Non-wood Forest Products Management: Inventory, Planning, Governance, Marketing and Trade

A special issue of Forests (ISSN 1999-4907). This special issue belongs to the section "Wood Science and Forest Products".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2022) | Viewed by 33030

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
1. Department of Forest Management, Faculty of Forestry and Wood Sciences, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Kamycka 129, 16500 Prague, Czech Republic
2. Faculty of Forestry, Karadeniz Technical University, Trabzon, Turkey
Interests: forest ecosystem management; ecosystem services; decision support systems; NWFP; operations research and geographical information science
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Guest Editor
Department of Land, Environment, Agriculture and Forestry, University of Padova, Padua, Italy
Interests: forest economics; forest policy; governance; forest products marketing
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Department of Forest and Rangeland Stewardship, Warner College of Natural Resources, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, USA
Interests: forest management; wildland fire decision support; operations research; machine learning

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Forest ecosystems provide various benefits to society in the form of ecosystem services. Non-wood forest products or wild products (NWFPs) (forest fruits, mushrooms, cork, pine kernels, acorns, medicinal herbs, essential oils, chestnuts, etc.) are cross-categorical ecosystem services that have recently received substantial attention from researchers and practitioners. They have been used in pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and food, in local medicines, and in other products supporting health and livelihoods. Many research works have been devoted to the study of various aspects of NWFPs, mainly to contribute to the creation of jobs, socio-economic opportunities, and the competitiveness of rural economies, while mitigating climate change effects, addressing soil conservation concerns, and providing effective responses to address the need for carbon-neutral energy. There are a myriad of opportunities to unlock the full potential of NWFPs, such as creating new knowledge and tools to optimize the sustainable provision and profitability of NWFPs, fostering the development of market conditions for NWFPs, and developing economic and governance strategies for the better management of wild forest products—particularly in low-income countries. Thus, we encourage research endeavors involving the development of models, methods, processes, and decision support tools to address the inventory, planning, harvesting, governance, certification, marketing, and trade of NWFPs to contribute to this Special Issue. This initiative will also contribute to the NWFP knowledge base and to the strengthening of research strategies to support the full encapsulation of NWFPs in the framework of the sustainable management of forest ecosystems. This Special Issue is developed in collaboration with the 19th Symposium on Systems Analysis in Forest Resources (SSAFR 2021), and it is sponsored by the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO Units 4.04.04—Sustainable Forest Management Scheduling and 5.11-Non-Wood Forest Products as well as the IUFRO Task Force on Unlocking the Bioeconomy and Non-Timber Forest Products). Papers submitted for publication in this Special Issue will undergo a rigorous peer-review process with the aim of prompt and wide dissemination of research results and applications.

Prof. Dr. Emin Z. Başkent
Prof. Dr. José G. Borges
Prof. Dr. Davide M. Pettenella
Prof. Dr. Yu Wei
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • forest ecosystem management
  • ecosystem services
  • biodiversity
  • non-wood forest products
  • wild forest products
  • governance
  • inventory and planning
  • harvesting and silviculture
  • marketing
  • value-chain analysis
  • certification
  • modeling productivity
  • decision support system
  • multi-purpose trees
  • participation
  • rural development
  • bio-economy

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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24 pages, 1902 KiB  
Article
Expert-Based Assessment of the Potential of Non-Wood Forest Products to Diversify Forest Bioeconomy in Six European Regions
by Patrick Huber, Mikko Kurttila, Teppo Hujala, Bernhard Wolfslehner, Mariola Sanchez-Gonzalez, Maria Pasalodos-Tato, Sergio de-Miguel, José Antonio Bonet, Marlene Marques, Jose G. Borges, Cristian Mihai Enescu, Lucian Dinca and Harald Vacik
Forests 2023, 14(2), 420; https://doi.org/10.3390/f14020420 - 17 Feb 2023
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2755
Abstract
The forest-based sector plays a significant role in supporting Europe on its pathway towards a more integrated and bio-based circular economy. Beyond the supply of timber, forest ecosystems offer a wide range of products and services beneficial to human wellbeing. Non-wood forest products [...] Read more.
