This article was originally published on Conservation International


“Editor’s note: From “climate adaptation” to “blue carbon,” from “landscape approach” to “ecosystem services,” environmental jargon is everywhere these days. Conservation International’s Human Nature blog looks to make sense of it in an occasional explainer series we’re calling “What on Earth?” In this installment, we break down “non-timber forest products,” which benefit humans, and ultimately, the forest itself.

What is a ‘non-timber forest product’?

It’s any product other than timber that is naturally produced in forests and can be harvested for human use without cutting down trees. Think food items, such as nuts, berries, mushrooms and seeds, or non-food items such as oils, perfumes and medicinal plants. These are all examples of what we call “NTFPs” for short.

Makes me think of, for example, shade-grown coffee. Is that an ‘NTFP’?

Actually, no: Coffee and other tropical products like cacao or bananas are not NTFPs because they require intensive agricultural management. NTFPs grow naturally in forests, and simply need to be harvested or gathered from their environment…”

Read on at: Conservation International.