Non-wood forest products (NWFPs) are goods of biological origin other than wood, derived from forests, other wooded land and trees outside forests. NWFPs and similar terms such as “minor”, “secondary” and “non-timber” forest products (NTFPs) have emerged as umbrella expressions for the vast array of both animal and plant products other than wood derived from forests or forest tree species.

Dear readers, 

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. In our special feature, Sarah A. Laird, Rachel P. Wynberg and Rebecca J. McLain, experts in wild product governance, look at the policy environment surrounding NWFPs. In an interview with Manuel Guariguata from CIFOR, we look at regulations governing Brazil nut harvesting in the Peruvian Amazon. Elsewhere, two FAO projects in Central Africa are (1) exploring Participatory Wildlife Management (PWM) for sustainably using wildlife resources and (2) providing technical support to bolster legal, institutional and organizational frameworks on NWFPs in the region. Further north, the EU and FAO are partnering up to look at European policies and legislation on NWFPs. Finally, in his article on plant extractivism, Brazilian agricultural economist Alfredo Homma urges decision makers to develop policies that support the domestication of wild plants in Amazonia.

Readers are reminded to send contributions (including recent papers, projects, workshops, articles, etc.) to: [email protected]. Please do not hesitate to send feedback on our new NWFP Update well!



Governance of NTFPs: ensuring effective laws and policies in practice,1 Sarah A. Laird, Rachel P. Wynberg & Rebecca J. McLain 

Diospyros melanoxylonNon-timber forest products play a significant role in livelihoods around the world, providing critical subsistence and trade goods for forest and other communities. However, in most countries the governance of this important but broad category of products has been ineffective or counter-productive to the objectives of sustainability and livelihood improvement. The problem begins with the definition of species and products covered by regulations, and continues to encompass an absence of strategies, clarity of objectives, poorly formulated laws, and flawed implementation. 

In most countries, a strategic approach to regulating the NTFP sector is uncommon. The tendency is for NTFP laws to be drafted in response to a real or perceived crisis or opportunity. These include an over-harvesting crisis, particularly when a species moves from local trade and subsistence to large-scale commercial trade. For example, when the southern African species Hoodia moved into international markets in 2001, a surge in demand for raw material required governments to respond rapidly by introducing stringent permitting procedures, and in some cases prohibiting wild harvesting. When cultivated material became more widely available a few years later, pressure on wild populations was reduced and governments loosened regulations.2 

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Government action is also triggered when politically-powerful groups or governments perceive an opportunity to capture financial benefits. For example, in India, tendu (Diospyros melanoxylon), which provided almost three quarters of Orissa state’s total earnings from forests, was nationalized in several states in the 1960s and 1970s due to its high value and the interest of government bodies in benefitting from its trade.3

NTFP laws and policies are, however, developed in very few countries through a strategic process of information gathering, analysis, and consultations with producers and other local groups. NTFP-specific provisions are often tagged onto timber-centric forestry laws and include management plans, permits, quotas, royalties, taxes and other approaches that are appropriate for timber, but are often inappropriate for the diverse, complex, and less lucrative NTFP sector. More usefully, in some countries forestry laws require consideration of NTFPs in timber management plans and logging operations in order to minimize negative impacts on locally-valuable products, or prohibit logging of high value NTFPs like Brazil nut trees.4

NTFP laws often create new opportunities for corruption and exploitation of producers and local traders, and in conjunction with other bodies of law like agriculture and land tenure, can provide perverse incentives to over harvest NTFPs. In many cases, policy interventions also criminalize NTFP extraction, and generate new forms of inequity.5 Customary law and local institutions better suited to regulating many species are also often undermined by efforts to establish statutory control over NTFPs. 6

Governance of NTFPs need not be a case of best intentions gone awry, however. Countries like Finland, and recently Namibia, have developed NTFP governance frameworks that are effective in promoting the sustainable use and trade of NTFPs, and benefits for local producers. With a light hand, more information and understanding of the uses, values, and markets for NTFPs, effective consultations with stakeholders, strategic approaches to policy-making, and allocation of resources for implementation, it is possible for laws and policies to contribute toward sustainability, equity in trade, and improved rural livelihoods.

