Valuation of Non-Timber Forest Product Chains in the Congo Basin: A methodology for valuation

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This report presents an approach to value Non-timber Forest Products (NTFPs) and their markets. This is the first part of a two-stage study to assess the economic, environmental and social values and then calculate them for two NTFP market chains in Cameroon. This report presents the first stage: the results of a detailed literature study and discussion on using a value chain approach to value NTFPs in which environmental, socio-institutional and economic aspects are taken into account to indicate their ‘real’ value. This is critical in empowering actors in the chain, and informing regulators, policymakers and development agencies to make interventions that will have sustainable and equitable implications. The literature review elaborates and justifies the dimensions which can provide insight into NTFP values. A definition of terms used is given and the practical aspects of measuring and valuing NTFP market chains are highlighted, and presented in a checklist. The report touches upon the importance and gathering of primary and secondary data, and its analysis. It concludes with a discussion of the weaknesses and strengths of NTFP market chain valuation, and provides recommendations for further research within this domain. The second stage will consist of two market assessments using the data gathered through questionnaires, surveys and observations and secondary data on the value chains for a ‘Eru’, a vine who’s leaves are used a vegetable (Gnetum spp.) in the Southwest of Cameroon, and ‘Bush mango’ (Irvingia spp.), the kernel of which is used to produce sauces, from the Southwest and Eastern regions of Cameroon.