International Journal of
Biodiversity and Conservation

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Biodivers. Conserv.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-243X
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJBC
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 652

Full Length Research Paper

Trade of the most popular Indigenous fruits and nuts, threats and opportunities for their sustainable management around the Ivindo National Park (INP), Gabon

Christian Mikolo Yobo
  • Christian Mikolo Yobo
  • Department of Bioengineering Science, Graduate School of Bioagricultural Sciences, Division of International Cooperation in Agricultural Science Laboratory of Project Development, Nagoya University, Furo-cho, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya, 464-8601, Japan, International Cooperation Center for Agricultural Education, Nagoya University, Furo-cho, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya, 464-8601, Japan.
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Kasumi Ito
  • Kasumi Ito
  • International Cooperation Center for Agricultural Education, Nagoya University, Furo-cho, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya, 464-8601, Japan.
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  •  Received: 16 July 2014
  •  Accepted: 26 January 2015
  •  Published: 28 February 2015

Abstract

Sustainable management of forest resources in and around national parks continues to be a growing challenge in Gabon. Rural people living close by national parks continue to depend on those forest resources to meet their various livelihoods needs despite strict governmental restriction on access and use of forest resources, especially inside of national parks. Hence, most of these resources are mismanaged and overexploited while innovative mechanisms that would assist parks’ managers in sustainably managing these protected forests are lacking. A semi-structure interview was administrated to 79 sellers that were found in the three local markets located near the Ivindo National Park (INP), in the province of Ogooué Ivindo (Gabon). This survey aimed at clarifying the trade values of most of the popular indigenous fruits and nuts species and the sellers’ perceptions on resource decline for an improved management of resources inside and outside of the Ivindo National Park. From both inside and outside of the park, Coula edulis, Irvingia gabonensis and Dacryodes buettneri tend to be among the most sold wild fruits and nuts according to 82.3, 73.4 and 31.6% of the respondents respectively. I. gabonensis fetches the highest sale price in FCFA and represents the most important income provider to sellers followed by C. edulis and D. buettneri. Since social status of sellers such as marital status and ethnicity appear to be the driving factors to people’s entry to this trade, therefore they need all to be considered as key variables in regulating usages of these traded wild fruits and nuts. Despite the importance of indigenous fruits and nuts as source of income, resource decline have been acknowledged by almost all the sellers. Hence, sellers should be considered as key partners in identifying species in needs of conservation. Among the drivers of resource decline include the impacts of logging companies, climate change (unpredictability of rainfall), and unsustainable harvesting practices of the valued indigenous resources. Sustainable management of these valued indigenous forest resources call for a careful implementation of an innovative mechanism that would regulate demand and assist park managers in managing forest resources in a sustainable manner. Most critically, further studies need to look at the practical approach of setting up quotas based harvesting of these valued indigenous forest resources.

 
Key word: Trade, indigenous fruits and nuts, threatened species, sustainable management, adaptive management, Ivindo National Park, Gabon.