Thousands of wild animal and plant species around the world are threatened with extinction due to human exploitation, including many species that humans depend on for food, clothing, shelter, and more.
A team of international researchers, including a University of Hawaii at Mānoa expert, has developed guidelines for the sustainable use of wild species, to ensure their survival for future generations.
The Sustainable Use of Wildlife Assessment Report was endorsed by 139 member governments of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in early July 2022. Professor at the School of Science of life Tamara Ticktin co-edited one of the five chapters of the report. A total of 84 other global experts worked on the report for about four years. It should be the main resource to inform policy decisions and promote the sustainable use of wild species from the global to the local scale.
“Our assessment underscores that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to driving sustainable use,” Ticktin said. “Instead, solutions must be local and species-specific.”
Ticktin added: “Wildlife is important in the daily lives of billions of people, from those of us in low to high income countries, and living in rural and urban communities. This assessment highlights the importance of wild species to humanity, the conditions under which the use of these species is sustainable and how the use can be made more sustainable.
Impact in Hawaii
In Hawaiia large number of wild species remain essential in daily life, from the marine resources that nourish local communities, to those that end up on the plates of visitors to high-end restaurants, to the plants that are essential to the perpetuation of the practices cultural.
The assessment highlights the importance of wild resources to indigenous and local communities.
“The assessment highlights the importance of wild resources to indigenous and local communities, the importance of learning values, knowledge and practices associated with their stewardship, and of bringing together indigenous and local community members and scientists Westerners at the decision-making table. “said Ticktin. “In the marine realm, examples of this in Hawaii are community subsistence fishing areas and other community centered management efforts. The Pu’uwa’awa’a The community subsistence forest area in North Kona provides an early example of this type of on-the-ground initiative.
Ticktin also said Hawaii residents can help preserve wildlife by purchasing more sustainably sourced products, and reach out to policy makers and legislators to develop relevant policies for the sustainable use of wildlife.
Research to adopt a policy
According to experts, 50,000 wild species meet the needs of billions of people around the world. One in five people depend on wild species for income and food, more than 10,000 wild species are harvested for food, and 2.4 billion people depend on firewood from wild tree species for cooking.
The report identifies factors such as shifting landscapes and seascapes, climate change, pollution and invasive alien species that impact wildlife abundance and distribution, and can increase challenges within communities humans who use them. It also provides seven key elements to use as guidelines to promote the sustainable use of wildlife in various regions and sectors:
- Inclusive and participatory policy options
- Policy options that recognize rights and support multiple forms of knowledge
- Policy instruments and tools that ensure a fair and equitable distribution of costs and benefits
- Context-specific policies
- Monitoring of wildlife species and practices
- Policy instruments aligned at international, national, regional and local levels; maintaining consistency and uniformity with international obligations and taking into account customary rules and norms
- Strong institutions, including customary institutions