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Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) make a significant contribution to national and local economies and may make up over 30% of the income of individual farming families. They are essential for food security, medical remedies, fiber and furniture, and provide resins and essential oils – the raw materials for pharmaceuticals, fragrances, and other chemicals. Pressures upon land and natural resources have meant that the remaining sources for these natural products are protected areas. There is a strong financial incentive for sustainable management of this resource.
Crop wild relatives (CWRs) by comparison are often forgotten by all except the agricultural crop researchers. They do not necessarily have the same immediate value as NTFPs for small-scale farmers, but provide an important source of genetic materials for the improvement of existing crops, including the development of resistance to disease and extremes of temperature and drought. CWRs exist side by side with NTFPs in forests and in small patches of unused land.
The ARCC Climate Change Impact and Adaptation Study downscaled global climate models to make predictions of changes in seasonal temperatures and rainfall, and associated characteristics such as seasonal soil moisture availability, the increased risk of floods and storms, and the timing and extent of the drought period. A number of “hotspot” provinces and ecozones have been identified within the region and these have provided the focus for this review.
This Non Timber Forest Products and Crop Wild Relatives report considers the vulnerability of a few selected NTFPs and CWRs as examples from these hotspot areas. It uses a vulnerability assessment method considering the biological and climate tolerances of these species; comparing these first to the existing conditions and “comfort zones” of these hotspot areas, and then to the predicted climatic conditions.
About Sector Analysis Reports
Sector analysis reports were prepared to describe anticipated climate change impacts on key livelihood sectors of the LMB, including agriculture, capture fisheries and aquaculture, livestock, and non-timber forest products, as well as on protected areas and socio-economics. These reports served as important references and contributed substantively to the analysis and results of the Climate Change Impact and Adaptation Study for the Lower Mekong Basin.
Other reports in the series include: