The Lebialem Hunters’ Beekeeping Initiative is a locally-led partnership based in Lebialem Division, Southwest Region, Cameroon.

Our aim is to reduce financial dependence
on bushmeat and the volume of species harvested by providing hunters with an alternative income through beekeeping.

The project is being facilitated and coordinated by Juliet Wright from the UK in partnership with a Cameroonian non-governmental organisation, the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF).

Funding to date has been provided by the International Primatological Society, International Primate Protection League, Bees for Development Trust, Primate Society of Great Britain and independent donors.

Resources provided by the Great Apes Film Initiative form the basis of the conservation education programme whilst international awareness has been raised with assistance from The Great Primate Handshake.

Our objectives are to:
  • Train bushmeat hunters in beekeeping and supply them with the necessary equipment
    and technical support.
  • Establish beekeeper cooperatives in each community and a beekeeping association in Lebialem to form an organised network of producers that can collectively market honey and beeswax to obtain a fair price.
  • Implement a conservation education programme using films to explain to communities why emphasis is placed on
    reducing reliance on bushmeat and
    why the hunting of threatened species
    is discouraged.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of beekeeping as a bushmeat mitigation strategy
    and monitor the impacts on standards       of living.

Attempting to stop the practice of bushmeat hunting in Lebialem is an unrealistic goal. Instead our goal is to stop the hunting of those species found in Lebialem which are listed as threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

As a result, the project has five focal species at this time: Cross River gorilla (Gorilla gorilla diehli), Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes vellerosus), drill (Mandrillus leucophaeus), Preuss's guenon (Cercopithecus preussi) and red-eared guenon (Cercopithecus erythrotis).

Learn more about bushmeat >