Through the experience of forest communities, forestry professionals have discovered the great importance of Non-Wood Forest Products (NWFPs) (ranging from food, fruits and fibers, dye stuffs, flavors and medicines) are meeting people's needs (FAO, 1995). A key component of definitions of NWFPs is that they exclude timber, and that the product, benefit or service should come from a forest, or from trees on other land. The central part of the concept is that the product of interest is of use to human society. As such, any part of any plant or animal harvested for use can be described as an NWFP, The FAO has adopted the working definition that, non-wood forest products consist of goods of biological origin other than wood, derived from forests, other wooded land and trees outside forests, (FAO, 1999).
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Ending extreme poverty in all forms by 2030 (SDG 1) cannot be achieved without considering the estimated 1.6 billion people that rely on forests. Of these, an estimated 1.2 billion generate both food and income from trees alone (FAO. 2016). In tropical developing countries, forest-derived products and activities rank second as a source of income (up to 22% of household income), following agriculture (FAO, 2016).
Tropical forests provide both direct and indirect benefits to rural livelihoods in three primary ways: to support ongoing house hold subsistence needs, as safety nets to buï¬€er against livelihood variability and insecurity, and as a possible pathway out of poverty (Angelsen et al., 2014), Fuel wood (SDG 7),wild foods (SDG 2), medicinal plants (SDG 3), raw materials for clothing and shelter (SDG 9 and 12), and livestock fodder collected from forests supply house-holds with their daily subsistence needs (Cavendish, 2000).
In SDG 3, PECF,2020 stated that forests play a significant role in both providing health benefits and mitigating negative health impacts. United Nation (UN) Sustainable Development Goal 3, ‘Good health and well-being’, highlights ways to ensure healthy lives for all - and our forests play a key role. In addition to human work and knowledge, also the right medicines are necessary for reaching goal 3 - and many of them come from the forest.
Non-Wood Forest Products (NWPFs) can provide the essential nutrients needed for good maternal and child health, and medicinal plants found in forests also provide ingredients used for both modern and traditional medicines.
Sustainability of NWFPs
Several million households of the world utilize and depend on NWFPs, primarily for nutritional, health and economic needs. It is estimated that 80 percent of the population in developing countries are utilizing NWFPs for these purposes in some way. Africa has the highest percentage worldwide of people live on less than one dollar per day (FAO 2005). NWFPs play indispensable role in the daily lives and overall wellbeing of rural and urban people in Africa. Large number of rural people particularly those living in forested areas depend on NWFPs for various levels of uses. At the subsistence level, NWFPs are major sources for food, medicines, fodder, gums, fibre, and construction material. Arnold (2002) stated that NWFP are particularly important in reducing the shortages suffered during the ‘hunger periods’ of the agricultural cycle as they help to even out seasonal fluctuations in the availability of food.
The use of cosmetic and beauty product derived from forests has a history dating back more than 6,000 years. Traditional beauty product were almost invariably derived from plant, animal or surface mineral sources, including many forest products. Globally, plant-based products are becoming increasing popular choices in modern markets due in large part of the growth of more ethically and environmentally-minded consumers. Many facial cream, soaps, shower gels and oils are increasing relying on natural products from forest, (NTFP-EP, 2018).
In Romania, amongst the most NWFPs are mushroom, forest fruits and medicinal plants. Over 3000 species of edible mushroom exist worldwide and are used as nutrition products and remedies due to their organoleptic properties. Within the forest ecosystems, mushrooms have different functions such as decomposing organic matter and enriching soil accumulation with nutritive substances (Vasile et al., 2017).
In the global context, especially for low-income households, NWFPs can represent 10-60% of household income (Asfaw et al., 2013) an important subsistence source (Kar and Jacobson, 2012), provide food security by off-setting seasonality of other food sources and can play an important cultural and spiritual role (Shackleton and Pandey, 2014). In Europe, collecting NWFPs is an important part of cultural heritage (Seeland and Staniszewski, 2007).
