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Open Access Into the wild: disentangling non-wood terms and definitions for improved forest statistics

This article is Open Access under the terms of the Creative Commons CC BY licence.

As scientists strive to make nature's value visible, a large portion of forests and wild biodiversity known as non-wood forest products (NWFPs) continues to remain largely invisible and unaccounted for. At the core of the problem is wide disaccord over what is a NWFP (and correlate terms), a debate which has been running in circles for nearly three decades. This paper reviews existing terms and definitions, with the aim of improving forest statistics and the visibility of NWFPs. The paper starts by (1) clarifying boundaries between agricultural and forest products, so forest products currently under agriculture can be "reclaimed"; (2) drawing on lessons from fisheries to distinguish between wild and farmed products, and associated activities; (3) moving beyond product towards activity classifications to capture gathering that may not be accounted for under crops or forest products because it takes place across landscapes and outside of these sectoral boundaries.

Keywords: BIODIVERSITY; NON-WOOD FOREST PRODUCTS; STATISTICS; TERMINOLOGY; WILD PRODUCTS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2020

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