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Biota Neotropica

On-line version ISSN 1676-0611


NUNES, Flávia Peres  and  PINTO, Maria Tereza Cândido. Local knowledge about the importance of the reforested gallery forest in the environmental conservation of the upper Rio São Francisco, Minas Gerais. Biota Neotrop. [online]. 2007, vol.7, n.3, pp.171-179. ISSN 1676-0611.

The aim of this study was to recoup, together with professional fisherman (N = 10) and environmentalists (N = 10), empirical knowledge concerning the importance of the reforestation of the riparian zone in the upper Rio São Francisco region, in Minas Gerais state. Such reforestation is vital for maintaining the environmental integrity of the river. Working groups were selected based on an initial contact, made expressly in order to choose participating members. These members were submitted to semi-structured questionnaires with several questions regarding the importance of preserving riparian vegetation. Interviews were conducted from October/2001 to February/2002. Although interviews revealed distinct social profiles, especially with respect to level of formal education received by participants and their different reasons for coexisting with the gallery forest of the region, both groups recognized, equally, the importance of the riparian vegetation, both native and reforested, in preserving the environmental quality of the surrounding aquatic ecosystem. Such perception has been motivated by the work of local NGO's in raising environmental awareness in the different social segments of the municipalities population involved. By maintaining a permanent coexistence with the surrounding gallery forest, both groups displayed an ecological understanding which overlapped with current scientific knowledge, revealing a rich source of information from which to improve preservation and recuperation strategies of the region riparian vegetation.

Keywords : riparian reforestation; local knowledge; professional fisherman; environmentalists; São Francisco River.

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