How is sustainable wildlife management finding success in Guyana?

GLF Live with Nathalie van Vliet, Kim Spencer and Oswin David

This episode is now available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Amazon Music.

Millions of people around the world still rely on wild meat as part of their basic diet, with an estimated 5 to 8 million people depending on bushmeat consumption in South America alone. However, unchecked hunting in environments already under pressure can contribute to the depletion of wildlife, threatening entire ecosystems as well as the people who rely on them. 

The Sustainable Wildlife Management (SWM) Programme is a major initiative of CIRAD, the World Conservation Society (WCS), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and CIFOR-ICRAF that aims to improve wildlife conservation and food security.

The program focuses on three key socio-ecosystems: forest, wetland and savannah, with CIFOR-ICRAF leading the work on “Consumption of wildmeat becomes sustainable” and the ”Monitoring and evaluation mechanism.” This collaborative project develops scalable approaches to conserve wild animals and protect ecosystems, whilst at the same time improving the livelihoods of the Indigenous Peoples and rural communities who depend on these resources.

In this GLF Live, we gathered three experts to discuss the CIFOR-ICRAF-led SWM project in Guyana, their successes in the past few years, lessons learned, plans for the next five years, and how this project could be replicated or scaled up.

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To learn more, join SWM on a virtual journey across their project sites in Guyana and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, or hear the team discuss how to prevent the next pandemic.

Nathalie van Vliet is an associate researcher at CIFOR-ICRAF, focusing on the links between wildlife and livelihoods. She has worked for the last 15 years on wildmeat and its contribution to food security and local economies in Central Africa, the Amazon and the Caribbean region. Working at local, national and international levels, her research intends to provide more visibility to current wildmeat use and objective data for innovative management policies that include ecological, cultural and socio-economic sustainability.

Kim Spencer is a teacher at Sand Creek Secondary School and ranger at South Rupununi Conservation Society (SRCS) Guyana. As a result of Spencer’s work in environmental education, she was recently selected as a fellow in Conservation International’s Amazon Indigenous Women’s Fellowship program. Through this, she is pursuing a project to inspire, empower and build the leadership capacity of young Indigenous women in the Rupununi to become environmental leaders.

Oswin David is a Wapichan and a Country Coordinator for the SWM Programme–Guyana who has the responsibility for the implementation, monitoring and reporting of Guyana’s SWM Site activities.



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