The Food and Agriculture Organization has launched a even-year Sustainable Wildlife Management programme to help African, Caribbean and Pacific countries stop unsustainable wildlife hunting, conserve natural heritage and strengthen people’s livelihoods and food security.
The €45 million multi-partner initiative will be funded by the European Commission.
“This programme will protect wildlife species, conserve biodiversity, and maintain the essential ecological roles of wildlife. It will also help to secure the stocks and ecosystems services that are essential to the livelihoods of the poorest communities on the planet,” said FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva.
Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Guyana, Madagascar, Mali, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Congo, Senegal, Sudan, Zambia and Zimbabwe are among the countries participating in the initiative.
Under the programme rural communities will be discouraged from hunting wild animal and be provided alternative protein sources such as chicken, livestock or farmed fish.
FAO says this will help deter hunting of endangered species, support recovery of their populations and reduce food safety risks that can be associated with the consumption of wild meat.
“If hunting wildlife for food is not reduced to sustainable levels, not only will biodiversity be lost, but also countless numbers of families whose livelihoods depend on natural resources will suffer soaring levels of food insecurity and debilitating child malnutrition,” according to FAO.