One of the most complicated and difficult projects undertaken by INCEF is to respond to the need for citizens to understand the devastating cost of the commercial trade in bushmeat and the threat it poses to sustainable hunting.
In fact, as INCEF’s production team tackled this issue, they quickly realized it was not enough to raise warnings about the detrimental effects that over hunting was having on their forests. We needed to convince rural populations that the current practices in commercial bushmeat hunting would leave forests empty of protein sources for future generations, were taking great tolls on protected keystone species like gorillas, chimpanzees and elephants who were necessary to maintain the integrity and health of the habitats they relied on, and that there were other options for providing protein to their families and to achieve economic security.
INCEF found that most villages they visited understood issues, the laws governing hunting and the repercussions they faced for breaking those laws. But those same villages echoed over and over again – What is the alternative? How can we feed and cloth our families or pay school fees?
INCEF produced films on alternatives to hunting, which included not only raising fish and domestic livestock, but diversification of agricultural crops. However, audiences felt the video failed to give them the necessary information and resources to pursue these options.
INCEF continues to work with Congolese Non-governmental Organizations who can help supply the answers and provide the resources needed for rural populations to begin working with alternatives to diversify their source of income.