Previous PageTable Of ContentsNext Page


The strong emphasis placed on the forest for its wood products at the detriment of its biological diverse products is rooted in direct financial derived at international and even national level from timber and its products. The magnitude of revenue from timber is so high that it attracts greater attention for non-wood forest products. Even among timber species, monetary values weight against lesser known and lesser-used timber species. Some countries have already undertaken researches enhancing the value of non-wood forest products in order to popularise their management, exploitation and sustainable use.

Our illiterate parents did not consider timber as important at all. They considered the food, the medicinal plants and water as important and therefore protected them (Dr. E.O.A. Asibei. Wildlife and Food Security, 1986). Non-Wood Forest Products can positively contribute to the development and economic growth, alleviate poverty, enhance the standard and quality of life of the people in Angola. All is not lost however since in the country, there are still many communities, which consider the wildness as food source, and these can teach the rest of us about the importance of indigenous food plants and animals. These foods include grains, fruit, tubers, leaves used as vegetable, roots used in soups or plant parts used in traditional teas and bushmeat, being a major source of protein for rural people.

In Angola as probably in the continent, non-wood forest products have a large impact in traditional medicine. A significant number of indigenous plants are commonly used for medicine purposes mainly in rural areas, where the access to the modern treatment and medicine is limited. It is to mention that traditional doctors are very known by making use of indigenous plants and/or animal parts to treat patients. Unfortunately this knowledge is not openly passed from generations to generations. In the course of this study we leant that a young man living in Luanda has already treated according to some source of information, eighteen cases of diabetes, making use of indigenous leaves that he refuses to reveal.

It is interesting to notice that in a certain way, non-wood forest products are a very important source of revenues not only for rural inhabitants engaged to the exploitation of these products, but also for urban population who are dedicated to their trading, most of case by women, obtain their supply from middlemen.

Some people interviewed during this study reported that apart from the employment the non-wood forest products afford the market women, it further provides economic benefits to the middlemen who are found to be residents of villages or towns from where these supplies come and from this they sustain their families.

Previous PageTop Of PageNext Page