IUFRO Spotlights


IUFRO Spotlight #21 – 2014 IUFRO World Congress

IUFRO 2014 World Congress session aims to encourage forest managers to include forest-derived foods and medicines, as well as timber, in their planning, policies and practices.

The forest pharmacy and food store

At the upcoming IUFRO 2014 World Congress Hannu Raitio and Tuija Sievänen of the Finnish Forest Research Institute, James Chamberlain of the U.S. Forest Service, and Carsten Smith-Hall of Denmark's University of Copenhagen will organize a session entitled: The value and challenges of integrating food and medicinal forest products into forest management.

For thousands of years, forests have been sources of food and medicine ensuring human health and wellbeing, yet they are not fully appreciated and valued for those benefits. In fact, medicinal and-or edible forest products (MEFPs) are widely considered less valuable than timber and their true financial or ecological value is therefore often unknown. The forestry community, especially in more developed countries, is fixated on trees, and timber is "the tail that wags the dog", according to the sub-plenary organizers.

IUFRO addresses this and related topics in its Division 5 on Forest Products (Research Group 5.11.00 – Non-wood forest products), for example, but also in its Division 6 Social Aspects of Forests and Forestry, and its Task Force on Forests and Human Health.


Further reading:

congress-spotlight21-forest-pharmacy-food-store.pdf334 Ki