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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Local plant use and traditional conservation practices in Nhema communal area, Zimbabwe
Author:Maroyi, AlfredISNI
Year:2012
Periodical:International Journal of African Renaissance Studies (ISSN 1818-6874)
Volume:7
Issue:1
Pages:109-128
Language:English
Geographic term:Zimbabwe
Subjects:nature conservation
indigenous knowledge
folk medicine
plants
Link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/18186874.2012.699934
Abstract:This article is based on a study that was carried out in Nhema communal area in Midlands Province, Zimbabwe, with the main objective of documenting local plant use and traditional conservation practices. Data collected through household semi-structured and open interviews showed that 46 plant species in 40 genera and 24 families were mainly used for firewood, construction wood, food and traditional medicine. Other minor uses included making mats, rope and shading. The preferred plant species included: Julbernardia globiflora (Mutondo); Brachystegia spiciformis (Musasa); Terminalia sericea (Mususu); Brachystegia boehmii (Mupfuti); Combretum imberbe (Mutsviri); Combretum molle (Mubondo) and Burkea africana (Mukarati). Some of the highly preferred species, considered to be declining in the local environment, included Adenium obesum (Chisvosve); Azanza garckeana (Mutohwe); Brachystegia boehmii (Mupfuti); Brachystegia spiciformis (Musasa); Burkea africana (Mukarati); Combretum imberbe (Mutsviri); Combretum molle (Mubondo); Dalbergia melanoxylon (Mukonashanhu); Diospyros mespiliformis (Musuma); Elephantorrhiza goetzei (Ntorani); Julbernardia globiflora (Mutondo); Phragmites australis (Shanga; Poulzozia hypoleuca (Munanzwa); Pterocarpus angolensis (Mubvamaropa); Terminalia sericea (Mususu) and Uapaca kirkiana (Muzhanje). Highly preferred and declining species were characteristically large trees and shrubs. Local people are aware of the need to conserve plant resources in order to protect the environment and avoid the extinction of these rare species.Traditional conservation practices have substantially contributed to the conservation of plant species in Nhema communal area. The protection of indigenous timber, fruit trees, trees with social and cultural significance, the use of deadwood for firewood, the use of eucalyptus trees as construction wood and the occurrence of sacred woodland areas represented some of the traditional conservation techniques employed in Nhema communal area. These local practices demonstrate the dynamism and significance of African indigenous knowledge systems. Bibliogr., sum. [Journal abstract]
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