Systematics, Ecology and Management of Rattans in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, The Biological Bases of Sustainable Use

01 Jan 2014 Authors: Charles M. Peters and Andrew Henderson

Rattans are spiny, climbing palms in the subfamily Calamoideae. There are over 550 different species of rattan belonging to 12 genera distributed  throughout the Old World tropics (Dransfield et al. 2008). Rattan palms are used for a variety of subsistence purposes, e.g. cordages, basketry, food, medicine, and thatch, and the flexible stem, or canes, form the basis of a multi-billion dollar a year furniture industry. The great majority of this material is harvested from wild populations. It is estimated that several million people use, collect, and sell rattan or are involved in some way in  the international rattan trade (Dransfield and Manokaran, 1994). Rattan is, without question, one of the most important and widely used non-timber forest products in the world.