Introducing Boswellia papyrifera (Del.) Hochst and its non-timber forest product, frankincense

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Abstract:

Boswellia papyrifera has been an important multipurpose tree species in central and eastern Africa since ancient times. The species is best known for its non-timber forest product, frankincense. In addition, it has numerous environmental, socio-economic, traditional and industrial uses. However, the species is declining at an alarming rate and thus needs priority in conservation. Populations are facing degradation due to agricultural expansion, overgrazing, fire, poor incense harvesting practices, shifting cultivation, termite and other infestations and urgent conservation measures are required to save the species. Conservation strategies could include promotion of natural regeneration through closed areas and enrichment planting. Nevertheless, more ecological and silvicultural studies are required in order to streamline specific interventions.

Keywords: Boswellia papyrifera; Ethiopia; frankincense; non-timber forest products

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1505/IFOR.5.4.348.22661

Affiliations: 1: Mekelle University, Department of Land Resources Management and Environmental Protection, P.O. Box 231, Mekelle, Tigray, Ethiopia; George-August University of Goettingen, Institute of Silviculture, Section II: Tropical Silviculture, Buesgenweg 1, 37077 Goettingen, Germany 2: Laboratory for Forest, Nature and Landscape Research, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Vital Decosterstraat 102, B-3000 Leuven, Belgium 3: Mekelle University, Department of Land Resources Management and Environmental Protection, P.O. Box 231, Mekelle, Tigray, Ethiopia 4: George-August University of Goettingen, Institute of Silviculture, Section II: Tropical Silviculture, Buesgenweg 1, 37077 Goettingen, Germany

Publication date: December 1, 2003

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