AHEAD Update – January 2006

Dear AHEAD Colleagues:

*I should again note that if you wish to be removed from this e-mail list please just let me know. My hope is to keep parties interested in AHEAD up-to-date on developments post-Durban World Parks Congress over time, but I certainly understand if anyone wants to opt out of receiving such messages. Updates are also posted (and archived) on the AHEAD website at www.wcs-ahead.org.

If you would like to post an item in the next AHEAD Update, please just send it to me – thanks! A number of programmatic and funding successes make this a nice update to start 2006 with! Please note WCS-supported scholarship opportunities mentioned at the end of the Update.

*USAID provides $102,500 in support of the AHEAD Great Limpopo TFCA initiative. The AHEAD (Animal Health for the Environment And Development) consortium continues to develop, and funding has begun to materialize. In addition to the $102, 500 just awarded to WCS for several key components (such as the 'frameworking' and 'scenarios planning' modules) of this year's AHEAD Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area (GLTFCA) work, various AHEAD partners are beginning to attract their own funding which directly contributes to the agreed collaborative approach among WCS and our international partners. For example, the University of Natal's Institute of Natural Resources was recently awarded $20,000 from the Sand County Foundation for the 'scenarios planning module' that is at the core of the AHEAD GLTFCA initiative. Kudos (kudus?) go to INR's Mike Murphree, who will be leading that module (more on this below).

*A Sand County Foundation CBNRM Innovation Grant of $20,000 has been awarded to Mike Murphree and the Institute of Natural Resources for "Scenario Planning In The Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area." This proposal was one of the two top selections for Africa out of a total of 90 proposals from Africa and North America that were received for the 2005 Innovations grant request program. Of the 90 proposals from Africa and North America (split very evenly), the Sand County Foundation has selected only 3 for funding. This timely award complements the recent support the AHEAD GLTFCA initiative received from USAID (as per above). Again, congratulations to Mike and all involved!

*Mozambique receives World Bank support for transfrontier conservation and tourism, and for financial sector reforms. The World Bank Board of Directors has approved an International Development Association (IDA) credit of US $20 million to support the conservation of biodiversity and natural ecosystems as well as promote economic growth and development based on the sustainable use of natural resources by local communities in Mozambique. The project for which the Board approved the credit will also be financed by a US $10 million grant from the Global Environment Facility (GEF), in accordance with the work program approved by the GEF Council in October 2005 as well as a US $3.7 million grant from the Japanese Policy and Human Resources Development (PHRD) Fund. The Transfrontier Conservation Area and Tourism Development Project, as the initiative is known, is aimed at conserving biodiversity in the southern Africa region by maintaining large, intact natural ecosystems and ecological linkages that span national borders. It will finance the establishment and management of multiple-purpose conservation areas in three places with significant transborder biodiversity linkages. The project aims to increase revenues for communities from the growth in environmentally sustainable tourism in the three transfrontier conservation areas of Chimanimani, Lubombo and Greater Limpopo. Note that a portion of the funding is devoted to expanding capacity for addressing disease issues at the wildlife / livestock / human interface. Also included is support for the Government's efforts in improving the business environment with a view to stimulating private sector investments and private sector-led economic grow. The World Bank Board of Directors has also approved an International Development Association (IDA) credit of US$10.5 million to support reforms in the financial sector in Mozambique. Congratulations to Bartolomeu Soto, Jorge Ferrao and colleagues on these exciting developments.

*The AHEAD GLTFCA Working Group (WG) has had several smaller meetings hosted by SANParks and WCS at Skukuza- one in 5/05 (on the 'Frameworking' analysis as agreed to at the last full (5th) WG meeting at the University of Pretoria in 2/05), and one in 10/05 (a small 'interim meeting' to assess progress on several components of the AHEAD GLTFCA initiative). Notes from such meetings are made available by email and are also posted on the AHEAD website. Please note that the next (6th) full AHEAD GLTFCA WG meeting is being scheduled for ~8th-10th of March 2006 in Pretoria- more details to be sent out to all AHEAD GLTFCA WG members as soon as they are available!

*Government of Namibia explores the AHEAD Paradigm. In November 2005, AHEAD was invited by the Government of Namibia's Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) to help organize an informational workshop on the Animal Health for the Environment And Development paradigm, and how it might be applicable in the context of Namibia's protected and surrounding areas. Credit goes to the Strengthening the Protected Area Network (SPAN) project of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) for organizing an integrative workshop to critically evaluate "AHEAD issues" in Namibia. This represents a very exciting opportunity for AHEAD, and WCS Field Veterinary Program's Mike Kock (South Africa), along with AHEAD GLTFCA coordinator David Cumming (Zimbabwe), managed an exciting and productive forum with participants from various agencies (including MET and MAWF) within Namibia. Other AHEAD 'alumni' such as the LIFE project's Chris Weaver participated. This first working meeting was deemed extremely successful, and we are hopeful that an ongoing collaboration will help the Government of Namibia to develop its own AHEAD initiative, likely with a focus on the Caprivi / KAZA region. We hope to post the minutes from this November 2005 meeting on the AHEAD website once they are finalized.