The forest-based sector plays a significant role in supporting Europe on its pathway towards a more integrated and bio-based circular economy. Beyond the supply of timber, forest ecosystems offer a wide range of products and services beneficial to human wellbeing. Non-wood forest products (NWFPs) play an integral role in provisioning forest ecosystem services and constitute a huge portfolio of species from various taxonomic kingdoms. As diverse as the resources themselves is the list of end-products that may be derived from raw non-wood materials. Multiple value-chains of NWFPs provide benefits to actors across all stages of the supply chain. Forest management has not yet directed full attention towards NWFPs, since timber production remains the main management objective, although multi-purpose management is recognised as a key principle of the sector’s sustainability paradigm. Lack of knowledge of the socio-economic relevance of NWFPs for European societies and diverse property rights frameworks increase the complexity in forest-based decision making additionally. In this study, the future potential of 38 NWFPs for diversifying the forest bioeconomy is investigated by means of multi-criteria analysis, including stakeholder interaction and expert involvement. The results for six case studies in different biogeographical zones in Europe indicate the latent opportunities NWFPs provide to forest owners who are willing to focus their management on the joint production of wood and non-wood resources as well as their value networks. This study intends to unravel perspectives for forest owners in particular, as they often represent principal decision makers in forest ecosystem management, act as main suppliers of NWFP raw materials, and thus can be understood as key stakeholders in a forest bioeconomy. Even though regional perspectives differ, due to varying socio-economic and ecological environments, there is huge potential to strengthen the economic viability of rural areas. Furthermore, sustainable co-production may foster the ecological integrity of forest ecosystems across Europe. Results show that wild mushrooms constitute the most widespread opportunity to increase additional income from forest management, but the most promising NWFPs can be found in the tree product, understorey plant and animal origin categories. Full article
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18 pages, 969 KiB  
Article
Supply Chain Actors’ Perspectives Concerning the Cultivation of Specialty Wood-Decay Mushrooms in Finland
by Jari Miina, Hanna Muttilainen, Juha Vornanen and Henri Vanhanen
Forests 2023, 14(1), 134; https://doi.org/10.3390/f14010134 - 11 Jan 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1792
Abstract
The objective of this paper was to understand the perspectives of multiple stakeholders on the adoption of specialty wood-decay mushroom cultivation on stumps in connection with timber harvesting in Finland. The perspectives of supply chain actors, i.e., forest owners, forest harvesting entrepreneurs, forest [...] Read more.
The objective of this paper was to understand the perspectives of multiple stakeholders on the adoption of specialty wood-decay mushroom cultivation on stumps in connection with timber harvesting in Finland. The perspectives of supply chain actors, i.e., forest owners, forest harvesting entrepreneurs, forest professionals, and natural product entrepreneurs, were assessed using web-based questionnaires. Forest professionals (34%) were most interested in specialty mushroom cultivation in co-operation with companies selling cultures or buying mushrooms, whereas about one-fourth of the forest owners (23%) indicated that interest. Forest owners were willing to do the cultivation by themselves and to lease their forests for mushroom cultivation. Compared to household users, forest owners who had commercialised the non-timber forest products (NTFPs) of their forests or were willing to sell licences for NTFP picking and gathering permits were more interested in mushroom cultivation. Additionally, background information on forest owners, such as part-time forestry entrepreneurship, younger age, male gender, and higher education, significantly increased the odds of indicating interest in participating in the supply chain. One-fourth of the harvesting entrepreneurs (25%) indicated an interest in marketing and providing specialty mushroom cultivation services to forest owners in timber harvesting. Specialty mushrooms were already used by 26% of natural product entrepreneurs, and 40% indicated that specialty mushrooms could be used in the future. The shortage of information on, for example, cultivation success, yield, and costs, as well as profitability analyses, was acknowledged by all supply chain actors as the most serious barrier inhibiting their partnership in the production and utilisation of specialty mushrooms. Full article
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13 pages, 962 KiB  
Article
The Market Evolution of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants: A Global Supply Chain Analysis and an Application of the Delphi Method in the Mediterranean Area
by Ibtissem Taghouti, Roser Cristobal, Anton Brenko, Kalliopi Stara, Nikos Markos, Benjamin Chapelet, Lamia Hamrouni, Dino Buršić and José-Antonio Bonet
Forests 2022, 13(5), 808; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13050808 - 21 May 2022
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 6575
Abstract
There is an increasing evidence for the significant value and potential of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (MAPs) worldwide. Among other non-wood forest products, MAPs are considered a key element of sustainable forest management and economic development. As part of Mediterranean cultural heritage, these [...] Read more.
