Plant Diversity ›› 2013, Vol. 35 ›› Issue (4): 424-430.DOI: 10.7677/ynzwyj201312133

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New Developments in Plant Conservation and the Relevance of Ethnobotany

Alan Hamilton   

  1. Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650201, China
  • Received:2012-11-05 Online:2013-07-25 Published:2012-12-25


There is only one cover of plants on Earth, so all plantrelated aspects of conservation should be considered in deciding how the land and the plants on it should be managed for conservation purposes. A threefold classification of the benefits to be derived from ecosystembased plant conservation (EBPC) is suggested: conservation of plant species, the sustainable use of plant resources and the delivery of ecosystem services. EBPC is a placecentred approach which, in principle, can be pursued anywhere. Ethnobotanical research can help reveal realities about relationships between local people and plants, thus providing information useful for advancing plant conservation. Applied ethnobotany involves ethnobotanists working in a participatory way with local people, both parties contributing to the identification and resolution of conservation issues relating to plants. This type of research helps ensure that priority issues from the local perspective are addressed, thus making it more likely that local people will be committed to implementing solutions found. Both knowledge and values associated with local communities, and knowledge and methodologies associated with science are brought together in the conservation cause.

Key words: Biocultural diversity, Ecosystem-based, Ecosystem services, Evidence-based, Participatory

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