South Africa. Officials encourage deer eating

Officials in Cape Town have developed a new, unusual strategy to protect wildlife. They encourage people to eat large amounts of wild animal meat. Environment Minister Barbara Creasey argues there is a method. According to him, increasing demand for this meat will encourage habitat conservation, and breeding will become a profitable activity for poor rural areas. The Daily Maverick called this line of thinking the mass “monetization” scheme of ecosystems.

South African authorities are encouraging more consumption of wild deer meat, which will increase the value of these animals and encourage people to breed them. South African newspaper Daily Maverick writes about a surprising new wildlife conservation strategy developed by the country's Department of Environmental Affairs.

“Protect and Watch” or “Exploit”

An unusual strategy was put forward by President Cyril Ramaphosa and Environment Minister Barbara Creasy last week.

– The problem is that we have had two historically divergent schools of thought. Someone said: To protect, you see, do not touch. The second reads: “Biodiversity is there, let's use it” – a new approach to wildlife conservation advocated by the minister. The “Daily Maverick” called this line of thinking a plan to mass “monetize” South Africa's wild ecosystems.

South Africa plans to increase the size of its meat industry sixfold by 2036 from $240 million today. Up to $1.5 billion.

Officials believe in their strategy

The animals live mainly on marginal or degraded land, and increased demand for their meat would encourage conservation of their habitats, while also becoming a source of income for poor and remote rural areas, Creasy argued.

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The new strategy will increase the area under protection from the current 20 million hectares to 34 million hectares by 2040, he added.

Khorombi Matibe – director general of biodiversity management and sustainable use at the Department of Forests, Fisheries and Environment – ​​supported the government's idea in an interview with Bloomberg. He argued that wild animal meat is low in cholesterol and therefore beneficial to health. It can also be an environmentally friendly alternative to beef, as these animals produce less methane than cows, and their reproduction does not require cutting down forests that act as natural carbon dioxide sinks.

South Africa already exports domesticated crocodile, ostrich and wild zebra meat, and you can order giraffe steak at many restaurants. Now, venison appears frequently on menus.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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