Sacred grove, taboo, biodiversity, conservation, genetic resources.
The tropical forest ecosystem is one of the most important ecosystems of the world, because it contains a large proportion of the world’s biodiversity and provides many environmental functions. Local communities have successfully conserved these resources that are of interest to them through laws and taboos. These range from fetish forests, burial-site forests, mystic-club forests and so on. People experience the sacred nature of forests, rivers, streams or mountains; through the beliefs they have on them as sources of power and of blessings and as abodes of their ancestors and the dead. Traditional religion and cultural practices thus contributed greatly to restricting and controlling the utilization of the resources. These traditional practices show that there is a big storehouse of knowledge built into traditional informal education provided orally and practically by parents, family and society. The loss of certain aspects of our cultures has reduced the possibility of imaginative new approaches. To achieve the objective of applying traditional Afrrcan knowledge in biodiversity conservation the interest of local communities must be properly addressed in policy formulation.