Regional workshop: exploring community-based efforts to tackle illegal wildlife trade in West/Central Africa
IIED and partners are this week hosting a workshop in Cameroon on how to combat illegal wildlife trade.
IIED is co-hosting the regional workshop on with the IUCN CEESP/SSC Sustainable Use and Livelihoods Specialist Group (SULi), TRAFFIC - the wildlife trade monitoring network, and the Network for Environment and Sustainable Development in Africa (NESDA).
The meeting on 24 and 25 February 2016, funded by GIZ, USAID and the Austrian Ministry of Environment, will explore how best to engage indigenous peoples and local communities in efforts to combat illegal wildlife trade (IWT).
It will do this by examining regional experiences studies in West and Central Africa. The focus is on the international illegal wildlife trade (i.e. wildlife trade that involves cross-border transactions) – not the illegal use of wildlife for local subsistence use or trade (e.g. local bushmeat trade).
Globally, poaching and associated IWT is devastating populations of iconic wildlife species such as rhinos and elephants, as well as many lesser known ones. Across West and Central Africa, IWT is a particular concern for elephants, timber, great apes, pangolins, birds, reptiles, and medicinal plants.
This meeting builds on an international symposium in Muldersdrift, South Africa, in February 2015 which looked at different community engagement approaches.
The Muldersdrift meeting highlighted the need for more focused regional exploration of the issues in order to contribute to an international effort toward raising awareness of, and attention to, the role of indigenous peoples and local communities in effective and just responses to IWT.