Non-wood forest products (NWFPs) have important commercial, environmental, social and recreational roles in many European forests. They also have a relevant place in the multifunctional sustainable forest management (MSFM) paradigm, being the main source of income from forests in several regions. Although the importance of NWFPs is recognised and accepted, forest research remains mainly focussed on timber production. Consequently knowledge about European NWFPs is comparatively scarce, as is research on their ecology, management and economics, required to optimize sustainable simultaneous production of different products from forests. It is proposed that a multidisciplinary European network on NWFPs will help to bridge these gaps.
In this context, the main goal of the FPS COST Action FP1203 s to build a broad multidisciplinary network of European NWFPs researchers and managers, to review the current state of the art, highlight existing innovation, share information and experience, identify research topics, seek research synergies and by increasing the European-wide theoretical and practical understanding of NWFPs, promote their sustainable management.