Sarah Laird is Co-Director of People and Plants International, and works on NTFPs used for subsistence, in local and international trade, and the commercial use of genetic resources. Rebecca McLain is a social scientist at Portland State University's Institute for Sustainable Solutions, and manages projects on collaborative forest stewardship and cultural values mapping. Rachel Wynberg is based in the Department of Environmental and Geographical Science at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, where she is associate professor, holding a national research chair on social and environmental dimensions of the bio-economy.

Contact the authors: [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected];

1This piece is drawn from the book Wild Product Governance: Finding policies that work for non-timber forest products (2010), edited by Sarah A. Laird, Rebecca J. McLain, and Rachel P. Wynberg, and published by Earthscan, London.
2Wynberg, R. 2010. Navigating a way through regulatory frameworks for Hoodia use, conservation, trade and benefit sharing. In Laird, S.A., R.J. McLain, and R.P. Wynberg. 2010. Wild Product Governance: Finding policies that work for non-timber forest products. Earthscan, London.
3Lele, S., M. Pattanaik, and N.D. Rai. 2010. NTFPs in India: Rhetoric and Reality. In Laird, S.A., R.J. McLain, and R.P. Wynberg. 2010. Wild Product Governance: Finding policies that work for non-timber forest products. Earthscan, London.
4 Cronkleton, P. and P. Pacheco. 2010. Changing policy trends in the emergence of Bolivia’s Brazil nut sector. In Laird, S.A., R.J. McLain, and R.P. Wynberg. 2010. Wild Product Governance: Finding policies that work for non-timber forest products. Earthscan, London.
5 Alexiades, M.N. and P. Shanley. 2005. Forest Products, Livelihoods and Conservation: Case Studies of Non-timber Forest Product Systems. Volume 3 – Latin America, CIFOR, Bogor, Indonesia.
6 Wynberg, R and SA Laird. 2007. Less is often more: Governance of a non-timber forest product, marula (Sclerocarya birrea subsp. caffra) in southern Africa. International Forestry Review, vol 9, no 1, pp 475-490. Arnold, JEM and M Ruiz-Perez. 2001. Can non-timber forest products match tropical forest conservation and development objectives? Ecological Economics, vol 39, no 3, pp 437-447.



Dr. Manuel R. Guariguata


 Dr. Manuel R. Guariguata, CIFOR, on Brazil nut harvesting In the Peruvian Amazon 

“Formalization does not necessarily mean good management and in the context of timber and Brazil nut harvesting, formalization is not currently conducive to holistic approaches.”

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Q: Peru’s government formalised Brazil nut harvesting areas under a system of concessions back in 2000. The law moreover establishes how much timber can legally be extracted in the Peruvian Brazil nut concessions. Have the effects of this formalization or “legalization” been assessed? 

In my experience, when non-timber forest products generate much more than subsistence revenue, governments seek to tap this revenue, and this becomes in essence the basis of formalization. In the case of Brazil nut in Peru, it is more a system that the State uses to tax products than an instrument to promote good management. In fact, formalization often entails huge financial burdens for harvesters seeking to comply with legal regulations. Formalization does not necessarily mean good management and in the context of timber and Brazil nut harvesting, formalization is not currently conducive to holistic approaches. 

Q: Are we looking towards “multiple-use” forest management (including timber and non-timber forest products) as a potential “solution” to both conservation and poverty? 

Most of the time, norms and regulations regarding forest management are not drafted holistically. The NTFP dimension, unless it promises good economic returns, is generally neglected. Brazil nuts have been recognized because they are considered high-value (other examples are Gaharu resin found in Asia), but this is not the case with most NTFPs from tropical forests. 

The basis behind our study in the Peruvian Amazon – which sets out to answer the controversial question of whether or not harvesting of Brazil nuts and timber can co-exist – began because there is little or no technical information on the extent to which Brazil nut production may be compromised when timber is extracted from these forests . We partnered with Brazil nut concessionaires wanting to know how best to manage their patch of forest for multiple uses. Our research is thus based on participatory methods, involving local government, producer’s associations, universities, with the results being devolved to local communities. 