There is an increasing evidence for the significant value and potential of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (MAPs) worldwide. Among other non-wood forest products, MAPs are considered a key element of sustainable forest management and economic development. As part of Mediterranean cultural heritage, these plants are a major driver of rural tourism, in many areas representing an important raw material for various bio-based industrial sectors. Besides their economic value, MAPs enhance social integration and maintain gender balance as harvesting and processing MAPs is clearly a female dominated task. Despite the prominent contribution of MAPs to local development, conservation of biodiversity and the development of the traditional Mediterranean food system, many challenges and knowledge gaps could potentially place the sector’s development at risk. The aim of this work is to examine the present situation of the MAPs sector in the most productive countries around the Mediterranean and to identify future challenges and priority actions to develop the MAPs sector in the region. To do so, a supply chain analysis was performed to identify the main stakeholders involved. Various experts from Croatia, France, Greece, Spain, and Tunisia participated in the SWOT analysis and the Delphi approach employed in this study. The results highlight the main challenges facing the sector in Mediterranean countries. Five groups of challenges are identified, related mainly to certification and labelling, life quality and wellbeing, market development, research development, and transforming and processing. To overcome these challenges, a set of actions is validated by the interviewed experts with the aim of improving marketing strategies and including various innovations related to political, legal, organisational, and institutional frameworks. Full article
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13 pages, 2524 KiB  
Article
Application of Stubble and Root Cutting in Artificial Cultivation of Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs): A Study Case of Aralia elata (Miq.) Seem
by Ting Zhang, Lizhong Yu, Yuan Man, Qiaoling Yan and Jinxin Zhang
Forests 2022, 13(4), 612; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13040612 - 14 Apr 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1969
Abstract
The increased demand for non-timber forest products (NTFPs) has led to the over-exploitation and disordered utilization of wild NTFP resources. Thus, it is important to determine how to sustainably utilize and cultivate NTFPs. Stubble and root cutting are two important methods for artificial [...] Read more.
The increased demand for non-timber forest products (NTFPs) has led to the over-exploitation and disordered utilization of wild NTFP resources. Thus, it is important to determine how to sustainably utilize and cultivate NTFPs. Stubble and root cutting are two important methods for artificial cultivation, but little is known about their effects on the artificial cultivation of NTFP species with strong sprouting ability. Aralia elata is an important understory economic plant with high medicinal and edible values, and its wild resources are decreasing rapidly due to increasing demand. Therefore, A. elata, with its strong sprouting ability, was taken as an example to explore the effects of stubble (plant size × stubble height) and root cutting (root-cutting distance × root-cutting ratio) on its growth and sprouting ability for three years. The results showed that both stubble and root-cutting treatments could effectively facilitate the root sprouting ability of A. elata. The short stubble height treatment (6–15 cm) was the optimum stubble method for large A. elata (the mean height and basal diameter of plants were 256.65 cm and 4 cm, respectively). For small A. elata (plant basal diameter ranged from 1.5 cm to 3.4 cm), the optimal root-cutting method was 100% root-cutting ratio at a root-cutting distance of 0.25 m. However, the effects of stubble and root cutting on the growth and sprouting ability of A. elata were time-dependent, and repetitive treatment might be applied at an interval of two years to maintain its continuous growth and sprouting. Full article
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14 pages, 2132 KiB  
Article
Potentials and Opportunities of Wild Edible Forest Fruits for Rural Household’s Economy in Arasbaran, Iran
by Sajad Ghanbari, Gerhard Weiss, Jinlong Liu, Ivan Eastin, Omid Fathizadeh and Gholamhosein Moradi
Forests 2022, 13(3), 453; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13030453 - 13 Mar 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2798
Abstract
Non-timber forest products (NTFPs) contribute to local people’s livelihood in many regions around the world. This article investigates the types of NTFPs collected, processed, and traded in the Arasbaran region of Iran, the roles of these products in household economies, and the potential [...] Read more.
