Timber and non-timber forest product extraction and management in the tropics: Towards compatibility

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Tropical forests have the potential to satisfy multiple demands for goods and services. Yet integrated management approaches across multiple goods remain elusive. Here we consider selective harvesting of timber and non-timber forest product (NTFP) extraction. We analyze the current status of this combination and speculate on prospects and challenges regarding (1) resource inventory, (2) ecology and silviculture, (3) conflict in the use of multipurpose tree species, (4) wildlife conservation and use, (5) tenure, and (6) product certification. Convincing conclusions are hampered by the relative paucity of comprehensive studies and lessons learned on what has worked and what has not in the context of integrated management for timber and NTFPs. Interventions for enhancing the compatibility of timber and NTFP extraction must be scaled in relation to the size of the area being managed, applied timber harvesting intensities, and the dynamics of multiactor, forest partnerships (e.g., between the private sector and local communities). In addition, training and education issues may have to be recrafted with multiple-use management approaches inserted into tropical forestry curricula.

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