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:

News

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 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]
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]

last updated:  Tuesday, July 24, 2018