Conservation Outcomes, a non-profit organisation dedicated to biodiversity conversation, is enabling the expansion of the sustainable wildlife ranching industry with funding from the WWF Nedbank Green Trust. Wildlife ranching is a crucial part of developing the biodiversity economy, which is one of the reasons Conservation Outcomes is creating a game meat demonstration project in partnership with the retail industry.
The project is testing the viability of establishing a game meat market in South Africa that is underpinned by biodiversity conservation imperatives. These imperatives highlight the ways in which extensive, healthy wildlife systems contribute to biodiversity stewardship and can be used to create sustainable funding for state-protected areas.
Currently, the project is focused on setting up demonstration projects in the greater Kruger Area and Northern Zululand in KwaZulu-Natal that can be replicated and scaled across the country. An avenue of income generation, the game meat project will have a direct, positive impact on land claim beneficiaries that own conservation areas. It is not the sole solution to ensuring sustainable eco-use and conservation, but it is an important additional enabler of the expansion of the wildlife economy. Furthermore, there are numerous ancillary businesses that can be spun off from the game meat market, namely those dealing in hides and leather and various processed meats and meat products. Aside from financial and business-related benefits, the availability of affordable, good-quality protein that is more easily accessible would be of significant benefit to rural communities that need to travel larger distances to purchase their food.
Game meat that is ethically harvested through an extensive system is one of the most sustainable sources of protein. It is perfectly compatible with large tracts of conservation land and uses indigenous species that are adapted to the South African climate and habitats. In addition, the game meat project will provide an additional revenue stream for players operating in protected areas and therefore contribute to their sustainability.
To learn more about the project visit http://www.conservation-outcomes.org/.