What role do wild animals (fish and wildmeat) play in the food security of urban teenagers living in poverty and conflict - the case of Quibdó, Colombia

Visualizações: 3439


  • Nathalie van Vliet
  • Björn Schulte-Herbruggen
  • Liliana Vanegas
  • Eric Yair Cuesta
  • François Sandrin
  • Robert Nasi


Wild animals, Food security, wildmeat, fish, biodiversity, forest towns, colombia


Many urban areas located at the forest edge maintain a high connection to the forest, either because forests provide resources and services that act as safety nets for the poor or because they represent a cultural link to traditional lifestyles. In urban areas located in forest landscapes, access to food markets is limited, particularly in regions where armed conflict has resulted in decreased agricultural and livestock production and poor or unsafe communication means for the transportation of goods. In this study, we assess the nutritional status of teenagers living in Quibdó, a forest town that lies at the centre of Colombia’s long history of political conflicts, and analyse the role that wild animals (wild fish and wildmeat) play for their food security. While our analysis clearly shows that wild animals significantly contribute to dietary diversity, food and nutrition insecurity prevail among teenagers, especially among the poorest families. Our results suggest that post-conflict policies should explicitly promote integrated approaches to reduce food insecurity and value biodiversity for it’s in reducing malnutrition.


Download data is not yet available.


Arnold JM, Pérez MR (2001). Can non-timber forest products match tropical forest conservation and development objectives? Ecological economics, 39(3), 437-447.

Arnold M, Powell B, Shanley P, Sunderland TCH (2011). Editorial: Forests, biodiversity and food security. International Forestry Review, 13(3), 259-264.

Bailey KV, Ferro-Luzzi A (1995). Use of body mass index of adults in assessing individual and community nutritional status. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 73(5), p.673.

Baptiste B, Pinedo-Vasquez M, Gutierrez-Velez VH, Andrade GI, Vieira P, Estupiñán-Suárez LM, and Lee TM (2017). Greening peace in Colombia. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 1, 0102.

Beyers RL, Hart JA, Sinclair ARE, Grossmann F, Klinkenberg B, Dino S (2011). Resource Wars and Conflict Ivory: The Impact of Civil Conflict on Elephants in the Democratic Republic of Congo - The Case of the Okapi Reserve. PLoS ONE 6(11): e27129. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0027129.

Bharucha Z, Pretty J (2010). The roles and values of wild foods in agricultural systems. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 365(1554), 2913-2926.

Brncic TM, Amarasekaran B, McKenna A (2010) Sierra Leone national chimpanzee census. FreetownSierra Leone: Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary .

Burlingame LJ (2000). Conservation in the Monteverde zone. Monteverde: ecology and conservation of a tropical cloud forest, 351-388.

Bvenura C, Afolayan AJ. 2015. The role of wild vegetables in household food security in South Africa: A review. Food Research International 76: 1001-1011.

Calderón V, Ibáñez AM (2009). Labor market effects of migration-related supply shocks: Evidence from internally displaced populations in Colombia. CEDE, Centro de Estudios sobre Desarrollo Económico, Facultad de Economía, Universidad de los Andes.

Cloete PC, Idsardi EF (2013) Consumption of indigenous and traditional food crops: Perceptions and realities from South Africa. Agroecology and sustainable food systems, 37(8), 902-914.

DANE - Departamento Administrativo Nacional de Estadística (2010) Censo nacional demográfico. Bogotá, Colombia.

DANE - Departamento Administrativo Nacional de Estadística (2007) Colombia: una nación multicultural - Su diversidad étnica -. Bogotá, Colombia.

Defensoría del pueblo (2014) Crisis Humanitaria en el Chocó. Diagnostico, valoración y acciones de la Defensoría del Pueblo.

De Lleras CDF (2010). Encuesta Nacional de la Situación Nutricional de la Situación en Colombia.

De Merode E, Homewood K, Cowlishaw G (2004). The value of bushmeat and other wild foods to rural households living in extreme poverty in Democratic Republic of Congo. Biological conservation, 118(5), 573-581.

