The spreading of diseases from animals to humans—also called zoonotic—is a public health concern in light of the current pandemic. COVID-19 has now spread to more than 100 countries worldwide is also suspected to be originated from pangolin or bat sold in market in Wuhan, China.
As the efforts to curb pandemic accelerate, many conservationists are welcoming China’s move to outlaw hunting and consumption of wild animals. And yet, the reality is not that simple. The ban may put millions of forest dwellers at risk of food insecurity, as Indigenous or rural communities often consume wild meat as their sole source of protein.
How do we address this challenge? Can we find the middle ground to this complex reality?
COVID-19 and what it means for wild meat
Nathalie van Vliet
John Emmanuel Fa
Senior Associate, CIFOR/Manchester Metropolitan University
Director General, Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR)
Managing Director, CIFOR-ICRAF