Defaunation as the Damocles sword in forest governance - Traditional knowledge and local hunting practices in the Western Amazon

Authors: Torsten Krause*, Lund University
Topics: Environment, South America, Indigenous Peoples
Keywords: Forest governance, Hunting, Traditional Knowledge, Amazon, Colombia, Ecuador
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/10/2018
Start / End Time: 12:40 PM / 2:20 PM
Room: Bourbon Room, Astor, Mezzanine
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


In December 2015, the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) in Paris highlighted once more that reducing deforestation and forest degradation is of global importance. However, apart from forests also forest fauna is increasingly under threat worldwide, because of the dual pressure exerted by habitat loss and fragmentation and overharvesting. While human activities directly affecting forests, including deforestation (e.g., land conversion) and degradation (e.g., selective logging) have received increasing attention at the UNFCCC, a third “de” - defaunation as such has to a great extent been overlooked. Forest fauna loss does not only reduce tree species diversity and jeopardize forest people’s food security, it also erodes key ecosystem services and functions. Yet, global forest conservation initiatives currently mandated by the UNFCCC are mainly concerned with preserving tree cover and the potential for forests to act as carbon sinks. The paper highlights presents preliminary findings from research conducted in the Colombian Amazon and outlines a research agenda to study the connection of local traditional hunting practices, traditional knowledge and management of forest resources and its implications for forest governance across scales, including national and international approaches to forest governance and conservation of tropical forest ecosystems and tropical forest fauna.

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