The 10th Congress of Wildlife Management in Amazonia and Latin America (Salta, Argentina; 14-18 May 2012) was focused on conservation for the use of wildlife and management for the conservation of species whose conservation status gives rise to conflicts. “After 20 years and 10 congresses, I am proud to say that a scientific community of about 1000 members made contributions to wildlife management science and frequently attended this academic event over the years", said Dr. Richard Bodmer (DICE, University of Kent, UK) the main organizer of this event from the very beginning.
Dr. Wendy Townsend (Museum of Natural History Noel Kempf Mercado, Bolivia) presented the first main conference theme: Importance of wildlife for Latin America's food sovereignty. Dr. Townsend pointed out that wildlife is an integral part of daily life for most indigenous people in Latin America. Access to bush meat is important and is frequently the main source of animal protein for the people of the lowlands of South America.
She explained that it is possible to assess the dependence of indigenous people on bush meat, including fishing, and the variations of harvesting rates through reviewing reports and published studies about hunting in Amazonia. These published data allow us to infer the potential demand for bush meat in the region. Using that estimation of protein demand and the human population of wildlife users in different areas, it is possible to make an estimation of the territory required for its production. On the other hand, she said, we can estimate the economic value required to replace the consumption of protein from bush meat. The use of this model reveals a very large contribution of wild animal protein from lands considered unproductive by some planners and underlines the importance of wildlife as an important resource for food sovereignty. The continuous production of wildlife should be part of government policies to be included in programs of food security.
Five hundred and forty five delegates attended the Congress, participating in short courses, round tables, workshops, different symposia and parallel events. Just under two hundred were from 18 countries outside Argentina, notably Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia and Perú, but there were also representatives of Canada, Costa Rica, Germany, Iran, Mexico, Portugal and USA. The Congress was organized by the National University of Salta, Argentina (UNSA) and received financial support from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, FundAmazonia, the Government of Salta Province, the Argentinean Institute of Agriculture Research, the Federation of Manufacturing and Wildlife Trade, and UNSA's Research Council.
The delegation from Trinidad and Tobago obtained agreement to organize the next Congress, which will take place during 2014. For further details about the Congress visit http://www.xcimfauna.com.ar.
Dr. Francisco Ramón Barbarán, Adjunct Researcher, Argentina National Scientific & Technical Research Council (CONICET)
Photo (below): Francisco at XCIMFAUNA. Credit: Francisco Barbarán.