Contact: Udo Mantau, University of Hamburg
The Action Research in the Waldmärker region looks at the new forest products such as the use of plant based products as food supplement or herbal medicines. With the example of Black Cherry, the research looks at the possibilities as well as challenges of using plants for medicianal purposes.
A high percentage of the landscape is used by agriculture with only 34% covered by forests. Nevertheless, the Waldmärker company tries successfully to intensify forest production and harvesting, within the limits of sustainability.
Until now, NWFP have not played a significant role and any attempt to develop new products will be determined by the land owners' motivation to increase the monetary benefit from their forests. Hunting and game are also important, so any activity reducing this kind of benefit will be rejected. On the other hand, private forest land owners are open-minded and interested in any useful innovation.