Introduction

The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) conducts research to understand the potential of Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) in conservation and development. Literally, a NTFP can be any product (or service) that is produced in forests, other than timber. The term includes fruits and nuts, vegetables, fish and game, medicinal plants, resins, essences and a range of barks and fibres such as bamboo, rattans, and a host of other palms and grasses. CIFOR uses an inclusive definition, including non-timber wood products (e.g., for woodcarving or fuel).

Throughout the world NTFPs contribute to both the subsistence and cash incomes of many poor people. Some NTFPs generate large incomes and employment. Others are much more modest in the total value, but they can be critically important to people, for example as sources of food during hard times, or as the main source of cash income. NTFPs have also attracted attention for their potential role in more environmentally sound use of forests. If the forest is valuable to people, the arguments goes, they will want to conserve it.

CIFOR works to gain insight in the real potential of NTFPs to contribute to conservation and livelihood improvement. Our research focuses on the broader aspects of NTFPs, including their collection, multiple uses, trade, environmental impacts, and related policies. CIFOR seeks to improve the understanding of NTFPs, particularly though collaborative research that exceeds the case-study level.

Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR)

Eurepan Union (EU)

Department for Internation Development (DFID)