Bushmeat: Culture, Economy and Conservation in Central Africa



6:00 pm - 7:00 pm


Khalili Lecture Theatre (KLT),
SOAS University of London
10 Thornhaugh Street, London
England, WC1H 0XG


Free (donations to RAS gratefully received)


Bushmeat: Culture, Economy and Conservation in Central Africa by Theodore Trefon

Learn about a detailed investigation of the environmental, social and economic consequences of wild meat consumption in the Congo Basin.


In much of Central Africa, eating wildlife is seen as a normal, desirable and common-sense practice. Almost all wild animals, from the largest mammals to the smallest invertebrates, are hunted, traded and consumed, providing vital income and nutrition for millions of people. But as demand for bushmeat grows, animal populations are being decimated, directly impacting biodiversity, local economies and public health.


Taking an interdisciplinary approach, Bushmeat explores questions ranging from deforestation and conservation strategies to infectious diseases, urban street food and law enforcement. It explains how the popularity of wild meat consumption has spread from rural areas into major cities, fuelled by rapid urbanisation, poorly defined regulations, and developing trade networks-whether small-scale and informal, or commercial and politically connected. While unsustainable hunting practices pose clear problems for wildlife conservation, they also increase the risk of rural food insecurity and of new infectious diseases emerging-as HIV, Ebola and Covid-19 have shown. But cultural attachment to wild meat, and its dietary importance for many communities, make the ‘bushmeat crisis’ difficult to solve.


Based on extensive interviews and a comprehensive review of secondary literature, Bushmeat presents a startling account of one of the Anthropocene’s catastrophes in the making.

Join us as we launch this much-awaited launch and panel discussion with author Theodore Trefon and special guests. The session will be followed by networking and drinks.

Signing of Books available on the day. Order your copy now and redeem the 25% discount: BUSHMEAT25


Theodore Trefonis a senior researcher and heads the Contemporary History Section of the Royal Museum for Central Africa, Belgium, and a lecturer at ERAIFT, at the University of Kinshasa. He obtained his PhD in African Politics from Boston University, and has devoted his career to studying the Democratic Republic of the Congo, he focuses on the issues of state-society relations, forest-city links, urban anthropology and environmental governance. He is also a Research Coordinator for the Forest-City Interface dimension of APFT. For more on Bushmeat, visit the dedicated website and click on the links below to see a published article and video interview by The AfricaMuseum.

MODERATOR / Jack Jenkins is Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Department of Anthropology, Durham University, where he works on the project ‘ALIVEAfrica: Animals, Livelihoods and Wellbeing in Africa’, funded by the European Research Council. Jack leads the project’s work on hunting livelihoods in Sierra Leone, exploring the hunting economies that link rural areas with urban centres through the bushmeat trade. The project’s other case studies further explore how animal-based livelihoods in Sierra Leone and Kenya provide sources of food and income, and how these entanglements between humans and animals often have deeply problematic consequences for health, well-being and the environment. More info available on Jack‘s work and project


Register in advance for this webinar


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.