This morning we attended a meeting organised by the local forestry department. They are creating “An Inventory of the Potential for Non-timber Forest Products” in the local government district. Non-timber forest products, or NTFP, as they are referred to in conservation jargon, are an often used argument for the protection of forests. Local people for millennia have exploited NTFP and although their impact on the local environment and wildlife may be debated, in comparison to bulldozers their impact on the forests was negligible. Therefore, we consider NTFP a valuable tool in protecting the forests and we are pleased that the local government is taking this initiative (see the photos below showing various examples of NTFPs).
Making rattan baskets
Other craft products
This week I’ll have my own opportunity to assess the sustainability of NTFP. I’m off into the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve until Friday. A pleasant round of investigating reports of farming inside the reserve, plantation expansion on its border, and an assessment of activities on the western edge. Hopefully, I’ll see an orangutan or two.
I’ll write again when I get back on Friday or Saturday.