Linking Applied Ethnobotany to Social Learning: A Participatory Tool for the Promotion of Indigenous Plants Use in Matutuíne, Southern Mozambique

Mathez-Stiefel, Sarah-Lan; Couto, Madyo (2006). Linking Applied Ethnobotany to Social Learning: A Participatory Tool for the Promotion of Indigenous Plants Use in Matutuíne, Southern Mozambique (Unpublished). In: Ertug, Fusun Z. (ed.) IV International Congress of Ethnobotany (ICEB). Istanbul, Turkey. 21.08.-26.08.2006.

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In its search for pathways towards a more sustainable management of natural resources, development oriented research increasingly faces the challenge to develop new concepts and tools based on transdisciplinarity. Transdisciplinarity can, in terms of an idealized goal, be defined as a research approach that identifies and solves problems not only independently of disciplinary boundaries, but also including the knowledge and perceptions of non-scientific actors in a participatory process. In Mozambique, the Centre for Development and Environment (Berne, Switzerland), in partnership with Impacto and Helvetas (Maputo, Mozambique), has elaborated a new transdisciplinary tool to identify indigenous plants with a potential for commercialization. The tool combines methods from applied ethnobotany with participatory research in a social learning process. This approach was devised to support a development project aimed at creating alternative sources of income for rural communities of Matutuíne district, Southern Mozambique, while reducing the pressure on the natural environment. The methodology, which has been applied and tested, is innovative in that it combines important data collection through participatory research with a social learning process involving both local and external actors. This mutual learning process provides a space for complementary forms of knowledge to meet, eventually leading to the adoption of an integrated approach to natural resource management with an understanding of its ecological, socio-economic and cultural aspects; local stakeholders are included in the identification of potentials for sustainable development. Sustainable development itself, as a normative concept, can only be defined through social learning and consensus building between the local and external stakeholders.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > NCCR North-South Management Centre (discontinued)
10 Strategic Research Centers > Centre for Development and Environment (CDE)

UniBE Contributor:

Mathez, Sarah-Lan

Subjects:

300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 330 Economics

Language:

English

Submitter:

Stephan Schmidt

Date Deposited:

17 Sep 2015 14:09

Last Modified:

23 May 2017 15:40

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.71565

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/71565

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