CONTRIBUTION OF FORESTWILDLIFE TO THE GLOBAL BIOECONOMYIntroductionThe BIOECONOMYMankind has in time past heavily depended on apetroleum-based economy supplied by fossil resources. The dependence on thesefossil 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 currenteconomic model based on fossil resources was not a viable one and had itsshortcomings which has been detected as phenomena such as global warming,accentuated disparities, recurrent pollution incidents, etc.
(Sillanpää & Ncibi,2017). Due to these adverse effects andin order to ensure we and the generations yet unborn benefit from it, it is inour best interest to develop and rethink new ways of using our rapidly reducingresources to benefit future generations and to reduce hthe rate at which damageto the earth’s resources has occurred. The use of biological resources wasrediscovered as a more sustainable source of raw materials and energy whichcould be generated and used without compromising the health of the earth. ThisBIOMASS has always been around but has not always been exploited in asustainable way. It is from the BIOMASS concept that the term BIOECONOMY wasformed. The bioeconomy according to the European Union, “encompasses the productionof renewable biological resources and their conversion into food, feed, bio-basedproducts and bioenergy. It includes agriculture, forestry, fisheries, food andpulp and paper production, as well as parts of chemical, biotechnological and energyindustries”.
Forests in the bioeconomyForestry has offers enormous benefits to theglobal bioeconomy compared with alternative sources of biomass producingecosystems. This could be as a result of the following factors:a. The biomassgeneration potential of forests are very large generally attributed to thesize.b. Forests do not compete with the strategic agriculturalsector.c.
Through carbon capture and sequestrationforests contribute to climate change positively.(Sillanpää & Ncibi, 2017)One important thing to note is the way thecontribution forests in the bioeconomic model is not restricted to it biomass (wood).Indeed forests play a vital role in three major environmental issues whichinclude; (1) biodiversity conservation, (2) water and soil protection, and (3)climate change mitigation and adaptation.(Sillanpää & Ncibi, 2017). Despite the factthat those “services” by forests are critical to the prosperity ofour environment, they remain not appropriately valued. At present, with thetechnological improvements in biomass transformation systems, and from oneviewpoint, the diminishing demand for paper, on the other, the role of theforest industry and its commitment in reinforcing the sustainable measurement ofbioeconomy are expanding.(Ollikainen, 2014).
Indeed, for a longtime, when the forestry business is discussed, two main items come as a toppriority: pulp and paper and timber. With the different Research and development achievements in the field ofbiomass valorization, particularly lignocellulosic wood, current forestryindustry turned into an innovative industry providing world markets with valueadded bio products including biofuels, biopolymers, also, chemicals.In addition, the serious challenges confrontingmankind with respect to energy supply and climate change are putting anenormous amount of pressure on researchers and policymakers to find sustainablesolutions which create new incentives for bioenergy and biofuel production. In this specific circumstance, utilizing woodfrom sustainable forest or industrial residues such as wood chips and sawdustto produce biofuels and bioenergy gives a choice that provides increasingfinancial benefits along with tightening energy and fossil fuel policies, (Alavalapati, Lal, Susaeta, Abt, & Wear, 2013).The advent of the bioeconomy has to make wayfor a rapid expansion of the forestry sector by creating opportunities for new businessesand offering new approaches on the management of forest resources, (Duchesne & Wetzel, 2003). In summary, anincrease in the demand of forest resources is expected as these resourcesbecome preferred sources of energy, plastics, pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals,foods and consumer products, (Duchesne & Wetzel, 2003). The term bio-products is used for productstraded to support the idea of the bioeconomy and they are so termed becausethey are derived from all types of living organisms: plants, animals, insects, viruses,fungi, and bacteria. A wide and impressive variety of products and materialscan be obtained from renewable biological resources in place of petrochemicalsand serve as an alternative.
Some of these products include fuels, adhesives,solvents, paints, plastics, pharmaceuticals fertilizers, biodegradablepackaging among others, (Duchesne & Wetzel, 2003). However in the caseof this paper the main focus is on products and bio-products obtained fromforest wildlife. ForestWildlifeFor many people who depend quite substantially on the resources forestwildlife provides these forest animals contribute a significant proportion ofdietary protein to their main diet.
