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     BIOTA West Africa Observatory Information Sheet:   Pehunco

Healer association and local botanical garden

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Northern Benin

 Ethnic groups

Bariba, Fulani






Altitude (m)









One of our research sites in Northern Benin is situated in the Pehunco region between the Atakora chain and the Borgou. Main focus in this area lies on anthropogenic impacts on several aspects, such as the influence of fire on savannah ecosystems and plant communities, traditional medicine and declining medicinal and other multipurpose plants, as well as cash crop production and its influence on biodiversity conversion. Based on ethnological and botanical fieldwork the Gusõn medicinal plant has been implemented in 2004 together with local healers, and with financial support from the GTZ-program ProCGRN (Programme de conservation et de gestion des ressources naturelles) and the German Embassy. General aim is to protect decreasing and frequently used medicinal plant species in the region, to safeguard the rich ecological and medicinal local knowledge and to thus guarantee the plant's long-term availability and accessibility. This garden is an auspicious example for local sustainable management strategies of natural resources and for future conservation activities. Only within one year four further locally protected areas (LPA), such as communal, mystic and sacred forests and botanical gardens werde implemted by local stakeholders and technical support from BIOTA. These territories are now part of the transnational network of locally protected areas in many BIOTA research sites (Northern Benin, Burkina Faso). Besides the initial subproject *ethnology* and *botany*, further co-operating subprojects are *remote sensing* and *zoology (termites)*.

BIOTA West Africa
cooperation partners: