Central African economies rely heavily on the exploitation of natural resources. The trade in wild resources, however, can cause damage to the environment, sometimes wiping out entire species or disrupting natural processes such as the movement of nutrients and energy. Such environmental degradation reduces many people’s quality of life and can be very difficult and expensive to repair.  

To solve these problems, we must first understand the whole picture – how much does extracting wild resources and producing crops impact both the environment and the people in the area?

What will we do?

To discover this we will:

  • Look at how people transition from hunter-gatherers to commerce-based smallholders. This will help us see how to develop sustainable rural economies, for households and communities.
  • Work with urban consumers to understand how their choices can support sustainable harvesting and trade.
  • Model the kinds of trade that lead to better or worse environmental and social impacts. We will do this by bringing together information on trade in wild resources, smallholder agricultural trade and social wellbeing. 
  • Look at realistic trade scenarios within the economic and legal frameworks that govern trade. 
  • Engage with local government and the private-sector, and provide them with the best evidence for building sustainable trade policies and practices. 
  • Provide access to relevant training, ensuring sustainable trade practices can continue into the future.