Book Review: Towards a Sustainable, Participatory and Inclusive Wild Meat Sector

Towards a sustainable, participatory and inclusive wild meat sector. Authors: Coad L, Fa J E, Abernethy K, Van Vliet N, Santamaria C, Wilkie D, El Bizri H R, Ingram D J, Cawthorn D-M & Nasi R. Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), Bogor, Indonesia. 2019.

ISBN: 978-602-387-083-7. Find it in the Conservation Frontlines Library or download the full PDF (2.4 MB)

Book Review: Towards a Sustainable, Participatory and Inclusive Wild Meat SectorThe meat of wild species is an essential source of protein and income for millions of forest communities in tropical and subtropical regions. However, unsustainable harvest rates currently endanger ecosystems and threaten the livelihoods of many vulnerable households. This report is a technical tool to help guide the wild-meat sector toward sustainability; it is an extensive compilation of the current knowledge on the use of wild meat, its drivers and impacts, and it provides recommendations for better wild-meat governance and management.

In tropical and subtropical regions, advances in hunting technologies and the penetration of new lands by logging, mining, agriculture and infrastructure enable greater wildlife offtakes. Upwardly mobile consumers in fast growing nearby urban centers, who see wild meat as a luxury item rather than a staple, drive the demand. This market pressure has significant impacts on wildlife populations and ecosystems, which in turn jeopardize the financial and food security of rural and indigenous communities that obtain much of their dietary protein and other nutrients from wild meat.

Key to sustainable wildlife management is ensuring that the consumption of wild meat is considered as a cross-sectoral issue and solidly incorporated into national resource and land-use planning. The success of these management strategies depends on an enabling environment at the national, governmental level. In many countries, a key first step will be the revision of hunting laws and land-tenure systems in consultation with all stakeholders. Research must focus on producing science-based evidence that governments, communities, NGOs and industries can use to improve management policies and practices.

The creation of a sustainable wild-meat sector requires interconnected interventions along an entire value chain that includes hunters, urban consumers and the wider society. Well-designed participatory approaches can enable sustainable management of the wild meat supply for local communities, but only if this is strongly supported by methods that reduce and control urban demand.

Editors’ Note: Wild meat includes more than 500 vertebrate species traded and consumed throughout Oceania, South America, South and Southeast Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. In remote rural communities, it is an important source of protein, but growth in urban populations and trade between rural and urban areas, where wild meat is considered a luxury, are pushing some wild-meat species to extinction. Learn more about “bushmeat” by exploring the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) wild meat package, which includes research, data and media materials. Go to https://mailchi.mp/cgiar.org/content-package?e=0f9b92ca8b.