They would like to acknowledge the UK Department for International Development's support for the research that informs this article and thank the following for comments on an earlier version: S. Alexander, J. E. M. Arnold, A. Boaz, V. L. Borges, J. Chamberlain, F. Duran, P. Frazier, K. H. Gautam, J. Greenham, E. T. Jones, R. Hart, T. Hammett, N. Henning, M. Karki, G. Kutty, R. Leakey, J. Lonner, D. Mitchell, M. N. B. Nair, B. Richards, M. Ruiz Pérez, C. Sullivan, P. Vantomme and E. Zanetti.
Commercialisation of Non-timber Forest Products: A Reality Check
Article first published online: 4 MAY 2007
Development Policy Review
Volume 25, Issue 3, pages 355–377, May 2007
How to Cite
Belcher, B. and Schreckenberg, K. (2007), Commercialisation of Non-timber Forest Products: A Reality Check. Development Policy Review, 25: 355–377. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-7679.2007.00374.x
- Issue published online: 4 MAY 2007
- Article first published online: 4 MAY 2007
- first submitted January 2006 final revision accepted October 2006
This article challenges the pervasive view that commercialisation of non-timber forest products can (easily) achieve ecosystem and species conservation as well as improving livelihoods. Following a brief review of who and what is involved, it focuses on the main ecological and livelihood risks of unconsidered promotion of NTFP commercialisation, drawing on a wide range of case studies from around the world. It concludes with some recommendations, emphasising the lack of ‘magic-bullet’ products, and the importance - among other things - of not ignoring national policy, taking an integrated view of the value chain, considering the implications of different production options, and improving both quality and quantity.