Report of National workshop on Protocol Development for Sustainable Governance of NTFP Resources
Does NTFP Certification Assure Sustainable Harvesting and Better Benefit Sharing?
Prodyut Bhattacharya1
NTFP Certification is a voluntary market tool that attracts “green consumerism” by ensuring sustainability of the resource. However, it is still in a nascent stage and largely untested. But there is no doubt that it has great potential for global business. NTFP availability, utilization, commercialization, exploitation, management practices, policies and tenure systems in different parts of India vary widely, making the development of any generic standard for certification a great
challenge even though many of the principles, criteria, indicators and verifiers are universally applicable for certification.

The harvest of NTFP has come under increasing scrutiny from certification programmes because of the key role that it plays in sustainable forest management and community benefit worldwide. NTFPs present many new challenges and opportunities in certification due to the wide range of management practices prevalent in the country and the difficulty in monitoring their harvest and processing. The emergence of certification as a conservation strategy has triggered a vigorous debate over its role in sustainable forestry vis-à-vis the role of traditional approaches to forest conservation.
The purpose of this paper is to examine the role and contribution of forest certification in sustainable NTFP management and how communities can benefit out of it.