Utilization of mangrove wood products around Mida Creek (Kenya) amongst subsistence and commercial users
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Mida Creek (Kenya) comprises mangrove forests and other marine resources that are of economic, ecological and environmental importance to the local village communities. In total 116 households (100 of which could be used for numerical analysis), which are estimated to correspond to a coverage of ca. 30 % of the total Mida Creek population, were interviewed to assess the human reliance on mangrove resources in Mida Creek. The survey indicates that mangroves are a major resource of wood for house construction, fuelwood, charcoal and boat building. Minor uses of mangrove products include pharmaceutical and medicinal applications, tanning material and furniture making. Rhizophora mucronata, Ceriops tagal and Bruguiera gymnorrhiza are the major resources for house construction and fuelwood, while Sonneratia alba and Xylocarpus granatum were reported to be useful for boat building and medicinal uses respectively. The survey further describes harvesting activities and house construction, and reveals species preferences within this one particular use. As a result of depletion of the supply and the banning of mangrove harvesting, the local people are turning to other wood materials and to poaching. In our view, local utilization patterns rather than global usefulness data are required to establish a conservation policy of both mangroves and users’ subsistence requirements.
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