A multiple-use vision is not news, and is in fact as old as the Rio Summit (1992), at least in the international policy dialogue. However, there remains a heavy timber bias in university education and consequently government and international initiatives in many tropical countries. Forest managers need to look exactly at where an NTFP’s place in a landscape should be, how this can be inserted into timber management plans, but this doesn’t always happen. This is because tropical foresters are not necessarily trained in NTFPs in all its dimensions (biophysical, social, ethnoecological) and if we want to make multiple use a reality, we need to modernize forestry curricula, especially undergraduate levels. There is a need for a revolutionary change in forestry curricula in developing countries especially, because ultimately, government directives emanate from research which is largely carried out by national universities.  

Q: Lessons from the NWFP sector and timber industry both show that discussions on sustainable management and poverty reduction are futile if the central issues of tenure and use rights are not addressed. Isn’t this really where the discussions regarding legality — both on NWFPs and on timber harvesting — should be focussed?  

Forest areas are generally gazetted for one purpose in tropical regions. This may work when there is a clear separation of uses due to biophysical constraints (e.g. different soil types favoring one species over another), but in the case of co-existing forest products we need to be more creative and generate access arrangements that deal with local communities. This needs to be recognized to a greater degree in formal legislation. Guatemala is an example of successful integration, because forests’ multiple uses are explicitly incorporated from the outset in management plans. 

Q: NWFPs were hailed as a solution to both conservation and poverty, but some have claimed that they have “failed to live up to this promise”. Can you comment? 

First of all, productivity is inherently linked to conservation, because you need a healthy forest to be productive. In this regard, NTFPs are valuable both for conservation and as income-generators. Whether the income derived from NTFPs is enough for local populations to preserve the forest and preserve the NTFP resource base is another matter. One interesting example is in Guatemala, where forest understorey palm leaves (Chamaedorea) are harvested for export markets. Domestication has started and this may have advantages as it relieves pressure on wild resources, all the while providing needed income. If domestication is not possible or else difficult, overexploitation is often the norm when the NTFP in question has high economic demand. 

The government also has a role to play in promoting sound management, by helping to increase the export value of NTFPs. Timber motivates government to collect revenue, but NTFPs can and should also motivate governments. Moreover, by adding value along the entire production chain, forest resources are more likely to be conserved. 

Dr. Manuel R. Guariguata is a Principal Scientist for the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), Perú. Contact the interviewee: [email protected].



To Regulate or Not to Regulate: The Case of Bushmeat Use in Central Africa

Man cooking bushmeat, Democratic Republic of the Congo ©FAO/Giulio NapolitanoThe idea of granting local and indigenous peoples rights to control and manage the forests they live is not news and is arguably time-honored practice that ought to be restored. Often referred to as “Participatory Wildlife Management” (PWM), “Community Based Natural Resource Management” (CBNRM) or “Participatory Biodiversity Conservation” (PBC), the concepts have circulated among conservationists and development practitioners since the mid-1990s at least, steadily gaining momentum in recent years viable strategies for both sustainably using wildlife resources for food security and income generation and for effectively conserving the integrity of wildlife, forest ecosystems and biodiversity. 

Against this backdrop, an FAO Global Environment Facility (GEF) project in the Congo Basin has set out to test and implement a new approach to bushmeat which seeks to improve the legal and sustainable use of non-protected species through PWM. The project, which kicked off in 2012, is based on the premise that wildlife and associated bushmeat use is best regulated by local communities directly. It is currently being rolled out across eight pilot sites in four countries across the Congo Basin – including Gabon, the Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic. Activities include (1) giving communities exclusive, well-defined rights to wildlife and developing a regional wildlife management policy; (2) developing PWM tools; and (3) building institutional capacity for PWM of major stakeholders, including for replication and scaling up. 

