Evaluation of the contribution of NTFPs gathering: to rural people’s livelihoods around two timber concessions in Gabon
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Midoko Iponga, D.; Mikolo-Yobo, C.; Lescuyer, G.; Mba Assoumou, F.; Levang, P.; Tieguhong, J.C.; Ngoye, A. (2016) Evaluation of the contribution of NTFPs gathering: to rural people’s livelihoods around two timber concessions in Gabon. Agroforestry Systems, online first paper (27SEP16) ISSN: 0167-4366
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/78207
NTFP are often presented as bringing a major contribution to rural livelihoods in terms of food and cash, and this particularly for rural communities. Few data are available in Gabon to confirm this common assertion. An annual monitoring of 127 households was conducted in 14 villages around two timber concessions in the south-east and south-west regions of Gabon. Conventional socio‐economic survey tools such as focus group discussions, census and semi-structured interviews of households were used in gathering data during one year. Results reveal that rural people depend on various sources of livelihoods for food and income generation, but overall, the current contributions of vegetal NTFPs are insignificant compared to other activities. Odika (Irvingiagabonensis), atanga sauvage (Dacryodes buettneri), fungus (Termitomyces spp) and “nut” (Coula edulis) represent the main forest products that are commonly harvested by rural people, primarily for subsistence purposes while the surplus is sold. Although some efforts were made to promote the NTFP sector in the country, the results of this study suggest that: (1) the main components of the decree No.137/PR/MEFP of February 4, 2009, that prohibited the logging of five multiple use tree species over a period of 25 years should be reconsidered for revision; (2) the State authorities and partners should promote projects aiming at increasing the knowledge of the NTFP sector. These projects should contribute to the census of NTFP (for food, medicine and services), characterize their uses, the market chains of target products, and the development potential of NTFP. Such projects may help Gabon and other Congo Basin countries to fix norms/standards for a sustainable natural resource management and for enhancing their contribution to the national economy. This will be particularly relevant in the light of dwindling oil revenues and the need to diversify and promote other revenue sources in the country.