Thegef-Weighing the benefits of building a wildlife economy



Local communities should be enlisted as “the first line of defense” against the illegal trade of wild animals and plants, which is much more pervasive and complex than is commonly understood, TRAFFIC Executive Director Steve Broad told participants at the GEF Civil Society Consultation Meetings held in Washington this week.



“Wildlife trading is a high volume business, and it spans many thousands of animal species. You hear a lot about elephants, tigers, and rhinos, but it is much bigger than that,” he told civil society representatives from China, India, Nepal, Tanzania, Kenya, Namibia, Panama, Colombia, Trinidad and Tobago, and elsewhere, who shared concern that wildlife trade is booming despite legal bans.



“The underlying problem is demand that is driving over-exploitation of nature,” Broad said, describing potential benefits from having rural and local communities invest in managing instead of exploiting wildlife, at the same time as officials in destination countries focus on modifying and reducing consumer demand.



Conventional approaches to stopping poaching are simply not enough, agreed Kaddu Sebunya, CEO of the African Wildlife Foundation, who described an urgent imperative to “stop the killing, stop the trafficking, stop the demand” with action across the supply chain.



Sebunya offered an optimistic view about the transformative power of engaged young people across Africa, who increasingly challenge the idea that modernization and growth must come at the expense of nature. “We need a space for wildlife: it is central to our development aspirations," he said.



Several delegates including Rodgers Lubilo of Zambia's Community Based Natural Resource Management Forum said collaboration between governments and civil society was essential to build trust and get buy-in for conservation efforts and to help people in rural areas regard wild animals in their midst as an opportunity.



“We are willing to build the wildlife economy because it brings many benefits,” Lubilo told the session. “We know as communities that we need to secure the wildlife resource. When we lose the elephants, or the lions, the leopards, or buffalos, we lose our wealth.”



In low-income countries livelihoods disproportionately depend on natural capital. Each year these governments forego an estimated $7 billion to $12 billion in potential fiscal revenues that aren’t collected due to illegal logging, fishing, and wildlife trade, according to a new report published by the Global Wildlife Program.



During the discussion, held ahead of the 57th GEF Council in Washington, several CSO leaders shared successful experiences helping rural communities co-exist with wildlife and helping governments improve monitoring in and around protected areas, including with the deployment of women rangers such as in Mozambique’s Gorongosa National Park.



Clara Sierra of ASOCAIMAN, Colombia, described a project that has provided benefits to former crocodile hunters for monitoring the species, which increased crocodile numbers by 200 percent over the past two decades.


Find out more...

Go back


Forests play a key role in tackling climate change

This briefing note from Coordination SUD and Fern analyses the issues we need to address to ensure forests help deliver tropical forested countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). This includes respect for communities’ rights and preserving their livelihoods, protecting and restoring biodiversity, and improved forest governance. Tackling these challenges will require effective civil society participation.

Read more …

Cbd-Zero Draft of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework published by the Secretariat

The Open-Ended Working Group on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework has been tasked with advancing preparations for the development of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework. It is expected that this process will culminate in the adoption of a post-2020 global biodiversity framework by the Conference of the Parties to the CBD, at the UN Biodiversity Conference in 2020 in Kunming, China as a stepping stone towards achieving the 2050 Vision of “Living in harmony with nature".

Read more …

Ecozona-The Screaming Forest: An Ecocritical Assessment of Le Cri de la forêt

From a postcolonial ecocritical standpoint, this essay analyzes the play Le Cri de la forêt (2015) co-authored by Henri Djombo, a cabinet minister from Congo-Brazzaville, and Osée Colin Koagne, a stage director and environmental activist from Francophone Cameroon. Mindful of the rich biodiversity of the Congo Basin where the playwrights originate, the essay interrogates why the forest in the play is screaming and moves on to engage with related ecological questions such as the scapegoating of witchcraft and doubtful traditional beliefs amidst climate change.

Read more …

FERN: Five EU forest trends to watch out for in 2020 & Save the Date - February 2020 (Brussels)

In 2019, forests and forest peoples’ rights rose up the global political – and spiritual - agenda, and the EU made high profile commitments to protect forests abroad and at home as part of their European Green Deal.  But will 2020 see such commitments turned into action? Here are five questions we hope to give positive answers to at the end of the year...

Read more …

Overview and analyses of key national policies, strategies and action plans relevant to deforestation, child and forced labour, and smallholder inclusion in Cameroon

The overarching objective of this study is to identify laws and policies on deforestation, child labour, force labour and smallholder inclusion in Cameroon, and analyze how these policies support the private sector to align with the sustainable production of timber, palm oil, cocoa and rubber. This review clearly demonstrates that both government and private sector can achieve targets of curbing deforestation and ensuring effective respect of human rights along the supply chains of the selected commodities.

Read more …

Statement on the situation of wildlife in the Congo Basin (and in Cameroon in particular) - Resolving Conservation Conflicts in West/Central African Protected Areas

The statement is the outcome of a meeting of various CBFP partners at the Congo Basin Institute in Yaounde:  ...We are a group of scientists, including faculty members from respected universities in Cameroon and abroad, representatives of protected areas management units, law enforcement organisations (LAGA), rangers, and international organisations (TRAFFIC, WWF). In October 2019, we met in Yaoundé to assess the current status of conservation in the country and discuss ways forward to solve what we consider to be a conservation crisis...

Read more …

Final Communiqué of the Experts’ Meeting to Follow up on the N’Djamena Conference on The Sahel-Congo Basin Roadmap on the Operational Implementation of the N'Djamena Declaration Synthesis

The Kingdom of Belgium Facilitation of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP), in close collaboration with the Central African Forest Commission (COMIFAC) and the Government of the Republic of Cameroon, hosted from 16 to 17 December 2019 in Douala, Cameroon, the Experts’ Meeting for the follow up of the International conference on Security, Poaching, Transhumance Management and the Movements of Armed Groups between the Sahel and Equatorial Africa.

Read more …

CAFI and EU join forces for the future of Central African Forests

Brussels, 4 November:  As part of growing commitments from donors to Central African forests and people, matching growing concern about accelerating forest loss of Earth’s 2nd lung, the  European Commission signed a15 million euros (16 million dollars) funding agreement to the Central African Forest Initiative (CAFI) Trust Fund.

Read more …

CBFP News Archive