A new webinar series explores the value of the food and medicine forests provide.
“Many Americans eat berries, nuts, and edible mushrooms from forests,” says Jim Chamberlain, USDA Forest Service researcher. Every year, hundreds of thousands of pounds of food are gathered from public lands.
Chamberlain is organizing the webinar series as part of his role with the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO). He leads an IUFRO task force on nontimber forest products (NTFP) and the bioeconomy.
A bioeconomy is an economic model that embraces forests as a source of food and other things that people need. The bioeconomy concept also prioritizes biodiversity and sustainability.
“The IUFRO Task Force is investigating how NTFPs can be integrated with the bioeconomy, and how research can support these efforts,” says Chamberlain. More than 70 experts from 20 institutions are part of the Task Force.
The webinar series will have about 12 monthly webinars – an entire year of NTFPs across the globe. The first webinar will be shared on August 31. Speakers represent universities, government agencies, and other organizations from Austria, Chile, China, Denmark, Germany, Portugal, Spain, and the U.S.