Nature is declining at an unprecedented rate across the planet. Over one million species now face extinction, which has grave consequences for wildlife, people and the planet. We all rely upon nature for our food, health, livelihoods and quality of life.
The overharvest and trade in plants and animals is one of the biggest threats to wildlife. In fact, the world’s leading experts have ranked ‘the direct exploitation of organisms’ as the second biggest cause of wildlife loss around the world.
What will we do?
We want to understand the impacts of wildlife trade on species, people and the economy and create solutions to one of the most pressing issues of our time.
We will focus on the trade of live animals, skins and wildmeat in the following countries:
- the Congo Basin countries (Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, and the Republic of Congo)
How will we pick each species?
We will choose context-important species or groups of species that are important to each country and that can shed light on the scope and scale of wildlife trade.
For instance, in China, we will focus on live birds as this is an emerging issue where we need more research. In the Congo Basin, we will focus on understanding the dynamics of the wildmeat trade, drawing on surveys about consumption and evaluating the success of various tools in reducing the amount of wildmeat eaten in towns and cities.
While the main focus is on specific countries, we will also develop new ways of visualising wildlife trade around the world. This will give policy makers the information and evidence they need to make policies that protect both people and wildlife.
By both investigating the problems and developing solutions, we can help reduce the negative impacts of unsustainable trade on wild species.