*Three USAID- SANREM (Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resource Management) CRSP (Collaborative Research Support Program) planning grants (~$120,000) awarded to WCS AHEAD and university partners, leading to a $1.2 million project grant for efforts in Zambia. Out of 73 "Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resources Management Collaborative Research Support Program (SANREM CRSP)" planning grant proposals USAID received, only 18 were funded. Three of those 18 were from WCS and partners as part of the AHEAD initiative. The scope of these three prestigious planning grants was to develop full proposals for up to $300,000 / year for 4 years- due in September '05. Submitted long-term research proposals were for work in Zambia, Tanzania, and Mongolia, in collaboration with the WCS International Program and three US university partners (as mandated by USAID for SANREM proposals): Cornell, UC Davis, and Michigan State University respectively. Each planning grant was for ~$40,000 and covered the bulk of the costs for US planning meetings as well as WCS and university partner travel to the country in question for local stakeholder planning meetings there. Full proposals were submitted in September 2005, and in December SANREM / USAID awarded the Zambia full proposal $ 1.2 million over four years for the unique, multidisciplinary project entitled: "Developing a Participatory Socio-Economic Model for Food Security, Improved Rural Livelihoods, Watershed Management, and Biodiversity Conservation in Southern Africa." This initiative represents a unique collaboration among host country institutions and regional IARC partners, Cornell University, WCS, and the AHEAD initiative. AHEAD 'alumnus' Dale Lewis deserves particular credit for this success.

*AHEAD Great Apes Working Group member sees funding success. The MacArthur Foundation has awarded Conservation Through Public Health (CTPH) 190,000 US Dollars to help enhance the capacity of Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) in wildlife health monitoring. CTPH is assisting UWA to set up a long-term health monitoring system for wildlife by developing a savanna model in Queen Elizabeth National Park and a forest model in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park that can be replicated in other protected areas of Uganda. This system will enable UWA to have a sustainable early warning system in place to prevent disease outbreaks among people, wildlife and livestock in and around the Ugandan protected areas. UWA park staff will be trained in wildlife health monitoring including recognizing and reporting early warning signs, in a concerted effort to mitigate outbreaks of diseases like scabies and anthrax which have had serious impact on Ugandan wildlife in the past. Reported clinical observations of gorillas and other wildlife will be linked to existing regional and international databases (wildlife, medical, and veterinary). CTPH is very grateful to the MacArthur Foundation for this opportunity to build on the efforts of CTPH Founder/CEO, Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka, who set up a wildlife veterinary unit in UWA from 1996 to 2000 while working as UWA Veterinary Officer.

*Downloadable PDFs of whole AHEAD book / individual chapters / sections / AHEAD Working Group Notes, etc. available!

Osofsky, S. A., Cleaveland, S., Karesh, W. B., Kock, M. D., Nyhus, P. J., Starr, L., and A. Yang, (eds.). 2005. Conservation and Development Interventions at the Wildlife/Livestock Interface: Implications for Wildlife, Livestock and Human Health. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. xxxv and 220 pp.

We now have a downloadable PDF file of the entire book available:

We also have PDFs of all individual chapters / sections, incl. the cover available for downloading:

These can be used for e-prints and to make reprints as needed. If for some reason you have trouble downloading and instead want me to email you a particular PDF file, please just let me know- happy to help as needed. Also note that hard copies of Conservation and Development Interventions at the Wildlife/Livestock Interface: Implications for Wildlife, Livestock and Human Health can be ordered from IUCN: http://www.iucn.org/bookstore/SpeciesOccPap1.htm#B2172 or by emailing books@iucn.org. In the US, Island Press will be selling the books shortly (search for the IUCN Action Plan / Occasional Papers section of Island Press' website or call 1-800-621-2736).

*WCS Field Veterinary Program Offers Free Memberships to the Wildife Disease Association (WDA) for One Year for those Who Qualify. The WCS Field Veterinary Program will sponsor a limited number of memberships for eligible individuals (both students and non-students). Restrictions are as follows:
*Free membership will be offered for one year only.
*Offer is only available to NEW members, whether institutions or individuals.
*You must be located in a country outside of North America, Western Europe, or Australia/New Zealand.
*Benefits of WDA membership include a subscription to the quarterly WDA journal and the Wildlife Disease Supplement, and an invitation to attend the annual meeting.
*Student member benefits also include special opportunities to compete for monetary awards and scholarships. Students are encouraged to participate in the annual conference proceedings by contributing a lecture or a poster presentation. Students are also invited to join any of the numerous committees to help expand their professional experience and affiliations.
To obtain an application, go to http://www.wcs.org/sw-high_tech_tools/wildlifehealthscience/fvp/168570/170248. Please let me know if you require any assistance pursuing this opportunity.

*WCS Graduate Fellowships – Deadline March 1, 2006 – Eight graduate fellowships/scholarships to be awarded:

1) Four Christensen Conservation Leaders Scholarships– for applicants from any developing country or North American indigenous group, no geographic restriction and no species restriction.
2) One C.V. Starr Tiger Conservation Fellowship– for an applicant working on tiger conservation and/or who will study tigers.
3) One Robertson Big Cat Conservation Fellowship– for an applicant who will study big cats. No geographic restriction.
4) Two Beinecke African Scholarships– for applicants from Africa.

The goal of the Graduate Fellowship Program is to foster access to graduate-level educational opportunities, and then allow students to return to their countries to work in the conservation field. Awardees receive support toward a masters or doctoral education at any institution in the world. Following the award of a fellowship, WCS initially assists the selected fellow in identifying an institution of study; the award covers the costs of graduate school application fees, preparation and sitting fees for exams such as the GRE and TOEFL, visa processing fees, one return airfare, ESL as needed, and a computer and printer upon matriculation. Once matriculated, the fellowship provides $30,000 towards tuition, room, board and a stipend, with the exact arrangement dependent upon the institution the fellow chooses to attend.

Each applicant will be considered for every award for which s/he is eligible; a single application to the WCS Graduate Fellowship Program is all that is required. For the application instructions, please email Kate Mastro, kmastro@wcs.org

If you have items for the next AHEAD Update, please just let me know – thanks.

All the best,