Forest wildlife provide the support for athriving local and global trade often to the disservice of the species involved.(Collins, Sayer, , 1991)Wildlife as a naturalresource must be managed accordingly to yield an economic return in one form oranother in order for it to be maintained According to Roth “To include all species of wildanimals with their supporting habitat; therefore, the Wildlife Policy overlapswith forestry and fisheries policies; it refers both to problem as well as desirablespecies, and those that maybe considered insignificant. Wildlife is recognisedto be a complex resource that has positive as well as negative effects inrelation to human needs, and that needs to be managed in a professional andscientific manner for the benefit of the people in the Region”.It represents more thanjust “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 whicheach species relies on.(Roth, 1997)Inasmuch there is use ofsome species for material or recreational benefit, known as “wildlifeutilization”, there should be a sort of deliberate and coordinated humaninvolvement 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 theforest wildlife; which can be referred to as “wildlife conservation”.
Ininstances where certain species are affecting the ecological balance of acommunity, measure are taken to reduce such populations and this can bereferred to “wildlife control”. All these contribute to ensuring thesustainable management of wildlife.Wild animals areexploited by man in many different ways as follows; “consumptive” or”non-consumptive”. This depends mainlyon the main objective of the management activity, (Roth, 1997). “Economic use”which is largely associated with consumptive wildlife utilization i.e.
the useof wild animals can be for commercial or non-commercial purposes, which isusually in the form of meat specific wildlife products, or in some cases subsistenceonly.(Roth, 1997).It is noteworthy to differentiatebetween the “economic use” and “exploitation” of wildlife resources. In usingthe term “economic use” the idea is geared toward sustainable use of a naturalresource which in this case is wildlife.
In referring to “exploitation”represents the idea on non-sustainable use. Consumptive wildlifeutilisation 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 termsof economic significance globally dominant over the non-consumptive uses, (Roth, 1997). This may beexploited either commercially or for subsistence.Wildlife resources interms of economic use maybe a primary of secondary objective of their management.(Roth, 1997). The forests allover the world are important natural resources from which enormous benefitscould be derived. One of which is through exploitation and use of wildlife. Toensure continuous benefits and use of these resources the management must alsobe considered.
However unfortunately due to overdependence on these wildlifewhich is the main source of protein for many indigenous people who live aroundforests, certain species of wildlife have been hunted to critical reduction intheir numbers. Which can in turnjeopardize the continuous use of such products for future generations.Most indigenouscommunities living around forests use wild or bush meat products for subsistenceand usually around a wide area which is not restricted to some particular speciesof wild animals. This mode of exploitation does not reach intensities whichcould affect the densities of articular species(Roth, 1997).Commercial hunting whichincludes illegal poaching has been practiced all over the world for ages.
Withthis form of hunting the products of the animal is sold instead of just themeat being used as food by the farmer.(Roth, 1997). Some of the productstraded include fur, musk, velvet, ivory etc. In some instances after thecollection of these desired products what is left the animal is left todecompose in the forest. In the non-consumptive use of these wild animals thereare important socioeconomic aspects which are inherent in the exploitation. Theeconomic use can therefore include consumptive and non-consumptive uses ofwildlife resources. Some indirect benefits which may be derived from theexploitation of wild animals and their habitats including forests include;out-door tourism, recreational or educational uses including wildlifephotography which can be more economically important than other non-consumptiveuses.Rangeof Utilized and Derived productsIn terms of economic use of wildlife, mammals are the group which areused more widely compared to many species of birds and reptiles.
Generallywithin the range of utilized species it is more abundant in the traditional useof wildlife resources as practiced in some tropical regions of developingcountries where basically any animal may be used for food, as raw materials orfor ritual or medicinal purposes. 1. Wildlife-basedtourism with its main focus of more spectacular, large species or trophy-bearingspecies also makes use of their entire habitat.
2. Muskfrom Civet cats3. Deer,rodents, and rodents constitute a good source of protein and is exploited commerciallyas well4. Carnivoresand some rodents are exploited for their high priced fur and 5.
