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The Bushmeat Crisis and Conservation

One of the main threats to gorillas is hunting for their meat or accidental entrapment in snares set for other species. While the YoG strongly opposes any such activities in relation to gorillas and other endangered species, there is also a traditional component to the hunting of forest animals.

Wildlife in tropical forests is a main source of livelihoods, and the well-being of forest dependent communities is closely linked to its availability. The bushmeat crisis, resulting from the current unsustainable extraction rates of wildlife from forests, therefore reminds us of humankind’s dependence on biodiversity. The disappearance of wildlife from our forests is also a serious threat to the cultural and spiritual identity of many indigenous and local communities and other forest dependent communities.

This CBD (Convention on Biological Diversity) Technical Series publication (2008) synthesizes existing knowledge on this complex topic, and suggests some policy options to make the use of wild fauna more sustainable. Interactions with other sectors, in particular forestry, agriculture, and fisheries, are demonstrated.

To the CBD Bushmeat Technical Series (Pdf, 6 Mb, English)

Additional Information: Pursuant to Decision IX/5 of the COP, which urged Parties to address, as a matter of priority, the unregulated and unsustainable hunting and trade of bushmeat, and their impact on non-target species, the Secretariat of the CBD is facilitating a thematic workshop on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Bushmeat, which will be held on the margins of the World Forestry Congress (WFC), 18-23 October 2009, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Nominated experts are tentatively scheduled to meet for three days prior to the WFC, followed by a High Level Panel Discussion at the WFC showcasing the results of the workshop. More details of the bushmeat workshop will be made available on the CBD website (http://www.cbd.int/meetings/) in due course.

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New Results Raise Hopes for Effective Ebola Treatment

A report published on May 28 in the scientific journal The Lancet reports on the development of a potential new drug to treat the extremely lethal Ebola hemorrhagic fever, which endangers the lives of people and animals and is one of the main threats to gorillas, especially the Western Lowland subspecies. A team at Boston University has used an experimental drug to protect monkeys from the most lethal strain of Ebola.

“We were stunned,” the team leader said. “I’ve been working with this virus for my whole career — 23 or 24 years — and we’ve had some mild successes where maybe we could go up to 50 percent protection, but I was really shocked that we got complete protection.”

Though not fully applicable to real-life scenarios, these results may hold the key to further developments, aimed at protecting people and gorillas. To read the whole article, click here.

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Guy Williams Named Regional Ambassador for Australia

Guy Williams is an Australian ecologist, primate conservationist and professional sustainability consultant. Primates have always been the driving passion in Guy William’s conservation work. It has just so happened that of late he has exchanged his forest habitat for the urban jungle.

Guy Williams, YoG Regional Ambassador Australia Guy has worked in primate conservation in a range of roles for the past decade, in many regions of the world. His academic research took him to North India, to understand the impact of a changing climate and human-induced pressures on the behaviour and survival of the North Indian langur (Presbytis entellus). Guy’s recent primate conservation efforts have lead him to North India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Indonesia, where he developed community models of wildlife education and resource conservation that consider the needs of both human and non-human primates.

Despite continuing to support primate conservation in both research and policy development, Guy’s role with Australia based tda environmental consulting have seen him take the primate conservation challenge to the offices of business and the hallways of government in an attempt to make species conservation and environmental preservation a focus of all sustainability frameworks. His reputation in the global sustainability community and his government networks enable Guy to foster and encourage gorilla education throughout a diversity of local and regional communities.

It is his pioneering work in the development of the integrated community, conservation and carbon project concept, currently being applied in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea that offers the greatest opportunity for gorilla conservation. The Triple C development framework enables businesses to invest sustainably in forest conservation, while ensuring local community governance is strengthened, livelihoods are maintained and the tropical forests and the primates that call these forests home is preserved.

Guy said: “There is significant potential in educating communities and businesses about how their purchasing and spending decisions can be both sustainable, satisfying and also contribute directly to the survival of the world’s tropical forests and the amazing diversity of plants and animals that occupy them.”

Guy will serve as Regional Ambassador Australia for the Year of the Gorilla, working closely with the YoG partners as well as a group of conservation organizations, businesses, zoological and educational institutions and regional heads of government to develop a regional program to support gorilla conservation.

The Australian Year of the Gorilla program will seek to raise funds for selected projects, thereby helping on-the-ground gorilla conservation and the development of affected human populations where help is needed most and resources can be used most efficiently. The Australian program will lobby businesses, government and the wider community to commit to ensuring the conservation and preservation of these amazing great apes.