Community involvement on the use of bamboo and rattan as a source socio economic can provide social and economic benefit. In addition, beside can improve living standard and also source of income, it also opens up employment opportunities to young people who want to engage in business, entrepreneurship and small enterprises especially in the manufacture of furniture, crafts, construction and so on, (Wan Rafiekal Wan Abdul Rahim and Roszehan Mohd Idrus, 2018).
Challenges of NWFPs
Based on the above information, non-wood forest products are able to move forward and achieve the target, however we need to know several things including the socio-economic situation, challenges, marketing and trade. Therefore, the relevant information including the community needs must be available to help make it easier to plan a more structured solution method. In issue of the challenges, most NWFPs always involve small-scale businesses and run in traditional and unorganized ways. There are times when this NWFPs is seasonal and it is quite difficult to control its planning. The existence of diversity between biology and ecology makes it something complex and sometimes we don’t bother to include NWFPs in the prepared of management plan.
The lack of knowledge about the potential of NWFPs also makes this field less successful due to the use and need of diverse resources. In maintaining this sustainability of resources, multiple use management may be the best step to be carried out.
In terms of marketing and trade, information on resource management, production, processing and product demand is not something that is easy to obtain. Therefore, this matter is the priority if we want to ensure that this NWFPs will successful. Another thing is about resource management which sometimes involves land use planning.
Finally, it is about sustainable of product marketing and it depends on the type of product for the local and international markets and how we implement it. If all these things are organized correctly, it is certain that this NWFPs can be successful as best as possible. Last but not least, the health and vitality of forests must continue maintained or enhanced and safeguarding the ecosystem for our future generation benefit.
Arnold, M. 2002. Clarifying the links between forests and poverty reduction. International Forestry Review 4 (3): 231-233.
Angelsen, A., Jagger, P., Babigumira, R., Belcher, B., Hogarth, N. J., Bauch, S., and Wunder, S.(2014). Environmental income and rural livelihoods: A global-comparative analysis. World Development 64, 2-28. doi:10.1016/j.worlddev.2014.03.006
Asfaw.A, Lemenih.M., Kassa.H, and Ewnetu, Z. 2013. Importance,Determinants and Gender Dimensions of Forest Income in Eastern Highlands of Ethiopia: The Case of Communities around Jelo Afro montane Forest. Forest Policy and Economics, 28, 1-7. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.forpol.2013.01.005
Cavendish, W. (2000). Empirical regularities in the poverty-environment relationships of ruralhouseholds: Evidence from Zimbabwe. World Development , 28 (11), 1979-2003.
FAO.1995. FAO. Non-wood forest products for rural income and sustainable forestry. Rome Italy.
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FAO. 2001. Resource assessment of non-wood forest products Experience and biometric principles. Rome Italy. FAO
FAO.2005. The state of food in security in the World: Eradicating world hunger- key to achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Rome, Italy: FAO
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NTFP-EP.2018. The growing potentials of non-wood forest products for the cosmetic and fragrance industry - https://ntfp.org/2018/07/fabatwfw/.
PEFC. 2020. Good health and well-being - with the help of our forests. PEFC International (the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification), Geneva, Switzerland. https://pefc.org/news/good-health-and-well-being-with-the-help-of-our-forests.
Shackleton.C.M and Pandey.A.K. (2014). Positioning non-timber forest products on the development agenda. Forest Policy and Economics, 38, 1-7.
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Vasile D., DincÄƒ L. and Enescu M.C. 2017. Impact of collecting mushrooms from the spontaneous flora on forest ecosystems in Romania. Agro Life Scientific Journal, 6: 268-275.
Wan Rafiekal Wan Abdul Rahim and Roszehan Mohd Idrus. 2018. Importance and Uses of Forest Product Bamboo and Rattan: their Value to Socioeconomics of Local Communities. International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences. http://dx.doi.org/10.6007/IJARBSS/v8-i12/5252.
Tarikh Input: 08/02/2023 | Kemaskini: 08/02/2023 | masridien