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Online resource, Bushmeat Sourcebook, launched

The Collaborative Partnership on Sustainable Wildlife Management (CPW) on Tuesday, March 3, 2015 launched the Bushmeat Sourcebook, an online resource, on the occasion of the second World Wildlife Day.

Robert Nasi, Deputy Director General of the Center for International Forestry Research. Photo credit: www.worldagroforestrycentre.org
Robert Nasi, Deputy Director General of the Center for International Forestry Research. Photo credit: www.worldagroforestrycentre.org

The term “bushmeat” used refers to non-domesticated meat from terrestrial wild mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians harvested for food or other purposes, including medicinal use, primarily in tropical and sub-tropical forests.

The sourcebook examines bushmeat’s vital contribution to food security, local livelihoods, and other aspects of human well-being in many parts of the world. It also shows, however, how unsustainable harvesting can affect the ecological stability of forest ecosystems, as well as human health.

Against this background, the sourcebook also looks at the options for management and regulation of bushmeat use at the community, national and international levels, including the recommendations of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Liaison Group on Bushmeat.

“The sourcebook represents a valuable awareness-raising tool, which will help bring attention to key facts,” said Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, Chair of the CPW and Executive Secretary of the CBD. “It also shows us how indigenous peoples and local communities can play a positive role in helping to sustainably manage our valuable wildlife resources.

“The scale of the benefits that wildlife provides is a compelling reason for maintaining wildlife populations and habitats in a productive and healthy state, strengthening local capacities to use the resource sustainably and to mobilise international cooperation to help address specific needs,” Ferreira de Souza Dias added.

“During the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity, World Wildlife Day reminds us that it is important to do our utmost to preserve these key components of biodiversity.”

Robert Nasi, Deputy Director General of the Center for International Forestry Research, said: “If we do not address upfront the use of wildlife for food, here exemplified by the bushmeat issue, we are going to face hard times in many tropical countries.

“Wildlife populations will decrease while human populations will increase, creating an immense ‘protein gap’ that in the short term cannot be filled by domestic animals without huge environmental costs,” Nasi explained.
“It is therefore of the utmost importance to sustainably manage this often forgotten resource by conserving what needs to be conserved – large, slow-reproducing species – and sustainably use what can be used – fast-reproducing, resilient, smaller species. The sourcebook will be a reference for all those working on solving these wicked problems.”

CPW Vice-Chair Jan Heino from the International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation (CIC) said: “Sustainable use of species that are well-suited for bushmeat harvest needs to be moving from the grey ground of illegality to a permitted activity. Only then one is able to introduce conditions to the use of bushmeat, which ensure sustainability.”

The sourcebook was jointly prepared by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), with contributions from other CPW members.

Bushmeat Sourcebook: http://www.fao.org/forestry/wildlife-partnership/bushmeat-sourcebook 

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