AHEAD Update – June 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 Animal Health for the Environment And Development 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. Please note that URL hotlinks for many of the organizations mentioned below can be found at http://www.wcs-ahead.org/links.html.

If you would like to post an item in the next AHEAD Update, please just send it to me – thanks!

– SADC releases new Regional Biodiversity Strategy (background information and PDF download site at http://www.sabsp.org/strategy/index.html). We are very pleased to see that the SADC Regional Biodiversity Strategy, approved by all member States, is now available – and that the AHEAD approach is referenced multiple times in the document as a model for addressing challenges at the wildlife / livestock / human health interface, particularly in a transboundary context. We are extremely pleased to have been asked to contribute to this milestone document, which will soon also be available as a downloadable PDF on the AHEAD homepage (www.wcs-ahead.org). If you would like me to email it to you in the interim, please just let me know.

This Regional Biodiversity Strategy provides a framework for cooperation on biodiversity issues that transcend national boundaries. It is premised on the fact that the state of the environment, including biodiversity, is a major determinant of the growth and development of the region and impacts on the lives of its citizens. It is against this background that the Regional Biodiversity Strategy should be viewed as a vehicle for implementing the biodiversity components of our Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan. The latter embodies the ideals of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development [NEPAD] and the Millennium Development Goals [MDGs].
– from the preamble by the President of the Republic of Botswana and Chairperson of SADC, Festus Mogae

SANParks-based Human Livelihoods, Animal and Ecosystem Health Linkages position created! South African National Parks (SANParks) has created a new high-level policy position whose key role will be "to assist with the further development and implementation of the AHEAD concept and networking forum, amongst other activities." The Pretoria-based post, "Policy Integrator – Human Livelihoods, Animal and Systems Health Linkages in TFCAs" is currently being advertised, in what might be one of the most critical developments in terms of AHEAD to date. The person selected for this post will be responsible for the development of policy and the integration of issues relating to wildlife, livestock, ecosystems goods and services and human livelihoods, with a special focus on Transfrontier Conservation Areas. The creation and funding of this position by the South African Government reaffirms that the principles underpinning "One Health" are being adopted as SANParks further develops its transfrontier conservation areas (and 'normal' conservation areas)- that land-use planning and decisions will be made in the context of how the health of wildlife, livestock, people and ecosystems are impacted. In short, it is a tremendous step forward towards a more sustainable approach to wildlife conservation and land stewardship by one of the most science-oriented protected area management authorities on the continent. We hope and believe this program will be successful, and will inspire other countries in the region to eventually create similar 'interface' positions with policy responsibilities. A companion research-focused post (Program Coordinator – Veterinary Ecology) is also in the works, with a likely positioning within Kruger. Funding for that position is being sought. For more information on the Policy Integrator post, including a job description, please contact SANParks via Piet Theron <PietT@sanparks.org>.

Restructuring of Veterinary Services in Mozambique: In April the Minister of Agriculture of Mozambique, Tomás Mandlate, nominated Dr. Florência Massango Cipriano to be the National Director of the Veterinary Authority in Mozambique. Dr. Florência M. Cipriano will be in charge of this new National Directorate with regulatory functions and a vertical chain of command to the Provincial Veterinary Officers . This Directorate is expected to integrate the Animal Health Department and Veterinary Epidemiology Unit of the now defunct National Directorate of Livestock (DINAP). The animal production activities of DINAP will be integrated in the newly established National Directorate of Agrarian Services which includes the former Directorate of Agriculture (crops) (DINA). According to local sources, the changes announced by the Minister open the way for Veterinary Services in Mozambique to adhere to the fundamental organizational and technical principles championed by the OIE and FAO. The Animal Health Department, Provincial Veterinary Officers and many other veterinarians reportedly welcomed this restructuring.

– New book from IUCN's Chief Scientist features AHEAD chapter: Osofsky, S. A., Kock, R. A., Kock, M. D., Kalema-Zikusoka, G., Grahn, R., Leyland, T., and W. B. Karesh. 2005. “Building Support for Protected Areas Using a 'One Health' Perspective,” pp. 65-79 (plus references), in McNeely, J. A. (ed.) Friends for Life: New Partners in Support of Protected Areas. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, United Kingdom. The chapter is now available for free as a downloadable PDF at http://www.wcs-ahead.org/print.html. Or if you'd like it emailed to you, please just let me know.

