Airdate: Apr 19, 2001
Scientist: John Robinson
Bush Meat: Forestry
The progression of logging and road-building within tropical forests has contributed to the harvesting of animals for human consumption.
ambience: chainsaw, tropical forest
Whenever a tropical forest is logged, it means that typically a road must be carved into that forest. But in the process we may be contributing to the destruction of the animals that live there. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet.
The bush meat trade, or the trade of wild animals, has become more and more common as access into the forests has become easier.
"There's a lot of forestry operations going into tropical forest areas. Those forestry operations need to put in roads to get the wood out, and with that has come this opening up of the forest. Professional hunters can get into the forest, local peoples that live in the forest can hunt and export the wild meat along these logging roads."
John Robinson is a Senior Vice President with the Wildlife Conservation Society.
What we've seen is a wave of tropical forest logging which really began in Southeast Asia, and the phenomenon that we've seen of this bush meat and wild meat trade, has already happened. If you go into the forests of Southeast Asia, what you find is that the forests have been opened up, they've mostly already been cut at least once. And you go through those forests and you find that all of the animals have been harvested out, and those animals have moved in and been consumed in local and international markets of one kind or another. What we're seeing right now is that wave of forestry exploitation, which used to be primarily in Southeast Asia, is now moving into Africa."
To face this challenge, Robinson urges logging companies to become more sensitive to the issue of the bush meat trade.
To hear about our new CD, please visit pulseplanet.com. Pulse of the Planet is made possible by the National Science Foundation. I'm Jim Metzner.