The use of traditional ecological knowledge in sustainable use and management of plant resource through a community-based and participatory assessment
This study was carried out on a community-based and participatory field-based experiment, combining traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) and scientific knowledge, with the aim of defining criteria for sustainable harvest prescriptions for Garcinia lucida bark, focusing on its profitability, acceptability and ecological sustainability. Bark harvesting process was documented by monitoring 35 bark gatherers, who have provided accurate information on habitat, density, recruitment, seed predator of G. lucida species that matched well information found with ecological studies. TEK have provided useful information on the species geographical distribution that could serve as important tools in resource mapping and management. Based on the harvest practices experimental records and using TEK, bark gatherers have recommended a strip of 1/3 or 2/3 of tree circumference, by peeling off bark using machete, for household consumption; or ring-barked or felling trees for commercial proposes; a selection of larger trees and a repeat harvest on the same tree after complete bark recovery. Few gatherers, who started planting G. lucida in their coco-farm, showed real interest in applying these harvest prescriptions. However, the open-access status of wild stands constituted the most vulnerable point in applying these prescriptions. This study results have direct bearing on attempts towards sustainable resource use and adaptive management incorporating current ecological knowledge into participatory forest and resource management planning and regulations.
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Keywords: Garcinia lucida bark, multiple-used plant species, traditional ecological knowledge, sustainable harvesting, community-based and participatory management
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