Wild harvesting

Wild harvesting


Wild harvesting has ever been a source of food and medicine for humans. Since centuries edible nuts, mushrooms, fruits, herbs, spices, gums, game, fodder, fibres used for construction of shelter and housing, clothing or utensils, and plant or animal products for medicinal, cosmetic or cultural uses are collected. Out of these, medicinal and aromatic plants (MAP) play a central role. Being the basis for traditional medicines and cosmetics but also subject to national and international trade. Thereby the demand for MAPs is increasing continuoulsy.

The increasing demand for wild plants and animals poses major ecological and social challenges. The pressure on vulnerable species can harm local ecosystems and the livelihoods of the collectors. Therefore, wild collections and hunting should be done sustainably - in a way that populations remain stable and have enough time for reproduction and growing.

Habitats must not be damaged or altered and sideeffects of the collection/hunting on other plants or animals must be minimized. For the farmer/collector to safeguard this can be a challenge if there are other people, too. Communities, cooperatives or associations must take the responsibility to monitor the target species and safeguard the long-term business.

Further Reading


The Fact Sheet Sustainable use of biodiversity: the case of bushmeat hunting (2016) from NeFo describes the sustainable use of biodiversity using the example of hunting wild game meat in preparation.