Disadvantaged Economic Conditions and Stricter Border Rules Shape Afghan Refugees’ Ethnobotany: Insights from Kohat District, NW Pakistan

Ali Shah, Adnan and Badshah, Lal and Khalid, Noor and Ali Shah, Muhammad and Khan Manduzai, Ajmal and Faiz, Abdullah and De Chiara, Matteo and Mattalia, Giulia and Sõukand, Renata and Pieroni, Andrea (2023) Disadvantaged Economic Conditions and Stricter Border Rules Shape Afghan Refugees’ Ethnobotany: Insights from Kohat District, NW Pakistan. Plants, 12 (3).

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The study of migrants’ ethnobotany can help to address the diverse socio-ecological factors affecting temporal and spatial changes in local ecological knowledge (LEK). Through semi-structured and in-depth conversations with ninety interviewees among local Pathans and Afghan refugees in Kohat District, NW Pakistan, one hundred and forty-five wild plant and mushroom folk taxa were recorded. The plants quoted by Afghan refugees living inside and outside the camps tend to converge, while the Afghan data showed significant differences with those collected by local Pakistani Pathans. Interviewees mentioned two main driving factors potentially eroding folk plant knowledge: (a) recent stricter border policies have made it more difficult for refugees to visit their home regions in Afghanistan and therefore to also procure plants in their native country; (b) their disadvantaged economic conditions have forced them to engage more and more in urban activities in the host country, leaving little time for farming and foraging practices. Stakeholders should foster the exposure that refugee communities have to their plant resources, try to increase their socio-economic status, and facilitate both their settling outside the camps and their transnational movement for enhancing their use of wild plants, ultimately leading to improvements in their food security and health status.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: ethnobotany; refugees; wild food plants; medicinal plants; ethnoveterinary; local ecological knowledge
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GB Physical geography
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Social Science > HB Economic Theory
Social Science > HC Economic History and Conditions
Q Science > QK Botany
R Medicine > RV Botanic, Thomsonian, and eclectic medicine
Depositing User: ePrints deposit
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2023 12:34
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2023 12:34
URI: http://eprints.tiu.edu.iq/id/eprint/1314

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