Environment, Development and Sustainability

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 347–363 | Cite as

Traditional management and conservation of shea trees (Vitellaria paradoxa subspecies nilotica) in Uganda

  • Samson Gwali
  • John Bosco Lamoris Okullo
  • Gerald Eilu
  • Grace Nakabonge
  • Philip Nyeko
  • Peter Vuzi
Article

Abstract

Traditional practices are universally recognised as a basis for conservation of biodiversity. However, such practices are often not included in natural resource conservation policies. This study assessed local conservation practices of shea trees (Vitellaria paradoxa) within different farming systems in Uganda and developed conservation guidelines for the species. The assessment involved 300 respondents, 15 focus groups and 41 key informants. Content analysis was used to identify the most important management and conservation practices. Local uses were categorised on the basis of shea tree products while differences in conservation practices were analysed using the Friedman test. The results show that eight shea tree products are used for 36 different purposes. Respondents’ age significantly influenced their knowledge about the shea tree. Traditional conservation practices include on-farm retention during cultivation and the use of folklore (mainly taboos), customs and rituals. Traditional management practices include weeding, bush burning, pollarding and pruning. Based on the current management and traditional conservation practices, a framework for the conservation of shea trees is proposed for integration into conservation policy decisions.

Keywords

Shea tree Vitellaria paradoxa Conservation Taboos Folklore Traditional knowledge 

References

  1. Abbiw, D. K. (1990). Useful plants of Ghana: West African uses of wild and cultivated plants. London: Royal Botanic Gardens Kew.Google Scholar
  2. Adams, W. M., & Hulme, D. (2001). If community conservation is the answer in Africa, what is the question? Oryx, 35(3), 193–200.Google Scholar
  3. Adebua, A., Odwee, J. A. O., Okurut, F. N., & Obong, J. B. O. (2002). Household efforts in poverty alleviation in northern Uganda with respect to agriculture under structural adjustment program: The case of Arua district. Poverty policy perspectives: NURRU Publications, Working Paper No. 12. Kampala.Google Scholar
  4. Agrawal, A., & Gibson, C. C. (1999). Enchantment and disenchantment: The role of community in natural resource conservation. World Development, 27(4), 629–649.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. ALCODE. (2007). North Uganda shea project: Internal control manual. Lira: ALCODE.Google Scholar
  6. Alcorn, J. B. (1993). Indigenous peoples and conservation. Conservation Biology, 7(2), 424–426.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Alieu, E. K. (2010). Building on local foundations: Enhancing local community support for conservation. Unasylva, 61(236), 22–27.Google Scholar
  8. Allal, F. (2010). Patrons de variabilité chez Vitellaria paradoxa (karité): Etude phylogéographique et analyse combinée de la variation des acides gras, des tocophérols et de gènes candidats. PhD Thesis, Université Montpellier II, Montpellier, France.Google Scholar
  9. Anthwala, A., Guptab, N., Sharmac, A., Anthwald, S., & Kima, K.-H. (2010). Conserving biodiversity through traditional beliefs in sacred groves in Uttarakhand Himalaya, India. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 54(11), 962–971.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Arnett, J. J. (2007). Adolescence and emerging adulthood: A cultural approach. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  11. Bayala, J., Balesdent, J., Marol, C., Zapata, F., Teklehaimanot, Z., & Ouedraogo, S. (2006). Relative contribution of trees and crops to soil carbon content in a parkland system in Burkina Faso using variations in natural 13C abundance. Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems, 76(2–3), 193–201.Google Scholar
  12. Ben-Amos, D. (1971). Toward a definition of folklore in context. The Journal of American Folklore, 84(331), 3–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Berkes, F., Colding, J., & Folke, C. (2000). Rediscovery of traditional ecological knowledge as adaptive management. Ecological Applications, 10(5), 1251–1262.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Bhagwat, S. A., Kushalappa, C. G., Williams, P. H., & Brown, N. D. (2005). A landscape approach to biodiversity conservation of sacred groves in the western Ghats of India. Conservation Biology, 19(6), 1853–1862.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Boffa, J. (1995). Productivity and management of agroforestry parklands in the Sudan zone of Burkina Faso, West Africa. PhD thesis, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana.Google Scholar
  16. Boffa, J. (1999). Agroforestry parklands in sub-Saharan Africa. Rome: FAO.Google Scholar
