Environmental products: a definition, a typology, and a goodbye to non-timber forest products

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The material relationships between nature and people are complex and rich, ranging from support to current consumption to safety nets and poverty reduction. The term 'non-timber forest products' (in many different guises) has been used for decades in attempts to group a wide range of products, such as barks, bulbs, caterpillars, leaves, and fruits, without consensus on the definition. Here we argue that a different approach to product classification would be beneficial. We propose the term 'environmental products' defined simply and eloquently as "tangible biotic and abiotic goods gathered from any biome or created through synthetic production". We propose a typology with six dimensions: product type, mode of production, purpose of production, scale of production, resource tenure, and biome of origination. The typology allows for consistent and transparent delimitation of environmental products useful to actors with varying objectives. We apply the typology to two cases, illustrating that the older terminology is no longer needed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Forestry Review
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)491-502
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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© 2024 Commonwealth Forestry Association. All rights reserved.

    Research areas

  • classification, definitions, non-wood forest products, taxonomy, terminology

ID: 391116139