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New 5 Dimensional Sustainability Assessment Framework

A new tool is being piloted by IIED and partners to bring a more rounded approach to assessing sustainability in relation to the use of wild species. The tool adds animal welfare and human health to the conventional ecological, economic and social dimensions of sustainability.

Last year the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Serviecs (IPBES) published an assessment report on the sustainable use of wild species. The report highlighted that 50,000 wild species are used globally, with one in five people relying on them for income and food.

This reliance is particularly true of the world’s poorest people – 70% of whom are directly dependent on wild species. Wild species use is also an important part of global trade.

However, at the same time unsustainable and/or illegal use of wild species is one of the key drivers of biodiversity loss.

Furthermore, in some instances use of wild species can have negative implications for human health and raise concerns about animal welfare. The Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, adopted in December 2022, therefore includes targets to ensure the use of wild species is not only sustainable and legal, but also “safe”.

Sustainability is a complex concept and one that is technically challenging to assess. Nevertheless, an approach is needed that cuts through the complexity, is accessible to policymakers and practitioners, and can support a process of continuous improvement among wild species enterprises, initiatives and value chains.

Embracing different aspects of sustainability

IUCN SULi, IIED, TRAFFIC, Endangered Wildlife Trust and EPIC Biodiversity – supported through the UK government’s Darwin Initiative and under the guidance of a multidisciplinary expert advisory group – have developed a five-dimensional sustainability assessment framework (5DSAF).

The framework adds the dimensions of animal welfare and human health to the more conventional social, ecological and economic dimensions of sustainability.

For each of these five dimensions, it articulates seven key principles as well as seven cross-cutting principles that are relevant to all dimensions. These principles are derived from a wealth of existing international standards, frameworks and guidelines.

The framework can be implemented with a simple spreadsheet-based tool allowing users to score performance against each of the 42 principles and identify areas where improvements are needed.

  • A background paper providing further context for the framework can also be downloaded here: 5DSAF_background_paper

Feedback wanted

We’d love to hear from anyone who uses 5DSAF so we can improve the beta version and develop a tool that can make a positive contribution to supporting the sustainable use of wild species.

Contact

For more information, email IIED principal researcher Dilys Roe (dilys.roe@iied.org).

Conservation Experts Call for an Amendment to Hunting Trophies Bill

In a letter to PM Rishi Sunak, 163 conservation scientists have called for a “Conservation Amendment” to the UK’s trophy hunting (import prohibition) Bill. Rather than a blanket approach, banning all hunting imports, they call for an amendment where hunting trophies are only permitted if they demonstrate clear benefits to both conservation and local livelihoods. Such an amendment would tackle harmful trophy hunting without undermining it where it is important for conservation.

Read the full letter below:

SULi launches new database on the use of wild species

We are delighted to share news of the launch of a new database created by SULi to collect (and, in future, synthesise) information on the use of wild species across the globe.

The IPBES Sustainable Use Assessment (IPBES 2022) recently estimated that a staggering 50,000 species are regularly used by, and contribute to the livelihoods of, people globally. The Species Use Database (SpUD) is designed to reflect this huge diversity of species use and is expected to eventually cover all taxonomic groups and the various practices of use involved.

The purpose of SpUD is to enhance awareness of, and build a strong and robust evidence base on, the contribution of the use of wild species in supporting livelihoods and economies, and in conserving biodiversity. A key focus of the database is recording whether the use is sustainable or unsustainable, and this is carried out across five dimensions of sustainability – ecological, economic, social, human health and animal health and welfare.

Our intention is for SpUD to appeal to a broad spectrum of users, from those in policy and decision-making, to academia and educators, conservation practitioners, civil society and NGOs, as well as any individuals interested and keen to learn more about the use of wild species. The individual records – and the periodic syntheses of these – can be used to guide and feed into sound policies and decision-making, that enhance legal, sustainable, equitable wildlife management practices and draw attention to those that are illegal, unsustainable and inequitable.

Although the database has not been designed to make formal assessments of sustainability, as the number of entries increases periodic syntheses will be carried out to present summaries of the evidence on the sustainability of use.

We encourage you to visit and explore this exciting new resource at https://speciesusedatabase.com/ and, once registered, contribute your records so we can swiftly build content – especially for those underrepresented species where use requires much more attention and profile.

Memorial Service for Michael Murphree

 

A memorial service, which will be live streamed, is being held for our dear friend and colleague Mike Murphree – who sadly passed away on April 22nd. For those wishing to attend – Please see the link below. Saturday 24 June 2023, 2pm (South Africa time)

 

Link to live streamed service

 

 

The UK Government has suggested that local communities substitute the income lost as a result of a ban on trophy hunting imports by applying for UK aid grants. But encouraging greater aid-dependency demeans the recipients and contradicts the Government’s own Minister for Development and Africa, who said: “international development is not about charity, handouts and dependency.”The UK Government has suggested that local communities substitute the income lost as a result of a ban on trophy hunting imports by applying for UK aid grants. But encouraging greater aid-dependency demeans the recipients and contradicts the Government’s own Minister for Development and Africa, who said: “international development is not about charity, handouts and dependency.”The UK Government has suggested that local communities substitute the income lost as a result of a ban on trophy hunting imports by applying for UK aid grants. But encouraging greater aid-dependency demeans the recipients and contradicts the Government’s own Minister for Development and Africa, who said: “international development is not about charity, handouts and dependency.”Scientists, African conservationists and community leaders publish report calling on Lords to amend the Hunting Trophies (Import Prohibition) Bill

