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Sustainable management of non-timber forest resourcesAuthor(s): Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity
Source: Convention on Biological Diversity Technical Series no. 6. 30 pp.
Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
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DescriptionIf policy on sustainable management of non-timber forest resources (NTFR) is to be implemented successfully, then recognition that there is no "one size fits all" policy is essential. Policies and their implementation practice have to be tailored to local ecological, economic, cultural and political circumstances. This complexity and the diversity of species used are added to by two other factors. Firstly, that the "catch-all" nature of the terms "non-timber forest resources" or "non-timber forest products" (NTFP), which refer to all natural resources from forests apart from sawn timber. Secondly, the fact that NTFR conservation and use sits at the confluence of at least probably more Articles of the CBD than probably any other component of natural resource use.
In the past, plant and bush-meat use values to people have either been disregarded, or if taken into account, then the emphasis has either been on the values of plants or wildlife, rather than both together. In southern African savannas where community-based natural resources management programs have been developed, the emphasis has been on wildlife rather than plants, fungi or edible insects. In tropical forests, the opposite has tended to be true, with plant products taken into calculations of forest value rather than animals. Whether NTFR or bush meat use is considered from the perspective of local livelihoods or conservation, species loss through overexploitation benefits neither local people nor conservation in the long term. When a conservation area becomes the focus of high impact harvesting, overexploitation also undermines the primary goal of any protected area: the maintenance of habitat and species diversity. If even monitoring shows that forest or woodland cover are not decreasing, what is happening beneath the canopy may be quite different: populations of high value, vulnerable plant and animal species can be disappearing due to species specific overexploitation. This situation is rarely taken into account in protected area management.
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CitationSecretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity 2001. Sustainable management of non-timber forest resources. Convention on Biological Diversity Technical Series no. 6. 30 pp.
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