Non-Timber Forest Products Exchange Programme

Linking People and Forests: Strategic Direction 2016-2019

July 5, 2017

The Non-Timber Forest Products Exchange Programme (NTFP-EP) is a collaborative network of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and community-based organizations in South and Southeast Asia, working with forest-dependent communities to strengthen their capacity in sustainable management of these natural resources. The NTFP-EP was organized as a network to promote the use of non- timber forest products, with the fundamental purpose of protecting the forests. The forest is not just the trees but a conglomeration of many inter-dependent species of plants and animals, from the microscopic to the very large, which occupy an area together. The forest is more than the sum of its parts. There are several things that a forest accomplishes which cannot be done by anything else. They cannot even be done by the various forests species working separately. They are only done by a forest and that is why the forests must be protected (Rice, 2010).

The NTFP-EP believes that an effective way to protect and enrich the forests, and simultaneously fight poverty, is by helping forest dwellers make a good living from the forest itself by increasing the value of the various non-timber forest products (NTFPs). We define NTFPs as all biological materials from the forest that are extracted and consumed for human use (de Beer and McDermott, 1996). We believe that increasing the value of NTFPs might not be the only way to achieve the protection and enrichment of forests and at the same time to fight poverty, but it is certainly a good place to start. In brief, the NTFP-EP was founded on the goal to protect  and improve the integrity of the forests and the livelihood and well-being of forest dwellers.