Ethnobotany is useful for understanding the relationship between people and plants, facilitating the suggestion and implementation of strategies to improve the quality of life and environmental conservation. Thus, an ethnobotanical study was carried out in the environmental protection area Cachoeira das Andorinhas in Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Semi-structured interviews and guided tours were performed to survey the plants used and the socioeconomic user profiles. The species were categorized according to their use. The richness of known species among the user groups and utilitarian categories was compared using the G-test. There were 232 species for 10 types of use, most of them are medicinal and edible. Women know more medicinal plants and men, timber species. The ancient tradition, the rich knowledge and the dependence of the community on the plants suggest the sustainability of the use. Actions are proposed to ensure the consolidation of the protected area objectives.
conservation areas; traditional communities; traditional knowledge; biological conservation; park management