HUMANS WERE HUNTERS and gatherers long before they became farmers and loggers. The fruits of hunting and gathering non-timber forest products continue to this day to make an important contribution to subsistence and market economies alike. Worldwide, it is estimated that several thousands of species are collected from the wild for a variety of purposes (Myers 1988); in the high-diversity forests of Amazonia, for example, more than two-thirds of all tree species are used by indigenous peoples (Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity 2001). At the local community level, non-timber forest products (hereafter, NTFP) can account for 35 per cent (for example, Zimbabwe; Cavendish 1997) to as much as 60 per cent (for example, India; Hegde et al. 1996) of household incomes. And even at a global level, the estimated value of the market in herbal medicines alone (a large proportion of which is collected from the wild) is about US$ 14 billion (Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity 2001)
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