Bushmeat alternatives in Equatorial Guinea
Equatorial Guinea is one of the smallest countries in continental Africa with an approximate population of only half a million. The central African nation is made up of two parts: the continental region (Río Muni) and four islands (including Annobón and Bioko). The country holds incredible biodiversity with many globally important species including forest elephant, western lowland gorilla, central chimpanzee, black colobus, leopard, mandrill, red river hog, dwarf crocodile and African goliath frog.
The country is also rich in another type of natural resource. The discovery of vast off-shore oil fields has resulted in a dramatic economic boom in recent years and substantial socio-economic benefits, such as higher incomes and a government programme of infrastructure improvement. However, the country now faces a great challenge to ensure that development is sustainable and does not have an adverse impact on the natural resources upon which the country and its rural population are still highly dependent. In particular, bushmeat hunting, driven by high urban demand, is becoming increasingly unsustainable, threatening the country’s wildlife and undermining the food security of the rural poor.
ZSL, through its Institute of Zoology and in conjunction with Imperial College London, has been researching the causes and effects of the bushmeat trade in Río Muni since 2002, collecting data on all aspects of the system, including markets, consumers, households, hunters and wildlife populations. ZSL research has led to a number of recommendations for managing the bushmeat trade in Equatorial Guinea including: improved marketing and sourcing of alternative proteins, livestock production, fresh fish production, generation of alternative incomes, community forest management, protected area management and regulation of the trade.
ZSL started a new project in 2009, working with local communities and in-country partners across Río Muni to evaluate, test and assist in the implementation of the most feasible and acceptable management options. The project will communicate the strengths and weaknesses of each approach to key policy makers and donors, endeavouring to mobilise support for larger initiatives which ensure the sustainable management of the bushmeat trade.
Project funders & collaborators
We are very grateful for current and past funding for our project from US Fish and Wildlife Service, Rufford Foundation, Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund, SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund, Hess-EG, Conservation International through the USAID-funded Central African Regional Program for the Environment (CARPE), ECOFAC and the UK's Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).
ZSL is collaborating in Equatorial Guinea with the following organisations and initiatives: INDEFOR-AP (Instituto del Desarrollo Forestaly Gestión de las Áreas Protegidas), ANDEGE (Amigos de la Natureleza y Desarrollo de Guinea Ecuatorial), Conservation International, Imperial College London, University College London, CARPE and PACEBCo.
Location of activities
11 June 2011 - Representatives from ZSL and the Equatoguinean Ministry of Environment and Fisheries attended the joint meeting of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) liaison group on bushmeat and Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Central African Bushmeat Working Group in Nairobi, Kenya June 7 – 10, 2011. The group recognised with alarm the growing scale and commercialisation of bushmeat hunting and trade. In response to the size of the problem, participants revised a number of recommendations which called for increased recognition of the rights of local communities and indigenous peoples to manage bushmeat hunting and increased collaboration between these groups,
politicians and members of the private sector and extractive industries. Documents provided for this meeting are available here .
30 April 2011 - ZSL in collaboration with its local partners INDEFOR-AP (Instituto del Desarrollo Forestal y Gestión de las Áreas Protegidas) and ANDEGE (Amigos de la Natureleza y Desarrollo de Guinea Ecuatorial) has initiated a long-term socioeconomic study in six villages across Equatorial Guinea’s continental region. The villages (Ayene, Engong-Evinayong, Engong-Aconibe, Esong, Misergue and Tegueté) are located close to two of the region’s largest protected areas, Monte Alén National Park
and Altos de Nsork National Park. The study is collecting data on the livelihoods, consumption patterns and hunting activities of the inhabitants in each of the villages and this data will be used as a baseline to measure the success of future projects. The project team will be holding participatory discussions with the villages throughout 2011 to help identify the most feasible and acceptable bushmeat management plans.
Project publications and outputs
Equatorial Guinea Information Sheet (1.3 MB)
Guinea Ecuatorial - Ficha informativa en Español (1.0 MB)
ZSL Feasibility Study For Bushmeat Alternatives In Equatorial Guinea May 2011 (713 KB)
ZSL/Imperial College London publications on bushmeat in Equatorial Guinea to May 2009 (16 KB)
Gill (2010) Drivers of change in hunter offtake and strategies in Sendje, Equatorial Guinea (631 KB)
Spanish summary of Gill (2010) MSc thesis (330 KB)
Allebone-Webb (2009) Evaluating dependence on wildlife products in rural Equatorial Guinea (3.0 MB)
Rist (2007) Bushmeat Catch per Unit Effort in Space and Time: a monitoring tool for bushmeat hunting (3.4 MB)
Kumpel (2006) Incentives for sustainable hunting of bushmeat in Rio Muni, Equatorial Guinea (2.2 MB)
Spanish summary of Kumpel (2006) PhD thesis results and recommendations (124 KB)
East (2003) Urban consumer demand of bushmeat and its implications for the sustainability of the bushmeat trade in Equatorial Guinea (1.9 MB)
Keylock (2002) The importance of hunting for bushmeat to a rural community in Equatorial Guinea (736 KB)