People and wild plants
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CTA. 2001. People and wild plants. Spore 95. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/46330
Internet URL: http://spore.cta.int/images/stories/pdf/old/spore95.pdf
Applied Ethnobotany: People, Wild Plant Use and Conservation By A B Cunningham, Earthscan, 2000. 300 pp. ISBN 1853836974 GBP 24.95 Euro 40.50
The title Applied ethnobotany is too difficult a title for such an accessible and clear book as this one on the impact of people harvesting wild plants. While reading it, an elaborate and very practical mix of anthropology, geography, biology, economics and agriculture is being poured into your head, all focused on the use of wild plants and their conservation in Africa. This is an undervalued aspect of African agriculture which is still strongly connected with plant species that are not really cultivated but do provide all kinds of products and uses: not only for foodstuffs, but also for medicines, weaving, dyeing and local rituals. Conserving it means first understanding it. The book provides tools to bridge the gap between local and scientific interpretations, to obtain the right information, and to link Linnaean taxonomy the international system of Latin scientific names with local names. What are locally used measures for quantities, or local inventory and conservation methods? How much root can be cut off or bark harvested without damaging the plant? Mapping the local markets where wild plant products are sold offers information on trade and can thus indicate whether certain plants might become endangered. This rich source of information makes you realise that another dozen volumes like this are needed to cover all of Africa s wild plant species, their use and conservation. Applied Ethnobotany: People, Wild Plant Use and Conservation By A B Cunningham, Earthscan, 2000. 300 pp. ISBN 1853836974 GBP 24.95 Euro 40.50 Earthscan Publications Ltd 120 Pentonville Road, London, N1 9JN, UK Fax: +44 171 278 1142 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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