Last updated April 2010 
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Set of methods for the MLA approach

Field based methods

The field survey was a combination of relatively standard scientific descriptions of terrain, soil and vegetation, and of equivalent observations from a local people's perspective. Typically the team would be 7-10 people: 2-4 local informants, the soil specialist, the botanist, the ethnobotanist, a recorder and 1 or 2 assistants.

  • Site description
    complete physical description of the terrain, as well as local people's description of its use history, the location's importance for different use categories, accessibility, local names for the location, the land unit and the vegetation, etc. Download datasheet

  • Herbs transect: a 40x5 meter transect line was subdivided into 10 subunits. In each of these, herbs, climbers and other smaller plants were recorded. A botanist would name the species or collect the specimen while the ethnobotanist would ask informants for local names and uses. Download datasheet

  • Tree sample unit: a new and versatile sample unit was developed, suitable for rapid assessments of tropical forest in heterogeneous areas. Species, height and girth of a maximum of 40 trees was assessed for each forested site, which allow calculations of density and basal area. Apart from that, local informants gave information about the use(s) of each tree. Download datasheet

  • Soil assessments: two holes were drilled with a Belgi augur and one profile of 60cm depth was dug to make a complete physical description of the soil. A local informant, selected by the community itself for his knowledge of soil and cultivation, was asked for local assessment and descriptions of the soil's qualities, its name and its potential use. Download datasheet