CBD recommendations


In their first meeting organised in 2009 in Buenos Aires, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Liaison Group on Bushmeat drafted a list of recommendations for action at the national and international levels. Those recommendations were revised and adopted at the 11th meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP) to the Convention in October 2012 as a potential complement to the Addis Ababa Principles and Guidelines for the Sustainable Use of Biodiversity related to sustainable wildlife management in tropical and subtropical countries. Parties, other Governments and relevant organizations were invited to make use of these recommendations, in a manner consistent with national needs and priorities. They were also invited to consider using the recommendations to integrate bushmeat issues into national biodiversity strategies and action plans and other relevant policies and to identify specific national focal points for bushmeat. 

The COP noted with appreciation the support afforded to the work of the CBD Liaison Group on Bushmeat by the Secretariats of CBD, CITES, and CMS, the Central African Forests Commission, IUCN, FAO, GRASP (led by UNEP and UNESCO), CIFOR, TRAFFIC and CIC. 

The revised recommendations are presented below exactly as they appear in the COP 11 Decision XI/25 document.

National level

  1. Increasing capacity to fully evaluate the bushmeat issue and establish appropriate policies and management regimes. National Governments should, with the full and effective participation of indigenous and local communities, evaluate the role of bushmeat and other wild animal products in national and local economies and cultures as well as the ecological services provided by harvested species and other biodiversity as an essential step towards conserving and sustainably using this resource. This can be done by:
    1. Increasing capacity to monitor levels of bushmeat harvest and consumption in national statistics to inform improved policy and planning;
    2. Incorporating a realistic and open assessment of wildlife consumption and its role in livelihoods and cultures into major policy and planning documents;
    3. Establishing mechanisms for full and effective participation of indigenous and local communities in the process, to ensure inclusion of their views on the role of bushmeat in their diets and their cultures, and the impacts of unsustainable bushmeat use on their livelihoods, and to include traditional knowledge and customary laws in policymaking and planning.
  2. Engaging the private sector and extractive industries. Wildlife management, including bushmeat species management, should be an essential part of management or business plans for natural resource industries (oil, gas, minerals, timber, etc.) operating in tropical, sub-tropical forest, wetland and savannah ecosystems. Where possible, identify and apply existing biodiversity safeguards and standards within extractive industry guidelines and policies (such as safeguards for sustainable forest management - SFM). The private sector should provide food alternatives for staff working in logging concessions (for example: stipulated in the contracts between government and extractive industries).
  3. Rights and tenure, and traditional knowledge: Access, rights and associated accountability, as well as the responsibility to sustainably manage wildlife resources, should be transferred whenever possible to indigenous and local communities and other local stakeholders who have a vested interest in maintaining these resources and who can deliver sustainable, desirable solutions. The capacities of these empowered indigenous and local communities should be built and strengthened to ensure that they have the capacity to exercise these rights. Conservation and sustainable use of wildlife resources would be enhanced through the incorporation of traditional knowledge and customary sustainable use into management and monitoring systems, as well as by favouring the use of the most ecologically friendly (e.g. species-specific), cost-efficient and humane hunting methods.
  4. Review of national policies and legal frameworks: States where bushmeat species occur are strongly encouraged to review existing policies and legal frameworks related to the conservation and sustainable use of wildlife. In addition to restricting harvesting in protected areas and of threatened species in accordance with existing legislation, it is recommended that States establish strategies, policies, capacity, and management systems that support the legal and sustainable hunting of targeted species. The review should ensure:
    1. That national regulatory frameworks take into consideration the established rights of indigenous and local communities as they pertain to the customary sustainable use of species for bushmeat;
    2. The coherence of policy and legal frameworks through mainstreaming conservation and sustainable use of wildlife in the various sectoral and national planning exercises ;
    3. That management schemes are practical and feasible for harvestable species as well as those in need of strict protection (e.g., endangered species);
    4. Realistic approaches to enforcement in which control measures are consistent with capacity;
    5. That legal and regulatory texts reflect current practices without compromising key conservation objectives;
    6. Promotion of the sustainable harvest of low-risk species and of measures to enhance protection of high-risk species;
    7. The full and effective participation of indigenous and local communities, and include their views and proposals based on traditional knowledge, customary practices and laws;
    8. That sanctions and penalties have a deterrent effect.
  5. Landscape-level management: An effectively managed and coherent network of protected areas is essential to conserve wildlife, including threatened species. In order to conserve wildlife populations outside protected areas, management should consider the landscape level.
  6. Science, traditional and indigenous knowledge and monitoring. Management decisions should be made based on the best available and applicable science, the precautionary approach and the practices and traditional knowledge of indigenous and local communities. Further research is crucial and better information management is needed. Appropriate monitoring systems of bushmeat harvest and trade and wildlife habitats should be developed based on an integration of traditional, indigenous and scientific knowledge and implemented at national level, and allow for comparability of bushmeat harvest and trade at the regional level. International support and guidance should be provided for harmonization of monitoring and reporting. Standardized methods to assess and monitor the status of wildlife populations should be developed and implemented. New, updated and additional reliable data on populations of harvested species and on levels of use and trade should be made available for consideration within the Convention on Biological Diversity – Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (CBD-SBSTTA), the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Animals Committee, the Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) Scientific Council, other relevant international conventions, the Great Apes Survival Partnership led by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP-GRASP) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red Listing Process.
  7. Substitution and other mitigating measures: The development of culturally acceptable and economically feasible alternative food and income sources is essential where wildlife alone cannot be sustainably used to support current or future livelihood needs. Alternative food and income sources, however, need to take into account local realities, cultures and preferences and should be developed and implemented with local communities or support community-based income projects. Mitigating measures (farming, ranching, captive breeding, etc.) may play a role in conserving wildlife resources.
  8. Capacity-building, training, education and awareness-raising: To achieve conservation and sustainable use of wildlife resources, sufficient capacity-building and public awareness-raising activities targeting relevant audiences need to be implemented and where possible institutionalized at international, national and local levels across a range of themes, including:
    1. Governance and law enforcement including customary laws;
    2. Wildlife monitoring and management, including non-detriment findings;
    3. Monitoring and management of bushmeat harvest and trade;
    4. The role of indigenous and local communities;
    5. The impacts of unsustainable bushmeat harvesting and trade on indigenous and local communities and their livelihoods;
    6. Livelihood alternatives; and
    7. Collaboration across government, private and public sectors, educational training institutions and indigenous and local communities.
  9. Health and epidemiology: (a) Where wildlife hunting and bushmeat trade is regulated, a national strategy for disease surveillance including those transmitted by wildlife should be implemented. Appropriate public health information and capacity-building should emphasize prevention of disease and protection of both human and animal health. Furthermore, wildlife, domestic livestock and human health need to be monitored and legislation, regulations, and enforcement need to be developed and implemented to reduce the threat of epizootics from newly emerging infections in an environmentally friendly manner; (b) in regions with bushmeat trade, sanitary control and biosecurity measures are necessary to prevent the sale of tainted meat or contaminated animal products that may lead to the spread of harmful pathogens.
  10. Special management areas: Where they do not already exist, specific areas for wildlife management should be designated at national and local level, with the full and effective participation of indigenous and local communities and in full respect of their rights (in line with decision VII/28 of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity and the programme of work on protected areas, in particular programme element 2 on governance, participation, equity and benefit-sharing), similar to permanent forest estates designated to manage timber resources. These may span existing protected area systems and multi-use landscapes (e.g. game-management areas or districts).
  11. Climate change: Adaptation and mitigation policies and measures should take into account the importance of wildlife for maintaining healthy ecosystems and ecosystem services.
  12. Law enforcement:
    1. Strengthen investigative capacity, enhance control, inspection and arresting procedures and methods, including domestically and at border-crossing points;
    2. Improve knowledge and capacity of prosecutors and judges to prosecute and sentence illegal bushmeat harvest and trade cases, ensure that sentences are served in full and publicize arrests, prosecutions and sentences;
    3. Enhance cooperation and coordination among wildlife trade enforcement officers and officials, prosecutors and judges and other relevant personnel in the implementation of the respective law;
    4. Assure that citizens, including indigenous and local communities, are aware of national, regional and local laws.
  13. National strategies and action plans to address bushmeat:
    1. support and strengthen national political will to plan and take action on key bushmeat and existing conservation commitments;
    2. Governments should develop or strengthen participatory and cross-sectoral processes in formulating and implementing the sustainable management and harvesting of wildlife.

