The Bushmeat Research Initiative (BRI)
The Bushmeat Research Initiative (BRI) was established in 2011 as an integral part of the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry.
Since 2005 CIFOR and partner scientists have produced several theses and publications on the patterns and sustainability of bushmeat harvesting, consumption and marketing in tropical forests across Asia, Africa and Latin America. CIFOR has also been instrumental in the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Liaison Group on Bushmeat whose recommendations have been adopted by the Conference of Parties. This previous work has influenced wildlife conservation and policy decision-making at the local, regional and national levels, and have contributed to diverse initiatives of agencies, institutions and other conservation practitioners including the creation of the Collaborative Partnership on Wildlife Management.
Nevertheless, one of the main limitations of establishing comparative analytical studies is the lack of mechanisms and networks for data exchange and sharing among experts. Much of the existing data is not open-access and is generally owned by individual researchers and private conservation groups. Given the current fragmented understanding of the ecological, socio-economic and cultural dimensions of the bushmeat harvest, enhanced technical information is crucial to understanding the inter-dynamics between hunters, game species and the provisioning of ecosystem services. Bushmeat also has the potential to enhance or constrain adaptive responses to socio-environmental change (climate change, urbanization and land use change). In addition, technical/scientific information is urgently needed for the design of appropriate monitoring tools and effective mechanisms for managing bushmeat harvest, consumption and marketing. To address these issues, CIFOR has created the "Bushmeat Research Initiative" to bring together researchers and other conservation practitioners and facilitate the sharing of technical and scientific information on the various attributes of bushmeat harvest, consumption and marketing across Latin America, Africa and Asia.
Scientists participating in the program will help develop managerial tools and models to improve game management and the sustainability of bushmeat harvest, and contribute to policy design and decision-making in terms of law enforcement and land use planning at the local and national levels. Partnerships with CIFOR offer abundant opportunities for experts and organizations to collaborate in generating new methodologies, research ideas and implementing projects on bushmeat harvest, consumption and marketing.