FAO launched this Tuesday an initiative that seeks to help countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific to curb the poaching of wildlife, conserve its natural wealth and to strengthen the livelihoods and food security of the population.According to the FAO, the level of hunting and illegal fishing in the selected countries is often unsustainable, affecting the wildlife populations in forests and savannas. He further stated that many countries already face a “crisis of the flesh hunting”. For example, the program estimates that in the Congo basin are consumed annually, about 4.6 million tonnes of meat of wildlife, which is equivalent to about half of the beef produced in the European Union.
Among the countries participating in the project include Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Guyana, Madagascar, Mali, Papua New Guinea, Republic of the Congo, Senegal, Sudan, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
If this type of poaching for food is not reduced to sustainable levels, not only will lose the biodiversity, but also a large number of families will suffer increasing levels of food insecurity, warns the FAO.
The program, of 45 million euros funded by the European Union, will contribute to the conservation and sustainable use of wildlife in forests, savannas and wetlands, regulating the hunting of wildlife and increasing the supply of meat products in a sustainable manner.
The Fund will work with national authorities to provide the rural communities of alternative sources of protein, such as chicken, cattle or fish farming. Doing so will help to discourage the illegal capture of species in danger of extinction, will support their recovery and reduce the risks in food safety that can result from the consumption of meat wild without control.
This is the first time that we jointly these two issues: the conservation and food security”, said for his part the european commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica.
In addition, it will help governments to develop proactive policies and strengthen legal frameworks to reduce the consumption of meat of wild animals to sustainable levels without compromising the food security of people that depend on this type of activity is not regulated.
“The project will protect species, preserve the biodiversity and maintain the key ecological role of the wildlife. This will also help to ensure ecosystem goods and services that are essential to the livelihoods of the poorest communities on the planet,” said Jose Graziano da Silva, FAO director-general.
However, FAO has recognized that in places where the livestock production is limited by unfavorable climatic conditions, or where meat imported is not available or is unaffordable, the population will continue to rely on wild animals to feed their families. Although measures such as recognition of customary rights of land tenure can encourage the population to participate more in the conservation of the wildlife on their land and avoid hunting unnecessary.