AHEAD Update – September/October 2009

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 & Human Health for the Environment And Development up-to-date on relevant developments, 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, which also features an AHEAD Update 'sign-up' feature on the home page. Please note that URL hotlinks for many of the organizations mentioned below can be found at http://www.wcs-ahead.org/links.htmlNews on potential funding opportunities appears towards the end of this Update.

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


The Worldwatch Institute has asked AHEAD to help them collect examples of agricultural innovations that farmers and others might consider using to help alleviate hunger and poverty in the places most in need. They're defining innovation broadly. In some cases it might mean farmers planting a new crop variety, implementing a new cropping system, or returning to a traditional approach for pest control. In other cases it might mean an innovative policy, like water pricing, farmer cooperatives, or farmer-managed seed banks. But no matter the innovation, they are most interested in those that take environmental sustainability into consideration, while also raising farmer income and increasing food security. In other words, innovations that nourish people, as well as the planet.

With the backing of the Gates Foundation, Worldwatch is inviting farmers, agricultural scientists, extension agents, development workers, government officials, urban gardeners, livestock keepers, natural resource managers and others to take this survey to assess innovations in agriculture. Their goal is to draw attention to the sorts of innovations that are currently used in grazing lands, fields, pastures, empty lots, and backyards in sub-Saharan Africa, but that may need additional financial or policy support. The Worldwatch Institute will be sharing their findings with farmer organizations, development agencies, international funders, private foundations and agricultural research institutions, including the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) centers and National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS) centers throughout Africa. And many of these innovations will be featured in the 2011 edition of State of the World, Worldwatch’s annual book.

If your work involves wildlife and how good stewardship at the wildlife / livestock interface relates to more diversified, sustainable livelihoods, please let Worldwatch know about that dimension of natural resource management as well. This is your chance to educate a wide range of stakeholders about work that you think really matters in terms of sustainable livelihoods and sound environmental stewardship. Although their project is focusing on sub-Saharan Africa, they’re interested in examples from all over the world. Please click here to complete the survey if you think you can help: 
Worldwatch Institute Research Survey for Agricultural Innovation


*The application period for the AHEAD KAZA Coordinator post closed August 31- The response was tremendous, and we are still in the process of evaluating the applications. Only applicants short-listed for interviews will be notified, ideally within the next 4-6 weeks. In the interim, AHEAD is continuing to liaise with the KAZA Secretariat in Namibia and the KAZA TFCA Regional Coordinator in Botswana as part of ongoing preparations for this exciting collaborative endeavor. As previously noted, this position is to coordinate regional AHEAD efforts, not to coordinate the KAZA TFCA!


*Transboundary Protected Areas Research Initiative (TPARI) releases new “Guidelines for Negotiating Social Research in Communities Living Adjacent to Transboundary Protected Areas: Kruger National Park."
This collaborative publication between academics and community members aims to assist local people and social researchers to negotiate equitable research agreements. 

"The objective of these guidelines is to assist local people and social researchers to negotiate equitable research agreements. The guidelines have their origins in a long process of consultation, discussion and exchange between social researchers and local people, which took place in South Africa over a period of three years (2005–2008). The document draws on the substantial experience of people living adjacent to the Kruger National Park with research and researchers, as well as on the collective experience of the informal network of researchers that participated in the development of the guidelines. Local people have experienced research in positive and negative ways. Some communities in the area adjacent to the Kruger National Park can justifiably feel over-exposed to researchers, while others feel that opportunities and insights potentially generated by research pass them by. Yet even these communities often feel that some guidelines are required to avoid duplication and negative engagement. It is important to mention that the engagement between social researchers and communities is not a matter of these two groups alone. Many stakeholders such as NGOs, parastatals as well as governmental organisations are important and influential players in this engagement. Therefore, while the guidelines focus specifically on researcher-community interactions, these other players should not be forgotten and should themselves be aware of their effects in these interactions. The guidelines are not prescriptive, but raise issues and suggest ways in which these can be dealt with." The guidelines can be downloaded from: 

*AHEAD Great Limpopo TFCA Seed Grant Mid-Term Reports now downloadable as PDFs at http://www.wcs-ahead.org/gltfca_grants/grants.html. Almost all mid-term reports are now in, so please feel free to take a look at what Seed Grantees have been doing. The links to PDF reports are at the bottom of each project's abstract.

*"On the Fence"- article by Douglas Fox in Conservation magazine – An interesting thought piece on pros and cons of various fences around the world: 

*New regional policy initiative in support of COMESA (Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa) from the Feinstein International Center – "How can good research influence new thinking and policy, especially when the policy issues are controversial or misunderstood? The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) is developing a regional food security policy framework for pastoralist areas which recognizes the vulnerability of pastoralist communities and the need for regional and cross-border policy support. The Feinstein International Center worked with COMESA to examine the research and evidence which supports mobile pastoralist livelihoods, but which is often overlooked by policy makers. This policy process has included three training courses on pastoralism in the COMESA region, based on the livelihoods analytical framework, and both old and new scientific research. The process falls under NEPAD's Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP)http://www.nepad-caadp.net/ and will lead to a draft policy document by the end of the year. This work is part of the Feinstein International Center’s Pastoral Areas Coordination Analysis and Policy Support project, funded by USAID." Download the reports at 

*New publications on village chicken production now available from Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) –
Village Chickens, Poverty Alleviation and the Sustainable Control of Newcastle Disease
      – Improving Village Chicken Production: A Manual for Field Workers and Trainers

For downloadable versions, see http://www.aciar.gov.au/publication/PR131
and http://www.aciar.gov.au/publication/MN139
or contact Robyn Alders robyn.alders@gmail.com for details.

