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WP 3 - Description of work


1. Gather existing information concerning uses of palms and their common names in local indigenous and mestizo communities in northwestern South America. 2. Develop a standardized research protocol that will allow a comparison of patterns of use of palms for subsistence and local trade among local indigenous and mestizo communities. 3. Apply this protocol in case studies in the communities located in and depending on different ecosystems. Interview stratified segments of local populations (taking into account gender and age) and also accompany them documenting how they extract, manage and process palm resources; specifically describing and analyzing: a) The names of palms and palm-products, b) How they use palm-products, c) The amounts of palm products they use and their used parts, d) How and where they extract palm materials, e) The status of the resource base, f) The segments of the population that extract the palm products and know and use them, g) Perceptions about palm materials vs. other materials that may serve similar purposes, and, h) The dynamics between subsistence, exchange of products and incipient marketing and trade. 4. Analyze (based on previous information and case studies) patterns of palm resource use, e.g., which species are the most used, variation in use over the distribution ranges of species and ethnic groups, use of different species for the same purposes, importance of abundant vs. scarce species, uses of indigenous vs. mestizo communities and far from vs. nearer urban centers, roads or important rivers, relationships between diversity of palm communities and variation of uses, and similarities and differences between linguistic families of indigenous groups vs. geographical distance. 5. Estimate trends in local peoples use of palm-products mainly for subsistence, extrapolating changes in populations and land-use, as well as local perceptions, and the state of the resource-base.



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