What are forest resources?

The Forest resources Are goods and services obtained from forests obtained through the extraction of products from the trees or services associated with them, on lands considered in common use (Ostrom, 2005).

A forest product can be any part of a tree such as wood, a fruit and leaves. Forest elements such as fungi and environmental services are also considered to be forest products such as climate regulation and air purification.
What are forest resources?

Forest resources and man

One of the challenges facing society today is the depletion of forest resources caused by the clearing of forest land for agriculture, construction, tree felling for fuel and fodder, etc., which are in accordance with In population growth and industry (Bormann & Likens, 1979; Nicholson, 1979; Singh, 1999; Garcia-Montiel & Scatena, 1994; Shukla & Dubey, 1997).

The role of people living in the forest is essential for the prevalence of both in the forest. Often local communities ignore the rules of government and create their own rules, generating patterns of behavior that differ widely from legislation and bureaucracy; Because local communities live in the forest and are the primary users of their products (Gibson, et al., 2000).

Assessment of forest resources

It consists of different assessments to measure different aspects of forest resources based on information collected from various sources; These may include socio-economic, trade issues or the quantity and quality of the resource (Wong, et al., 2001).

Forest resource assessment provides information in favor of prudent and appropriate management, analyzing commercially useful forest resources and the consequences of their exploitation on the resource base itself (Wong, et al., 2001).

Management of forest resources

For a sustainable use, a management plan that implies the use of the resources that can be made, the resources that can be taken, the methods to be followed and the corresponding periodic evaluations to ensure the sustainability of the forest in later periods .

In order to provide an adequate measure of sustainability, the set of indicators must be holistic, in the sense that they must encompass a wide range of values ​​in forest management which include economic, environmental, biological and physical factors (Mendoza & Prabhu, 2002 ).

Timber forest resources

Timber forest resources are those products that are extracted from the forest and involve logging.

Among the main species that take advantage of the forest for the production of Timber Forest Products (PFM) are pine, ebony, oyamel, eucalyptus, among many others.

Most PFMs extracted from the forest are for the following purposes: roundwood, soft sawnwood, sawn hardwood, panels, pellets, paper, paperboard and cellulose (FAO, 2015).

  • Wood in roll: the trunks of the trees cut and without glass, later to be cut to measures normalized by the industry; It is usually used for the manufacture of furniture, civil engineering and poles.
  • Sawn wood: just as the roundwood is obtained from the forest in the same way with the difference that it is transported directly to sawmills to separate its bark and make cuts to standard measures. It is classified according to its uses in soft sawn timber and hard sawn timber. Soft sawn timber is used for construction and in the elaboration of commercial furniture while hard lumber is used in furniture and handicrafts.
  • Panels: wood panels consist of wood pressing and agglomerate, they exist of different types and their difference lies in the shape of the sawdust minutes, the most common are MDF, maobilla, triplay and macopan.
  • Pellets: Granulated and compacted cylinders, made from forest debris, are mainly used as sources of bioenergy.
  • Paper, cardboard and cellulose: it is made from the round wood to later convert it into sawdust, which in turn, when passing through different chemical processes to remove the non-cellulosic components will extract the cellulose that is separated by the stirring action to individualize The fibers, creating a paste; This paste will go through different processes to achieve the color, size, quality and other specifications that the client requires.

The types of woods according to the species are divided into soft woods (gymnosperms) and hard (angiosperms).

The main characteristic of gymnosperms or soft woods is that they are conifers, they occur in cold or temperate places and their growth is relatively fast in relation to the angiosperms, they are usually used for industrial uses.

Angiosperms or hardwoods produce flowers and fruits, their growth is slower than gymnosperms, they usually grow in tropical climates; These woods are given the distinction of precious woods and are used in high quality furniture and in local crafts.

Non-timber forest resources

A non-timber forest resource is any product extracted from the forest other than for the production of wood and its by-products.

FAO adopts the following definition for Non-timber Forest Products (NWFP):"Biological non-timber inputs from forests, other wooded land and trees outside forests"(FAO, 1999; , Et al., 2001).

Through NTFPs, forest biodiversity plays an important role in alleviating the poverty of marginalized communities dependent on these products (Tapia - Tapia & Reyes - Chilpa, 2008). There are communities that are almost isolated from the world, their only way of sustainable subsistence are forests. That is why many of them have adopted ways of life unthinkable for many citizens who enjoy technological and infrastructure benefits.

The government can do little to integrate these inhabitants to the habits of modern society, since many of them often rooted in their customs find no attraction to such proposals.

Ndoye & Tieguhong, 2004 classify NWFPs in fruits, leaves, nuts, game meat, firewood and insects.

The fruits are often used for culinary, medicinal and ornamental reasons, are divided into:


  • Carnosos
    • Berry: cranberries, tomato, granjeno.
    • Peppon: melon, squash and watermelon.
    • Hespéride: orange, lemon, mandarin.
    • Pomo: apple, pear, quince.
    • Drupe: olive, mango, cherry.


  • Dehiscent
    • Legument: maguacata, mesquite, bean.
    • Follicle: consolidates magnolia, banksia
    • Silicua: cabbage, radish, mustard.
    • Pixidio: white henbane, Brazil nut, cistáceas.
    • Capsule: poppy, tulips, henbane.


  • Aquenio: sunflower seeds, bougainvillea, marigold.
  • Walnut: pecan nut, acorns, hazelnuts.
  • Cariopse: maize, wheat and rice.
  • Cipsela: dandelion.
  • Sámara: elm, ailanto, ash.
  • Lomento: algarrono, caldén.


