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Module DDL-4206:
Sustainable use of NTFPs

Module Facts

Run by School of Natural Sciences

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Organiser: Mrs Bid Webb

Overall aims and purpose

  1. The purpose of the module is to give students an understanding of the ways in which forests and other (agro)ecosystems may be managed to recognise the livelihood contributions and enterprise development potential of non-timber forest products (NTFPs). Consideration is given to both production systems for 'wild' products (i.e. those arising without human intervention) and to products derived from deliberate cultivation in forests and from trees outside forests.

  2. The module will provide students with the opportunity to acquire detailed knowledge and understanding of the diverse and changing role of non-timber forest products in modern forest management around the world, and to develop their independent learning, research and written communication skills.

Course content

  • Non-timber forest products (NTFPs): definitions; classification; production systems. Historical perspectives: hunter-gathering; commercialisation; domestication; marginalisation; resurgence.
  • Management systems: design and implementation of resource assessment; harvesting rules; sustainable yields; adaptive management; involving people.
  • Personal, social and economic use of forest resources and services. NTFP-based small scale enterprise development.
  • Trade and markets: certification and green markets; international trade regulation; grey economies; market analysis and development; intellectual property rights
  • Policy and strategic planning: law and customary rights; regulation vs. incentives; identifying priorities for intervention.

This is a distance learning module. The module materials include guided reading materials and comprehensive reading list, short Panopto webcasts and interactive discussion forums.

Assessment Criteria


Written coursework assessment: submission is reasonably well-argued, showing good understanding and knowledge of the topic, evidence of supplementary reading, original information and some critical thought.


Written coursework assessment: submission is very well-argued, showing excellent understanding and depth of knowledge of the topic, evidence of substantial supplementary reading, sound collection and use of original information, and much critical thought.


Written coursework assessment: submission covers the fundamentals of the topic, but is based mainly on material provided during the module, shows little evidence of supplementary reading or original information and lacks critical analysis.

Learning outcomes

  1. Gain an historical perspective of the development of non-timber forest products (NTFP's) as a current issue in forestry.

  2. Acquire the skills to plan inventory and research on the ecology of wild forest products and to understand the process by which this knowledge can be used to derive sound adaptive management systems for such products.

  3. Appreciate the role of NTFP use in livelihood strategies in both subsistence and commercial contexts.

  4. Understand the structure and nature of markets for NTFPs, including the issues surrounding certification, international trade agreements and market development.

  5. Appreciate the issues and processes that result in policy and governance systems related to the exploitation and use of NTFP's.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Assessing NTFP resources for sustainable mgmt 50
NTFP trade and market investigation 50

Teaching and Learning Strategy


Online discussion forums


Group NTFP exercise


Online lectures

Private study 170

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting

Subject specific skills

  • Consider issues from a range of interdisciplinary perspectives.
  • Apply subject knowledge to the understanding and addressing of problems.
  • Understand the provisional nature of information and appreciate competing and alternative explanations.
  • Recognize the moral, ethical and social issues relating to the subject.


Resource implications for students


Reading list


Courses including this module