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|Title: ||Factors shaping local people’s perception of ecosystem services in the Atacora Chain of Mountains, a biodiversity hotspot in northern Benin|
|Authors: ||Moutouama, Fidèle Tchossi|
Honoré Biaou, Samadori Sorotori
Asante, Winston Adam
Natta, Armand K.
Atacora Chain of Mountains
|Issue Date: ||2019|
|Publisher: ||Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine|
|Abstract: ||Background: Atacora Chain of Mountains (ACM) is the Benin part of a range of mountains lying from Benin to
Ghana through Togo. It provides goods and services to people and is dominated by rural communities with heavy
reliance on natural resources. The ACM may be threatened by the increasing resource needs and the possible shift
in people’s livelihood priorities brought about by challenges and opportunities ushered in by modernization. This
study sought to understand local people’s perception of the services derived from the ACM and the socio-demographic
factors (age, gender, and level of urbanization of the place people live in) accounting for these perceptions.
Methods: Face to face interviews with 12 focus groups in 3 municipalities were carried out to obtain a list of ecosystem
services cited by the participants. At the individual level, 144 people (men, women, young, adult, and old people from
either rural or urbanized areas) equally distributed in the 3 municipalities were asked whether they acknowledge each of
the services cited by the focus groups. Logistic regressions were then used with generalized linear models (GLM) function
in R to analyze the relationships between the probability of acknowledgement of a service by the respondents and their
Results: Local people perceived the ACM as a provider of provisioning, supporting, and cultural services but cited more
provisioning services than the others. The factors considered in this study (gender, location, and age) were all predictors
of ecosystem services perception in the ACM. Location influenced people’s perception of provisioning and supporting
services such that respondents from rural municipalities were more likely to perceive provisioning and supporting services.
This is because people in rural areas have a heavier reliance on natural resources. Gender was associated with respondents’
perception of supporting, provisioning, and cultural services. Women were more likely to perceive provisioning services and
less likely supporting and cultural services. People in each category of gender have a perception of ES linked
to their livelihood activities. Young people were less likely to perceive supporting services than adults and old
people due to their less involvement in farming activities.
Conclusions: This study showed that gender, location, and age predict local people’s perception of ecosystem services
in the ACM and livelihood orientation is determinant. The omission of regulation and many of the supporting
services questions the future of this mountain chain if its exploitation continues without any awareness and
|Description: ||This article is published in Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine|
|Appears in Collections:||College of Agric and Natural Resources|
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