Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) are defined as botanical products growing in forests that can be used for nutritional, medicinal, ornamental and industrial purposes.
Examples of NTFPs include maple sap, birch
bark, wild mushrooms, blueberries, wild rice, cranberries, ginseng, bearberry,
fireweed (also known as willow herb), sweet grass, Canada yew (ground hemlock),
St. John’s Wort, evening primrose, and echinacea. Wild plants and wood
waste products are sources of anti cancer drugs, anti-inflammatory and
anti-oxidizing compounds, ethanol, other bio-fuels and surfactants.
United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) defines Non-Timber Forest Products or NTFPs as:
|The demand for natural source,
herbal and wild-crafted plant products and for original ornamental and
art products is increasing. At present, non-timber forest products contribute
$241 Million to the Canadian economy. An estimate of the potential for
NTFPs is $1 Billion per year based on developing new products, increasing
yields per hectare and creating markets.
There is a rich history of cultural and social values associated with NTFPs. First Nations communities use a variety of forest plants in feasts, in healing ceremonies and as herbal remedies.
There are opportunities for enhancing both wild harvesting and to develop commercial cropping of Non Timber Forest Products. The development of local NTFP products based on sustainable harvest or cropping, can contribute to economic diversification and community stability. There is a need to do forest inventories, to conduct wild plant species research to determine growth and reproduction requirements, to protect and value traditional knowledge, to develop harvest guidelines, and to develop regulations, controls and fair licensing practices.
The development of Non-Timber Forest products
will require adaptation to new uses of the forest. The recognition of rights
and ‘good management’ principles and practices must be instituted in forest
management policy and regulations.
| NTFP Issues and
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