Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Will aid to poor put wildlife at risk?

18.03.2005


Poverty alleviation and conservation must go hand-in-hand, survey finds



Even a small increase in the wealth of poor, rural families in Gabon may cause a substantial increase in the consumption of bushmeat, according to a study by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) in a recent issue of Conservation Biology. The results of the study, the authors said, underline the importance of coordinating poverty alleviation efforts with conservation to avoid depleting natural resources in Central Africa, while still benefiting the rural poor.

"Raising poor families out of poverty is a moral imperative," said Dr. David Wilkie of the Wildlife Conservation Society, the lead author of the study. "However, if doing so results in the depletion of the wildlife that these families rely upon to meet their daily protein needs, then development assistance may not only result in a loss of biodiversity. It also may put at risk the long-term security of these clients of aid--the rural poor.


The study--which was the first to explore the bushmeat issue across the entire country--was based on surveys conducted in some 1208 households in six locations across Gabon, collecting information on meat consumption, socioeconomic status, and demographic factors. In all instances, the consumption of meat, including wildlife, fish, chicken and livestock, increased with wealth, while rising prices resulted in a decrease in consumption. Growth in the income of poor families resulted in the largest jumps in bushmeat consumption. The rural poor are only 16 percent of the Gabonese population, but as they rely on wildlife for food, they eat 51 percent of all bushmeat consumed. Given this, even a small step out of poverty for the rural poor might have a huge unexpected impact on wildlife conservation and the long-term food security of poor families.

Contrary to what was expected, the price of poultry and livestock appeared to have little statistical effect on the amount of bushmeat consumed. But, increases in the price of bushmeat resulted in both a decrease in bushmeat consumed and an increase in fish consumption. The authors caution that attempts to reduce the amounts of bushmeat purchased by consumers may produce higher demand for fish. This finding indicates that management of wildlife and fisheries must go hand-in-hand, so that conserving one does not result in overexploitation and loss of the other.

A truly effective method of protecting wildlife populations and the welfare of the rural poor, Wilkie said, would be to use law enforcement to stop non-local hunters from stripping the forest of its wildlife to supply urban dwellers with a luxury item eaten on special occasions.

"In countries such as Gabon, where the poor and wildlife live together, conservation organizations need to work closely with development organizations," added Wilkie. "By understanding how client families use natural resources, we can formulate holistic strategies to protect wildlife and natural resources and promote the welfare security of local people."

WCS President and CEO Steven E. Sanderson said: "To say poverty alleviation and conservation must go together is the easy part. To solve the problems of poor people and wildlife where they actually live their lives is more complicated. It is what we try to do, and it will make the difference between a slogan and a good action agenda."

The Gabonese government has invested significantly in the conservation of wildlife within its borders. In 2002, Gabon created 13 national parks across the country, protecting over 10 percent of its land cover in the process.

John Delaney | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.wcs.org

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections
11.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Quantum optical sensor for the first time tested in space – with a laser system from Berlin

For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.

According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Tracking movement of immune cells identifies key first steps in inflammatory arthritis

23.01.2017 | Health and Medicine

Electrocatalysis can advance green transition

23.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New technology for mass-production of complex molded composite components

23.01.2017 | Process Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>