Established in 1991, the promotion and development of non-wood forest products (NWFP) is one of the priority areas of FAO's Forestry Department. Our mission is to improve the sustainable utilization of NWFP in order to contribute to the wise management of the world's forests, to conserve their biodiversity, and to improve income generation and food security. 

The programme accomplishes this mission through three main areas:


Greater recognition needed for value of ‘wild nutrition’ 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 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 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]

last updated:  Tuesday, April 11, 2017