'Rich man poor man' - inter-household and community factors influencing the use of wild plant resources amongst rural households in South Africa

M.L. Cocks, L. Bangay, C.M. Shackleton, K.F. Wiersum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Biodiversity is recognised as an integral part of people's daily livelihoods. This study therefore aims to understand the use of NTFPs at an intricate level by determining what role these resources fulfil in six rural villages and 1011 households' livelihoods. It examines how the use of NTFPs are influenced by intra-household variables, such as wealth and gender, and inter-community variables, such as accessibility to the natural resource. The results reveal that approximately 4453 kg of wild material is used annually per household, of which 1598 kg is used for cultural purposes. The influence of vegetation type and differences between villages are statistically more significant than inter-household variables. At an inter-household level, an increase in the financial status of households did not result in a decrease in the use of natural resources, nor in the quantity of material used. Similarly, gender only influenced the use of cultural resource use categories. Over 200 plant species were identified as being used, demonstrating the crucial role for biodiversity in rural livelihoods, which has implications for conservation of biodiversity also to occur outside of protected areas. An appreciation of the multitude of cultural values that affect the use of biodiversity would add value to biodiversity conservation approaches
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)198-210
JournalInternational Journal of Sustainable Development and World Ecology
Volume15
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Keywords

  • eastern cape
  • conservation
  • diversity
  • forests

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