FAO and Partners Release Review of Illegal Hunting and Bushmeat Trade in Africa
12 October 2012: Underscoring key drivers and impacts of the bushmeat trade, as well as solutions to address the problem, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and international partners have released a review of bushmeat in African savannas, which it says has not received the attention it deserves. The report highlights the impact of the issue on large carnivore populations in Southern and East Africa, in particular.
The publication describes the spatial and temporal patterns of illegal hunting, and the severity of the threat to various species and ecosystems. Noting the diversity of drivers of hunting, the report outlines a continuum from direct consumption to commercial trade, as well as a particular rise in commercial trade. Among the drivers cited in the report are: increasing demand for bushmeat in rural areas; a lack of alternative livelihoods; a lack of alternative food sources; increasing demand for bushmeat in urban areas; a lack of clear rights of wildlife or land; political instability; corruption and poor governance; human encroachment into wildlife areas; inadequate enforcement; demand for wildlife body parts; and abundant supply of wire to be used for snares.
The report describes solutions related to national and international education, and governmental lobbying, addressing specific drivers, and integrating interventions into broader land-use planning, food security and biodiversity interventions.
The report is a summary of a workshop on illegal hunting and bushmeat in the African savanna. Organizations collaborating with FAO in the production of the report include: Panthera, Wildlife Conservation Society, Zoological Society of London and TRAFFIC. [Publication: Illegal Hunting and the Bush-meat Trade in Savanna Africa: Drivers, Impacts and Solutions to Address the Problem] [TRAFFIC Press Release]