27 May 2021, Bomassa, Nouabale Ndoki, Republic of Congo - A SWM team sets up a camera trap with precise measurement. They are conducting a survery of small animal species that are most often consumed by the bushmeat trade in the area. KABO, REPUBLIC OF CONGO, 23 MAY 2021: Images of Baka pygmy bushmeat hunters. The man in the foreground is making a sound to imitate the animal he wants to hunt. As part of a conservation project WCS and SWM work with a logging concession on three separate concessions. They allow their workers to hire these pygmies, who are excellent hunters, to hunt for them in controlled circumstances twice a month in a legal hunting area on the periphery of Nouama Ndoki National Park. Each hunter gets a rifle from the employee and 4 shotgun cartridges. They are only allowed to shoot that much, no more. They usually get to keep the entrails and a small payment. Many of these pygmies do also hunt independently but this collaboration with the logging concessions involves weighing and counting the animals too. It was conceived to prevent the workers from hunting on company time in company vehicles. The hunts are twice a month for the 6 month hunting season. (photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images for FAO, CIFOR, CIRAD, WCS)
The SWM Programme activities in Congo focus on the forest concessions that constitute the wild meat (game and fish) supply basin of the town of Ouesso. Hunting and fishing are important sources of food and income. To secure the sustainable use of wild protein by the local populations of traditional villages (indigenous and Bantu) located in these forest concessions, the project operates at three scales. The aim is to balance the supply and demand for wild meat products in 1) traditional villages, 2) secondary towns and forest camps and 3) cities. Community hunting areas overlap with logging concessions. Some of the concession are FSC certified and are working with the SWM Programme to achieve sustainable levels of hunting and prohibit the sale of wild meat.