The dependency of many rural people on restricted access and use of natural resources of national parks for livelihoods sustenance is poorly acknowledged and detailed surveys clarifying usages and dependency on forest resources by local people are often lacking, especially for regulations and laws improvement purposes. A semi-structured questionnaire was administered to six villages of 252 households (152) in close and (100) far areas following about 80% sampling intensity coupled with focus groups’ discussions, to clarify usages and the dependency of rural people on indigenous fruits’ species around the Ivindo National Park in Gabon. The results of the study revealed that these forest products collected represent an important component of the household livelihoods as source of food and income generation. Almost all the people, 250 (99.2%) reported harvesting all the six forest products in both locations of the park. Among the harvested products, three out of the six were considered as most popular such as Coula edulis, Dacriodes buettneri and Irvingia gabonensis while the others three were perceived as less popular ones, for example Baillonella toxisperma, Gambeya lacourtiana and Trichoscypha abut. In addition, purpose of forest products harvesting were both directed to household consumption, 250 (100.0%) and income generation, 88 (75.2%). Moreover, two out of the three most popular fruit species are sold at higher price per unit including C. edulis and I. gabonensis. Since the trends on usage were different mainly by ethnic group, distance and residential period, therefore it is necessary to be flexible when designing future rules and regulations on resources utilization of the Ivindo National Park that ensure livelihood of rural people in the meanwhile.
Key words: Usages, dependency, indigenous fruits species, regulation, Ivindo National Park, Gabon.
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