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Ethnobotanic Resources of Tropical Montane Forests

Indigenous Uses of Plants in the Cameroon Highland Ecoregion

Emmanuel Neba Ndenecho

Publication Year: 2011

Mountain forests provide important ecological services, and essential products. This book focuses on the importance of mountain forests in Cameroon for the local people who depend most directly on them, and have often developed a wealth of indigenous knowledge on plants and sophisticated institutions for managing limited plant and animal resources. Such knowledge and institutions have often been threatened, or even destroyed, by centralization and globalization; yet there is increasing recognition that community-based institutions are the best adapted to ensuring that mountain forests continue to supply their diverse goods and services to both mountain and other people over the long-term. The book provides a useful combination of case studies on ethnobotanic analysis and cultural values of plants, community-based ecological planning for protected area management and eco-cultural tourism development. It provides an unusually useful combination of overviews and synthesis of theory and experience with in-depth case studies of montane forest-adjacent communities and protected areas. Throughout the book there are good summary tables, case study maps, and diagrams that are relevant to the themes in question. Finally, the book addresses the possible mutual benefits of indigenous knowledge and modern science, indigenous peoples and the development of eco-cultural tourism in protected areas, indigenous peoples and ecological planning in protected areas. It therefore emphasizes cooperation based on partnerships amongst indigenous people, governments and the global conservation community, in the interest of effective conservation. This is a valuable book for land managers, environmental scientists, environmental biologists, natural resource managers and students reading subjects such as geography, biology, forestry, botany and environmental science.

Published by: African Books Collective

Title Page

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Copyright Page

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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-viii

This book puts together case studies of mountain dwellers and indigenous knowledge on useful plants, cultural survival, and plant-dependent livelihoods in mountain areas. It explores new directions in conservation thinking and in protected area management. These new directions start from the premise that mountain dwellers have for millennia been at an ecological...


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pp. ix-x

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Chapter 1 - Mountain Values and Endogenous Knowledge: Challenge for Research and Development

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pp. 1-26

Mountains span 20% of the landscape of the earth and are home to 10% of humanity. An additional 2 billion people live downstream from them; and depend on their ample water, hydropower, grassland, timber, and mineral resources. Seven of the world’s 14 tropical “hotspots” of endemic plants threatened by imminent destruction have at least 50% of their area in tropical...

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Chapter 2 - Ethnobotanic Resources of Kilum - Ejim Mountain Forest

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pp. 27-46

It is now being realized by development agencies that using state power to enforce protection status for forests has failed to come to grips with crucial social issues and has provoked conflicts which often undermine the possibility of implementing and achieving basic conservation objectives. This approach ignores the livelihoods of forest adjacent communities. The search...

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Chapter 3 - Herbalism and Resources for the Development of Ethnopharmacology in Bamenda Highlands

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pp. 47-62

Most traditional African Cultures believe that, to maintain the health and vitality of human beings, they have to address forces in both the natural and the spiritual world. The paper uses a participatory approach to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the traditional health system. It presents some concepts and practices, some characteristics of...

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Chapter 4 - Herbalism and Resources for the Development of Ethnopharmacology in Mount Cameroon Region

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pp. 63-92

Tropical forests are a biologically lavish and diverse ecosystem with plants whose potential value as a natural pharmacy is yet to be discovered. The native people have for centuries used plants as medicine. There is a need to stimulate traditional healers to evaluate the strong and weak aspects of the indigenous knowledge base and to devise methods to test and improve...

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Chapter 5 - Indigenous Trees and Shrubs in Silvopastoral Systems of Bamenda Highlands

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pp. 93-108

Ruminant production in the tropics is characterized by malnutrition during the dry season due to low forage availability and the poor nutritive quality of the forage. Browses remain green year round and have a potential for improving the productivity of range lands. Due to human population pressure on land, this valuable tree and shrub germplasm may be last in the...

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Chapter 6 - Plant Resources for the Development of Ethnoveterinary Medicine in Adamaoua – Bamenda – Bamileke Plateaux

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pp. 109-130

Pastoralists are people who live in an intimate relationship with their animals. On the basis of myth, the Fulani or Mbororo in Cameroon believe that their primary duty is to serve their cattle. In turn their herds will give them all they need. Consequently, apart from searching for forage for the herds, they also have to take care of animal health. Illness in livestock is explained by natural...

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Chapter 7 - Ethnobotanical Study of Takamanda Forest Area

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pp. 131-150

The use of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) in the tropical rainforest management has received greater attention over the past two decades. They are collected from a wide range of ecotypes such as high forest, farm fallows, otherwise disturbed forest, and farmland for use as medicine, food and barter. People throughout the tropics rely on their harvest and sale for their...

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Chapter 8 - Plant Resources for the Development of Traditional Handicrafts in Bamenda Highlands

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pp. 151-176

The traditional handicraft industry in developing countries is a potential export generator because it produces inexpensive “ethnic” items, creates jobs, empowers gender and preserves the cultural heritage. Unfortunately, it suffers from competition from industrially produced crafts using enamel, plastics, aluminium, iron and synthetics. The skills, raw materials and...

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Chapter 9 - Woody Plants In Indigenous Land Use Systems of the Mandara - Diamare

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pp. 177-198

The dry savannahs of Africa are fragile environments at the ante-room of desertification. The stability of this ecosystem depends on ephemeral herbs and grasses and several trees and shrubs which play a variety of roles in traditional land use systems. Despite a wealth of indigenous knowledge on their uses demographic pressure and commodification of rural products are...

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Chapter 10 - Indigenous Trees and Shrubs in Home Gardens of Bamileke Plateau

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pp. 199-222

Man in his agrarian civilization developed site-specific farming systems that were at equilibrium with local culture, socio-economic circumstances, and ecology. Production was oriented mainly to farm family subsistence. Due to rapid demographic growth, access to markets and the influence of foreign values, these once sustainable agroecosystems are foundering. This chapter...

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Chapter 11 - Development Paths for Indigenous Plants

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pp. 223-232

Developing countries possess a wealth of indigenous knowledge on plants. This knowledge has since colonialisation been on a downward spiral to a decline due to the bias in the demand for plant resources by Europeans. The research and development of genetic resources favoured the interest of colonial masters. After independence the demand for foreign exchange...

Back Cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9789956717934
Print-ISBN-13: 9789956717309

Page Count: 242
Publication Year: 2011