(** recent information on this project can be found, here**)

Project Aim and Objective

In Southeastern Cameroon, illegal hunting and trade in wildlife has important impacts on the livelihoods of the rural poor, providing both affordable sources of animal protein and livelihood opportunities for men as hunters and women as traders. However, poor communities living around the protected Dja Biosphere Reserve (DBR) feel that they are unfairly victimized by efforts to tackle illegal practices, whilst external traders, responding to growth market demand from urban areas and emerging development conurbations in the region, operate with impunity. This lucrative external trade is threatening the long-term food security of the rural poor, as well as impacting negatively on threatened species in the area.

Despite a wealth of documentation on potential economic and biodiversity benefits of a locally-managed and regulated sustainable trade in animals hunted in the wild; there has been little field testing of such models in Cameroon. There is a lack of evidence-based data demonstrating the link between sustainable wildlife harvesting and poverty reduction.

The project will develop and test a pro-poor sustainable wildlife-harvesting model in the periphery of the Dja Biosphere Reserve.


The identification, implementation and evaluation of key factors necessary to establish a pro-poor sustainable wildlife-harvesting model in southeastern Cameroon. The aim is to reduce multi-dimensional poverty amongst poor communities living in and around the Dja Biosphere Reserve (DBR) by enabling them to earn an income legally, and contribute to long-term food security whilst reducing the unregulated take on wildlife in the region. Lessons learned from the evaluation of project processes will feed into the development of an updated DBR Management Plan and will provide data to support the integration of planning for sustainable wildlife management into national development policy.

Project outputs

  1. Production of a publication for peer-review, covering the implementation and evaluation of a sustainable harvesting model and its impact on poverty indicators;
  2. Hunters and wildlife meat traders across eight communities in the Western periphery of the DBR respecting agreed wildlife quotas and providing regular(monthly) data on hunting practice and wildlife consumption, triangulated by game guard reports and third party NGO reports;
  3. Local communities play a more active role in anti-poaching strategies, and are supported in this by government (MINFOF) gamer guards;
  4. Project learning influences policy formulation at the regional level and national level, leading to the integration of identified activities into DBR Management Plan and national devleopment policy.

Key activities

The Key activities to be undertaken over the next three years include:

  • Baseline reviews and selection of target communities;
  • Identification and establishment of agreed parameters for the sustainable wildlife-harvesting model;
  • Identification and setting of agreed quotas for harvesting;
  • Partnership agreements between project, hunters and traders  and MINFOF game guards;
  • Field-testing of model and adaption in the light of M&E and learning;
  • Monthly reports and data analysis;
  • Training for hunters/ traders and game guards;
  • Community-based awareness-raising on food security issues;
  • Information workshops on rules, regulations and procedures relating to obtaining hunting and bushmeat collection permits;
  • Community-based monitoring networks for law enforcement;
  • Support to Dja Actors Forum;
  • Policy Workshops

Project funding

The project has a budget of £307,000 of which £230,000 has been awarded by the Darwin Initiative. The project will commence in May 2013 until April 2016.

This a partnership between Bristol Conservation and Science Foundation, Living Earth Foundation, Fondation Camerounaise de la Terre Vivante and the University of Bristol. The project will be located in the Western Periphery of Dja Biosphere Reserve in Cameroon.