Sustainable Utilisation Of Wildlife Not So Sustainable
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Income may come from photographic tourism, but this is not always an option; not all rhino areas are scenic, accessible, or have the right infrastructure. Responsible and sustainable tourism must be considered. Furthermore, tourism can be fickle and therefore an unreliable source of income. For example, trophy hunting provided an important source of conservation income for Zimbabwe during the recent political turmoil, when visitor numbers dramatically declined.
So, in common with many conservation organisations, including the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Save the Rhino International recognises that the sustainable use of wildlife, including the responsible trophy hunting of rhinos, has a valid role in overall rhino conservation strategies. For the record, Save the Rhino is not involved with decision-making about quotas or animal selection, and Save the Rhino does not accept donations derived from the sale of rhino trophy hunts, legally sold horns or live sales of rhinos.
Between 2018 and 2024, the SWM Programme will improve the conservation and sustainable use of wildlife in forest, savannah and wetland ecosystems. Field projects are being implemented in 15 African, Caribbean and Pacific countries. The aim is to:
The Club adopts the view that complete preservation of wildlife and other natural resources from ethical and sustainable consumptive uses by humans breaks the fundamental roles that humans have always played in the ecosystems they inhabit and depend upon for meaning and well-being. The Club further finds that conserving wildlife and other natural resources into the future will require the same advocacy and funding for active management that historical access to regulated, ethical and sustainable uses of wildlife and other natural resources has proven to provide.
As the content of the post-2020 biodiversity framework is being developed, Dilys Roe discusses the role of sustainable use in reducing biodiversity loss and saving wild species, and some of the potential implications of COVID-19.
Although the workshop is no longer going ahead, it is timely to reflect on what sustainable use is and its role in reducing the loss of biodiversity and saving wild species, particularly in the context of COVID-19 and calls for a global ban on wildlife trade.
Even when sustainable use does entail lethal practices, it can still contribute significantly to conservation. Key to any form of sustainable use is that it generates benefits (whether financial, cultural, nutritional or other) for people who live with, and are custodians of, wild species. These benefits encourage people to continue conserving wild species (including those that pose a danger to their livelihoods) and, crucially, the habitats in which they live.
The challenge for sustainable use is not so much use in itself, but how to ensure sustainability. The growth in human populations, economic activity and global trade in the last 50 years makes this a huge challenge.
Such models are, however, in short supply, as a recent analysis we conducted for the Luc Hoffmann Institute shows (PDF). At this turbulent time, we must keep open as many options as possible, including those based on sustainable use.
COVID-19 is renewing global public, policy and political attention on wildlife use and conservation. While on the one hand this is resulting in calls for bans, on the other hand it provides an unprecedented opportunity to develop and implement conservation programmes and approaches that enhance good practices and promote resilient livelihoods based on regulated and sustainable use of natural resources.
We need to ramp up efforts to reduce unsafe, illegal and unsustainable use. But we also need to ensure that people living with and alongside wildlife are empowered to use it and benefit from it in ways that incentivise the long-term conservation of species and habitat, and support their livelihoods.
Although the 1972 Stockholm Declaration laid out the fundamental principles for sustainable resource governance, the state of play half a century later is sobering. The International Resource Panel (IRP), launched by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), found that the global average of material demand per capita grew from 7.4 tons in 1970 to 12.2 tons in 2017, with significant adverse impacts on the environment, notably increased greenhouse gas emissions.
At times, this balance of interests favors more powerful actors. Stemming from historical legacies and trajectories in decision-making, structural inequalities exist across resource access, ownership, and tenure security (Oxfam, 2014). These issues disproportionately impact women, rural communities, and Indigenous Peoples, who are often cast as passive recipients to policy change, as opposed to rights holders and key actors in the sustainable management of natural resources.
Despite efforts since the 1970s, current trends in natural resource use are unsustainable, with potentially devastating results. The 2019 IPBES Global Assessment Report underscored that transformative change is necessary to protect the resources upon which human life and wellbeing depends. The Report also acknowledges that, by its very nature, transformative change is often opposed by those with interests vested in the status quo. Civil society actors therefore underscore the importance for governments to address vested interests and foster inclusive decision making, along with a re-balancing of priorities with regards to rights and interests in order to ensure ecological integrity and social justice (Allan, et.al., 2019). The Local Biodiversity Outlooks mentioned earlier offer important examples of bottom-up approaches to resource governance that can foster sustainability while also addressing historical inequalities.
Decision making must be inclusive and account for the needs, rights, and knowledges of historically marginalized communities and groups. Governance structures must recognize and support pre-existing sustainable practices at local and regional levels, as well as nourish the emergence of more sustainable patterns of resource use and management. This will require strengthening tenure rights and re-distributing power across all stages of decision-making.
UN Human Rights Council. (2019). Report by the Special Rapporteur on the issue of human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment. A/HRC/43/53.
"Sustainable" means to maintain, continue, and keep, while "forestry" is the science and art of managing forests. Thus, sustainable forestry is about caring for and managing forests to provide the natural resources, such as wood and clean water, we need now and in the future. It also means sustaining other things we value from the forest like wildlife habitat and beautiful landscapes. Sustainable forestry is concerned with all parts of the forest--trees, smaller plants, soils, wildlife, and water. It involves protecting forests from wildfire, pests, and diseases, and preserving forests that are unique or special.
Sustainable forestry also puts an emphasis on people. People need forests for the resources they provide, and as a place to live or to make a living. Sustainable forestry ensures that future generations will have forests to meet their needs and values. As you can see, sustainable forestry is complex and can involve many things. Let's look at a few of these things more closely. You will also see how sustainable forestry can mean different things to different people.
To care for and manage a forest in a sustainable way it is necessary to use responsible management practices. These are often specifically adapted to each site. One of the most important practices is to look at whether the forest has enough natural seeds, seedlings, and tree sprouts (all called regeneration) to make a future forest. Excessive populations of white-tailed deer in a forest greatly reduce regeneration by eating young trees. Too many ferns or too little sunlight can also play a role. Many sustainable forestry practices can protect or encourage forest regeneration. They include putting up a fence to exclude deer, controlling weeds and other plants, and removing some trees to allow more sunlight to reach down into the forest.
Other sustainable forestry practices include protecting forest streams and wet areas. Harvesting trees can disturb and expose soil in small areas. This is especially true on roads built for driving the machinery used to remove trees. The flow of rain or other water across, and under, roads must be carefully managed with culverts (large pipes) and proper road design. This helps prevent soil from washing into a stream or wet area. Too much soil in water, or sediment, is harmful to aquatic life. Trees and other vegetation left undisturbed adjacent to streams or wet areas can also prevent soil from entering streams. These areas are called buffer strips.
All forests are special, but some areas are more unique than others. It is a principle of sustainable forestry to protect unique areas that are not found elsewhere or are uncommon. One example is very old forests. Almost all of the 17 million acres of forests in Pennsylvania were clear-cut at least once by the early 1900s. However, a few small areas were never cut. Most of these old forests are currently preserved.
People view sustainable forestry in many different ways. To a forest landowner, sustainable forestry might mean selling timber and yet passing the land to an heir in good condition. To a logger (a person who cuts trees for a living) sustainable forestry might mean protecting the trees left in a forest, and constructing roads properly. To a professional forester, sustainable forestry might mean selecting appropriate forestry practices for a given site. All of these people want to sustain forests, even though each views the forest in different ways. Sustainable forestry is a broad but important concept. It requires concern and commitment on everyone's part. 2b1af7f3a8