– Anyone interested can now order the AHEAD book (Conservation and Development Interventions at the Wildlife/Livestock Interface: Implications for Wildlife, Livestock and Human Health) not only from IUCN Publications but via Island Press (www.islandpress.org or 1-800-621-2736) as well as Amazon.com – so spread the word! It is currently the #1 rated book on Amazon.com to have come out of a meeting in Durban in 2003 with a focus on the wildlife/livestock/human health interface! (Ha ha.) If you know anyone who wants to write a great review, please send them to Amazon!

AHEAD collaborator Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka of Conservation Through Public Health (CTPH) is pleased to report that CTPH will be receiving two years of USAID support ($225,000 total), in partnership with AWF, for work in Uganda aimed at reducing threats to biodiversity by improving the health of people, wildlife and livestock in and around Bwindi Impenetrable and Queen Elizabeth National Parks. CTPH is using bovine tuberculosis as a disease model for advancing primary and secondary preventative measures in people, wildlife and livestock. In subsequent phases of the project, other diseases of concern to people, wildlife and/or livestock living in and around protected areas may be added, including scabies, anthrax, and HIV/AIDS.

USAID Global Livestock Collaborative Research Support Program (CRSP) funds an AHEAD collaboration in the Great Ruaha River Watershed of Tanzania: USAID's Global Livestock CRSP has awarded $700,000 over the next 2.5 years to support a University of California Davis-WCS-Sokoine University of Agriculture project to investigate disease transmission among wildlife, livestock and people in the Great Ruaha River watershed. This multidisciplinary project is designed to: determine the prevalence and transmission ecology of zoonotic diseases, including bovine tuberculosis, brucellosis and water-borne pathogens in wildlife, livestock, and pastoral and agropastoral communities; assess the affects of river water management and water quality on the presence, abundance, and severity of disease impacts; assess how water management and disease affect the health and economic livelihoods of agropastoral and pastoral communities in the watershed; strengthen the zoonotic disease curriculum and research capacity of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at Sokoine University of Agriculture in Morogoro, Tanzania.

-The AHEAD website is now hosting a new Working Group: Namibia. We welcome Namibia's MET (Ministry of Environment and Tourism) and the SPAN (Strengthening the Protected Area Network) Project to the AHEAD initiative, and are pleased to see the Proceedings of "Animal Health for the Environment And Development: Possible Applications in Namibia? Introductory Workshop (MET), Nov. 2005" posted at http://www.wcs-ahead.org/workinggroups.html.

– The overview report from the May 2005 AHEAD GLTFCA "Frameworking" meeting held at Skukuza is now available for downloading in PDF via the AHEAD GLTFCA Working Group section of the website (http://www.wcs-ahead.org/workinggrps_limpopo.html): "An Overview of Discussions at the AHEAD-GLTFCA Framework Meeting held at Skukuza, 3rd - 6th May 2005." In addition, one can also now download the PDF of the "Record of the AHEAD-GLTFCA Interim Meeting – October 19–20, 2005, Skukuza, Kruger National Park, South Africa" from the same section of the website.

– The 6th AHEAD Great Limpopo TFCA Working Group meeting was held March 9th and 10th, 2006 at the Pestana Kruger Lodge, Mpumalanga, South Africa. The meeting was one of the most dynamic and productive ones yet, as perhaps reflected in the local newspaper, the Kruger Park Times (also available at http://www.krugerparktimes.co.za/krugerpark-times-2-24-transfrontier-policy-21779.html):

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Kruger Park Times

Thinking out of the box to develop transfrontier policy

Forty of southern Africa’s top experts got together for two days on March 9 and 10 to discuss scientific discoveries, current projects, and the needs and challenges involved in developing the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area. While the experts were drawn from a variety of disciplines, their special focus was on where human activities meet wildlife, and the creation of a healthy environment for humans, livestock and wild animals. They emerged with a sense that they are finally coming to grips with the real, practical, on-the-ground issues that face conservationists as they attempt to merge countries, cultures and wildlife into the current political and conservation ideal of huge international conservation systems.

