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Sustainable use of natural resources

Sustainable use of non-timber forest products

Oil products from native trees in West Africa are important non-timber forest products (NTFPs) as they are essential for human diet, medicine and cosmetics, but their potentials are far from fully exploited and the economic potential is often unknown. A Danida financed project, QualiTree, aims to identify and investigate the importance of such oil products in Burkina Faso and Mali, West Africa. Ethnobotanical questionnaires are used to identify economically useful native tree species in local communities and value chain analyses are used gain knowledge about economic potentials of key species. Researchers work in collaboration with local companies to establish sustainable use and development of new or less known marketable oil products with possibilities for local income generation and diversification of the food supply.

Local knowledge and ethnobotany

Local people’s knowledge is an important means to obtain information about vegetation changes under a changing climate in West Africa, where written historical records are non-existing, and to direct natural resource management towards local needs. Semi- and highly structured quantitative ethnobotanical methods are used for valuating local people’s use-preferences, for identifying new potential non-timber forest products, for estimating species abundance and for gaining knowledge about vegetation changes. Local people’s preferences for tree planting are also used for planning tree planting and carbon sequestration.

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