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Role of bushmeat in food security and nutrition


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This presentation highlights the importance of bushmeat for the food security, nutrition and income of rural and urban populations in the Amazon and Congo Basins. Following an introduction on the size and nature of the bushmeat value chain, we show the potential ecological, economical and nutritional crises if we pursue unsustainable practices. We then propose a portfolio of solution around a more sustainable supply, a reduced demand and a conducive enabling environment at national and international levels.

Published in: Environment
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Role of bushmeat in food security and nutrition

  1. 1. The role of bushmeat in food security and nutrition Robert Nasi1 and John. E. Fa2 1CIFOR,2Manchester Metropolitan University/CIFOR OCTOBER 2016
  2. 2. Taxonomic composition of terrestrial vertebrates hunted for bushmeat in tropical and sub-tropical habitats in different world regions. Full list of species in Redmond et al. (2006). Recipes for Survival. Ape Alliance/WSPA. A widespread essential and socially acceptable informal sector… but de facto a criminal activity in most of the countries Bushmeat
  3. 3. Size of the issue In tonnes/meat/year Consumption Extraction Amazon 909,000 1,299,000 Congo 3,198,000 4,569,000 From Nasi et al. (2011) K. Ammann
  4. 4.  Economically significant  Socially acceptable  Largely non substitutable  Gender differentiated  Regulated but not controlled  Poor’s people businesses BUT  Unsustainable  Resource base is degraded or capital depleted  State has no revenues  Corruption reigns  LOSE-LOSE situation, everyone lose! What is so special about bushmeat?
  5. 5. 2-2.5 billion 15-20 million 5 million tonnes/year of bushmeat in the Congo Basin is equivalent to:
  6. 6. REPUBLIC OF CONGO GABON CAMEROON 42.3 (108) 30.9 (85) 9.8 (122) In Central Africa, financial profits and gross economic benefits from the bushmeat sector (Million €/yr) is high. Numbers in brackets = Gross economic benefit (incl. self-consumption) From: Lescuyer et al. (2012)
  7. 7. From: Van Vliet et al. (2012) Bushmeat is regularly eaten often in low but significant quantities Example: rural and urban children in Kisangani, DRC, report higher consumption of bushmeat than any other meat. Rural/Urban 5% 6% 2% 10% 11% 15% 5% 11% 20%/25%
  8. 8. But, what are the consequences on food security and human nutrition if wild meat resources are depleted?
  9. 9. Child Stunting Source: Fa et al. i2015, Scien. Repor. Bushmeat and Malnutrition
  10. 10. Sustainable protein supply from bushmeat in the Congo Basin: 6.5 - 13.0g/person/day now 0.4 - 0.8g/person/day in 2050 (given deforestation & population growth) Overall protein supply will fall from about 85g to 41g/person/day by 2050, due to reductions in bushmeat availability. This is 79% of the WHO recommended minimum of 52g/person/day. A protein gap? From: Fa et al. (2003)
  11. 11. A fat gap? From: Siren & Machoa. (2008) The suggestion from a study in Ecuador is that if wild meat and fish availability decreases, the most immediate and serious effect would not be a reduction in protein intake, but in fat intake. Wild meat provides fat as well as protein. Fat is energy-rich, and contains vitamins. Dietary fat should supply at least 15-20% of the energy intake.
  12. 12. A micronutrient gap? In a study of children under 12 y of age in rural northeastern Madagascar, consuming more wildlife was associated with significantly higher haemoglobin concentrations. Removing access to wildlife would induce a 29% increase in the numbers of children suffering from anemia and a tripling of anaemia cases among children in the poorest households. From: Golden et al.. (2011)
  13. 13. Gender issues • Plays a disproportionately important role in the livelihoods and well-being of women (and children) • Women play an important role in the different value chains of these products and derive crucial income from the sales • Women generally invest back their income into household food and wellbeing; men more into non essential goods
