South Africa promotes a controversial wildlife conservation strategy

Luc Williams

South Africa plans to increase its size sixfold meat industry by 2036, from the current USD 240 million to USD 1.5 billion.

A controversial proposition

An unusual strategy was presented last week by President Cyril Ramaphosa and Environment Minister Barbara Creecy.

“The problem is we had two historically divergent schools of thought. One said: to protect, you look and don't touch. The second one says: it is biodiversity“Let's use it,” the minister explained the new approach to wildlife protection.

Daily Maverick called this way of thinking a plan for mass “monetization” South Africa's wild ecosystems.

Two birds with one stone

Antelopes they live mainly on marginal or degraded land, and increasing demand for their meat would encourage conservation of their habitats, while also becoming a source of income for the poorest and rural areas far from economic centers – explained the minister. She added that the new strategy assumes increasing the areas under protection from the current 20 million hectares to 34 million hectares by 2040.

Ecological and healthier

Khorommbi Matibe, principal director of biodiversity management and sustainable use at the Department of Forests, Fisheries and Environment, defended the government's idea in an interview with Bloomberg, arguing that meat of wild animals It is beneficial to health because it has low cholesterol content. It can also be environmentally friendly alternative to beefbecause venison generates less methane than cows and does not require cutting down forests, which serve as a natural carbon sink.

South Africa already exports farmed crocodile meat, ostrich, wild zebraand in many restaurants you can order giraffe steak. Now the menu will feature more often the offer of antelope meat.

Tadeusz Brzozowski


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