Sanparks strengthened the positive vibe coming from the meeting when they announced that they hope to host two new [AHEAD-related] positions that will help South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe deal with the variety of hurdles cross-boundary conservation faces. These include understanding the risks associated with the spread of diseases like foot and mouth and bovine tuberculosis in light of the different animal health policies and different economies in the three countries, and how to integrate communal societies and wildlife conservation into a healthy ecosystem.

“Traditional ways cannot deal with issues of large landscapes and transfrontier conservation,” said South Africa’s Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) representative Dr Mike Kock, adding that what is needed now is “a cross-section of disciplines discussing complex issues in a complex situation.”

This is precisely what has been happening since the 2003 World Parks’ Congress, when the concept of Ahead (Animal Health for the Environment And Development) was first put forward. Since then ecologists, veterinarians, social scientists, economists, human health specialists and wildlife managers from a variety of countries have been getting their heads around the different viewpoints that each discipline brings to the Ahead networking forum.

“We’re thinking totally out of the box now.”

The announcement from Sanparks that they are seeking funding to host two positions that will continue to drive Ahead into the future was wonderful news to Dr Steve Osofsky from WCS New York, who has been helping coordinate the endeavour for the last three years. “The value of this novel, multidisciplinary approach is affirmed when it is adopted by a leading institution like Sanparks.”

Sanparks hope to create the posts of policy integrator/programme coordinator and a research coordinator who will help keep experts from such a wide variety of fields communicating and developing policies to make the transfrontier park a success on the ground as well as on paper. Carried up to this point by volunteers committed to the concept of a multi-disciplinary task force, the group has now gained so much momentum that it needs full-time leadership.

Ahead’s mix of disciplines is fairly unique, and the Ahead Great Limpopo TFCA Working Group will almost certainly become a role model for transfrontier conservation and development around the world.

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The final minutes from the 6th meeting of the AHEAD Great Limpopo TFCA Working Group are posted in PDF at http://www.wcs-ahead.org/workinggrps_limpopo.html, as are PDFs of most of the Powerpoint presentations from the agenda of the 6th AHEAD GLTFCA WG meeting (http://www.wcs-ahead.org/gltfca_march2006/agenda_march2006.html).

– Several new AHEAD collaborating partners have been added to the LINKs section of the AHEAD website at http://www.wcs-ahead.org/links.html, including two collaborating organizations in Zimbabwe: CASS (Centre for Applied Social Sciences) and CESVI [Cooperazione e Sviluppo ("Cooperation and Development")] . From Namibia, there are now links to MET (Ministry of Environment and Tourism) and SPAN (Strengthening the Protected Area Network). We are also pleased to now have links in place to TPARI (Transboundary Protected Areas Research Initiative) and Sand County Foundation, very important collaborating organizations. If there are organizations we are inadvertantly missing, please just let me know. We of course encourage partner organizations to feel free to link their websites back to www.wcs-ahead.org.

– Funding Opportunity (short deadline)

* International Foundation for Science - research grant opportunities
Research grant opportunities from IFS and CODESRIA http://www.ifs.se/index.asp
International Foundation for Science
Closing Date: 30 June 2006

Applications for International Foundation for Science (IFS) research grants are welcome from young scientists in developing countries to do research on the sustainable management, use or conservation of biological or water resources. This broad statement covers natural science and social science research on agriculture, soils, animal production, food science, forestry, agroforestry, aquatic resources, natural products, water resources, etc. An IFS Research Grant has a maximum value of USD 12,000.

Applications are accepted all year and are to be made on an
http://www.ifs.se/Forms/list_of_all_forms.asp IFS application form.

Candidate's for an IFS research grant must be:
a citizen of a developing country;
a scientist with at least a Master's or equivalent degree/research
under 40 years of age and at the beginning of research career; and attached to a university, national research institution or a
research-oriented non-governmental organisation in a developing country.

Contact details
Email: applications@ifs.se

– Coming in the next AHEAD Update – Zimbabwe's CASS (Centre for Applied Social Sciences), in collaboration with the University of Natal's INR (Institute of Natural Resources), reports on a major funding success related to a proposed five year pilot effort on community-based scenarios planning within the Great Limpopo TFCA.

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

All the best,