  14. 14. Pygmies HR 20.4 ± 23.2 ind. P-1 Yr-1 376.3 ± 515.1 kg P-1 Yr-1 ER 87.9 ± 109.9 ind. H-1 Yr-1 1646.6 ± 2095.7 kg H-1 Yr-1 Non-Pygmies HR 39.5 ± 66.9 ind. P-1 Yr-1 307.0 ± 450.6 kg P-1 Yr-1 ER 162.0 ± 123.6 ind. H-1 Yr-1 1283.9 ± 1004.2 kg H-1 Yr-1 Pygmy – non Pygmy issues H = Hunter P = Person From Fa et al. (2016)
  15. 15. A broader view and understanding of the nutritional contribution made by wild meat and of the implications to humans and environment is necessary. “Realistically, if changes in attitude do not occur soon…a fitting epithet for the loss of [Sulawesi] endemic mammals and birds may be 'they tasted good” (O'Brien & Kinnaird) “You have to have at least one square meal a day to be an environmentalist” (Borlaug)
  16. 16. Tackling the protein gap and the biodiversity loss  Solutions can only be combinations of various actions at different points of the value chain and of the enabling environment  Actions need to be combined at various levels around three main elements: – Reducing the demand for bushmeat – Making the off-take, supply more sustainable with proper management of the resource – Creating an conducive and enabling institutional and policy environment
  17. 17. The key components, determinant, factors, and processes of a sustainable diet. Johnston et al. Adv Nutr 2014;5:418-429 Sustainable Diets: The aim
  18. 18. Improving sustainability of supply  Hunter, rural consumers – Negotiate hunting rules allowing harvesting resilient species and banning vulnerable ones – Define self-monitored quotas and co- construct simple self-monitoring tools  Research and extension services – Develop and disseminate simple monitoring methods – Understanding the “empty forest” syndrome: • Role of source-sink effects in hunting areas; Competition and substitutions effects on forest composition and structure – Analyze relationships and trade-off between bushmeat and other protein sources • Bushmeat and freshwater fish consumption; domestic meat (livestock, poultry…) footprints • Is there a nutritional transition? Where? Into which alternative protein source?
  19. 19. Improving sustainability of supply  Extractive industries – Enforce codes of conducts and include wildlife concerns in companies’ standard operating procedures – Forbid transportation on company’s cars or trucks – Establish manned checkpoints (with trained personnel) on main roads – Provide alternative sources of protein at cost – Organize, support community hunting schemes – Adopt and implement certification
  20. 20. Reducing demand  Hunters, rural consumers – Develop alternative sources of protein at a cost similar to bushmeat – Improve economic opportunities in productive sectors – Use local media (e.g. radio) to deliver environmental education and raise awareness
  21. 21. Reducing demand  Retailers, urban consumers – Strictly enforcing ban of protected/endangered species sales and consumption – Confiscating and publicly incinerating carcasses – Taxing sales of authorized species – Targeted campaigns  International consumers – Instituting very heavy fines for possession or trade of bushmeat (whatever the status or provenance of the species) – Raising awareness of the issue in airports or seaports – Engaging and making accountable airline or shipping companies
  22. 22. “Enabling” environment  National policy makers and agencies (range states) – Enhancing ownership, linked to tenurial and rights reform – Legitimize the bushmeat debate – Make an economic assessment of the sector and include in national statistics – Acknowledge contribution of bushmeat to food security in national strategies – Develop a framework to “formalize” parts of the trade – Review national legislation for coherence, practicality and to reflect actual practices (without surrendering key conservation concerns) – Include bushmeat/wildlife modules in curricula
  23. 23. “Enabling” environment  International policies – Strict enforcement of CITES – Ensure wildlife issues are covered within internationally- supported policy processes – Link international trade with increased emerging disease risks – Impose tough fines and shame irresponsible behavior  Local institutions – Negotiate full support of communities that have a vested interest in protecting the resource – Increase capacity to setup and manage sustainable bushmeat markets – Develop local participatory monitoring tools
  24. 24.