Management for Non Timber Forest Products NTFPs

As seen in Chapter 1, tropical forests provide a wealth of plant and animal products and a variety of environmental services. Management of forest resources must be viewed in the context of the surrounding land and natural resources. Likewise, management for timber cannot be completely separated from management for NTFPs. In fact, timber extraction often affects populations of NTFPs, including plants and animals.

Designing systems for diversified forest management involves studies on the ecology and management of non-timber species, including trees, herbs, and palms used locally or regionally for medicine, insecticides, ornamental purposes, craftwork, and construction (Fig. 5.3). Sustainable management for the use of these resources is based on studies on the capacity of each species to supply the desired products in a sustainable manner. Silvicultural guidelines for management are developed for each species. Development of silvicultural systems that include sustainable management plans for NTFPs requires knowledge of the biology and uses of the species, including the population structure and estimated amount of harvestable product.

In many cases, traditional extraction may lead to the exhaustion of the NTFP resource (Marmillod et al. 1998). For example, Brazil nuts (Bertholletia

Fig. 5.3. Palms are important non-timber forest products that are extracted from forests for a variety of uses. Some species of Chamaedorea palm, known as xate, are extracted from forests in Guatemala and other countries of Central America to export to the USA for ornamental uses. (Photo: F. Montagnini)

Fig. 5.3. Palms are important non-timber forest products that are extracted from forests for a variety of uses. Some species of Chamaedorea palm, known as xate, are extracted from forests in Guatemala and other countries of Central America to export to the USA for ornamental uses. (Photo: F. Montagnini)

excelsa) are a classic NTFP and are the only internationally traded seed crop collected exclusively from natural forests (Fig. 5.4). A recent analysis of 23 populations of the Brazil nut tree across the Brazilian, Peruvian, and Bolivian Amazon has shown that populations subjected to high levels of harvest lacked juvenile trees; only populations with a light history of exploitation contained large numbers of juvenile trees (Peres et al. 2003). Without proper management, intensively harvested populations may succumb to a process of senescence and demographic collapse, threatening this cornerstone of the Amazonian extractive economy. Another example is the ornamental plant Za-mia skinneri in Central America, whose excessive extraction is leading to very low populations in natural forests (Box 5.5).

Fig. 5.4. A Brazil nut tree (Bertholletia excelsa) in the delta of the Amazon River in Para, Brazil. (Photo: F. Montagnini)
0 0

Post a comment