Ethnobotany and Analog Forestry


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A short presentation on the links between ethnobotany and analog forestry, and why understanding people's connection to plants is essential to restoring ecosystems.

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Ethnobotany and Analog Forestry

  1. 1. Ethnobotany at work: Restoration and rural livelihoods
  2. 2. The analog forestry approach • Restoration method that aims to recreate native forest structure and function • Emphasis on use of economically productive species • Goals include increased food security, environmental protection, and quality of life
  3. 3. Analog forestry method • Design based on native forest structure, as described by a physical analysis • Species are chosen to fill structural niches and economic needs, while bringing economic and other benefits
  4. 4. Analog Forestry: Finca Fila Marucha • Former pastureland reforested with a variety of native and non-native species • High biodiversity as the basis of an essential oils business
  5. 5. Analog Forestry: Pedro Ferreira • Community leader in the Dominican Republic • Switched over to fruit and timber production • Farm now serves as regional demonstration site
  6. 6. Rich Forests • Coalition led by Dutch NGOs and business groups • Aims to encourage investment in community production of NTFPs
  7. 7. Rich Forests • Around 1 billion people rely on forest for their livelihoods worldwide • Investing in local production and harvesting can help stem the tide of land grabs and plantation agriculture in many parts of the world
  8. 8. Trade in Forest Products • NTFPs are some of the most widely traded commodities in the world • Especially in the tropics, NTFPs such as rubber, tea, cacao and coffee are important income sources
  9. 9. Forest Garden Product Certification • Certification geared toward production from forested areas with high biodiversity • Based on Organic and Fair Trade certifications
  10. 10. Sateré Mawé, Brazil • Indigenous farmer group • Produce wildharvested guaraná for the European market • FGP certification allows their product to fetch a premium price
  11. 11. Forest Garden Tea • Tea gardens in Sri Lanka that blend tea production with traditional forest garden practices • Production for both local and international markets
  12. 12. Role of Ethnobotany • IAFN’s knowledge management is based on exchanging information related to landscape restoration • This exchange of information helps people design analog forestry systems
  13. 13. Role of Ethnobotany • Documenting and applying local knowledge can have many benefits • Biodiversity restoration and agroforestry require an ethnobotanical “toolkit”
  14. 14. “Exotic” plants? • Many restoration projects have benefited from introducing non-native plants • These species may have economic or restoration benefits • Their introduction must be managed with care
  15. 15. IAFN Plant Database • Initiative to come online in 2014, database of plant species from IAFN partners worldwide • Aim is to provide resource for restoration in different bio-regions
  16. 16. Learn more! • IAFN and our partners are always looking for students wanting to apply their knowledge of ethnobotany, restoration ecology, community development or related fields • We are looking at ways to support independent research projects through logistical support and scholarships • For more information, contact Adam Kabir Dickinson, • See also: and • Check out our forum and newsletter!
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