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EU: 25 million euros for biodiversity management

FAO will lead a consortium of partners. Among the objectives: to reduce the consumption of wild meat

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has welcomed €25 million in additional funding from the European Union (EU) to extend and scale up the Sustainable Wildlife Management Program ( swm).

Since 2017, the initiative has been working with countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific to reduce hunting of wildlife, conserve nature and strengthen people's livelihoods and food security.

The first phase of the initiative received 45 million euros from the EU, with co-financing from the French Fund for the Global Environment (FFEM) and the French Development Agency (AFD). This second phase will take place from August 2023 to May 2029 and will be part of NaturAfrica, the new EU initiative for the conservation of biodiversity in Africa.

In this new phase, FAO will continue to lead a consortium of partners, including the French Agricultural Research Center for International Development (CIRAD), the International Forestry Research Center (CIFOR) and the Society for Wildlife Conservation (WCS).

The partnership is working with national and regional governments and over 80 local and indigenous communities in 16 countries. The initiative is strengthening innovative and collaborative targeted approaches to conserve wildlife, protect ecosystems and improve the livelihoods of those who depend on these resources.

Many rural populations around the world continue to rely on wildlife for food, income and cultural identity, says a statement from FAO. Bushmeat is an important source of protein, fat and micronutrients. However, growing demand for bushmeat, especially in urban areas, is threatening wildlife populations, ecosystem balance and food security of indigenous and rural communities in tropical and subtropical regions.

Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the interdependence between human, animal and ecosystem health and illustrated the scale and diversity of consequences that the loss or degradation of biodiversity can have around the world.

The SWM program aims to improve the sustainable and legal use of wild animal populations through the participatory management of hunting, fishing and wildlife. It also works to reduce urban consumption of bushmeat from unsustainable sources by encouraging healthy and sustainable value chains for livestock, poultry and fish farming.

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EFA News - European Food Agency