PPI Books

People and Plants books contain guidelines, methodologies and case-studies on major themes related to the conservation of biocultural diversity. The People and Plants Conservation Series forms a valuable ethnobotanical library, based on the practical work and experience of PPI collaborators. English editions of these books can be ordered through PPI's Amazon Book store.  Ordering through this portal on PPI's website supports PPI's work.


Mushrooms in Forests and Woodlands: Resource Management, Values and Local Livelihoods. Anthony B. Cunningham and Xuefei Yang, November 2010

Despite the economic, social and cultural values of fungi, there is a general lack of understanding of their importance to local livelihoods and forest ecology. This book  demonstrates the crucial roles that fungi play in maintaining forest ecosystems and the livelihoods of rural people throughout the world while providing good practice guidelines for the sustainable management of this resource and an assessment of economic value. It brings together the perspectives of biologists, anthropologists and forest and woodland managers to provide a unique inter-disciplinary and international overview of the key issues. Purchase a copy here.


Wild Product Governance: Finding Policies that Work for Non-Timber Forest Products. Sarah A. Laird, Rebecca McClain and Rachel Wynberg  , April 2010 

Products from the wild, also known as non-timber forest products (NTFPs), contribute substantially to rural livelihoods, generate revenue for companies and governments, and have a range of impacts on biodiversity conservation.Despite this they have been both overlooked and poorly regulated, leading to over-exploitation and to new forms of inequity. This book reviews these experiences and aims to provide information to support new policy approaches towards NTFP regulation. The volume includes cases from around the world, a review of literature and resources, and an annotated bibliography linked to the People and Plants International website.

Now in paperback!  Purchase a copy here.

A policy brief with findings from this study is available: Wild Product Governance: laws and policies for sustainable and equitable non-timber forest product use. Download PDF English


Human Health and Forests: A Global Overview of Issues, Practice and Policy. Carol J. P. Colfer, 2008  

Written for a broad audience this book is the first comprehensive introduction to the issues surrounding the health of people living in and around forests, particularly in Asia, South America and Africa. Part I is a set of synthesis chapters, addressing policy, public health, environmental conservation, and ecological perspectives on health and forests including women and child health, medicinal plants and viral diseases such as Ebola, SARS and Nipah Encephalitis. Part II takes a multi-lens approach to lead the reader to a more concrete and holistic understanding using case studies from around the world that cover issues as important as the links between HIV/AIDs and the forest sector and diet and health. Part III looks at the specific challenges to health care delivery in forested areas including remoteness and the integration of traditional medicine with modern health care. Download PDF.


Plant Identification: Creating User Friendly Field Guides for Biodiversity and Management 
Anna Lawrence and William Hawthorne, 2006    

This book is written in the belief that tools that enable more people to understand plant biodiversity can not only aid protection efforts but also contribute to rural livelihoods. This book provides potential authors of field guides with practical advice about all aspects of producing user-friendly guides which help to identify plants for the purposes of conservation, sustainable use, participatory monitoring or greater appreciation of biodiversity.  The book draws on both scientific and participatory processes, supported by the experience of contributors from across the tropics. It presents a core process for producing a field guide, setting out key steps, options and techniques available to the authors of a guide and, through illustration, helps authors choose methods and media appropriate to their context. Download PDF.


Plant Conservation: An Ecosystem Approach. Alan Hamilton and Patrick Hamilton, 2006     

In this book, plant conservation is described in the context of livelihoods and development, and ways of balancing the conservation of plant diversity with the use of plants and the environment for human benefit are discussed. A central contention in this book is that local people must be involved if conservation is to be successful.
Also examined are ways of prioritizing plants and places for conservation initiatives, approaches to in situ and ex situ conservation, and how to approach problems of unsustainable harvesting of wild plants. Roles for botanists, foresters, sociologists, development workers and others are discussed.  The book acts as a unifying text for the series, integrating case studies and methodologies considered in previous volumes and pointing out in a comprehensive, accessible volume the valuable lessons to be learned. Download PDF.

Carving out a Future: Forests, Livelihoods and the International Woodcarving Trade.  Anthony B. Cunningham, Brian Belcher and Bruce Campbell, 2005

Very little has yet been written about the cultural or economic contributions of woodcarving to people's livelihoods or the consequences of felling hardwood and softwood trees for the international woodcarving trade. Carving Out a Future is the first examination of this trade and its critical links to rural livelihoods, biodiversity, conservation, forestry and the international trade regime. A range of case studies from Australia, Bali, India,Africa and Mexico provides a lens for examining the critical issues relating to the significant impacts of woodcarving on forests, conservation efforts, the need to promote sustainable rural livelihoods and efforts to promote trade so that skilled artisans in developing countries get a fair economic return.



