What's food and nutrition security got to do with wildlife conservation?

Alders, A and Kock, R A (2017) What's food and nutrition security got to do with wildlife conservation? Australian Zoologist.

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Abstract

We review the linkages between food security, nutrition and wildlife conservation in the early 21st century. Declines in wildlife populations and habitats have occurred in parallel with increasing human population and the global emergence of the double burden of under- and over-nutrition. Nutrition-sensitive landscapes and nutrition- and gender-sensitive value chains are key to delivering optimal food and nutrition security and environmental outcomes. Neglected or underutilized crops and sustainable harvest of wild food have the potential to play a number of roles in the improvement of food security that include being: (a) a way to reduce the risk of over-reliance on very limited numbers of major crops and animals; (b) a way to increase sustainability of agriculture through a reduction in the carbon footprint of agriculture and maintenance of biodiversity; (c) a contribution to food quality; and (d) a way to preserve and celebrate cultural and dietary diversity. Dietary diversity and reduced greenhouse gas emissions per kilogram of animal-source food produced can be promoted through the consumption of all edible parts of the carcass, including highly nutritious offal. We argue that adopting a nutrition-sensitive landscape approach would improve consumer understanding of food systems, nutrient cycles, ecosystems services and potentially linkages between dietary diversity and biodiversity.

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