [more]
1 March 1999 Central Africa, medicinal plants, marketing of indigenous medicinal plants in South Africa. [more]
Marketing of Indigenous Medicinal Plants in South Africa - A Case Study in Kwazulu-Natal 1 October 1998 FAO, through its Forest Products Marketing Programme, aims, inter alia, at increasing and documenting the knowledge of current marketing practices in order to provide a solid basis for further development. The Programme, being part of the normative activities of FAO, also makes every effort to contribute to the development of approaches and methodologies for the preparation of case studies on marketing practices. [more]
2 March 1998 World Forestry Congress, economic and social value of non-timber forest products [more]
Sustainable Development of Non-Wood Goods and Benefits from Boreal and Cold Temperate Forests 18 January 1998 The workshop concentrated on the promotion and development of non-wood forest products (NWFP) or boreal and cold temperate forests. [more]
3 March 1997 Forests and nutrition, new technologies, certification. [more]
1 March 1996 Vegetables, international agreements, genetic improvements. [more]
1 March 1995 Veld products research in Botswana, international NWFP statistics, bamboo. [more]
Marketing information systems for non-timber forest products 18 January 1995 This field manual presents a systematic approach that can be used by small-scale producers to gather information about markets for NWFPS. [more]
2 March 1994 Tropical fruit trees reseach network in Asia-Pacific; forestry education. [more]
More than wood - Special options on multiple use of forests 1 November 1993 Wood and its associated products form but one chapter in the catalogue of forest-derived goods that upgrade and safeguard rural livelihoods and the quality of human life the world over. Knowledge about the benefits and uses of other, 'non-wood' forest products (NWFP) is, however, less widely available. In many cases such knowledge is rooted in local or vernacular traditions of land and resource use, an evolving cultural heritage passed down from generation to generation. As pressure to husband the world's vital forest resources intensifies, so the need grows to share, disseminate and mobilise NWFP wisdom more generally. This booklet is a step in that direction. [more]
Marketing of Brazil Nuts 1 January 1992 This study describes the process of marketing of Brazil nuts and makes proposals for improvement of the involvement of local people in it. [more]
Non-wood forest products: the way ahead - FAO Forestry Paper 97 2 December 1991 As "The Way Ahead" emphasizes throughout, NWFP development must by necessity comprise a multidisciplinary approach, for which task there must be devised close lines of collaboration both within FAO itself, and between FAO and other organizations, both international and national, governmental and non governmental. Efforts to strengthen common programmes toward sustained use of NWFP should be encouraged, as one among many approaches for the conservation and wise use of forest resources. [more]

last updated:  Tuesday, November 12, 2013