A key approach for tackling the exploitation of wildlife is through promoting more environmentally sustainable livelihoods of local communities. A Sustainable Livelihood Approach has been developed to meet this objective, importantly beginning with the exploration of the need and feasibility of certain approaches, which requires careful consideration. Examples of livelihoods include the provision of alternative food sources and income-generating activities to bushmeat hunters, which is the most widely used strategy aimed at reducing consumption of threatened species and trade by local people.
Our approach will additionally involve providing training and understanding to the villagers as to why there are protected areas and enhancing agricultural productivity. Capacity will also be built for local role models to contribute towards efforts at developing effective buffer zones around the protected area and potential for forest restoration.
It is proposed that with a sensitive approach based on best practice and lessons learnt from other sites; with a clear understanding of both the potential and limitations of certain approaches; and the buy-in from relevant stakeholders, greater stewardship will entail. This would in turn enhance forest protection and reduce illegal activities threatening the species. The development of collaborative management models (ways to work together alongside local communities rather than against them) throughout the region may also help encourage more sustainable livelihoods.