How and when can alternative livelihood projects be most effective in improving the sustainability of bushmeat hunting in Africa?

 

Call for lessons learned

 

Across Africa, the hunting and sale of wildlife for food is both a major component of many people's livelihoods and a significant threat to wildlife. Over the past few decades, tremendous effort and funding has therefore gone into finding ways to improve both the social and ecological sustainability of the bushmeat trade. In particular, many projects have attempted to develop protein alternatives (e.g. small-scale wildlife rearing, such as cane-rat farming) or income alternatives (such as beekeeping, or market gardening). However, to date there has been no systematic evaluation of the effectiveness of such interventions, and as a result current projects run the risk of repeating the mistakes of past projects. Put simply – we are not learning our lessons.

 

To help fill this gap in our understanding, Oxford University and Imperial College London, in collaboration with GRASP, IUCN, WCS and others, are conducting an evaluation of the success of alternative livelihood projects aiming to increase the sustainability of bushmeat hunting in Africa. To do this, we are seeking information on as many case studies as possible, and we would appreciate your help.

 

Put simply, we want to know about ANY project or proposed project – whether ongoing, planned, abandoned or even that was considered but never got off the drawing board – that aims (or aimed) to increase the sustainability of bushmeat hunting through the provision of alternative food or alternative income.

 

Where possible, we are looking for reports, project documents and publications as well as contact details for project managers. However, even the name of a project that happened 15 years ago and has long-since been abandoned would be useful – we will chase it up.

 

 

Project timetable

 

 

We are creating an objective comparative review of projects, which ultimately be made available online through Oxford University’s Forest Governance website (and other partner websites) as an online report. Following an initial review of case studies, we will develop a comparative framework and circulate it to partners for review (by end June 2012). Data collection and analyses will then continue until 1st September 2012, and a draft report will be made available online in late 2012 for comments and feedback.

 

Any documents or information you send will be treated as confidential unless you specify otherwise. The online database will only include titles of documents and documents for which we have obtained permission to publish.

 

If you have any information on current or past projects that you think would be useful for this evaluation, can suggest project managers that we should talk to, or are interested in becoming involved in this project, please get in touch with lauren.coad@ouce.ox.ac.uk (Oxford).

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