  17. Boffa, J., Taonda, S., Dickey, J., & Knudson, D. (2000). Field-scale influence of karité (Vitellaria paradoxa) on sorghum production in the Sudan zone of Burkina Faso. Agroforestry Systems, 49(2), 153–175.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Boone, D., & Watson, R. L. (1996). Moru-Ma’di survey report. Nairobi: Summer Institute of Linguistics—Sudan branch.Google Scholar
  19. Byakagaba, P., Eilu, G., Okullo, J. B. L., Tumwebaze, S., & Mwavu, E. N. (2011). Population structure and regeneration status of Vitellaria paradoxa (C.F.Gaertn.) under different land management regimes in Uganda. Agricultural Journal, 6(1), 14–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Camejo-Rodrigues, J., Ascensão, L., Bonet, M. À., & Vallès, J. (2003). An ethnobotanical study of medicinal and aromatic plants in the Natural Park of “Serra de São Mamede” (Portugal). Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 89(2–3), 199–209.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Carette, C., Malotaux, M., van Leeuwen, M., & Tolkamp, M. (2009). Shea nut and butter in Ghana: Opportunities and constraints for local processing. Project Report, Wageningen: Wageningen University.Google Scholar
  22. Chandrakanth, M. G., Bhat, M. G., & Accavva, M. S. (2004). Socio-economic changes and sacred groves in South India: Protecting a community-based resource management institution. Natural Resources Forum, 28(2), 102–111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Chandrashekara, U. M., & Sankar, S. (1998). Ecology and management of sacred groves in Kerala, India. Forest Ecology and Management, 112(1–2), 165–177.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Colding, J., & Folke, C. (1997). The relations among threatened species, their protection, and taboos. Conservation Ecology (Online), 1(1), 6.Google Scholar
  25. Colding, J., & Folke, C. (2001). Social taboos: “Invisible” systems of local resource management and biological conservation. Ecological Applications, 11(2), 584–600.Google Scholar
  26. Colding, J., Folke, C., & Elmqvist, T. (2003). Social institutions in ecosystem management and biodiversity conservation. Tropical Ecology, 44(1), 25–41.Google Scholar
  27. Djossa, B. A., Fahr, J., Wiegand, T., Ayihouénou, B. E., Kalko, E. K., & Sinsin, B. A. (2008). Land use impact on Vitellaria paradoxa C.F. Gaerten. stand structure and distribution patterns: A comparison of biosphere reserve of Pendjari in Atacora district in Benin. Agroforestry Systems, 72(3), 205–220.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Ebanyat, P., de Ridder, N., de Jager, A., Delve, R., Bekunda, M., & Giller, K. (2010). Drivers of land use change and household determinants of sustainability in smallholder farming systems of Eastern Uganda. Population and Environment, 31(6), 474–506.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Elias, M. (2010). Transforming nature’s subsidy: Global markets, Burkinabè women and African shea butter. PhD thesis, McGill University, Quebec, Canada.Google Scholar
  30. Fargey, P. J. (2009). Boabeng–Fiema Monkey Sanctuary—An example of traditional conservation in Ghana. Oryx, 26(3), 151–156.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Ferris, R. S. B., Collinson, C., Wanda, K., Jagwe, J., & Wright, P. (2004). Evaluating the marketing opportunities for shea nut and shea nut processed products in Uganda. Ibadan: ASARECA/IITA Monograph 5.Google Scholar
  32. Fisher, R. P., & Geiselman, R. E. (1992). Memory-enhancing techniques for investigative interviewing: The cognitive interview. Springfield: Charles C. Thomas.Google Scholar
  33. François, M., Niculescu, N., Badini, Z., & Diarra, M. (2009). Le beurre de karité au Burkina Faso: Entre marché domestique et filières d’exportation. Cahiers Agricultures, 18(4), 369–375.Google Scholar
  34. Friedman, M. (1937). The use of ranks to avoid the assumption of normality implicit in the analysis of variance. Journal of the American Statistical Association, 32(200), 675–701.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. GAO. (1989). Content analysis: A methodology for structuring and analyzing written material. Washington: United States General Accounting Office.Google Scholar
  36. Glenister, C. L. (2008). Profiling punt: Using trade relations to locate ‘God’s Land’. MPhil Thesis, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa.Google Scholar
  37. Goreja, W. G. (2004). Shea butter: The nourishing properties of Africa’s best-kept natural beauty secret. New York: Amazing Herbs Press.Google Scholar
  38. Grady, C. L., & Craik, F. I. M. (2000). Changes in memory processing with age. Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 10(2), 224–231.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Greig, D. (2006). Shea butter: Connecting rural Burkinabè women to international markets through fair trade. Development in Practice, 16(5), 465–475.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Hall, J. B., Aebischer, D. P., Tomlinson, H. F., Osei–Amaning, E., & Hindle, J. R. (1996). Vitellaria paradoxa: A monograph. Bangor: School of Agricultural and Forest Sciences, University of Wales.Google Scholar
  41. Hemsley, J. H. (1968). Sapotaceae. In E. Milne-Redhead & R. M. Polhill (Eds.), Flora of tropical East Africa. London: Crown Agents for Overseas Governments and Administrations.Google Scholar
