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Title Medicinal plant use for biodiversity conservation: From tradition to modern application

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Short title Medicinal plant use for biodiversity conservation

Author(s) Muganza, M.(1,2); Mato, B.(2,3); Bikandu, B.(2); Lassa, T.(2); Lukoki, F.(3); Fruth, B.(2)

Presenting author Fruth, B.

Institution(s) (1) Institut National de recherché Biomédicale, Kinshasa, DRC; (2) Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, D; (3) University of Kinshasa, Dept. of Biology, Kinshasa, DRC

Keywords Cuvette Centrale, ethnobotany, sustainability, conservation strategies

Abstract Use of rainforest products for every day needs is common for the indigenous population in remote areas of the central Congo Basin. With increasing population density, however, non-sustainable methods of collection threaten plant species’ survival. Here, we compare medicinal plant use of the Nkundo people in the remote interior with that of a mixed ethnicity in the urban area of Kinshasa, DR Congo. While data from the interior derive from 5 years of ethnobotanical and ecological investigations, those from the city come from a detailed study of 17 markets in the capital conducted in 2007. We address transfer of indigenous knowledge, sustainability of harvesting methods, consequences of migration, impacts on plant diversity and the overall need and potential for access to these resources. We propose strategies for the use and survival of crucial species adapted to the different levels of availability and choice of the required resources, their potential for the survival of the local and national diversity and the conservation of traditional knowledge for the sake of humankind.

Congress Topic Congo project

Topic No. 8.1
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