Non-timber forest products (NTFPs) contribute to local people’s livelihood in many regions around the world. This article investigates the types of NTFPs collected, processed, and traded in the Arasbaran region of Iran, the roles of these products in household economies, and the potential contribution to rural household economies through the collection, processing, and marketing of NTFPs. Data were collected using household and community surveys as well as through secondary sources on the role of NTFPs within Arasbaran forests in Iran. The main NTFPs harvested by local people were fruits. The fruits from 14 woody species, including trees and shrubs, were harvested by local people. The average share of forest-harvested fruit to household income was 27 percent. The mean annual income derived from the harvest and sale of sumac and reddish blackberry in the sample rural household incomes was USD 1822 and USD 142, respectively. In regard to processing efficiency, plum, cornelian cherry, and sumac exhibited the highest processing efficiency. Better policy support would be needed along the whole value chain, starting with the forest management plans, to include fruit species. In addition, measures to support processing facilities as well as to promote trade and marketing beyond the local area would be highly important to develop the potential of forest fruits and other NTFPs. Besides technical and financial support, measures should include regulatory revisions as well as information, training, and awareness raising. Full article
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14 pages, 1432 KiB  
Article
Truffle Market Evolution: An Application of the Delphi Method
by Daniel Oliach, Enrico Vidale, Anton Brenko, Olivia Marois, Nicola Andrighetto, Kalliopi Stara, Juan Martínez de Aragón, Carlos Colinas and José Antonio Bonet
Forests 2021, 12(9), 1174; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12091174 - 30 Aug 2021
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 5962
Abstract
Background: The objective of this study was to analyze the current situation of the truffle sector in the main producing countries of the Mediterranean area. Additionally, we identified the challenges for the future and the priority actions to develop the truffle sector in [...] Read more.
Background: The objective of this study was to analyze the current situation of the truffle sector in the main producing countries of the Mediterranean area. Additionally, we identified the challenges for the future and the priority actions to develop the truffle sector in the region. Methods: We used a Delphi process approach, and we selected a total of 17 expert panelists in different positions within the supply chain of the target countries (Spain, France, Italy, Croatia, and Greece). Results: The results obtained allowed us to have a complete description of the current truffle supply chain. We confirmed an evolution of the sector due to the cultivation success of several Tuber species. The maturity of the sector has produced shifts in the roles that form the traditional truffle supply chain operators. We confirmed the trend of a decrease of collectors that hunt truffles in the wild and sell to small travelling buyers, whilst truffle hunters that collect for farmers and specialty wholesalers are emerging. However, a trend of truffle price decrease in the last few years has alerted the sector. Conclusions: As production increases due to truffle cultivation, it will be necessary to promote truffle consumption. We identified actions to develop the truffle sector: (a) strengthen the link between truffles, tourism, and gastronomy; (b) increase the effort at European level for the recognition of truffle production, helping to develop truffle culture and marketing; (c) increase the awareness and consumption of truffles among consumers; and (d) develop tourism workshops for truffle farmers. Full article
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Review

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37 pages, 2039 KiB  
Review
Potential of Beekeeping to Support the Livelihood, Economy, Society, and Environment of Indonesia
by Alfonsus Hasudungan Harianja, Yelin Adalina, Gunawan Pasaribu, Ina Winarni, Rizki Maharani, Andrian Fernandes, Grace Serepina Saragih, Ridwan Fauzi, Agustinus Panusunan Tampubolon, Gerson Ndawa Njurumana, Agus Sukito, Aswandi Aswandi, Cut Rizlani Kholibrina, Siswadi Siswadi, Hery Kurniawan, Muhamad Yusup Hidayat, Resti Wahyuni, Ermi Erene Koeslulat, Raden Bambang Heryanto, Tony Basuki, Helena Da Silva, Yohanis Ngongo, Bernard deRosari, Totok Kartono Waluyo, Maman Turjaman, Sigit Baktya Prabawa and Harlinda Kuspradiniadd Show full author list remove Hide full author list
Forests 2023, 14(2), 321; https://doi.org/10.3390/f14020321 - 6 Feb 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 6002
Abstract
The management of natural resources based on socio-economic and ecology development has led to a focus on the bioeconomy in the policy discourse of non-timber forest products (NTFPs). Honey is an important NTFP with high socio-economic value, and its production involves millions of [...] Read more.