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Nevertheless, practical challenges to effective implementation exist. Regulating and in essence legalizing bushmeat use is a contentious issue in the region; Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) believe that opening the door to limited and controlled hunting may lead to even higher levels of uncontrolled hunting and, in time, the extinction of major forest species. Complicating matters is the involvement of organized crime and rebel militia in poaching and smuggling to feed the growing commercial demand for wild meat; indeed, wildlife crime is highly lucrative and bears low risk of prosecution and penalty. The IUCN, for example, estimates that Africa alone is set to lose one-fifth of its elephants in the next decade if levels of poaching continue along current rates.

Implementing a successful project, which can yield tangible benefits for both communities and conservation, will in turn depend on the ability to craft effective new institutional arrangements allowing for diverse wildlife ownership regimes (covering public to community ownership); complex institutional relations that govern ownership, access and control of wildlife; making legal and legitimate institutional arrangements coherent; and finally, moving beyond the bushmeat trade by promoting sustainable income generating activities. The viability of the project will ultimately depend on whether or not local communities benefit from these institutional arrangements.

Jean Claude Nguinguiri is a Forestry Officer in FAO’s sub-regional office for Central Africa. Contact: [email protected].

Further resources: FAO GEF project “Sustainable use of the wildlife and bushmeat sector in Central Africa”.

Star Tree Project Looks at European Policies and Legislation on NWFPs

Recent studies have demonstrated that legislation, property regimes, policy goals and financial instruments influence NWFP provision1. By extension, production, marketing, use and innovation in the NWFP sector can arguably be positively affected by an appropriate legislative and policy framework. Based on this premise, FAO, as one of 20 partners working to implement the European Union’s (EU) Star Tree Project, is carrying out a study to identify and analyze existing NWFP-related policies and legislation within the EU at varying scales (EU-, Member State-, regional- and sub-regional). 

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The team at FAO set out to determine if existing policies and norms in 12 European countriesare: promoting NWFP production, marketing, use and innovation; affecting the NWFP sector, and in particular which actor along the NWFP value chain, and why; consistently coordinated between different forest-related policies and others, like rural development, agriculture etc. Five categories of NWFPs are being explored, namely bark/cork, berries, hunting/game, fruits/nuts and mushrooms/truffles; results are being compared across countries.

Preliminary findings suggest that where NWFP access and harvesting rights exist, these are often an appendage to wider Forest Laws and Acts. Studies have shown that this is not always best practice, as there are “enormous differences in how different forest resources are harvested and used, and their role in local economies and cultures” (e.g. timber vs. NWFPs)3. The study did find exemplary cases in which NWFP regulation is more targeted and devolved at regional levels, including in Austria, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom (UK).

In Italy, for example, where regulation is often determined at a regional level, NWFPs represent important sources of income locally. In some areas, even in those most renowned for wood production, revenue deriving from the sale of services related to NWFP equals or exceeds the intake from the sales of wood. The economic value of NWFPs in Italy is confirmed by the rise, in different regions, of owner associations, in addition to other initiatives. For example, the definitions of EU quality marks (Protected Designation of Origin - PDO, Protected Geographical Indication – PGI and Traditional Speciality Guaranteed - TSG) have led to the proliferation of “protected” products made with NWFPs, including chestnuts, hazelnuts and mushrooms.

All of the countries surveyed boasted some form of legislation on hunting and game; on the contrary, bark and cork explicitly featured in legislation of only three of the countries surveyed (Italy, Portugal and the UK).

Read more on the Star Tree Project:
European forests and the forest-based sector are being increasingly recognized as important players in fostering smart, sustainable and inclusive growth based on the development of an “innovative, resource-efficient and bio-based economy” (bio-economy). Yet up until now, the forest-based sector has largely been built around wood-based products. Against this backdrop, the project “Multipurpose trees and non-wood forest products: a challenge and opportunity”, also known as the StarTree project, is working to provide better understanding, knowledge, guidance and tools to optimize the management of multi-purpose trees and develop innovative approaches to increase the marketability and profitability of NWFPs for a more competitive rural economy. A founding principle of StarTree is to include relevant stakeholders, including forest owners, resource managers, enterprises, decision-makers and other public and private entities in the project, so as to benefit from their insights and to maximize the impact of the project, with FAO taking a key role in analyzing existing policies and legislation. 

