Potential for greenery from degraded temperate forests to increase income of indigenous women in Chile

  • Nahuelhual L
  • Palma J
  • Gonzalez M
 et al. 
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There has been much emphasis placed on the economic contribution that
non-timber forest products (NTFP) can make to rural livelihoods of
people living in or near forests. In this study we focus on the benefits
of greenery obtained from two tree species, romerillo (Lomatia
ferruginea (Cav.) R. Br.) and avellano (Gevuina avellana Mol.),
collected by indigenous women in southern Chile. Trees producing
commercial-quality leaves grew in secondary forests dominated by species
usually abundant in ecological formations that follow forest
degradation. Natural availability of greenery was relatively low (658
and 38 commercial leaves per hectare for romerillo and avellano,
respectively) which added to restrictive market conditions resulted in
modest financial returns and a contribution to household income of less
than 1%. Our results confirm that trade on NTFP does not always lead to
significant income generation. Yet, the information provided, represents
a basis to explore management alternatives, such as agroforestry
schemes, which can potentially expand greenery yield and economic

Author-supplied keywords

  • Female collectors
  • Greenery
  • Non-timber forest products
  • Rural livelihoods
  • Temperate rainforests

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