Participatory methods on the recording of traditional knowledge about medicinal plants in Atlantic forest, Ubatuba, São Paulo, Brazil

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Sauini, Thamara
da Fonseca-Kruel, Viviane Stern
Yazbek, Priscila Baptistela
Matta, Priscila
Cassas, Fernando
da Cruz, Crenilda
Barretto, Eduardo Hortal Pereira
dos Santos, Maria Alice
Gomes, Maria Angelica Silva
Garcia, Ricardo José Francischetti

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Introduction Ethnobotanical studies that include participatory methods aim to engage residents in different steps to promote the strengthening and perpetuation of local culture, and empowerment in making decisions about the use of available environmental resources. Thus, the aim of this project was to perform an ethnobotanical survey based on traditional knowledge of medicinal plants with the active participation of residents living in Bairro do Cambury, Ubatuba, São Paulo State, Brazil. Materials and methods During meetings held between the researchers and community members, locally used plants were regarded as an important means for preserving local knowledge for future generations. Some residents showed interest in participating as local partners, and training courses for collecting ethnobotanical data were offered. Local partners and researchers from São Paulo Federal University (Universidade Federal de São Paulo) utilized ethnobotanical methods to select and interview the specialists in medicinal plants for 80 days between 2016 and 2018. Data on plant use were recorded, and plants were collected and deposited in two herbaria. Furthermore, participant observation and fieldwork diaries were used by the researchers, aiding the data analysis. Results Three local partners participated in objective definitions, data collection, analysis and publication. Nine local specialists were interviewed by the local partners and indicated the use of 82 plant species in 90 recipes for 55 therapeutic uses. These uses were grouped into 12 categories. In addition, a video and booklet were created. Conclusions Data obtained during participatory research show that training local communities in the registration of their own knowledge is feasible and necessary since they register knowledge based on local perceptions, as well as valuing knowledge and approaching the current discussion about intellectual property is a global concern.



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PLoS ONE, v. 15, n. 5, 2020.