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Evidence of social regulation in access of wildlife in the village hunting territory, the case of the Central African Republic

Fargeot C., Drouet N., Le Bel S., Billand A.. 2015. Durban : FAO, 7 p.. World Forestry Congress. 14, 2015-09-07/2015-09-11, Durban (Afrique du Sud).

Bushmeat is essential for both food security and the local economy of rural populations living in the Congo Basin. Since the 1990s, environmental movements have raised concerns about the negative impact of subsistence and commercial hunting on wildlife in tropical forests, due to weak bushmeat trade management with open-access to wildlife resources and massive over-exploitation. Analysis of the Central African Republic's situation reveals a different reality, with clear evidence of strong social regulation in terms of access to common wildlife through the Village Hunting Territory (VHT) system. An analysis of the VHT Model highlights the presence of governing bodies and rules at village level, determining the working practices of hunting within defined areas. This model echoes Ostrom's proposition for sustainable common pool resource management. In order to achieve sustainable and equitable management of bushmeat, there is a need to formalize the VHT at State level, to integrate the different lifestyles of non-territorial actors, namely the Pygmies and pastoralist Peuls in the village territory, and finally to encourage further research on the implementation of relevant indicators to assess the level of impact of hunting on wildlife.

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