Ethnobotany in community-managed land use systems in tropical countries: an A Rocha perspective

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    Plants are an integral component of different human–dominated land use systems. Apart from contributing to functional biodiversity, they play a vital role in the socio-economy of local communities in tropical countries. However, indigenous knowledge about ethnobotanic uses of plants in surrounding ecosystems is fast disappearing as society increasingly invests in intensive land use and human welfare systems that are hugely dependent on modern science. A Rocha, an international Christian conservation organization works with local communities to conserve biodiversity and to improve livelihoods of people dependent on ecosystems, including different plant-based land use systems. This paper documents traditional uses of selected plants in human-dominated ecosystems in A Rocha’s conservation project areas. Plant species with various ethnobotanic uses are either retained or introduced in different in land-use systems based on indigenous knowledge of the local people. Systematic documentation, description and cataloguing of plant species with ethnobotanic uses is necessary to ensure the plants are preserved.