Airdate: Apr 20, 2001
Scientist: John Robinson
Bush Meat: Solutions
Cooperation from logging companies can help prevent professional hunters from harvesting forest wildlife.
ambience: tropical rain forest, distant saw
The hunting of wild animals, for trade in local and international markets, takes place in tropical forests and has reached levels that these ecosystems can no longer support. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet.
John Robinson is a biologist with the Wildlife Conservation Society, and he, along with many others, has been working to put a stop to the so-called 'bush meat business.'
"Local communities will frequently work with you because they see it in their interest to conserve the wild animals, and as long as you close down the commercial side of the trade, you can actually make some kind of progress."
Robinson and his colleagues also go to the root of the problem by asking the tropical logging companies, who sell their wood all over the world, to become more aware of the issue of bush meat exploitation.
"We work with logging companies, which are frequently the only institutional presence out there in the forest. Logging companies need to sell their wood and the public is asking for environmentally produced wood. What we're finding is that logging companies are quite sensitive to these issues, and will work with us to stop the transport of wildlife along logging roads, will work with us to stop their employees from hunting, and will work with us to stop professional hunters coming into the area to hunt."
According to Robinson, progress has been made, but there is still a long way to go.
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.