  42. Hinton, P. R., Brownlow, C., McMurray, I., & Cozens, B. (2004). SPSS explained. NY, USA: Routledge Inc.Google Scholar
  43. Ho, R. (2006). Handbook of univariate and multivariate data analysis and interpretation with SPSS. Boca Raton, FL, USA: Chapman & Hall/CRC.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Hongmao, L., Zaifu, X., Youkai, X., & Jinxiu, W. (2002). Practice of conserving plant diversity through traditional beliefs: A case study in Xishuangbanna, southwest China. Biodiversity and Conservation, 11, 705–713.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Infielda, M. (1988). Attitudes of a rural community towards conservation and a local conservation area in Natal, South Africa. Biological Conservation, 45(1), 21–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Johnson, M. (Ed.). (1992). LORE: Capturing traditional environmental knowledge. Hay River, NWT, CA: Dene Cultural Institute and the International Development Research Centre.Google Scholar
  47. Kajembe, G. C., Luoga, E. J., Kijazi, M. S., & Mwaipopo, C. S. (2003). The role of traditional institutions in the conservation of forest resources in East Usambara, Tanzania. International Journal of Sustainable Development and World Ecology, 10(2), 101–107.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Kitchen, K. A. (1971). Punt and how to get there. Orientalia, 40, 184–207.Google Scholar
  49. Kraft, J. N., & Lynde, C. W. (2005). Moisturizers: What they are and a practical approach to product selection. Skin Therapy Letter, 10(5), 1–8.Google Scholar
  50. Kuruk, P. (1999). Protecting folklore under modern Intellectual Property Regimes: A re-appraisal of the tensions between individual and communal rights in Africa and the United States. American University Law Review, 48(4), 769–843.Google Scholar
  51. Lovett, P., & Haq, N. (2000). Evidence for anthropic selection of the Sheanut tree (Vitellaria paradoxa). Agroforestry Systems, 48(3), 273–288.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Lovett, P., Ouna, J., Ojok, P., Apunyu, A., Akot, L., Erongot, C., et al. (2000). Shea tree improvement in Uganda: Germplasm diversity, selection and propagation. In First regional shea tree conference for Eastern and Central Africa, 2630 June 2000, Lira, Uganda, 2000: COVOL, Lira, Uganda.Google Scholar
  53. Lufumpa, C. L. (2005). The poverty–environment nexus in Africa. African Development Review, 17(3), 366–381.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Lybbert, T. J., Barret, C. B., & Narjisse, H. (2002). Market-based conservation and local benefits: The case of argan oil in Morocco. Ecological Economics, 41, 125–144.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Mafu, S. (2004). From the oral tradition to the information era: The ase of Tanzania. International Journal on Multicultural Societies, 6(1), 99–124.Google Scholar
  56. Maranz, S., Kpikpi, W., Wiesman, Z., de Saint Sauveur, A., & Chapagain, B. (2003). Nutritional values and indigenous preferences for shea fruits (Vitellaria paradoxa C.F. Gaertn) in African agroforestry parklands. Economic Botany, 58, 588–600.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Maranz, S., Wiesman, Z., Bisgaard, J., & Bianchi, G. (2004). Germplasm resources of Vitellaria paradoxa based on variations in fat composition across the species distribution range. Agroforestry Systems, 60, 71–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Masalu, D. C. P., Shalli, M. S., & Kitula, R. A. (2010). Customs and taboos: The role of indigenous knowledge in the management of fish stocks and coral reefs in Tanzania. St Lucia: Coral Reef Targeted Research and Capacity Building for Management Program (CRTR & CBMP), The University of Queensland.Google Scholar
  59. Masters, E. T. (2002). The shea resource: Overview of research and development across Africa. In Proceedings of the International workshop on processing and marketing of shea products in Africa, 46 March 2002, Dakar, Senegal, 2002 (pp. 13–29). Common Fund for Commodities (CFC Technical Paper No. 21).Google Scholar
  60. Mgumia, F. H., & Oba, G. (2003). Potential role of sacred groves in biodiversity conservation in Tanzania. Environmental Conservation, 30, 259–265.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Moller, H., Berkes, F., Lyver, P. O., & Kislalioglu, M. (2004). Combining science and traditional ecological knowledge: Monitoring populations for co-management. Ecology and Society, 9(3), 2. [online] URL:http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol9/iss3/art2/.
  62. Moore, S. (2008). The role of Vitellaria paradoxa in poverty reduction and food security in the Upper East region of Ghana. Earth and Environment, 3, 209–245.Google Scholar
  63. Mwebaze, S. M. N. (2010). Uganda: Country pasture/forage resource profiles. Entebbe: Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries.Google Scholar
  64. NEMA. (1997). State of the environment report for Uganda. Kampala: National Environment Management Authority.Google Scholar