De Merode E, Smith JH, Homewood K, Pettifor R, Rowcliffe M and Cowlishaw G (2007) The impact of armed conflict on protected-area efficacy in Central Africa. Biology letters, 3(3), 299-301.

Dounias E and Froment A (2011) From foraging to farming among present-day forest hunter-gatherers: consequences on diet and health. International Forestry Review, 13(3), 294-304.

Dudley JP, Ginsberg JR, Plumptre AJ, Hart JA and Campos LC (2002) Effects of war and civil strife on wildlife and wildlife habitats. Conservation Biology, 16(2), 319-329.

Escobedo R and Guío N (2015) Oro, crimen organizado y guerrillas en Quibdó. Fundación Ideas para la Paz. [online] URL: http://www.ideaspaz.org/publications/posts/1154.

FAO (2010) The state of food insecurity in the world: Addressing food insecurity in protracted crises. Rome. [online] URL: http://www.fao.org/docrep/013/i1683e/i1683e.pdf

Fonseca-Centeno Z., Heredia-Vargas AP, Ocampo-Téllez R, Forero-Torres Y, Sarmiento-Dueñas OL and Álvarez-Uribe MC (2011) Encuesta Nacional de la Situación Nutricional en Colombia 2010-ENSIN. Bogotá, DC: Instituto Colombiano de Bienestar Familiar.

Fonseca-Centeno Z, Heredia A, Ocampo P, Torres Y, Sarmiento O and Álvarez M (2010) Encuesta Nacional de Situación Nutricional en Colombia, ENSIN; Resumen Ejecutivo. [online] URL: http://www.javeriana.edu.co/documents/245769/3025871/Resumen_Ejecutivo_ENSIN_2010.pdf/160e9856-006d-4a60-9da3-d71606703609

Golden CD, Fernald LC, Brashares JS, Rasolofoniaina BR and Kremen C (2011) Benefits of wildlife consumption to child nutrition in a biodiversity hotspot. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108(49), 19653-19656.

Hadley C, Belachew T, Lindstrom D and Tessema F (2009) The forgotten population? Youth, food insecurity, and rising prices: implications for the global food crisis. NAPA Bulletin, 32: 77–91. doi:10.1111/j.1556-4797.2009.01029.x.

Hadley C, Lindstrom D, Tessema F, and Belachew T (2008) Gender bias in the food insecurity experience of Ethiopian adolescents. Social science & medicine, 66(2), 427-438.

Hatton J, Couto M and Oglethorpe JJ (2001) Biodiversity and war: a case study of Mozambique. Washington, DC: Biodiversity Support Program.

Hernández-Romero A (2005) La visibilización estadística de los grupos étnicos colombianos. Bogotá: Departamento Administrativo Nacional de Estadística (DANE).

Hickey R, Compton L, Moscardi E, Espinoza W, De Janvry A, Kassam A and Mata HD (2016) Informe anual 2015 del IICA: agricultura, oportunidad de desarrollo en las Américas (No. IICA E14). IICA, San José (Costa Rica).

Ibáñez AM and Moya A (2010) Vulnerability of victims of civil conflicts: empirical evidence for the displaced population in Colombia. World Development, 38(4), 647-663.

Ickowitz A, Powell B, Salim MA and Sunderland TC (2014) Dietary quality and tree cover in Africa. Global Environmental Change, 24, 287-294.

Idrobo, N., Mejı́a D and Tribın AM (2013) Minería ilegal y violencia en Colombia. Bogota, D.C.: Presentation delivered at the ‘‘International Conference Minería en Latinoamerica: retos y oportunidades”, Bogota. May 23rd and 24th, Universidad de los Andes.

Idrobo N, Mejía D, Tribin AM (2014) Illegal Gold Mining and Violence in Colombia. Peace Economics, Peace Science and Public Policy, 20(1), 83-111.

Joshi GR and Joshi NB (2017) Determinants of household food security in the eastern region of Nepal. SAARC Journal of Agriculture, 14(2), 174-188.

