CONTRIBUTION to the earth’s resources has occurred. The

CONTRIBUTION OF FOREST
WILDLIFE TO THE GLOBAL BIOECONOMY

Introduction

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The BIOECONOMY

Mankind has in time past heavily depended on a
petroleum-based economy supplied by fossil resources. The dependence on these
fossil products has greatly affected the global environmental, geopolitical,
and socioeconomic situation in a negative way, (Commission, 2012;
Sillanpää & Ncibi, 2017). It became obvious that the current
economic model based on fossil resources was not a viable one and had its
shortcomings which has been detected as phenomena such as global warming,
accentuated disparities, recurrent pollution incidents, etc.(Sillanpää & Ncibi,
2017). Due to these adverse effects and
in order to ensure we and the generations yet unborn benefit from it, it is in
our best interest to develop and rethink new ways of using our rapidly reducing
resources to benefit future generations and to reduce hthe rate at which damage
to the earth’s resources has occurred. The use of biological resources was
rediscovered as a more sustainable source of raw materials and energy which
could be generated and used without compromising the health of the earth. This
BIOMASS has always been around but has not always been exploited in a
sustainable way. It is from the BIOMASS concept that the term BIOECONOMY was
formed. The bioeconomy according to the European Union, “encompasses the production
of renewable biological resources and their conversion into food, feed, bio-based
products and bioenergy. It includes agriculture, forestry, fisheries, food and
pulp and paper production, as well as parts of chemical, biotechnological and energy
industries”.

 

Forests in the bioeconomy

Forestry has offers enormous benefits to the
global bioeconomy compared with alternative sources of biomass producing
ecosystems. This could be as a result of the following factors:

a. The biomass
generation potential of forests are very large generally attributed to the
size.

b. Forests do not compete with the strategic agricultural
sector.

c. Through carbon capture and sequestration
forests contribute to climate change positively.(Sillanpää & Ncibi, 2017)

One important thing to note is the way the
contribution forests in the bioeconomic model is not restricted to it biomass (wood).
Indeed forests play a vital role in three major environmental issues which
include; (1) biodiversity conservation, (2) water and soil protection, and (3)
climate change mitigation and adaptation.(Sillanpää & Ncibi, 2017). Despite the fact
that those “services” by forests are critical to the prosperity of
our environment, they remain not appropriately valued. At present, with the
technological improvements in biomass transformation systems, and from one
viewpoint, the diminishing demand for paper, on the other, the role of the
forest industry and its commitment in reinforcing the sustainable measurement of
bioeconomy are expanding.(Ollikainen, 2014). Indeed, for a long
time, when the forestry business is discussed, two main items come as a top
priority: pulp and paper and timber. With the different Research and development achievements in the field of
biomass valorization, particularly lignocellulosic wood, current forestry
industry turned into an innovative industry providing world markets with value
added bio products including biofuels, biopolymers, also, chemicals.

In addition, the serious challenges confronting
mankind with respect to energy supply and climate change are putting an
enormous amount of pressure on researchers and policymakers to find sustainable
solutions which create new incentives for bioenergy and biofuel production. In this specific circumstance, utilizing wood
from sustainable forest or industrial residues such as wood chips and sawdust
to produce biofuels and bioenergy gives a choice that provides increasing
financial benefits along with tightening energy and fossil fuel policies, (Alavalapati, Lal, Susaeta, Abt, & Wear, 2013).

The advent of the bioeconomy has to make way
for a rapid expansion of the forestry sector by creating opportunities for new businesses
and offering new approaches on the management of forest resources, (Duchesne & Wetzel, 2003). In summary, an
increase in the demand of forest resources is expected as these resources
become preferred sources of energy, plastics, pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals,
foods and consumer products, (Duchesne & Wetzel, 2003).  The term bio-products is used for products
traded to support the idea of the bioeconomy and they are so termed because
they are derived from all types of living organisms: plants, animals, insects, viruses,
fungi, and bacteria. A wide and impressive variety of products and materials
can be obtained from renewable biological resources in place of petrochemicals
and serve as an alternative. Some of these products include fuels, adhesives,
solvents, paints, plastics, pharmaceuticals fertilizers, biodegradable
packaging among others, (Duchesne & Wetzel, 2003). However in the case
of this paper the main focus is on products and bio-products obtained from
forest wildlife.

