Makueti, Tchoundjeu, Tsobeng, Numbisi, Tsafack
1World Agroforestry Centre, Yaoundé, Cameroon 2Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, University of Gent, Belgium
Key words: Germplasm, illegal logging, threatened species, shifting cultivation, sustainable management.
Baillonella toxisperma is a multipurpose tree that provides non-timber forest products. In particular, fruit kernels can be transformed into buffer for cooking and cosmetics and its bark is used to cure many ailments in local communities. Unfortunately, natural stands of B. toxisperma are seriously threatened in Cameroon. The objectives of the study were to document uses of the targeted species, its management patterns and assess its population structure. Ethnobotanical and quantitative ecological methods were used. The results showed that the species was found to be multipurpose and produced several products and services. The most mentioned services were conservation of foodstuffs and medicine. Community responses indicated that the species became rare and there were no strategies developed to preserve it. The quantitative inventory supported this community view: the species had a low density (0.02 individual/ha) and a weak size class distribution. The species appeared to be threatened by illegal logging, overexploitation and poor attitude to its conservation. Due to the high value of the species, respondents claimed that they were interested in conserving it but they lacked appropriate propagation techniques, materials and skills. Thus, the sensitization and the domestication of the species should urgently be considered in the farmer environment with strong sound of policy.
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