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The gathering, compiling and dissemination of information on wildlife utilisation and economics have always been basic activities of the FAO Forestry Department. In the African region such endeavours have been encouraged and supported by the Working Party on Wildlife Management and National Parks of the African Forestry and Wildlife Commission at a number of its sessions. As a result, FAO commissioned Professor S.S. Ajayi to compile the document Utilisation of Forest Wildlife in West Africa, which was completed in 1979.

Subsequently Dr E.O.A. Asibey prepared, in 1986, a document entitled Wildlife and Food Security, which furnished the basis for the keynote address he delivered at the Symposium on Wildlife Management in Sub-Saharan Africa hosted by Zimbabwe (Harare 1987), with technical support from FAO.

The present study was initially intended to edit the document compiled by Dr Asibey for publication. However, on examination of the document recently, it was realised that most of the data it contained were rather outdated, and that the document drew heavily on data from other parts of the world which were not necessarily applicable to the African situation. It therefore became necessary to prepare a completely new document, focusing mainly on potential contribution of wildlife to food security in Africa.

FAO is grateful to the author, Yaa Ntiamoa-Baidu, for the considerable effort she has put into this exercise which has resulted in a well-documented and informative work. The FAO Forest Resources Division, Rome, Italy and the FAO Regional Office for Africa, Accra, Ghana would welcome comments and suggestions on this document for an eventual updated edition.

M. Hosny El-Lakany
Forest Resources Division
Forestry Department

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