News Release

Non-wood Provisioning Services from Mediterranean Forest Ecosystems

August 17, 2021

Asheville, NC — Pine nuts, mushrooms, and woodland pastures are just a few examples of the nontimber forest products that are increasingly part of the bioeconomy—an economic model that embraces forests as a source of food while prioritizing biodiversity and sustainability. Dr. Sven Mutke will discuss Mediterranean forest ecosystems and the goods they provide in his presentation “Non-wood Provisioning Services from Mediterranean Forest Ecosystems.” The presentation is the inaugural presentation in the year-long webinar series Unlocking the Bioeconomy for Nontimber Forest Products. All presentations are free and offered through Zoom. Registration is required.

Logo for the webinar series “Unlocking the Bioeconomy for Nontimber Forest Products”, with an icon of a mushroom, two minds collaborating, a campfire, and a medicine bottle with pills, representing the variety of uses for nontimber forest products

Bioeconomies emphasize the use of renewable natural resources to sustainably provide products. A bioeconomy can reduce the environmental impact of economic growth. Science-based management promotes sustainable harvests and production. Nontimber forest products (NTFP) are goods used for a variety of purposes. NTFP provide items such as food, medicine, decorations, nursery and landscaping products, fine art, and crafts. Billions of people worldwide depend on NTFP, either by direct consumption or as a source of income. These products are relatively invisible in national statistics. This under-reporting obscures the role they play in poverty reduction, food and health security, and social stability.

The International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) Task Force is investigating how NTFP can be integrated with the bioeconomy, and how research can support these efforts. The Task Force has more than 70 experts, representing over 20 institutions. The Task Force is facilitating dialogue and sharing knowledge to improve the reporting of NTFP contributions to the bioeconomy. This webinar series is an opportunity to learn about the ongoing research on these products within a bioeconomy concept.

Dr. Sven Mutke is Head of Service for Forest Industries at the Forest Research Centre of INIA-CSIC, the Spanish National Research Council, though his expertise is centered in Mediterranean Non-Wood Forest Products management and production, particularly the edible pine nuts and the pine gum resin tapped for industrial uses. Sven is coordinating the IUFRO Research Group 1.08 on Silviculture for edible NWFPs, and before this he had been coordinating the FAO-CIHEAM research network on Mediterranean stone pine. He is also member of the global IUFRO Task Force that defines and examine the potential of NWFPs for a bioeconomy. Sven holds a PhD from the Forestry College of Madrid Tech (2005) on the development of stone pine as grafted orchard crop. He has published extensively on the subject of Mediterranean pine woodlands, their ecology, management and products.

This webinar series is hosted by the IUFRO Task Force, USDA Forest Service, The Forest History Society, and Renmin University of China.

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