5.15.02 - Non-wood forest products culture


Charlotte Chia Hua Lee, United States


Michelle Baumflek, United States

About Unit

Non-wood forest products culture is an integral part of IUFRO since it concerns the foundations of how people learn about and use the world’s forests for non-wood products.

Non-wood Forest Products are an important component of those products used from the forest by humans.  These products can be gathered from the wild or produced in forestry plantations and include include medicinal and aromatic plants, edible plant products and forest fungi, decorative materials, resins and gums, and bamboo and rattan; which are important new opportunities for commercial development by rural and native people.  Non-wood forest products culture is the science area which provides a better understanding of the use and social aspects of these products from a cultural perspective.

Non-wood Forest Products Culture plans to have research papers submitted to IUFRO Division 5 and World Congress Meetings and to develop a network of people interested in non-wood forest products culture.
The new Working Party will coordinate its work with RG 5.11.00 Non-wood forest products and 9.03.02 Forest Culture.

The scope of the research areas emphasized by the Non-Wood Forest Products Culture Working Party is:

  • The historical and contemporary use of non-wood forest products in different regions or countries in the world
  • The development and culture of the use of non-wood forest products
  • The culture of non-wood forest products in different societies as part of religion, literature, philosophy, and art
  • The promotion of the use and culture of non-wood forest products in all societies and at all levels of education
  • The education and promotion of the positive aspects of non-wood forest products

State of Knowledge

Non-wood forest products are an important part of many cultures throughout the world, but the cultural interaction of people with non-wood products needs further study.  The knowledge gaps include:

  • The impacts of modern technology and the application of traditional knowledge on the use of non-wood forest products
  • How knowledge about non-wood forest products is transfered in different societies
  • The global recognition of innovations non-wood forest products
  • The impacts of the removal of non-wood forest products on the ecology and environment of the forests