Ethnobotanical Utilization of Forest Resources in Sindh Forest of Kashmir Himalaya, India
Background: This study was focused on the ethnobotany of Manasbal range of the Sindh Forest Division of Jammu and Kashmir (India) to assess, document and to provide a comprehensive inventory of plants used by the people of this rural area. Such an investigation and documentation along with the associated traditional knowledge are crucial to raise the socio-economic status of underprivileged population in this rural area and for the conservation of biological resources.
Methods: Multi-stage random sampling technique was employed in the selection of villages and respondents for the household survey. Interview schedules for both village as well as respondents’ survey were prepared based on literature referred, reconnaissance survey of the study area, and discussion with local people/ consultation with the experts.
Results: A total of 135 plant species belonging to 121 genera and 58 families were being utilized as forest resources. The family Compositae had the highest representation with 13 species followed by Leguminaceae (11) and Poaceae (10). Fourteen different use categories of forest resources were reported. The forest species collected by the people were mostly herbs (103) followed by trees (18), shrubs (12) and climbers (2). The maximum number of species (54) was utilized as medicine, followed by fodder (51), vegetables (18), fuelwood and (16) edible fruits.
Conclusion: The present study confirmed that the Manasbal range of the Sindh Forest Division is an interesting area for the study of traditional plant use. This study further suggests that the local denizens have an in-depth knowledge of use of local plant resources and that these exploit diverse NTFPs substantially to support their day-to-day needs. Hence, livelihood diversification through forestry interventions using existing resources is needed as important strategy of poverty reduction and socioeconomic development of backward local people. The study has documented the baseline data for further studies in the field of ethnobotany, medicinal plants, and ethno-pharmacology
Keywords: Ethnobotany; Forest; Livelihood; Resources; Edible; Medicinal
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