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Accueil du site → Doctorat → Allemagne → 2016 → Towards an understanding and harnessing of local ecological knowledge of forage resources for sustainable rangeland management in West Africa’s Sudanian Savannas

Universität zu Köln (2016)

Towards an understanding and harnessing of local ecological knowledge of forage resources for sustainable rangeland management in West Africa’s Sudanian Savannas

Naah Ngmaadaba, John-Baptist S.

Titre : Towards an understanding and harnessing of local ecological knowledge of forage resources for sustainable rangeland management in West Africa’s Sudanian Savannas

Auteur : Naah Ngmaadaba, John-Baptist S.

Université de soutenance : Universität zu Köln.

Grade : Doktorgrades (Dr. rer. nat.) 2016

Résumé partiel
Despite the fact that dryland savanna ecosystems provide a host of essential ecosystem goods and services to both humans and livestock, they are often confronted with dangerously vacillating levels of locally available natural resources to support rural livelihood strategies in the face of increasing anthropological influences and global climate change impacts. This points to the vital roles which the socio-cultural and biophysical environment sub-systems play to ensure the stability of the complex socioecological system (SES). Several attempts have been made in the past to focus more on scientifically-based means of investigation than including contributions of the local resource users to better understand and harness SES. Notwithstanding, local ecological knowledge (LEK), which is an effective, investigative tool for understanding interactions between the ecological and social sub-systems of complex SES, has recently received increasing attention in studies on the effects of climate and land use changes on the availability and utilization of natural resources in communal rangelands. Surprisingly, little is still known when it comes to LEK of forage resources, particularly in the West African Sudanian Savannas. The overarching goal of this study was to investigate local agro-pastoralists’ knowledge on forage resources used by cattle, goats and sheep and how they adapt their rangeland management strategies to vegetation dynamics. I hypothesized that LEK can potentially provide insight into reasons how and why forage resources are overexploited, and into management strategies to conserve or restore them. The study encapsulates three major empirical components : (i) LEK distributional patterns in forage resources utilization (Chapter 4), (ii) local valuation criteria for forage resources (Chapter 5), and (iii) local perceptions on forage species diversity, abundance trends, habitats distribution and ecological drivers to forage species changing trends over the past few years via the ‘lenses’ of local agro-pastoralists (Chapter 6). Using a stratified random sampling approach, I sampled sixteen villages across three dominant socio-linguistic groups and a steep climatic aridity gradient in both Ghana (seven villages) and Burkina Faso (nine villages) to address the aforementioned empirical components of the study. Although individual ethnobotanical interviews were chosen over focused or group discussions to extract the bulk of independent primary ethnobotanical data from local agro-pastoralists, I also complemented the data collection process with personal observations and ethnobotanical walks for purposes of triangulation.

Mots clés  : Agro-pastoralists ; Burkina Faso ; Dryland rangelands ; Forage resources ; Ghana ; Local ecological knowledge ; Social-ecological systems ; Valuation criteria.

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Page publiée le 9 novembre 2017