Skinsfrom antelopes, deer and antelopes6. Leatherfrom crocodiles, monito lizards, snakes are marketed at very high robes and arealso sought afterElephants are especially exploited for their skins for highly pricedleather and their highly sought after ivory tusks in the ivory trade.Wildlife as a source offoodSources of meat obtainedfrom wildlife can be known as bush meat. It is the important source of animalprotein for both rural and urban households throughout Africa. People whopurchase, hunt or eat bush meat do so for a variety of reasons which includelargely depending on it for animal protein because they cannot afford othersources of meat or protein and it presents itself as a cheaper or low costoption. Some indiciduals also eat bush meat as a matter of preference or as adelicacy on occasions. For a vast majority of people who consume bush meat theformer is the main reason maily necause of poverty. Other wild animalproductsThere are some productswhich are obtained from wild animals and their products not through directconsumption and are often added to compliment food to improve the taste.
Honey is an example ofsuch products obtained from wild honey bees from the wild or bee-keeping farmssituated in forests and it is valualed all over the world. It is used as asource of food, as a sweetener, as medicine and added to beverages duringpreparation.(Ntiamoa-Baidu, 1997).
Bee-keepingprovides a good opportintiy to provide agood source of income to indegens living around forests cecause of its everincreasing demand worldwide. From another angle wildbees with contribution from other insects and animals are very essential forpollination of many agricultural as well as forest plants. Slightly more than100 crop species that yield 90 percent of food stores for 146 countries arepollinated (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 ofthe 264 crop species in Europe are animal pollinated and 4000 vegetable speciescontinue to exist thanks to the pollination of bees.(Kluser & Peduzzi, 2007). The activitiesof pollinators are necessary for the reproduction of many wild flowers andcrops. According to Simon Potts of University of Reading) says: “Theeconomic value of pollination worldwide is thought to be between £30 and 70billion each year”.
(i.e. 45 – 100 billions €). (Kluser & Peduzzi, 2007). Wildlife as a source ofwildlife productsRaw materials such asfurskins, hides, hair, feathers, ivory, antlers, horns, bones and a largevariety of medicinal purposes are obtained from the use of wildlife apart fromits use as a source of food.
(Roth, 1997). Needs andreferences as well as economic importance of wildlife products have changed asmankind has developed.Eventhough some of thesewildlife produts are traded legally a vast proportion is sold illegally becauseof the regulations barring hunting and exploitation of some species.
Thisillegal trade of wildlife involves the transport, distribution and unauthorizedappropriation (internationally and domestically) of animas and animal parts andderivates in the infringement of laws,foreign, domestic and treaties.(Wyler & Sheikh, 2008). The economy of the growing illegal Global tradein wildlife and its products is estimated to be worth at least $5 billion andpotentially in excess of $20 billion annually(Wyler & Sheikh, 2008). According toTRAFFIC, the Wildlife Trade Monitoring Network “estimated the legal trade ofwildlife 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 isalmost impossible to obtain reliable figures for the value of illegal wildlifetrade, but the figure must run into hundreds of millions (US billions) ofdollars.
” The diversity and numberof areas set aside for protecting wildlife has increased immensely around the world.(Roth, 1997).In time past the economicpotential of exloring recreational uses of wildlife; was perceived by governments andestablishement of more reserves, protected areas or national parks increased inthehoe of possible economic returns from them throught reaing forign exchange through tourism. This hashowever been in a disadvantage tolocal communites which exploit these resourcesas ameans of subsistence.
Wildlife tourism has beenadapted in different ways corresponding to individual inclination, technical possibilities and financialmeans. There arfe two ways which are:- Passive:Leaisurely enjoying the natural wild environment including passively viewingand photographing game animals.- Active:participation in safari tours in search of specific tyes of wild animal speciesor hunting.
It also involves actively backpacking, horse trailing or canoeingthrough nature.(Roth, 1997)At the beginning,wildlife in protected or managed areas was utilised for the putposes ofwildlife tourism as described above, however as the economic potential of thisventure increased more private landowners and communal authorities in somecountries started putting effort into deriving direct economic benefit from thewildlife resources present through game viewing and trophy hunting.As a general rule, thetotal economic value Exploitation if captive tamed animalsEconomic importance ofwildlife based tourism