Participatory methods on the recording of medicinal plants in Atlantic forest, Ubatuba, São Paulo, Brazil
Introduction: ethnobotanical studies related to participatory methods have the aim to engage residents in different steps, promoting the strengthenment of local culture and the empowerment on the decision about the use of available resources of their environment. Thus, the aim of this project was to carry out an ethnobotanical survey, with active participation of the residents living in Bairro do Cambury, Ubatuba, São Paulo State, Brazil, called local partners, to record the traditional knowledge of medicinal plants of their environment.
Materials and Methods: during meetings carried out between researchers and members of the community, plants locally used were viewed as an important demand for registering the local knowledge for future generations. Some residents showed interest in participate as local partners, and training courses were offered. Local partners and the researchers from university utilized methods of ethnobotany to select and interview the specialists on medicinal plants during 80 days between 2016 and 2018. Data about uses of plants were recorded in forms, and plants were collected and deposited in two herbariums. Furthermore, participant observation and fieldwork diaries were used by researchers, aiding the data analysis.
Results: three local partners participated in the definition of objectives, data collecting, analysis and data publication. Nine local specialists were interviewed by the local partners and indicated 82 plant species, used in 90 recipes that are used for 55 therapeutic uses. These uses were grouped in 12 main categories. In addition, a video and booklet were elaborated.
Conclusions: data obtained during participatory research shows that training of local communities about the recording of their own knowledge is feasible and necessary since current discussion of intellectual property is a global concern.