wild meat Congo

Sustainable Wildlife Management (SWM) Programme

About the SWM


The Sustainable Wildlife Management (SWM) Programme is a major international initiative that aims to improve wildlife conservation and food security. The program aims to develop innovative, collaborative, and scalable new approaches to conserve wild animals and protect ecosystems, whilst at the same time improving the livelihoods of indigenous peoples and rural communities who depend on these resources.


The challenge


Millions of people depend on wild meat for food and income. Wild meat is an important source of protein, fat, and micronutrients, particularly for indigenous peoples and rural communities in South America, Africa, and Asia.

The demand for wild meat is growing, especially in urban areas. If hunting for wild meat is not managed at sustainable levels, then wildlife populations will decline and people will suffer increased food insecurity. Recent studies have shown that overhunting for food is now threatening hundreds of wildlife species with extinction.


wild meat Congo
Wild meat market in Congo ©Brent Stirton/Getty Images for FAO, CIRAD, CIFOR, and WCS.


The solution


Between 2018 and 2024, the SWM Programme will help improve the conservation and sustainable use of wildlife in the forest, savannah, and wetland ecosystems. Field projects are being implemented across 15 African, Caribbean, and Pacific countries by:

  • improving how wildlife hunting is regulated
  • increasing the supply of sustainably produced meat products and farmed fish
  • strengthening the management capacities of indigenous and rural communities
  • reducing demand for wild meat, particularly in towns and cities



Learn about SWM impact in Madagascar and Congo 🦍

Author: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

Publisher: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

Language: English, French

Year: 2022

Ecosystem(s): Drylands and Rangelands

Location(s): Africa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Madagascar

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