Sustainable wildlife management and wild meat

Wild meat and food security: risks & benefits discussed at World Parks Congress

 Collaborative Partnership on Sustainable Wildlife Management releases new fact sheet 

Wildlife makes an essential contribution to food security for many people worldwide, and wild meat may be the only available source of animal protein for many people. At the same time, current policies usually focus on the pressures posed by the overexploitation of wildlife and ignore the contribution of wild meat to food security. Wild meat may also carry health risks related to diseases transmitted to humans through the handling and consumption of animals. How is it possible to maintain food security while reducing the ecological and health risks associated with wild meat consumption?

Key messages

  1. Wildlife contributes to the food security of many people living in rural, peri-urban and urban areas.

  2. Wild meat is an important source of protein, fat, iron and other micronutrients.

  3. The contact with wildlife carries health risks, as does any contact with animals, as zoonotic diseases may be transmitted to humans through the handling or consumption of wild meat.

  4. Options to reduce the ecological and health risks associated with the use of wild meat, while guaranteeing food security for a growing population, need to be developed without disrupting the multiple functions of hunting in societies.

  5. Some countries have established institutions for the management of hunting which enforce strict regulations on wild meat consumption and trade, while contributing to efforts to expand wild meat trade and consumption through innovative certification schemes.

  6. Policymakers need to better understand the complex cause-effect relationships that lead to conservation successes and failures, and balance the needs of the rural poor with the desires of those who do not use or live near wildlife. 

Collaborative Partnership on Sustainable Wildlife Management

The Collaborative Partnership on Sustainable Wildlife Management (CPW) is a voluntary partnership of international organizations with substantive mandates and programmes for the sustainable use and conservation of wildlife resources. The mission of the CPW is to increase cooperation and coordination among its members and other interested parties on sustainable wildlife management to promote the sustainable use and conservation of terrestrial vertebrate wildlife in all biomasses and geographic areas.

The CPW Secretariat is housed by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
For more information and an online version of the fact sheet, visit:
http://www.fao.org/forestry/wildlife-partnership