The Dilemma of Plant Knowledge and Compensation for Native People Living in Brazilian Biomes
- *Corresponding Author:
- Alpina Begossi
UNICAMP (CMU, CP 6023, Campinas
SP & Capesca, Lepac, Paraty
RJ) & Fisheries and Food Institute (FIFO)/ECOMAR
UNISANTA, Santos, SP, Brazil
Received Date: December 20, 2011; Accepted Date: April 16, 2012; Published Date: April 19, 2012
Citation: de Oliveira CJF Jr, Cabreira PP, Begossi A (2012) The Dilemma of Plant Knowledge and Compensation for Native People Living in Brazilian Biomes. J Ecosyst Ecogr 2:108. doi:10.4172/2157-7625.1000108
Copyright: © 2012 de Oliveira CJF Jr, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and and source are credited.
Background: Biological diversity is considered a key element for well-being and for a sustainable world. Although only a small portion of the world´s biological diversity has been studied, its capacity to generate socioeconomic benefits has been recognised everywhere. Local knowledge is a useful resource for the development of medicinal drugs and other substances. For this reason, the rights to areas with high biodiversity have been an area of debate and of legislative initiatives by the Brazilian government.
Methods: A bibliographic review was performed concerning scientific papers and gray literature. The data were organised into scientific and folk names, botanical family, economic use, part used, community, municipality, state, region, biome and others. The categories considered here were food, medicine, manufacturing, construction, energy, rituals, and ornamentation. A consensus value was calculated based on the agreement among the responses of the respondents.
Results: In this paper, we describe a method that could yield viable returns from the use of local knowledge to local populations by showing that plant knowledge and its use by local people in high-biodiversity areas are more local than diffused. We found that the plants used are not only different in each biome but, more importantly, that most of the knowledge of uses comes from different communities. A total of 195 plant families were cited in the 45 studies, including 2,058 species cited as used by local populations. The main families cited were Asteraceae, Lamiaceae, Fabaceae, Myrtaceae and Euphorbiaceae.
Conclusions: This study identified many species used by local populations. That many of these species have a ‘rare’ use (used by a few communities) makes property rights returns more feasible. The necessity of sharing the benefits of this biodiversity with native populations must be addressed in the environmental politics of Brazil, and the sharing of benefits is a solution that would help create a better integration between native populations and scientific endeavours.