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Etongo D.,University of Helsinki | Djenontin I.N.S.,Center for International Forestry Research West Africa Regional Office | Kanninen M.,University of Helsinki | Glover E.K.,University of Helsinki
Environment, Development and Sustainability | Year: 2016

Empirical ethnobotanical studies in Burkina Faso and the Sahel apply unmodified use-value methods, which often fail to capture uses of plants within and across categories. These methods mask both the relative uses and local people’s ‘true’ knowledge of plant species. This study addresses these methodological weaknesses by assessing plant use-values within and across eight use categories for livelihood values and their potentials for environmental protection among 48 informants, selected through a stratified random technique. The research is twofold: (1) to document and identify the conservation status of plant species and (2) to assess local knowledge and perceived importance of the most easily found plant species in relation to informant’s age, gender, ethnicity, and location. Seventy-three plant species belonging to 24 families were recorded on fields, fallows, and forests. The most easily found 30 species belonged to 14 families of which Combretaceae, Mimosodeae, Caesalpinioideae, and Anacardiaceae dominated. Results show that Adansonia digitata, Parkia biglobosa, Vitellaria paradoxa, and Balanites aegyptiaca were more valued for livelihood benefits, while A. digitata, Tamarindus indica, and Ficus thonningii received more value for their potentials in environmental protection. Local knowledge was unevenly distributed and showed significant differences at the 0.01 % level among gender, age, ethnicity, and study village. The relative importance of plant uses goes beyond nutrition and potentials in environmental protection and can provide valuable information for creating local markets for such goods. Three species belonging to different families were identified as vulnerable and considered priority for conservation. The design of conservation and development projects should consider creating opportunities for knowledge sharing that will not only improve knowledge but provide better understanding of local priorities based on sociocultural and economic factors. © 2016 European Union

Etongo D.,University of Helsinki | Djenontin I.N.S.,Center for International Forestry Research West Africa Regional Office | Kanninen M.,University of Helsinki | Fobissie K.,University of Helsinki
Forests | Year: 2015

Climate variability and change significantly affect smallholder farmers' food security and livelihoods in sub-Saharan Africa. Tree planting is one of the measures promoted by development programs to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Tree planting is also believed to positively contribute to livelihoods. This paper examines factors influencing smallholders' tree planting activities in four villages in the Ziro province, Southern Burkina Faso. Furthermore, it analyses the challenges encountered and willingness to continue tree planting under current tenure arrangements. The data was obtained through key informants, household interviews, focus group discussions, and field observations. Results indicate that the majority of farmers interviewed planted Mangifera indica (50%), Anacardium occidentale (32%) and Moringa oleifera (30%). In a number of trees planted, Eucalyptus camaldulensis, Mangifera indica and Anacardium occidentale dominated. Tree planters were mainly farmers who held large and old farm areas, were literate and relatively wealthy, had favorable attitudes toward tree planting, and with considerable years of participation in a farmers' group. The main reasons for planting trees included income generation from the sale of tree products, access to markets and local support for tree planting. Preference for agriculture, tenure insecurity and lack of sufficient land were the main reasons cited for not planting trees. Farm households that were relatively poor, hadsmaller workforces and smaller farm sizes were not willing to continue tree planting. To effectively engage farmers in tree planting and to make it more attractive, policies are needed that address tenure insecurity for migrants, enable better access to markets, and support fair pricing structures for wood and other tree resources. © 2015 by the authors.

Etongo D.,University of Helsinki | Djenontin I.N.S.,Center for International Forestry Research West Africa Regional Office | Kanninen M.,University of Helsinki | Fobissie K.,University of Helsinki | And 3 more authors.
Forest Policy and Economics | Year: 2015

Deforestation in Burkina Faso is estimated to be between 0.91-1.03% per annum and displacement by croplands or rangeland expansion is identified as its main drivers. The climate and geography of the country causes its north and central regions to be exposed to drought and desertification, which act as stimuli for rural migration to southern Burkina Faso which lies in the South-Sudanian climatic zone. This zone has better conditions to support rain-fed agricultural production, wood energy supply and fodder for livestock but it also experiences the highest rate of deforestation in the country. This study analyses the drivers of deforestation in Ziro province of Southern Burkina Faso. For data collection and analysis, the area of forest cleared annually was used as the dependent variable, whereas household characteristics and local institutions (tenure and property rights) were considered independent variables. Data were collected through focus group discussions (FGD), participant observation, interviews with key informants and from 200 farm households. Tobit regression results reveal that land tenure insecurity and low agricultural production expressed in the sizes (areas) and ages of farms led to increased deforestation. In addition, the significance of tenure insecurity as a driver of deforestation indicated that migrants contributed more to deforestation than the indigenous groups. Greater rights and improved legal status might reduce the rights to limited use granted to migrants. Furthermore, supports from government to increase local community's capacity to monitor protected forests are likely to reduce field expansion. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

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