 

Forest
Wildlife

For many people who depend quite substantially on the resources forest
wildlife provides these forest animals contribute a significant proportion of
dietary protein to their main diet. Forest wildlife provide the support for a
thriving local and global trade often to the disservice of the species involved.
(Collins, Sayer, &
Whitmore, 1991)

Wildlife as a natural
resource must be managed accordingly to yield an economic return in one form or
another in order for it to be maintained

 According to Roth “To include all species of wild
animals with their supporting habitat; therefore, the Wildlife Policy overlaps
with forestry and fisheries policies; it refers both to problem as well as desirable
species, and those that maybe considered insignificant. Wildlife is recognised
to be a complex resource that has positive as well as negative effects in
relation to human needs, and that needs to be managed in a professional and
scientific manner for the benefit of the people in the Region”.

It represents more than
just “game” or “wild animals” and has also a different meaning than “fauna”,
because it refers to the whole range of wild animals in an ecological context.
The term additionally incorporates the specific environmental features on which
each species relies on.(Roth, 1997)

Inasmuch there is use of
some species for material or recreational benefit, known as “wildlife
utilization”, there should be a sort of deliberate and coordinated human
involvement with the way wildlife is used or affected by the activities of man.
The major aim however, may be to preserve, as well as promote the use of the
forest wildlife; which can be referred to as “wildlife conservation”. In
instances where certain species are affecting the ecological balance of a
community, measure are taken to reduce such populations and this can be
referred to “wildlife control”. All these contribute to ensuring the
sustainable management of wildlife.

Wild animals are
exploited by man in many different ways as follows; “consumptive” or
“non-consumptive”.  This depends mainly
on the main objective of the management activity, (Roth, 1997). “Economic use”
which is largely associated with consumptive wildlife utilization i.e. the use
of wild animals can be for commercial or non-commercial purposes, which is
usually in the form of meat specific wildlife products, or in some cases subsistence
only.(Roth, 1997).

It is noteworthy to differentiate
between the “economic use” and “exploitation” of wildlife resources. In using
the term “economic use” the idea is geared toward sustainable use of a natural
resource which in this case is wildlife. In referring to “exploitation”
represents the idea on non-sustainable use.

Consumptive wildlife
utilisation as the main word implies refers to gaining or producing meat, oil,
hides, furs, feathers, and a wide variety of other raw materials which in terms
of economic significance globally dominant over the non-consumptive uses, (Roth, 1997). This may be
exploited either commercially or for subsistence.

Wildlife resources in
terms of economic use maybe a primary of secondary objective of their  management.(Roth, 1997). The forests all
over the world are important natural resources from which enormous benefits
could be derived. One of which is through exploitation and use of wildlife. To
ensure continuous benefits and use of these resources the management must also
be considered. However unfortunately due to overdependence on these wildlife
which is the main source of protein for many indigenous people who live around
forests, certain species of wildlife have been hunted to critical reduction in
their  numbers. Which can in turn
jeopardize the continuous use of such products for future generations.

Most indigenous
communities living around forests use wild or bush meat products for subsistence
and usually around a wide area which is not restricted to some particular species
of wild animals. This mode of exploitation does not reach intensities which
could affect the densities of articular species(Roth, 1997).

Commercial hunting which
includes illegal poaching has been practiced all over the world for ages. With
this form of hunting the products of the animal is sold instead of just the
meat being used as food by the farmer.(Roth, 1997). Some of the products
traded include fur, musk, velvet, ivory etc. In some instances after the
collection of these desired products what is left the animal is left to
decompose in the forest. In the non-consumptive use of these wild animals there
are important socioeconomic aspects which are inherent in the exploitation. The
economic use can therefore include consumptive and non-consumptive uses of
wildlife resources. Some indirect benefits which may be derived from the
exploitation of wild animals and their habitats including forests include;
out-door tourism, recreational or educational uses including wildlife
photography which can be more economically important than other non-consumptive
uses.

Range
of Utilized and Derived products

In terms of economic use of wildlife, mammals are the group which are
used more widely compared to many species of birds and reptiles. Generally
within the range of utilized species it is more abundant in the traditional use
of wildlife resources as practiced in some tropical regions of developing
countries where basically any animal may be used for food, as raw materials or
for ritual or medicinal purposes.

1.     
Wildlife-based
tourism with its main focus of more spectacular, large species or trophy-bearing
species also makes use of their entire habitat.

2.     
Musk
from Civet cats

3.     
Deer,
rodents, and rodents constitute a good source of protein and is exploited commercially
as well

4.     
Carnivores
and some rodents are exploited for their high priced fur and

5.     
Skins
from antelopes, deer and antelopes

6.     
Leather
from crocodiles, monito lizards, snakes are marketed at very high robes and are
also sought after

Elephants are especially exploited for their skins for highly priced
leather and their highly sought after ivory tusks in the ivory trade.