  65. Neumann, K., Kahlheber, S., & Uebel, D. (1998). Remains of woody plants from Saouga, a mediaeval West African village. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany, 7, 55–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Okia, C. A., Obua, J., Agea, J. G., & Agaro, E. (2005). Natural regeneration, population structure and traditional management of Vitellaria paradoxa subspecies nilotica in the shea parklands of northern and eastern Uganda. African Crop Science Conference Proceedings, 7, 1187–1191.Google Scholar
  67. Okorio, J., Musana, S., Okiria, A., Odeke, V., Opusi, J., Okwi, I., et al. (2004). Determination, propagation and evaluation of important trees/shrubs with potential for agroforestry in Teso and Lango farming systems. Entebbe: National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO).Google Scholar
  68. Okullo, J. B. L., Omujal, F., Agea, J. G., Vuzi, P. C., Namutebi, A., Okello, J. B. A., et al. (2010a). Physico-chemical characteristics of shea butter (Vitellaria paradoxa C.F. Gaertn.) oil from the shea districts of Uganda. African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development, 10(1), 2070–2084.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Okullo, J. B. L., Omujal, F., Agea, J. G., Vuzi, P. C., Namutebi, A., Okello, J. B. A., et al. (2010b). Proximate and mineral composition of shea (Vitellaria paradoxa C.F. Gaertn.) fruit pulp from the shea districts of Uganda. African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development, 10(11), 4432–4445.Google Scholar
  70. Okumu-Alya, F. (2009). The regional dimensions of the war in northern Uganda. Pretoria: Institute for Security Studies.Google Scholar
  71. Oluka, J., Owoyesigire, B., Esenu, B., & Ssewannyana, E. (2002). Small stock and women in livestock production in the teso farming system region of Uganda. Entebbe: National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO).Google Scholar
  72. Pilgrim, S. E. (2006). A cross-cultural study into local ecological knowledge. Ph.D. thesis, University of Essex, Essex.Google Scholar
  73. Rusoke, C. G. A., Nyakuni, A., Mwebaze, S., Okorio, J., Akena, F., & Kimaru, G. (2000). Land resources management: A guide for extension workers in Uganda (RELMA Technical Handbook Series). Nairobi: Regional Land Management Unit (RELMA) and Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).Google Scholar
  74. Saj, T. L., Mather, C., & Sicotte, P. (2006). Traditional taboos in biological conservation: The case of Colobus vellerosus at the Boabeng-Fiema monkey sanctuary, Central Ghana. Social Science Information, 45(2), 285–310.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Saul, M., Ouadba, J., & Bognounou, O. (2003). The wild vegetation cover of western Burkina Faso: Colonial policy and post-colonial development. In T. Basset & D. Crummey (Eds.), African Savannas: Global narratives and local knowledge of environmental change (pp. 226–245). Portsmouth: Reed Elsevier.Google Scholar
  76. Smith, W. S. (1962). The land of punt. Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt, 1, 59–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Stemler, S. (2001). An overview of content analysis. Practical Assessment, Research and Evaluation, 7(17). [online only] URL:http://PAREonline.net/getvn.asp?v=7&n=17.
  78. Sturges, P. (2008). Information and communication in bandit country: An exploratory study of civil conflict in northern Uganda 1986–2007. Information Development, 24(3), 204–212.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Tella, A. (1979). Preliminary studies on nasal decongestant activity from the seed of the shea butter tree, Butyrospermum parkii. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 7, 495–497.Google Scholar
  80. Traore, K., Oliver, R., Ganry, F., Gigou, J., & Ganry, F. (2002). Effects of shea butter tree (Vitellaria paradoxa) on soil fertility at different catena positions in South Mali. Paper presented at the 17th World Congress of Soil Science, Bangkok, Thailand, 14–21 Aug 2002.Google Scholar
  81. UBOS. (2006). The 2002 Uganda population and housing Census: Population composition. Kampala, Uganda, Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS).Google Scholar
  82. UBOS. (2010). Statistical abstracts. Kampala: Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS).Google Scholar
  83. White, F. (1983). The vegetation of Africa: A descriptive memoir to accompany the Unesco/AETFAT/UNSO vegetation map of Africa. Paris: UNESCO.Google Scholar
  84. Wicker, F. D. P. (1998). The road to punt. The Geographical Journal, 164(2), 155–167.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Samson Gwali
    • 1
    • 2
  • John Bosco Lamoris Okullo
    • 1
  • Gerald Eilu
    • 1
  • Grace Nakabonge
    • 1
  • Philip Nyeko
    • 1
  • Peter Vuzi
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Forestry, Environmental and Geographical SciencesMakerere UniversityKampalaUganda
  2. 2.National Forestry Resources Research Institute (NaFORRI)KampalaUganda
  3. 3.School of Biological SciencesMakerere UniversityKampalaUganda

Personalised recommendations