The Zoological Society of London hosts the UK's first conference on the unsustainable bushmeat trade
Tuesday 28 May 2002
Today, Tuesday 28 May, 2002, the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) hosts the UK Bushmeat Campaign Conference at which the Rt. Hon Clare Short MP, Secretary of State for International Development, will address delegates on the interaction between wildlife and poverty
As an international scientific, conservation and educational charity, ZSL's work aims to achieve and promote the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats. Actively engaged in diverse conservation activities in the UK and internationally, one of ZSL's key programmes focuses on the bushmeat trade and its impact on related habitats and populations. Its Bushmeat and Forests Conservation Programme looks into the many aspects of this complex trade and ZSL's staff are involved in research, policy reviews, educational activities and field management.
"The bushmeat trade should be a focus of global concern," comments Dr Glyn Davies, Conservation Programmes Director for ZSL. " It's as much a development issue as it is a conservation issue with unsustainable levels of hunting threatening the survival of many species across West and Central Africa. These extinctions will not only threaten forest habitats but may seriously impact upon the food security and livelihoods of people across the region."
As one of the 30 conservation organisations that form the coalition of The UK Bushmeat Campaign, ZSL is delighted to be hosting this important conference.
He continues, "There is an urgent need to develop successful initiatives that will promote the long-term sustainability of the bushmeat trade. We think that by bringing together all the key players at this conference the UK Bushmeat Campaign can move forward and work to protect threatened biodiversity and secure the trade's social and economic values."
ZSL's work on bushmeat tackles the biological, economic and social aspects of the trade, using a variety of approaches including field research and mathematical modelling. Working in Sierra Leone, Ghana, Cameroon, Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) the overall aims of the research are to provide information on the populations of bushmeat species, rates of hunting and trapping and volumes traded, to guide conservation management and decision-making. In DRC, direct support has been given to protected areas.
ZSL's policy work builds on this research base, and looks at the ways in which conservation policies can be better integrated with development programmes, especially those funded by donor agencies.
In addition, ZSL's animal collection located at London Zoo and Whipsnade Wild Animal Park joined the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) conservation campaign in 2001, raising awareness of the bushmeat crisis to their 1.5 million visitors.
It is thought that a better understanding of the bushmeat trade will assist both policy makers and project managers to develop effective methods of regulation and management for sustainability.
For further information please contact:
ZSL PR Office
Debbie Curtis: 020 7449 6363
Notes to Editors:
- ZSL website: www.zsl.org
ZSL Bushmeat Research: www.zoo.cam.ac.uk/ioz/projects/bushmeat.htm
- ZSL's animal collection is located at London Zoo and Whipsnade Wild Animal Park and it also carries out scientific research in the field of conservation biology. ZSL's scientists, based at the Institute of Zoology, study reproductive biology, wildlife disease, conservation genetics, population and evolutionary ecology, and animal health and welfare. ZSL also has scientists based internationally who are actively involved in field conservation, managing large projects in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the Philippines. ZSL's field staff work closely with local communities in other countries, providing the skills and resources needed to protect and manage indigenous wildlife.
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