Kalpers J, Williamson EA, Robbins MM, McNeilage A, Nzamurambaho A, Lola N, and Mugiri G (2003) Gorillas in the crossfire: population dynamics of the Virunga mountain gorillas over the past three decades. Oryx, 37(03), 326-337.

Kasper NM, Herran OF and Villamor E (2014) Obesity prevalence in Colombian adults is increasing fastest in lower socio-economic status groups and urban residents: results from two nationally representative surveys. Public health nutrition, 17(11), 2398-2406.

Kennedy G, Nantel G and Shetty P (2003) The scourge of " hidden hunger": global dimensions of micronutrient deficiencies. Food Nutrition and Agriculture, (32), 8-16.

Krahn J (2003) Cooking up dietary change in Lao upland kitchens. Juth Pakai, 1(1), 3-13.

Lawrence MJ, Stemberger HL, Zolderdo AJ, Struthers DP, and Cooke SJ (2015) The effects of modern war and military activities on biodiversity and the environment. Environmental Reviews, 23(4), 443-460.

Murrieta RSS, and Dufour DL (2004) Fish and farinha: protein and energy consumption in Amazonian rural communities on Ituqui Island, Brazil. Ecology of Food and Nutrition, 43(3), 231-255.

Nackoney J, Molinario G, Potapov P, Turubanova S, Hansen MC, and Furuichi T. (2014) Impacts of civil conflict on primary forest habitat in northern Democratic Republic of the Congo, 1990–2010. Biological Conservation, 170, 321-328.

Nasi R, Taber A, and van Vliet N (2011) Empty forests, empty stomachs? Bushmeat and livelihoods in the Congo and Amazon Basins. International Forestry Review, 13(3), 355-368.

Niclasen B, Molcho M, Arnfjord S, and Schnohr C (2013) Conceptualizing and contextualizing food insecurity among Greenlandic children. International Journal of Circumpolar Health, Vol.72.

Parra DC, Iannotti L, Gomez LF, Pachón H, Haire-Joshu D, Sarmiento OL and Brownson RC (2015). The nutrition transition in Colombia over a decade: a novel household classification system of anthropometric measures. Archives of Public Health, 73(1), 12.

Pengpid S, and Peltzer K (2014) Prevalence of overweight/obesity and central obesity and its associated factors among a sample of university students in India. Obesity research & clinical practice, 8(6), e558-e570.

Pino N, Valois-Cuesta H, and Cuesta J (2004) Especies vegetales utilizadas para la elaboración de artesanías en el departamento del Chocó-Colombia. Revista Institucional Universidad Tecnológica del Chocó, 21, 9-18.

Plumptre AJ, Bizumuremyi JB, Uwimana F, and Ndaruhebeye JD (1997) The effects of the Rwandan civil war on poaching of ungulates in the Parc National des Volcans. Oryx, 31(4), 265-273.

Quiceno MP, van Vliet N, Moreno J, and Cruz D (2015) Diagnóstico sobre el comercio de carne de monte en las ciudades de Colombia. CIFOR occasional paper, Vol. 136. CIFOR.

Ramirez-Gomez SO, Torres-Vitolas CA, Schreckenberg K, Honzák M, Cruz-Garcia GS, Willcock S and Poppy GM (2015) Analysis of ecosystem services provision in the Colombian Amazon using participatory research and mapping techniques. Ecosystem Services, 13, 93-107.

Ramirez-Luna ÁV (2013) The exclusive fishing zone for the artisanal fishery in Chocó Colombia: origins, development, and consequences for artisanal fisheries and food security. Doctoral dissertation, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

Reyes-García V, Menendez-Baceta G, Aceituno-Mata L, Acosta-Naranjo R, Calvet-Mir L, Domínguez P. and Rodríguez-Franco R (2015) From famine foods to delicatessen: Interpreting trends in the use of wild edible plants through cultural ecosystem services. Ecological Economics, 120, 303-311.

Sarti FM, Adams C, Morsello C, van Vliet N, Schor T, Yagüe B, and Cruz D (2015) Beyond protein intake: bushmeat as source of micronutrients in the Amazon. Ecology and Society, 20(4).

