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Research Report

The harvest of wildlife for bushmeat and traditional medicine in East, South and Southeast Asia: Current knowledge base, challenges, opportunities and areas for future research

Tien Ming Lee
Amanda Sigouin
Miguel Pinedo-Vasquez
Robert Nasi
Copyright Date: Jan. 1, 2014
Pages: 56
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. 1-9)

    Humans have depended on wild meat as a food source throughout the world. In Asia, humans have been hunting wildlife in tropical forests for over 40,000 years (Corlett 2007). However, in the last hundred or so years, many traditional hunter–gatherer societies of tropical Asia have undergone rapid changes, which often include advanced hunting methods such as the use of guns and the introduction of market forces (Corlett 2007). Increasingly, wealthy urban markets have also led to higher demand for wildlife products (Corlett 2007). Recently, wildlife harvesting has reached unsustainable levels due to a burgeoning human population and shrinking forests...

  2. (pp. 10-15)

    Many rural people depend on bushmeat for their nutrition and livelihoods. At least 300 million of the poorest people in the world are almost entirely dependent on forests for their livelihoods (Kim et al. 2008). Even today, over 90% of the world’s poorest people depend largely on forests for their livelihoods, and more than a billion people live within the world’s most biologically diverse forests (Mukul 2008). Asia is no exception, where many rural and traditional communities depend on hunting as an important source of protein in their diets. Often, the forest is an intrinsic part of their culture and...

  3. (pp. 16-17)

    Traditional medicine using wildlife products is deeply ingrained in many Asian cultures, which have been harvesting a multitude of species for thousands of years. In particular, the history of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has been discussed for China (Guo et al. 1997). In Cambodia, the use of plants and animals in traditional medicines is also popular (Ashwell and Walston 2008). The medicinal purpose, body parts used and cost of medicinal animal species traded and used in traditional medicine in Vietnam are well-studied (Van and Tap 2008). Primates use in traditional folk medicines and magic–religious rituals and remedies are often...

  4. (pp. 18-20)

    Increased urbanization and a growing middle class in Asia have increased demand for bushmeat and are fueling the lucrative illegal wildlife trade, and potentially undermining rural livelihoods and food security. Many from the middle class also view bushmeat as a luxury and a status item. A growing human population, increased buying power and globalization have all contributed to higher demand for wildlife products (Nijman 2010).

    In Asia, the demographics of the urban bushmeat consumers are gradually being documented. In Vietnam, wild meat is widely consumed by successful, high-income, high-status males of all ages and educational levels — and is used...

  5. (pp. 21-22)

    The potential impacts of climate change and how it could impact the importance of bushmeat as a source of food security is a critical issue but is still unclear. This topic has recently been explored in a workshop on ‘Community forestry in the context of climate change in Asia’ (APFNet 2012). Additionally, local people depend on forests for their livelihoods, even in degraded and multiuse landscapes; therefore it is important to have a good understanding of the benefits associated with a heterogeneous landscape (Abram et al. 2013). The research and development community should focus more effort on reintegrating food production...