Tapping the Green Market: Management and Certification of Non-timber Forest Products
 Patricia Shanley, Alan R. Pierce, Sarah A. Laird and Abraham Guillen (eds.),2002 

There is a rapidly growing interest in, and demand for, non-timber forest products (NTFPs). They provide critical resources across the globe fulfilling nutritional, medicinal, financial and cultural needs. However, they have been largely overlooked in mainstream conservation and forestry politics. This volume explains the use and importance of certification and eco-labelling for guaranteeing best management practices of non-timber forest products in the field. Using extensive case studies and global profiles of non-timber forest products, this work not only seeks to further our comprehension of certification processes but also broaden understanding of non-timber forest product management, harvesting and marketing. It should be useful to forest managers, policy-makers and conservation organizations as well as for academics in these areas. Download PDF.

Biodiversity and Traditional Knowledge: Equitable Partnerships in Practice. Sarah A. Laird (ed.), English (2002), Spanish (2003)

Drawing on the implications of the Convention on Biological Diversity and other recent policy developments, this book offers practical guidance on striving for equitable biodiversity research and prospecting partnerships. Drawing on experience and lessons learned from around the world, it provides case studies, analysis and recommendations in a range of areas that together form a new framework for creating equity in these partnerships including researcher codes of ethics, institutional policies, community research agreements, the design of more effective commercial partnerships and biodiversity prospecting contracts, the drafting and implementation of national 'access and benefit-sharing' laws, and institutional tools for the distribution of financial benefits. Download PDF.

Uncovering the Hidden Harvest: Valuation Methods for Woodland and Forest Resources   
Bruce M. Campbell and M. Luckert (eds.), English (2002), Spanish, (2003)

Forests and woodlands provide an enormous range of goods and services to society, from timber and firewood to medicinal plants, watershed protection, destinations for tourists and sacred sites. Only when these are understood and valued can forests and their resources be properly managed and conserved. This work shows how the complicated network of benefits can be untangled and sets out the different approaches needed to value them. It covers the analysis of plant-based markets, non-market valuation and decision frameworks such as cost-benefit analysis. Download PDF.



Applied Ethnobotany: People, Wild Plant Use and Conservation
Anthony B. Cunningham, English (2001), Spanish (2002), Chinese (2003)

Applied Ethnobotany is the first practical guide to be published on how to manage wild plant species sustainably. This detailed manual on wild plant resources sets out the approaches and field methods involved in participatory work between conservationists, researchers and the primary resource users. Supported by extensive illustrations, it explains how local people can learn to assess the pressures on plant resources and what steps to take to ensure their continued availability. An invaluable guide for all those involved in resource management decisions regarding plant species and diversity, and in particular those studying or working in conservation, rural development and park management. Download PDF.

People, Plants and Protected Areas: A Guide to In Situ Management
 John Tuxill and Gary Paul Nabhan, English (1998, re-issued 2001), Spanish (2001), Chinese (2003)

Conservation of plant resources is often focused on seed banks and botanical gardens. However, the two authors of this volume present a comprehensive conservation strategy that complements this ex-situ approach with practical guidance on in-situ management and conservation of plant resources. The book aims to facilitate better management of protected areas and to illustrate new approaches to conservation of plants within their landscapes. It draws on concepts from forestry, the agricultural sciences, anthropology, ethnology and ethnobotany and should be useful to practitioners, academics and policy-makers.



Plant Invaders: The Threat to Natural Ecosystems
Quentin C. B. Cronk and Janice L. Fuller, English (1995, re-issued 2001), Spanish (2001)

A practical guide to the protection and management of ecosystems against invasions by non-indigenous plant species. The authors seek to offer an accessible account of the subject and how to protect natural habitats. The majority of countries suffer from invasive plants and there are case studies from North America, Europe, Australia, South and South East Asia and the Pacific and Atlantic islands. There is also a list of invasive species, with their countries of origin and regions of introduction.





Ethnobotany: A Methods Manual. Gary J. Martin, (1995,re-issued 2003), , Spanish (2001), Bahasa, Chinese (1998, reprinted 2002)  

Ethnobotany, the study of the classification, use and management of plants by people, draws on a range of disciplines, including natural and social sciences, to show how conservation of plants and of local knowledge about them can be achieved.
This basic introduction to the field illustrates how botany, anthropology, ecology, economics and linguistics are all employed in the techniques and methods involved. It explains data collection and hypothesis testing and provides practical ideas on fieldwork ethics and the application of results to conservation and community development. Case studies illustrate the explanations, demonstrating the importance of collaboration in achieving results.




Editions available in Spanish can be ordered via the Editorial Nordan website.

For enquiries, please contact:

Editorial Nordan-Comunidad,
Avda. Millán 4113 12900 Montevideo, Uruguay
Tel (598-2) 305 5609
Fax (598-2) 308 1640