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Livelihood and conservation aspects of non-wood forest product collection in the Shaxi Valley, southwest China


Huber, F K; Ineichen, R; Yang, Y; Weckerle, C S (2010). Livelihood and conservation aspects of non-wood forest product collection in the Shaxi Valley, southwest China. Economic Botany, 64(3):189-204.

Abstract

Livelihood and Conservation Aspects of Non-wood Forest Product Collection in the Shaxi Valley, Southwest China. The Shaxi Valley in Yunnan Province, P.R. China, is inhabited by Tibeto-Burman ethnic groups. We found a clear dichotomy between household strategies in the valley bottom and the mountain areas, with significantly lower household income in the mountains. The majority Bai people live predominantly in the fertile valley floor and cultivate rice, keep livestock, and commonly pursue off-farm work. Other ethnic groups live in more remote mountainous areas of the Shaxi Valley, where the collection of non-wood forest products, especially wild mushrooms, plays an important role in securing livelihoods. However, only households in the valley's central villages engage in the profitable non-wood forest product trade. Mushroom populations appear to be less vulnerable to commercial harvest than the rapidly declining wild medicinal plant populations. Due to this decline, local farmers have gained interest in cultivating medicinal plants, but only if risks are low and if financial and technical support is provided. Encouraging the cultivation of medicinal plants appears to be an appropriate means of sustainable community development.

Abstract

Livelihood and Conservation Aspects of Non-wood Forest Product Collection in the Shaxi Valley, Southwest China. The Shaxi Valley in Yunnan Province, P.R. China, is inhabited by Tibeto-Burman ethnic groups. We found a clear dichotomy between household strategies in the valley bottom and the mountain areas, with significantly lower household income in the mountains. The majority Bai people live predominantly in the fertile valley floor and cultivate rice, keep livestock, and commonly pursue off-farm work. Other ethnic groups live in more remote mountainous areas of the Shaxi Valley, where the collection of non-wood forest products, especially wild mushrooms, plays an important role in securing livelihoods. However, only households in the valley's central villages engage in the profitable non-wood forest product trade. Mushroom populations appear to be less vulnerable to commercial harvest than the rapidly declining wild medicinal plant populations. Due to this decline, local farmers have gained interest in cultivating medicinal plants, but only if risks are low and if financial and technical support is provided. Encouraging the cultivation of medicinal plants appears to be an appropriate means of sustainable community development.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Department of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany
Dewey Decimal Classification:580 Plants (Botany)
Language:English
Date:2010
Deposited On:05 Nov 2010 15:34
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 14:14
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0013-0001
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s12231-010-9126-z

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