Non-Timber Forest Products Exchange Programme

ASEAN adopts sustainable harvest guidelines, resource management protocols for NTFPs

January 8, 2021

The 42nd Meeting of The ASEAN Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry. Screengrab from ASEAN.

The ASEAN Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry (AMAF) have adopted the ASEAN Guidelines for Sustainable Harvest and Resource Management Protocols for Selected Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) during its 42nd annual meeting last October 21, 2020.

The guidelines serve as a primary reference for NTFP management protocols in the ASEAN region and help guarantee the sustainable management of NTFP resources for markets and relevant stakeholders.

“As the ASEAN is going through a process of harmonization of standards for various products, including forestry products, and standards for non-timber forest products (NTFPs) are still in the early stages in many countries, protocols for sustainable harvest and management of NTFPs are crucial in order to meet quality standards,” said the AMAF in a joint press statement.

The full text of the guidelines can be read here.

The guidelines incorporate scientific as well as experiential knowledge, which indigenous peoples and forest managers have expressed in the form of simple rules of thumb. They are also based on a socio-ecological framework, looking at aspects that affect the sustainability of NTFPs.

Provided in the guidelines are examples of sustainable resource management protocols for five important NTFPs: rattan, bamboo, resin, forest honey, and fruits.

Aside from assisting ASEAN Member States in developing NTFP protocols, these guidelines may also be used by national and sub-national program managers, research and academic institutions, community enterprises, traders, and civil society groups working on projects involving management of NTFP resources, as well as for advocacy purposes.

In 2019, the Non-Timber Forest Products Exchange Programme (NTFP-EP) completed a gap analysis on NTFP standards in the ASEAN region meant to inform standard development strategies for regional and global competitiveness of ASEAN in the NTFP sector. This analysis revealed the important connection among sustainable harvest, quality of NTFP products, and their contribution to the overall sustainable management of NTFPs.

NTFP-EP was tasked by the ASEAN Senior Officials on Forestry, specifically the ASEAN Working Group on Forest Products Development to lead a consultative process to develop guidelines on sustainable harvest and resource management protocols for important NTFPs.

To read more on some of NTFP-EP’s work on regional policy frameworks, click here to visit the Publications page.