The Role of Non-Timber Forest Products in Poverty Alleviation and Biodiversity Conservation. 11 -15 June 2007, Hanoi, Vietnam

11 - 15 Jun 2007,

Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) play an important role in the livelihoods of the rural poor, as a source of food, medicine, construction materials, and income. It has been estimated that there are more than 60 million highly forest-dependent people in Latin America, West Africa, and South East Asia, with an additional 400 million to 500 million people directly dependent on these natural products.

Access to forest resources helps rural households diversify their livelihood base and reduce their exposure to risk. Earnings from forest products are often important as a complement to other income. Very large numbers of households generate some of their income from selling forest products, often when farm production is not enough to provide self-sufficiency year round. Income from forest products is often used to purchase seeds, hire labour for cultivation, or generate working capital for trading activities. For the poorest households, NTFPs can play a critical role in providing both food and income.

While there is growing appreciation of the importance of NTFPs for rural households, especially of the very poor, there are concerns about the potential impact of NTFP collection on biodiversity. A number of critical questions are often raised: Under what conditions can NTFPs, both plants and animals, be sustainably harvested? Can on-farm production of NTFPs result in improved biodiversity conservation? Does commercialization of NTFPs result in over-harvesting? What is needed for markets to be pro-poor? Are attempts to develop NTFPs for Poverty Alleviation really reaching the poorest of the poor? To what extent are these attempts impacting biodiversity conservation?

This conference will explore these questions, identify successful initiatives and businesses that strive to be both pro-poor and pro-biodiversity, and determine what are the critical elements for success.

For more information

  • Sarah Webster
    Programme Assistant
    IUCN Vietnam and NTFP Sub-Sector Suppor Project
    44/4 Van BaoBa Dinh District,
    HanoiOffice: 7.261.575/6 Ext. 133
    Mobile: 0904 663 702
  • Dr. Pham Duc Chien
    Head of the International Cooperation Division
    Forest Science Institute of Vietnam
    Dong Ngac, Tu Liem, Ha Noi, Vietnam
    Tel: (84) 4 8362232
    Mobile: (84) 912 563 783
    Fax: (84) 4 8389722
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