Wildlife as a source of
food

Sources of meat obtained
from wildlife can be known as bush meat. It is the important source of animal
protein for both rural and urban households throughout Africa. People who
purchase, hunt or eat bush meat do so for a variety of reasons which include
largely depending on it for animal protein because they cannot afford other
sources of meat or protein and it presents itself as a cheaper or low cost
option. Some indiciduals also eat bush meat as a matter of preference or as a
delicacy on occasions. For a vast majority of people who consume bush meat the
former is the main reason maily necause of poverty.

 

Other wild animal
products

There are some products
which are obtained from wild animals and their products not through direct
consumption and are often added to compliment food to improve the taste.

Honey is an example of
such products obtained from wild honey bees from the wild or bee-keeping farms
situated in forests and it is valualed all over the world. It is used as a
source of food, as a sweetener, as medicine and added to beverages during
preparation.(Ntiamoa-Baidu, 1997). Bee-keeping
provides a good opportintiy to provide  a
good source of income to indegens living around forests cecause of its ever
increasing demand worldwide.

From another angle wild
bees with contribution from other insects and animals are very essential for
pollination of many agricultural as well as forest plants. Slightly more than
100 crop species that yield 90 percent of food stores for 146 countries are
pollinated (71 percent) mainly by wild bees, and many others are pollinated by moths,
thrips, flies, wasps, beetles, and other insects. (Mburu, Gerard, Gemmilland, & Collette, 2006). 84 percent of
the 264 crop species in Europe are animal pollinated and 4000 vegetable species
continue to exist thanks to the pollination of bees.(Kluser & Peduzzi, 2007). The activities
of pollinators are necessary for the reproduction of many wild flowers and
crops. According to Simon Potts of University of Reading) says: “The
economic value of pollination worldwide is thought to be between £30 and 70
billion each year”. (i.e. 45 – 100 billions €). (Kluser & Peduzzi, 2007).

 

Wildlife as a source of
wildlife products

Raw materials such as
furskins, hides, hair, feathers, ivory, antlers, horns, bones and a large
variety of medicinal purposes are obtained from the use of wildlife apart from
its use as a source of food.(Roth, 1997). Needs and
references as well as economic importance of wildlife products have changed as
mankind has developed.

Eventhough some of these
wildlife produts are traded legally a vast proportion is sold illegally because
of the regulations barring hunting and exploitation of some species. This
illegal trade of wildlife involves the transport, distribution and unauthorized
appropriation (internationally and domestically) of animas and animal parts and
derivates in the infringement of laws,foreign, domestic and treaties.(Wyler & Sheikh, 2008).  The economy of the growing illegal Global trade
in wildlife and its products is estimated to be worth at least $5 billion and
potentially in excess of $20 billion annually(Wyler & Sheikh, 2008). According to
TRAFFIC, the Wildlife Trade Monitoring Network “estimated the legal trade of
wildlife products into the EU alone was worth an estimated €93 billion in 2005,
and this increased to nearly €100 billion in 2009. By its very nature, it is
almost impossible to obtain reliable figures for the value of illegal wildlife
trade, but the figure must run into hundreds of millions (US billions) of
dollars.”

 

 

The diversity and number
of areas set aside for protecting wildlife has increased immensely around the world.(Roth, 1997).

In time past the economic
potential of exloring recreational uses of wildlife;

 was perceived by governments and
establishement of more reserves, protected areas or national parks increased in
thehoe of possible economic returns from them throught reaing  forign exchange through tourism. This has
however been in a disadvantage tolocal communites which exploit these resources
as ameans of subsistence.

Wildlife tourism has been
adapted in different ways corresponding to individual  inclination, technical possibilities and financial
means. There arfe two ways which are:

–         
Passive
:Leaisurely enjoying the natural wild environment including passively viewing
and photographing game animals.

–         
Active:
participation in safari tours in search of specific tyes of wild animal species
or hunting. It also involves actively backpacking, horse trailing or canoeing
through nature.(Roth, 1997)

At the beginning,
wildlife in protected or managed areas was utilised for the putposes of
wildlife tourism as described above, however as the economic potential of this
venture increased more private landowners and communal authorities in some
countries started putting effort into deriving direct economic benefit from the
wildlife resources present through game viewing and trophy hunting.

As a general rule, the
total economic value

Exploitation if captive  tamed animals

Economic importance of
wildlife based tourism 

x

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