Irina Buttoud is a Forestry Officer at FAO; Areej Atalla and Giulia Corradini are FAO consultants. Contact the authors: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected].

1Janse, G. & Ottitsch, A. 2005. Factors influencing the role of Non-Wood Forest Products and Services. For. Policy Econ. 7, 309–319.
2Austria, Finland, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom; and three regions in specific: Catalonia (Spain) and Wales and Scotland (United Kingdom).
3Laird, S., Wynberg, R. & McLain, R.J. “Regulating Complexity: Policies for the Governance of NTFPs”in Wild Product Governance, UK: Earthscan.

FAO Continues long-standing support to Central African countries to design and introduce a legal template for NWFP-use

Ousseynou Ndoye is the Regional Project coordinator for FAO and Paul Vantomme is a Senior Forestry Officer at FAO.

In 2005, at the request of the Central African Forest Commission (COMIFAC), FAO began offering technical support to the regional institution to promote the sustainable management of NWFPs and enhance their contribution to food security, with financial assistance from Germany.1 A central feature of this work, which continues to this day, is supporting Central African countries to identify and implement policy measures to promote the sustainable management of NWFPs and to equally share the benefits from their exploitation and utilization, given the crucial role legal and regulatory frameworks play in determining the socio-economic and ecological potential of NWFPs.2

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Since project inception, numerous studies have been carried out in a host of Central African countries, each analysing national and sub-regional legislation (or lack thereof) on NWFPs. Lessons from country-specific judicial contexts were also exchanged at a key workshop in 2006, which served as a forum to develop a first blueprint of sub-regional guidelines on the development of the NWFP sector. Several workshops followed to refine these guidelines, finalized in 2008 and validated by all stakeholders – including the governments of Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon – and furthermore approved by COMIFAC’s ministerial council. The guidelines set out to identify legal, fiscal and institutional measures favouring a more significant contribution of NWFPs to food security and socio-economic well-being, and at the same time ensuring their conservation in Central African forests.

Since then, different countries have made varying degrees of progress in integrating COMIFAC’s guidelines on NWFPs in their respective national policies and laws on forests and associated resources, in part because of very distinct legislative contexts. In Cameroon and Congo, through FAO’s support, ongoing forestry law reviews are allowing for the integration of NWFPs into the revision process.3 In Gabon “single articles of the forestry code are added and consequently by-laws adapted.”4 Moreover, in 2012, both the Central African Republic and Gabon with assistance from FAO and German Development Agency GIZ, succeeded in developing National Strategies and Action Plans on NWFPs.5

FAO is now scaling up support to COMIFAC, with funding from the African Development Bank through the Congo Basin Forest Fund (CBFF). The Organization will support the Governments of Chad, Rwanda, Burundi, Sao Tomé & Principe and the Republic of Equatorial Guinea to enhance the contribution NWFPs make to food security in Central African countries. In addition to increasing their visibility in national economy statistics, the Organization will help bolster legal, institutional and organizational frameworks on NWFPs.

Contact: [email protected]; [email protected].

1German funded the project from 2005- 2008.
2With financial support from the European Union and the German government.
3Masuch, J., Ndoye, O., Tieguhong, J.C., Mala, W.A. & Ze, A.A.2011. Impacts of Laws and Regulations on the use of NWFPs and the wellbeing of forest dependent communities in Central Africa. Nature and Faune, Vol. 25(2): pp.77-80. (available at
4 Ibid.
5Through the FAO and the German government project GCP/RAF/441/GER.

Plant Extractivism in Amazonia: Where are we headed?

Alfredo Homma is an agricultural economist and researcher at Embrapa Amazonia Oriental, Belem, Para, Brazil

“There is a misconception that all non-wood forest products are sustainable. This is a big mistake because not all economic extraction ensures biological sustainability and not all biological sustainability ensures economic sustainability.”

