The palm trees choose the places - Popular knowledge associated with the use and conservation of butiá (Butia spp.)
Background: Butia is a genus palm species from South America. Currently, the species of this genus are threatened with extinction in Brazil. This work aimed to understand the ethnobotanical relationships with Butia palm groves, how this process has been built, and how it contributes to the in situ conservation of its native genetic resources.
Methods: The methodology consisted of conducting semi-structured interviews with an ethnobotanical emphasis. Statistical methods and informant indexes were applied, mixing theoretical discussions with data analysis to assist in understanding the results.
Results: 16 uses for butiá (the fruit of Butia palm) were cited by the interviewed. The most cited was the consumption of fresh fruit. The contact with the Butia palm groves varied between daily and seasonal. The activities associated with the Butia palm groves ecosystems were tourism and livestock. Proposals for their conservation refer to partnerships between private initiatives and public institutions associated with public policies and legal reserves.
Discussion: The Butia palm groves are integral to local communities' identities. Choices related to Butia palm groves impact communities, just as the Butia palm groves also impact local populations.
Conclusions: The Butia palm groves have great sociocultural and biological importance. The bond shared between people and the Butia palm groves goes beyond borders, and its conservation can be related to good practices of extraction,sustainable management and also through public policies and specific legislation aimed at protecting this environment.
Keywords: ethnobotany, genetic resources, sociobiodiversity, Butia palm groves network, bioeconomy
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