Schmeer KK, Piperata BA, Rodríguez AH, Torres VMS, and Cárdenas FJC (2015) Maternal resources and household food security: evidence from Nicaragua. Public health nutrition, 18(16), 2915-2924.

Schulte-Herbrüggen B, Cowlishaw G, Homewood K, and Rowcliffe JM (2013) The importance of bushmeat in the livelihoods of West African cash-crop farmers living in a faunally-depleted landscape. PloS ONE, 8(8), e72807.

Scoones I, Melnyk M, and Pretty JN (1992) The hidden harvest: wild foods and agricultural systems. A literature review and annotated bibliography.

Seligman HK, Laraiaand BA, and Kushel MB (2010) Food insecurity is associated with chronic disease among low-income NHANES participants. The Journal of Nutrition, 140(2), 304-310.

Shackleton N (2015) Is there a link between low parental income and childhood obesity? Journal of Early Childhood Research, 1-18 1476718X15606479.

Sneyd LQ, Legwegoh A, and Fraser ED (2013) Food riots: Media perspectives on the causes of food protest in Africa. Food security, 5(4), 485-497.

Shumsky SA, Hickey GM, Pelletier B, and Johns T (2014) Understanding the contribution of wild edible plants to rural social-ecological resilience in semi-arid Kenya. Ecology and Society, 19(4), 34.

Sunderland TCH (2011) Food security: why is biodiversity important? International Forestry Review 13(3).

Termote C, Meyi MB, Djailo BDA, Huybregts L, Lachat C, Kolsteren P, and Van Damme P (2012) A biodiverse rich environment does not contribute to a better diet: a case study from DR Congo. PloS One, 7(1), e30533.

Vanegas L, van Vliet N, Cruz D and Sandrin F. 2016. Contribución proteica de animales silvestres y domésticos a los menús de los contextos rurales, peri-urbanos y urbanos de varias regiones de Colombia. Biota Colombiana, 17(1).

van Vliet N, Quiceno-Mesa MP, Cruz-Antia D, Tellez L, Martins C, Haiden E, and Bonilla T (2015) From fish and bushmeat to chicken nuggets: the nutrition transition in a continuum from rural to urban settings in the Tri frontier Amazon region. Ethnobiology and Conservation, 4.

Valderrama N, Castro C, Díaz M, Albarracín R, Bernal Y, and García N (2014) Plantas alimenticias y medicinales nativas de Colombia. Instituto de Investigación de Recursos Biológicos Alexander von Humboldt. [online] URL: http://i2d.humboldt.org.co/ceiba/resource.do?r=colombia_magnoliophyta_2014

Verwimp P and Muñoz-Mora JC (2013) Returning home after civil war: Food security, nutrition and poverty among Burundian households. Households in Conflict Network, Working Paper, 123.

Vinceti B, Ickowitz A, Powell B, Kehlenbeck K, Termote C, Cogill B, and Hunter D (2013) La contribución de los bosques a las dietas sostenibles. Los Bosques para la Seguridad Alimentaria y Nutricional, 64(2), 54.

Vogel G (2000) Conflict in Congo threatens bonobos and rare gorillas. Science, 287 (5462),2386-2387.

Wood CH, and Felker-Kantor EL (2013) The Color of Hunger: Food Insecurity and Racial Inequality in Brazil. Latin American and Caribbean Ethnic Studies, 8(3), 304-322.

Yamagiwa J (2003) Bushmeat poaching and the conservation crisis in Kahuzi-Biega National Park, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Journal of Sustainable Forestry, 16(3-4), 111-130.

Zakari S, Ying L, and Song B (2014) Market integration and spatial price transmission in Niger grain markets. African Development Review, 26(2), 264-273




How to Cite

van Vliet, N., Schulte-Herbruggen, B., Vanegas, L., Yair Cuesta, E., Sandrin, F., & Nasi, R. (2017). What role do wild animals (fish and wildmeat) play in the food security of urban teenagers living in poverty and conflict - the case of Quibdó, Colombia. Ethnobiology and Conservation, 7. Retrieved from https://ethnobioconservation.com/index.php/ebc/article/view/150



Original research article

Most read articles by the same author(s)