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Last year marked 25 years since the murder of the trade union leader Chico Mendes (1944-1988), a global icon associated with the creation of extractive reserves to preserve rainforests in the Amazon. Despite great progress in the region, there remains widespread perception at a policy level that plant extractivism is the development model for the Amazon. Extractivism has a limit due to the fixed supply determined by nature. Extractivism is appropriate when the market is small or large stocks exist in the wild. When the market starts to grow, the extractive sector is unable to support the growth in demand. Other variables also affect the stability of extractivism: increase in wage levels, emergence of economic alternatives, development of synthetic substitutes, etc.

It was because of the limitation of production to meet consumption that mankind began, ten thousand years ago, the process of domestication of plants, known as agriculture. Today, there are over three thousand cultivated plants and hundreds of animals in the world which have been domesticated. We simply could not be feeding over 7 billion people by simply collecting products from nature.

The English were the first to realize that the world could not depend on the rubber collected in the wild, sending, in 1876, 70 thousand rubber tree seeds from the Amazon to Southeast Asia. When they began to commercialize rubber from Southeast Asia, the Amazon entered into a downward economic, social and political spiral because investments were made only in the collection of extractive rubber. There was great excitement around the years of extractive exploitation, and the insistence on this model makes collectors, producers and consumers lose out on a great opportunity to generate income, employment and better quality and quantity of products at lower prices.

It is an illusion to think that we will be able to survive exclusively by collecting forest products. We must give attention to the areas that have been cleared in the Amazon (17%), close to75 million hectares (2012), almost 1.5 times the size of Spain or more than twice the size of Germany. To keep our forests intact, we must look at the areas already deforested and learn from experiences with the dozens of extractive plants that have supply problems (fruit, aromatic, medicinal, insecticides, wood, etc.). Governments should therefore lead the way to also develop policies that support the domestication of plants in Amazonia. If plant extractivism domestication technologies are made more readily available, for example, local people can explore domestication to vary their livelihood options.

There is a misconception that all non-wood forest products are sustainable. This is a big mistake because not all economic extraction ensures biological sustainability and not all biological sustainability ensures economic sustainability.

Plant extractivism was very important in the past, continues to be in the present, but we need to think ahead, to democratize the products of Amazonian biodiversity. Each forest product inherently requires distinct practices, rules and hence legislation, which also varies from country to country. The NTFP sector in particular cannot do without policies aimed at the sound and realistic cultivation of these species.

Contact the author: [email protected]



Sustainable harvesting of Himatanthus drasticus  Himatanthus drasticus

A recent study published in the journal Environmental Monitoring and Assessment explores the effects of management systems and ecosystem types on bark regeneration in Himatanthus drasticus (Apocynaceae). The tree, known locally as Janaguba, is highly exploited in the Brazilian savanna for its bark and in particular, for its medicinal latex, given its documented value in the treatment of cancer. The authors explore traditional management systems, which involve the removal of the trees’ bark for the harvest of latex, establishing that three years is insufficient for bark regeneration. In spite of efforts to establish ecological and socio-economic criteria for the certification of NWFPs, the lack of sustainable harvest rates and practices remains a major impediment to sunstainable wild collection, argue the authors, concluding by recommending limits to the sustainable harvest of the species.

For more information, please see: .



Harvesting both timber and Brazil nuts in Peru’s Amazon forests: Can they coexist?

Brazil nuts ©FAO/Giuseppe BizzarriIn 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? Every year between November and March, as the rain falls on the western Amazon, they tumble to the forest floor where they’re cracked open...

