Published 7 November 2011


Over-exploitation of ”bushmeat” and applied taxonomy key issues at conservation meeting

Montreal, Canada, 7th November 2011—delegates to a key conservation meeting beginning today in Montreal will discuss recommendations on the consumption of wild meat “bushmeat”, such as small-scale food and income alternatives. 

German Minister of Environment, Norbert Röttgen, reminded delegates during his video address to SBSTTA 15 of the Bonn Challenge to restore 150 million ha of forest by 2020. © Roland Melisch / TRAFFIC

The meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical, and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) is being held as part of the preparations leading up to the main Convention on Biological Diversity’s (CBD) Conference of the Parties (CoP), to be held next year in India. 

As well as discussions on the revised recommendations put forward by the Convention’s Liaison Group on Bushmeat, another key issue on the SBSTTA agenda is a comprehensive capacity-building strategy for the Global Taxonomy Initiative—a concept which could have profound implications for future conservation efforts. 

The negotiated outputs of these and other discussions will include draft decisions ahead of next year’s CoP, the Convention’s ultimate decision-making body. 

“TRAFFIC hopes this meeting will provide a solid global framework for the conservation and sustainable use of wild fauna, particularly those from tropical and subtropical forests, and that the recommendations on bushmeat and on the capacity-building strategy for the Global Taxonomy Initiative will be supported for adoption at the forthcoming Conference of the Parties,” said Roland Melisch, TRAFFIC’s Senior Director for Africa and Europe. 

The Liaison Group on Bushmeat’s recommendations were revised and broadly agreed upon by a large expert group who met earlier this year in Nairobi, and included the Secretariats of three biodiversity conventions (CBDCITES and CMS), the United Nations FAO, the Central African Forests Commission (COMIFAC), representatives of indigenous peoples and local communities, and other expert groups including TRAFFIC. 

TRAFFIC and WWF have jointly prepared a position paper on the revised Liaison Group on Bushmeat’s recommendations (Document SBSTTA 15/12), and last week the CBD Secretariat, with TRAFFIC’s support, published a new report on Livelihood Alternatives for Unsustainable Use of Bushmeat

During the SBSTTA, TRAFFIC will also focus on further strengthening capacity building efforts needed for field identification of flora and fauna to support conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, and will help address gaps in international standards regarding invasive alien species introduced as pets, aquarium and terrarium species. Another TRAFFIC priority will be in supporting negotiations to held build the Convention’s strategic plan up to 2020. 

On Tuesday 8th November, TRAFFIC is speaking at two side-events at the meeting—on bushmeat, co-organised with the CBD Secretariat and the Indigenous Peoples of Africa Co-ordinating Committee (IPACC), and on promotion of taxonomic capacity building, under the East and Southeast Asia Biodiversity Information Initiative (ESABII) Programmes’, organized with the Ministry of Environment of Japan.