Lib Dem MEP Catherine Bearder has urged governments in the Congo Basin to provide more sustainable sources of food for their populations.
The staple food of the 24 million people living in the Congo Basin is carbohydrate crops, roots, and tubers - it is a diet very low in protein. The WHO recommends a minimum daily protein intake of 52g per person per day, and at present 92% of this comes from bush meat. Other sources of protein do exist but they come nowhere close to covering the needs of these 24 million people.
Studies have shown that at current levels of consumption bush meat is not a sustainable source of food.
In debate on food security during the Joint Parliamentary Assembly of the EU and the ACP countries, Mrs Bearder commented:
"Studies have shown that bush meat is not a sustainable source of food. If we continue to hunt it at current levels we will push many species into extinction."
"Unless we find alternative sources of protein now, sooner or later there will be no bushmeat for already malnourished communities to hunt."