  • Authors (listed below) claim the Bill – which will receive its second reading in the Lords on 16 June – will undermine critical revenue for conservation and communities in its current form.
  • African communities accuse the UK Government of hypocrisy and neo-colonialism, given the UK exports thousands of hunting trophies itself every year from deer stalking, but has no plans to abolish the practice domestically.
  • The authors call for an amendment to exempt imports with a proven benefit to conservation and communities.

 https://www.resourceafrica.net/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/The-Hunting-Trophies-Bill-risks.pdf

London – 6 JUNE 2023: The Hunting Trophies (Import Prohibition) Bill, currently before the Lords, would ban the import of hunting trophies into the UK. Despite intending to support conservation, it is likely to undermine conservation efforts in many countries across Africa and elsewhere, according a report published today by leading scientists and conservationists.

For multiple hunted species, even threatened ones, trophy hunting has proven conservation benefits (by reducing far greater threats such as habitat loss and poaching). Undermining the viability of the hunting industry through an import ban, reduces the incentives for Governments, landowners and local communities to:

  1. keep land as wildlife habitat rather than converting it to uses such as agriculture;
  2. invest in anti-poaching activities;
  3. tolerate dangerous wildlife.

There are currently no feasible alternative wildlife-based land uses for most trophy hunting areas. Photo-tourism is only viable in select ‘scenic’ areas, where good transport and infrastructure links support a high volume of visitors. The majority of hunting areas will never be viable for photo-tourism.

 The Parliamentary debate surrounding the Bill has been driven by extensive misinformation from animal rights activists, backed up by celebrities. In the second reading, for example, over 70% of MPs’ statements were found to be false or misleading. The debate has ignored conservation expertise – even that provided by the UK Government’s own scientific advisory body.

The UK aiming to ban hunting imports is hypocritical, given that:

  1. the UK exports many thousands of hunting trophies every year (particularly from red deer in Scotland) and
  2. the UK languishes far behind the Southern African countries who will be most affected by this Bill, on conservation performance. The UK is in fact one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world.

The UK Government has suggested that local communities substitute the income lost as a result of a ban on trophy hunting imports by applying for UK aid grants. But encouraging greater aid-dependency demeans the recipients and contradicts the Government’s own Minister for Development and Africa, who said: “international development is not about charity, handouts and dependency.”

 Rather than apply a blanket ban on the imports of all hunting trophies, the Government should allow the imports of trophies where it can be demonstrated that hunting makes a positive contribution to conservation and local livelihoods. Imports that do not meet these criteria would be banned, thus rightly disenfranchising poorly managed trophy hunting operations without undermining those which have demonstrable benefits.

Many Britons dislike trophy hunting, but fewer than half want a ban if that would harm people or conservation.

The UK Government’s suggestion that SADC countries substitute hunting revenue by applying for UK aid and grant money, has drawn intense criticism from the governments of Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe:

“While respecting the ministers’ opinion, we regret to inform that we take exception to this position that is tantamount to subjecting those likely to be adversely affected by the Bill, to a beggar-like dependency on external support for their livelihood.

“Dr Chris Brown – CEO, Namibian Chamber for the Environment:

“Many countries, particularly former colonies, are becoming increasingly sensitive to attempts by Western industrialised countries to dictate how they use and manage their natural resources, especially when wildlife numbers are stable and increasing.

“Such paternalistic, arrogant and misinformed approaches will only encourage our countries to look eastwards to grow alliances and markets for our natural resources.”

Contributors:

Dr. Brian Child – IUCN Councilor for Africa

Dr. Christopher Brown – Namibian Chamber of Environment

Dr. Dilys Roe – IUCN Sustainable Use and Livelihoods Specialist Group

Dr. Rodgers Lubilo – Community Leaders Network

Dr. Shylock Muyengwa – Resource Africa

Maxi Pia Louis – Namibian Association of CBNRM Support Organisations

Prof. Adam Hart – University of Gloucestershire

Prof. Amy Dickman – University of Oxford

Siyoka Simsiku – Ngamiland Council of NGOs

Beneath the Baobab: The Conservation and Communities Podcast

In Beneath the Baobab from Jamma International, wildlife filmmaker Gordon Buchanan hosts cutting-edge conversations about conservation work led by communities around the world.  Listeners will learn about Community Based Natural Resources Management, hear from indigenous peoples who are exercising their rights to do innovative work as custodians of resources for generations, then find out how they’ve developed work schemes, governance and management systems that allow them to place a high value on wildlife and build the economic case for conservation.  The future for wildlife and endangered species can be positive, if we are all prepared to listen.  Gordon and his guests share stories of hope as well as brilliant, radical and innovative ideas for solving the problems faced by humans and wildlife.

Episode #4, titled “Supported Sustainable Livelihoods,” features SULi Chair Dr. Dilys Roe.  Dr. Roe shares examples of models for supporting livelihoods and wildlife to thrive in shared spaces, from ecotourism and carbon credit schemes to incentivisation of the sustainable use of natural resources.  Inspired by visiting locations to connect with communities, people and practises to see  community-based conservation in action, she explains how she’s working with international expertise to bring these voices and experts to the forefront of conservation innovation and policy.

News Archive

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