The management of natural resources based on socio-economic and ecology development has led to a focus on the bioeconomy in the policy discourse of non-timber forest products (NTFPs). Honey is an important NTFP with high socio-economic value, and its production involves millions of Indonesians. This article reviews the current status of honey-producing bee management, cultivation and harvesting system, marketing and socio-economic values, and the industry’s environmental function in Indonesia. This research utilized a meta-narrative review method to collect data and information from Google Scholar, Scopus, Science Direct, ResearchGate, Sinta, and Garuda. The study showed that the four bee species, namely Apis mellifera, Apis cerana, Apis dorsata, and stingless bee, are the most common species in honey production in Indonesia. The four species have specific characteristics based on habitat, production capacity, derivative products, management intervention to meet honey product standards, and sustainable livelihoods. The value chain of bees’ major products, such as honey, propolis, pollen, royal jelly, wax, and other derivative products, involves the distribution of honey to all involved communities, including beekeepers, honey gatherers/hunters, intermediate traders, and the processing industry. This study also found a significant association between environmental sustainability statutes that affects functional sustainability and economic function. The finding parallels the global trends that put forward a forest-based bioeconomy approach to forest resource management. The policy must be strengthened in managing relationships among supporting actors for sustainable honey production. Full article
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19 pages, 1722 KiB  
Review
Territorial Marketing Based on Non-Wood Forest Products (NWFPs) to Enhance Sustainable Tourism in Rural Areas: A Literature Review
by Marta Rovira, Lluís Garay, Elena Górriz-Mifsud and José-Antonio Bonet
Forests 2022, 13(8), 1231; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13081231 - 3 Aug 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2754
Abstract
It is often seen how a distinctive feature of a territory is used as a brand to create an image that attracts tourists to the region. This is so-called “territorial marketing”, and together with this brand, connected products and services, usually related to [...] Read more.
It is often seen how a distinctive feature of a territory is used as a brand to create an image that attracts tourists to the region. This is so-called “territorial marketing”, and together with this brand, connected products and services, usually related to recreation, gastronomy and well-being, are offered. Non-wood forest products (NWFPs), such as mushrooms, truffles, aromatic and medicinal plants, nuts and berries, are natural products connected to local traditions that contribute to rural economies, culture and society. This becomes particularly prominent when used as elements of identity to brand specific geographical areas such as the “Chestnut Route”, the “Cranberry Valley” or the “Truffle Way”. This review aims to delve into the understanding of this link between NWFPs and sustainable tourism through territorial marketing and to discuss the different perspectives that address this field, including the methodologies used for the studies, as well as to identify the main research topics tackled in the literature, territorial marketing models and the challenges for its development. The results show the multidisciplinary nature of this field of research, addressed primarily by economists through qualitative surveys and case studies. Most authors emphasize the growing interest in territorial marketing in rural areas as well as the importance of involving the local population in the implementation process. Several studies offer a territorial marketing process model, among which stakeholders’ participation, place identity and image, as well as their interaction, are main aspects to be considered when developing this strategy. A new territorial marketing model is proposed. While it is an emergent research field, studies focused on territorial marketing based on NWFPs to attract tourism remain a research niche. Full article
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