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Interaction between forest biodiversity and people's use of forest resources in Roviana, Solomon Islands: implications for biocultural conservation under socioeconomic changes.

Furusawa T, Sirikolo MQ, Sasaoka M, Ohtsuka R - J Ethnobiol Ethnomed (2014)

Bottom Line: Useful trees were found at high frequencies in the barrier island's primary forest (68.4%) and the main island's reserve (68.3%).Various useful tree species were found only in the reserve forest and seldom available in the urban village.Although the status of biodiversity in human-modified landscapes is not fully understood, this study suggested that traditional human modifications can positively affect biodiversity and that conservation programs should incorporate traditional uses of landscapes to be successful.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Graduate School of Asian and African Area Studies, Kyoto University, Room #AA431, Research Bldg, No, 2, Yoshida-Honmachi, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8501, Japan. takuro.f@gmail.com.

ABSTRACT

Background: In Solomon Islands, forests have provided people with ecological services while being affected by human use and protection. This study used a quantitative ethnobotanical analysis to explore the society-forest interaction and its transformation in Roviana, Solomon Islands. We compared local plant and land uses between a rural village and urbanized village. Special attention was paid to how local people depend on biodiversity and how traditional human modifications of forest contribute to biodiversity conservation.

Methods: After defining locally recognized land-use classes, vegetation surveys were conducted in seven forest classes. For detailed observations of daily plant uses, 15 and 17 households were randomly selected in the rural and urban villages, respectively. We quantitatively documented the plant species that were used as food, medicine, building materials, and tools.

Results: The vegetation survey revealed that each local forest class represented a different vegetative community with relatively low similarity between communities. Although commercial logging operations and agriculture were both prohibited in the customary nature reserve, local people were allowed to cut down trees for their personal use and to take several types of non-timber forest products. Useful trees were found at high frequencies in the barrier island's primary forest (68.4%) and the main island's reserve (68.3%). Various useful tree species were found only in the reserve forest and seldom available in the urban village. In the rural village, customary governance and control over the use of forest resources by the local people still functioned.

Conclusions: Human modifications of the forest created unique vegetation communities, thus increasing biodiversity overall. Each type of forest had different species that varied in their levels of importance to the local subsistence lifestyle, and the villagers' behaviors, such as respect for forest reserves and the semidomestication of some species, contributed to conserving diversity. Urbanization threatened this human-forest interaction. Although the status of biodiversity in human-modified landscapes is not fully understood, this study suggested that traditional human modifications can positively affect biodiversity and that conservation programs should incorporate traditional uses of landscapes to be successful.

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Forest and land use classifications in the local Roviana language.
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Figure 2: Forest and land use classifications in the local Roviana language.

Mentions: Locally recognized land-use classes were identified through interviews with four local elders who had been recommended as forest experts by a committee of leaders. The authors visited various locations with these experts, who identified local Roviana names for different land use classes, including a variety of forested classes (hereafter called ‘forest classes’). In our protocol, any disagreements were to be resolved by discussion among the experts, authors, and other villagers, although such disagreements rarely happened. The ecological characteristics of 12 land-use classes on New Georgia Island were also determined during these interviews (Figure 2). Four of the 12 land use classes were found on the barrier islands (e.g., Ndora Island, an extension of Olive). The villagers used terms tutupeka and toba for the geographic characteristics of New Georgia Island and the barrier islands, respectively. TF observed and participated in various subsistence activities and confirmed that these classes were widely recognized and frequently referenced in daily life; although the number of experts (4) was small, the classifications reflected widespread recognition by the villagers.


Interaction between forest biodiversity and people's use of forest resources in Roviana, Solomon Islands: implications for biocultural conservation under socioeconomic changes.

Furusawa T, Sirikolo MQ, Sasaoka M, Ohtsuka R - J Ethnobiol Ethnomed (2014)

Forest and land use classifications in the local Roviana language.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3974228&req=5

Figure 2: Forest and land use classifications in the local Roviana language.
Mentions: Locally recognized land-use classes were identified through interviews with four local elders who had been recommended as forest experts by a committee of leaders. The authors visited various locations with these experts, who identified local Roviana names for different land use classes, including a variety of forested classes (hereafter called ‘forest classes’). In our protocol, any disagreements were to be resolved by discussion among the experts, authors, and other villagers, although such disagreements rarely happened. The ecological characteristics of 12 land-use classes on New Georgia Island were also determined during these interviews (Figure 2). Four of the 12 land use classes were found on the barrier islands (e.g., Ndora Island, an extension of Olive). The villagers used terms tutupeka and toba for the geographic characteristics of New Georgia Island and the barrier islands, respectively. TF observed and participated in various subsistence activities and confirmed that these classes were widely recognized and frequently referenced in daily life; although the number of experts (4) was small, the classifications reflected widespread recognition by the villagers.

Bottom Line: Useful trees were found at high frequencies in the barrier island's primary forest (68.4%) and the main island's reserve (68.3%).Various useful tree species were found only in the reserve forest and seldom available in the urban village.Although the status of biodiversity in human-modified landscapes is not fully understood, this study suggested that traditional human modifications can positively affect biodiversity and that conservation programs should incorporate traditional uses of landscapes to be successful.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Graduate School of Asian and African Area Studies, Kyoto University, Room #AA431, Research Bldg, No, 2, Yoshida-Honmachi, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8501, Japan. takuro.f@gmail.com.

ABSTRACT

Background: In Solomon Islands, forests have provided people with ecological services while being affected by human use and protection. This study used a quantitative ethnobotanical analysis to explore the society-forest interaction and its transformation in Roviana, Solomon Islands. We compared local plant and land uses between a rural village and urbanized village. Special attention was paid to how local people depend on biodiversity and how traditional human modifications of forest contribute to biodiversity conservation.

Methods: After defining locally recognized land-use classes, vegetation surveys were conducted in seven forest classes. For detailed observations of daily plant uses, 15 and 17 households were randomly selected in the rural and urban villages, respectively. We quantitatively documented the plant species that were used as food, medicine, building materials, and tools.

Results: The vegetation survey revealed that each local forest class represented a different vegetative community with relatively low similarity between communities. Although commercial logging operations and agriculture were both prohibited in the customary nature reserve, local people were allowed to cut down trees for their personal use and to take several types of non-timber forest products. Useful trees were found at high frequencies in the barrier island's primary forest (68.4%) and the main island's reserve (68.3%). Various useful tree species were found only in the reserve forest and seldom available in the urban village. In the rural village, customary governance and control over the use of forest resources by the local people still functioned.

Conclusions: Human modifications of the forest created unique vegetation communities, thus increasing biodiversity overall. Each type of forest had different species that varied in their levels of importance to the local subsistence lifestyle, and the villagers' behaviors, such as respect for forest reserves and the semidomestication of some species, contributed to conserving diversity. Urbanization threatened this human-forest interaction. Although the status of biodiversity in human-modified landscapes is not fully understood, this study suggested that traditional human modifications can positively affect biodiversity and that conservation programs should incorporate traditional uses of landscapes to be successful.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus