ICA Cameroon tackles the bushmeat trade

ICA Cameroon was successful in obtaining a grant of £5,000 from the Rufford Foundation in the UK, to tackle the high demand and unregulated supply of bushmeat in the town of Ayos.  ICA:UK was asked by the donor to support ICA Cameroon by transferring the funds on their behalf, and also ensuring that the final report is submitted. This article is adapted from a report by Benoit Ndameu, Director of ICA Cameroon.

The one-year grant is being used to develop a regulatory framework for sustainable management of wildlife to reduce demand for bush meat and control hunting, making sure that local people’s concerns are taken into account. There is also an awareness raising aspect to the project, specifically on the role and responsibility of local actors on wildlife resources degradation and other health hazards they are exposed to.

porcupine and dear bushmeat species in the Ayos market for sale 600x400As a transit city between the nation’s capital, Yaounde and four other administrative regions of the country (Central, Eastern, Adamawa, North and Far North), the project city location Ayos also serves as the transit place three neighbouring countries: Chad, Central African Republic and the Republic of Congo. The project area is well known to be a locality of high marketing and increased consumption of bushmeat, with people travelling to the area specifically for that purpose.

While there is growing pressure on forest and wildlife (both numbers and diversity) in Ayos and neighbouring villages, local hunters and retailers benefit from increased revenue. This leads to more people engaged in activities like hunting and handling dead animals without paying attention to existing wildlife regulation, which is seen as outdated and irrelevant.

The project will aim to reduce the level of this activity and therefore the pressure on the natural resources, to improve the level so hygiene in the handling of wildlife products, to improve hunting techniques and crucially, to bring together the traditional hunters, wildlife products retailers and the Administration representatives to develop strategies for effective traditional hunting and trading of wildlife products out of its clandestine nature.

A formal and permanent platform between traditional hunters and other local actors of the wildlife sector is being set up to help identify and address critical issues in the current wildlife law and formulate concrete proposals and steps to improve this law. These proposals are then the basis for an advocacy and lobbying campaign by local actors to improve the current regulatory framework of the wildlife sector.

The featured image above shows a bushmeat seller in Ayos bus station. The image on the right shows porcupine and deer killed and for sale in Ayos market.

This article was first published in the June 2016 issue of ICA:UK’s Village Volunteers newsletter.  To support the work of ICA:UK’s partners in Africa, support Village Volunteers as a sponsor today!