African Public Awarenes - Summary
- African leadership and collaboration is critical to any successful public awareness campaign. International support will assist in providing funds and technical assistance to these efforts.
- Local customs, needs and history must be considered in development of any campaign.
- Public awareness campaigns are frequently cited as key needs by African and global policy makers, conservationists and institutions. These efforts help to support other solutions, including policy development, law enforcement and development of alternative sources of protein and income.
The vast majority of the African public is unaware of the long-term unsustainability of the bushmeat trade and its effects on wildlife populations and human welfare. BCTF works with its members and collaborators in Africa to share information about and support public awareness efforts, particularly in urban areas. This approach targets efforts in areas of high human population density and commercial activity that already has dietary and economic alternatives. Decreasing demand in urban bushmeat markets could result in rural communities retaining some level of legal and potentially sustainable wildlife harvest to supplement local income and meet both cultural and nutritional needs. In addition to its Members, BCTF collaborates with a number of African groups, including the CITES Bushmeat Working Group and the Pan African Sanctuaries Alliance to increase public awareness about the bushmeat crisis.