Tradition Versus Climate Change: Cultural Importance of Indigenous Fruit Tree and Adaptation in Benin, West Africa

  • Laurent GnonlonfinEmail author
  • Christine N. A. Ouinsavi
  • Gérard Gouwakinnou
  • Belarmain A. Fandohan
  • Towanou Olivier Houetchegnon
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While climate variation and its impact on fruit tree species conservation are well documented around the world, few researches tackle the problem in West Africa and particularly in Benin. The present study aimed to evaluate vulnerability of indigenous fruit trees (IFT) to climate change based on the assessment of their diversity (in natural and parklands habitat) and their cultural importance. Objectives were to inventory the diversity of IFT and document knowledge and cultural importance of IFT for a better integration of population’s traditions in participatory forests management. Data were collected on fields, market surveys, and interviews. Results showed the importance of indigenous fruit trees’ organ trade for different classes of the population, from rural communities around protected areas. Food and magic uses were more important than medicinal uses. This study shows the relative importance of uses and trade of tree organs which could be the threat for species’ conservation in Benin. Nevertheless, the place of food tree species in Benin’s culture can also be positive for no vulnerability to climate variation.


Tradition Sociocultural importance Indigenous fruit tree Trade Products Benin 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laurent Gnonlonfin
    • 1
    Email author
  • Christine N. A. Ouinsavi
    • 1
  • Gérard Gouwakinnou
    • 2
  • Belarmain A. Fandohan
    • 3
  • Towanou Olivier Houetchegnon
    • 1
  1. 1.Doctoral School of Agronomic and Water Sciences/Department of Sustainable Management of Natural Resources, Laboratory of Ecology and Forest Research (LERF)University of ParakouParakouRepublic of Benin
  2. 2.Laboratory of Ecology, Botanic and Plant Biology (LEB)University of ParakouParakouRepublic of Benin
  3. 3.Université nationale d’agriculture École des sciences et techniques de conservation et de transformation des produits agricoles BP 114SakétéBénin

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