  • Polyakenium: angel hair, rosaceas, strawberries.
  • Polibaya: cherimoya.
  • Polyphliculus: Magnoliaceae.
  • Polidrupa: raspberries, blackberries, blackberries.
  • Polysámara: liriodendron.

Multiple and complex

  • Sicono: figs, ficus.
  • Cinodorrón: roses and rose hips.
  • Balausta: pomegranate.
  • Sorosis: pineapple.
  • Glande: acorn.

Products that host the seed and are not fruits

  • Pseudocarps
    • Strobile
    • Pineapples or cones
    • Galleys
    • Aryl


The collection of leaves in the forest for different uses such as handicrafts, local gastronomy in the kitchen as a species or for processed products, medicinal, ornamental uses, among others.


They are processed products from the collection of seeds or the fat of some animal that has been hunted.


Viscous liquid from trees that is collected for the cleaning industry, varnishes, additives, perfumery, among many others.


They are used for culinary or medicinal uses, their identification is complicated and requires an expert because in case of collecting the wrong fungus can bring serious repercussions to the health with the risk of producing severe intoxication.


Often the people of the field collect seeds for the in situ reproduction of different varieties of species that later once fulfilling these market requirements will be released for sale; Some seeds are also used for handicrafts.


Hunting is a forest resource that is implemented by people living in the countryside almost daily and is a very common means of subsistence either for their own consumption or for sale.


In many local communities firewood is used in addition to keeping the house warm for cooking; Fuelwood is also used for the production of charcoal this in turn is used in cooking food, as a dye or as a detergent.


The consumption of insects is adopted in many communities as part of their gastronomy, other uses are given to create inks.


Plants are sometimes extracted from the forest for reproduction, for medicinal, culinary and ornament uses.

Forest resources generated from ecosystem services

Ecosystem services are closely linked to forest sustainability and are threatened by the same reasons for an irregular use of forest resources in a race to destroy forests to convert them into wood (Ostrom, 2005).

Climate change

Climate change today is a subject of dispute for many nations and many scientists. While some claim that it is part of the nature and life cycle of the land, others defend their position that it is the result of the excessive deforestation of the forests.

In 2015, 195 nations met in Paris, where various issues were addressed to counteract global warming. One of the most outstanding was REDD +, a mechanism for mitigating climate change that aims to reduce greenhouse gases produced by land use, land use change and forestry.

This is to allocate land for conservation, to calculate the mitigation of Greenhouse Gases (GHG) that are being generated so that later those industries that generate it pay to those areas in conservation.

Benefits derived from forest health

There are several benefits that the forest provides us and although these are not tangible are forest products that humanity enjoys and that if they were extinct would end life on the planet.

Some benefits that stand out are: hydrological basins, carbon sequestration, biodiversity improvement; These can be considered as externalities or as public goods (Ostrom, 2005).


The hydrological basins are the subterranean veins that await the water, product of the rain infiltrated through the root of the trees.

Carbon sequestration

This is developed through the capture and storage of CO2 generated largely by livestock and industry. Carbon sequestration occurs due to the production of glucose from photosynthesis of plants or through organic waste containing coal and its degradation by transmitting this element to the soil.

Improving diversity

Forests are home to many wild species, each of which has its place in nature. In cases where some species is extinct by anthropogenic means the ecology of the place is broken and can cause severe damage to the health of the forest.

Although most of the world's citizens live in places far from the forests, we all depend on them for our livelihood. Many of the products that we use to transport, dress and even eat are from this place, not counting the air we use to breathe and the water we drink that comes from rivers and aquifers in which the watersheds end.


  1. (2015). Forest products Annual Market Review 2014 - 2015. Retrieved on January 6, 2017 from FAO website: unece.org.
  2. Gibson, C., McKean, M. & Ostrom E. (2000). Explaining deforestation: The role of local institutions. People and forests, communities, institutions and governance. USA: Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
  3. Hawthorne, W. (1996). Holes and the sums of parts in Ghanaian forest: regeneration, scale and sustainable use. Proceeding of the royal society of Edinburgh, vol. 104B, pp. 75-176.
  4. Mendoza, G. & Prabhu. (2003). Qualitative multi-criteria approaches to assessing indicators of sustainable forest resource management. Forest ecology and management, vol. 174, pp. 329-343.
  5. McKean, M. (2000). Common Property: The role of local institutions. People and forests, communities, institutions and governance. USA: Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
  6. Ndoye, O. & Tieguhong, J. (2004). Forest resources and rural livelihoods: the conflict between timber and non-timber forest products in the Congo Basin. Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research, vol.19 (S4), pp. 36-44.
  7. Ostrom, E. (2005). Self-Governance and Forest Resources. Terracotta reader, a market approach to the environment. India: Academic Foundation.
  8. Shukla, J. & Dubey, B. Modeling the depletion and conservation of forestry resources: effects of population and pollution. Journal of Mathematical Biology, vol. 36, pp. 71-94.
  9. Tapia - Tapia, E. & Reyes - Chilpa, R. (2008). Non-timber forest products in Mexico: Economic aspects for sustainable development. Wood Forests, vol. 14 (3), pp. 95-112.
  10. Wong, J., Thornber, K. & Baker, N. (2001). Assessment of non-timber forest product resources. Retrieved on January 6, 2017 from FAO website: fao.org.

Loading ..

Recent Posts

Loading ..