For more information, please see: 

2013 in review: the year wildlife crime became an international security issue

Arguably the biggest story of 2013 was wildlife crime, which escalated from a conservation issue to an international security threat. Driven by rising demand for ivory from east Asia, it has doubled over the past five years into a global trade worth US$10bn, threatening political and economic stability in central Africa. For full story, please see:

UNEP praises Kenya’s new wildlife law

Kenya’s effort in fighting poaching and illegal trade in wildlife has been recognized by the United Nations. Mr John E. Scanlon, the United Nation’s Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) Secretary-General, noted that Kenya had passed a law with stiffer penalties against poachers and wildlife traffickers that would help bring down levels of the activity in the country. For full story, please see: 

Vietnam tries “community forestry” model to protect forests 

©Hoang PhiThe village convention on forest protection has been existing in Ta Van Mong hamlet of Sa Pa district in Lao Cai province for a long time. Every year, local people gather in early March of the lunar year, when the bamboo harvesting begins, for an oath taking ceremony, where a five-member team in charge of protecting the forest is selected by local people. The team takes the responsibility of protecting the forests and reporting to the community about the forest management.

For full story, please see:  

Amazon condom factory: a sustainable way to profit from Brazil's forests 

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. But while their grandparents collected rubber for military use in World War Two, today it is used for lovemaking, not war – transformed into condoms at a factory in the town of Xapuri in Acre state.  For full story, please see:  

©EU Neighbhourhood Info CentrePhoto story: Plants could be at the root of new jobs

Could the medicinal plant sector become a catalyst for development in Morocco? Morocco has a rich and diverse heritage, but its market is supplied by high value-added products imported from abroad, while at the same time Morocco exports its plants in a natural state. This is a situation that has to change, an activity at the centre of the European project MAP2ERA.

For full story, please see:


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*Choudhary, D., Kala, S.P., Todaria, N.P., Dasgupta, S. and Kollmair, M. 2014. Drivers of Exploitation and Inequity in NTFP Value Chains: The Case of Indian Bay Leaf in Nepal and India. Development Policy Review, 32: 71–87.
*Espinoza, E.O., Lancaster, C.A., Kreitals, N.M, Hata, M., Cody, R.B. & Blanchette, R.A. 2014. Distinguishing wild from cultivated agarwood (Aquilaria spp.) using direct analysis in real time and time of-flight mass spectrometry. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, 28, pp. 281-289.
*Famuyide, O. O., Adebayo, O., Bolaji-Olutunji, K. A., Awe, F., Owoeye, A. Y., Awodele, D. O., Adeyemo, A. 2013. Assessment and sustainable management of NTFPs used as food and medicine among urban dwellers in Oyo State, Nigeria. Journal of Horticulture and Forestry 5(11), pp. 186-193.
*Foundjem-Tita, D., Speelman, S., D'Haese, M., Degrande, A., Van Huylenbroeck, G., Van Damme, G. & Tchoundjeu, Z. 2014. A tale of transaction costs and forest law compliance: Trade permits for NTFPs in Cameroon. Forest Policy and Economics, Volume 38, pp. 132–142 (available at
*Homma, A.K.O. 2012. Plant extractivism or plantation: what is the best option for the Amazon? Estudos Avançados, 26(74) (available at: 
*Quaedvlieg, J., Roca, I.M.G. & Ros-Tonen, M.A.F. 2014. Is Amazon nut certification a solution for increased smallholder empowerment in Peruvian Amazonia? Journal of Rural Studies, Volume 33, pp. 41–55 (available at: 
*Robinson, D.F. 2013. Legal geographies of intellectual property, 'traditional' knowledge and biodiversity: experiencing conventions, laws, customary law, and karma in Thailand. Geographical Research, 51(4), pp. 375-386.  
*Shackleton, C.M. & Pandey, A.K. 2014. Positioning NTFPs on the development agenda. Forest Policy and Economics, Volume 38, pp. 1–7 (available at 
*Shumsky, S., Hickey, G.M., Johns, T., Pelletier, B. & Galaty, J. 2014. Institutional factors affecting wild edible plant (WEP) harvest and consumption in semi-arid Kenya.Land Use Policy, 38, pp. 48–69 (available at 
*Young, J.C., Jordan, A., Searle, K.R., Butler, A., Simmons, P. & Watt, A.D. 2013. Framing scale in participatory biodiversity management may contribute to more sustainable solutions. Conserv. Lett. 6(5):333-340 (available at:



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last updated:  Friday, August 8, 2014