International level

  1. National, regional and international strategies to address bushmeat: Such strategies could include:
    1. Supporting and strengthening national political will to take action on key bushmeat and existing conservation commitments at a transboundary and regional level;
    2. Supporting, strengthening and monitoring the implementation of existing international commitments and agreements and encouraging new ones concerning the conservation and sustainable use of transboundary and shared wildlife resources;
    3. Effectively integrating wildlife-conservation strategies into relevant development assistance such as poverty-reduction strategies;
    4. Creating regional or subregional bushmeat working groups in cooperation with relevant regional bodies to be technically supported by the Secretariat.
  2. Participatory processes: The international community should support national Governments to develop or strengthen participatory and cross-sectoral processes in formulating and implementing the sustainable management and harvesting of bushmeat species, in particular participation of indigenous and local communities, and the private sector.
  3. International trade in bushmeat. Concerned with the potential threat that a growing international trade in bushmeat may have on wild populations and wildlife-dependent communities, the international community should take action to discourage trade in illegally harvested bushmeat, including through the close monitoring of such trade. The international community should provide the means to implement such actions and communicate law-enforcement successes. Close cooperation between Parties, including with regard to law enforcement, and between the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) on this topic is required.
  4. International policy environment: In order to optimize the sustainability of hunting, the international community should support integrated local, national, and transboundary action to build partnerships among relevant organizations and institutions to:
    1. Build enforcement and monitoring capacity;
    2. Develop and implement protein and income alternatives;
    3. Increase awareness and education regarding bushmeat hunting and trade;
    4. Increase collaboration between the relevant conventions: the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), Convention on Migratory Species (CMS), the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), and other relevant organizations.
    5. These actions taken together have the potential to support communities to sustainably manage their wildlife resource and reduce the demand for bushmeat.
  5. Science: Research should assure to include and integrate ecology, health, development, economics and social science to inform future policy.
  6. Forest certification: Forest certification schemes and standards should take into account the role of conservation and sustainable use of wildlife in maintaining healthy forest ecosystems, as well as the well-being of forest-dependent indigenous and local communities.

last updated:  Monday, March 2, 2015