Roland Melisch, Vice-Chair of the Collaborative Partnership on Sustainable Wildlife Management (CPW), opened the Third CPW Forum, which is focusing on supporting implementation of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF). He welcomed both in-person and virtual participants. During the opening plenary, Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), underscored the aim of the CPW as promoting the sustainable management of terrestrial vertebrate wildlife in all biomes and geographic areas, to contribute to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, food security, and improved livelihoods. She highlighted the many achievements of the Partnership and opportunities of the GBF.
Zoltán Kovács, Government Commissioner responsible for the One with Nature World of Hunting and Nature Exhibition, Hungary, drew on the exhibition's theme, calling for all tools to be used to further the sustainable use of the natural environment.
Participants then attended two sessions, on “Landscapes as food provision systems” and “Zoonotic diseases and the One Health Approach”.
During the first session, moderated by Julia E. Fa, Professor of Biodiversity and Human Development, Manchester Metropolitan University, speakers addressed: food security issues at the global level and what happens when a vital ecosystem service becomes depleted; and how food security within Indigenous Peoples’ lands can be made compatible with conservation of these areas. In the ensuing discussion, panelists examined the role of wildlife in meeting food security needs, issues of scal,e and the need for nuanced approaches, as well as the role of sustainable hunting.
During the second session, moderated by Anastasiya Timoshyna, Senior Programme Coordinator – Sustainable Trade, TRAFFIC, participants exchanged information about the practical implementation of the CPW Guiding Principles as well as how to secure wider commitment to cross-sectoral collaboration to prevent the spread of zoonotic diseases in the future, including through the wider One Health agenda. Richard Kock, Royal Veterinary College, UK, warned that narratives “build agendas” for human and health agencies and NGOs. He emphasized the direct risk of infectious disease from wildlife is negligible and that it is domestic animals and industrialized agriculture that have “crushed nature.”
Kristina Rodina, Forestry Officer, Wildlife and Protected Areas, Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), introduced the four CPW Guiding Principles for reducing zoonotic disease risk:
- recognition of the use of wildlife by Indigenous Peoples and local communities in policy responses;
- maintenance and restoration of healthy and resilient ecosystems to reduce risks of zoonotic spillovers;
- recognition that persecuting wild animals suspected of transmitting disease will not address the cause of the emergence and spread of diseases; and
- regulating and monitoring harvest, trade, and use of wildlife to ensure it is legal and sustainable.
Torsten Mörner, Head Wildlife Diseases and Game Meat, International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation (CIC), emphasized the need to communicate with hunters and recognize their role in wildlife management.
During the closing panel discussion, speakers addressed questions from the audience, including on the CPW Guiding Principles and knowledge on how to manage wildlife populations and avoid diseases.
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