a1 Department of Biodiversity, School of Molecular and Life Sciences, University of Limpopo, Private Bag X1106, Sovenga 0727, South Africa.
The pepperbark tree Warburgia salutaris is categorized as Endangered on the IUCN Red List, primarily because of human-induced habitat degradation and over-collection for herbal medicine. Benefits from the reintroduction programme for the species in Tanganda Halt, on the edge of the Mutema Highlands in south-east Zimbabwe, are unequally distributed. This has influenced the attitudes of the local people towards the project and any future plant conservation initiatives. People receiving indirect benefits from the programme expressed positive attitudes towards W. salutaris for cultural, aesthetic and ecological reasons; those receiving direct benefits cited positive impacts on their household welfare. If the reintroduction programme for W. salutaris is to play a part in sustainable development in Tanganda Halt then inequalities in the distribution of benefits need to be addressed. The W. salutaris reintroduction programme is still evolving. Evaluating the attitudes of local people towards the programme provides valuable insights for development planning and for future plant conservation programmes in south-east Zimbabwe.
(Received September 15 2010)
(Reviewed December 16 2010)
(Accepted April 05 2011)
(Online publication December 02 2011)