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Section 3 Quantitative studies on NWFPs

Table 7: Inventory designs used by single resource studies

Using indicators

Looking at what is left after harvesting

limiting enumeration to resource species or indicator species rather than trying to measure everything - this is the preferred option for species harvested from outside forests i.e. in farmlands.

Many practitioners argue that if an NWFP inventory is to contribute to improved sustainability of local livelihoods then local people should participate actively at all stages of decision-making - deciding whether do the inventory, its objectives and design, fieldwork and data analysis. The reasoning is that participation can:

Table 12: Degrees of participation - from co-option to collective action

(adapted from Cornwall, 1995, in Carter, 1996) ** indicate the relative strengths

Use and value of local knowledge

The gap between local knowledge and scientific knowledge cannot be bridged unless local and scientific names can be matched. The NWFP surveys tend to use local names in data collection - rather than codes or Latin names - because it is easier for local staff and collaborators to record the names with which they are familiar. However there are some important problems in using local names this way.

Taxonomic difficulties - The taxonomic description and naming of species in tropical forests are notably incomplete, even for trees. This means that it is often not possible to give a taxonomic identity to a locally named NWFP species, and species identification can often only be taken as far as genera. This is the case even for rattans in most south Asian countries, where local names describe genera rather than species (Stockdale, 1995a).

1 Cut lines will remain open only for a limited amount of time and communication between teams about access periods is important.

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