*New reviews on the health of indigenous communities around the world - "These reviews examine the health standards of the world’s 400 million indigenous people and look into the underlying causes of health disparities between indigenous and non-indigenous peoples. Connecting poor health standards of indigenous peoples worldwide with loss of culture, the authors note that 'indigenous peoples worldwide have undergone rapid culture change, marginalization and absorption into the global economy, with very little respect for their autonomy. These profound transformations have been linked to high rates of depression, alcoholism, suicide and violence in many communities, with the most pronounced effect on youth.' Calling for more culturally appropriate ways to interact with and treat Indigenous peoples, in part 2 the authors cover, among other issues, indigenous notions of health and identity, and whole health and healing. It is noted that traditional teachings and knowledge provide a basis for positive self-image and healthy identity."
See the Traditional Knowledge Bulletin:

and The Lancet:
Indigenous health part 1: determinants and disease patterns
M. Gracey and M. King, The Lancet, Vol. 374, Issue 9683: 65-75, doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(09)60914-4
Indigenous health part 2: the underlying causes of the health gap
M. King, A. Smith, M. Gracey, The Lancet, Vol. 374, Issue 9683: 76-85, doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(09)60827-8

*New SCB Social Science Working Paper- Putting People on the Map: An Approach to Integrating Social Data in Conservation Planning, by Sheri L. Stephenson and Michael B. Mascia. Society for Conservation Biology Social Science Working Group.

"Conservation planning is integral to strategic and effective operations of public and private sector conservation organizations. Largely grounded in the biological sciences, the field of conservation planning has historically made limited use of social data. We offer a simple approach for integrating data on social well-being into conservation planning that captures and contextualizes patterns and trends in human needs and capacities across a conservation planning unit. These social well-being data complement biophysical and threat-oriented social data within a conservation planning process. Building upon existing conservation planning methodologies and insights from multiple disciplines, this systematic approach can easily merge with current planning practices. Incorporating social well-being data into conservation plans can refine the process for selecting conservation targets, highlight opportunities for strategic conservation action, and inform adaptive management." PDF available at


*Conservation Through Public Health http://www.ctph.org/ founder and CEO, Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka, wins the Whitley Gold Award – for grassroots nature conservation also known as the “Green Oscars,” presented by HRH, Princess Anne, at a ceremony at the Royal Geographical Society in London. The Whitley Awards, which include 30,000 pounds, were presented to five other outstanding conservation leaders from Bulgaria, India, Kenya, Sri Lanka and Thailand. Uganda's Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka, an AHEAD collaborator, emerged as the top winner with a prize comprising 30,000 pounds donated by World Wildlife Fund (WWF)-UK and the Whitley Gold Award of an additional second year of funding worth another 30,000 pounds. The funds will be used to measure the conservation impact of CTPH’s work in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park by documenting improvement of hygiene indicators of community members who regularly interface with gorillas, and resultant effects on gorilla health status. Edward Whitley said: “The aim of the Whitley Awards is to find and support conservation scientists whose vision, passion, determination and qualities of leadership mean they are achieving inspirational results in conservation. Dr. Kalema-Zikusoka’s project demonstrates all this and more. As judges, we were especially impressed by what this project is doing in the International Year of the Gorilla, to protect a species that has become a symbol of what conservation means, offers its human neighbours access to useful tourism income, yet which is vulnerable to human diseases because we share 98% of our DNA.” For a recent interview with Dr. Kalema-Zikusoka, see

*SACIDS research network wins approximately £5.7 million to target human and animal diseases in Africa – Deadly diseases including plague, Ebola and Rift Valley Fever are being targeted as part of a new multi-million pound international partnership involving African researchers and the London International Development Centre (LIDC). The Southern African Centre for Infectious Disease Surveillance (SACIDS) links medical and veterinary institutions from five African countries and the UK to improve the capacity of African institutions to detect, identify and monitor infectious diseases affecting humans and animals, including new infectious human diseases of animal origin. SACIDS will primarily be supported by a grant of approximately £5.7 million announced by The Wellcome Trust – the UK's largest charity – under its African Institutions Initiative. The SACIDS network, involving researchers from Tanzania, Mozambique, Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa, and the UK, was launched at its Secretariat meeting at the Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania, on March 31. The collaboration has also received funding from the Rockefeller Foundation and Google.org.

Most major infectious human diseases have animal origins and up to 80 per cent of emerging infectious human diseases come from livestock or wild animals, yet Africa currently has the least capacity to survey major livestock or wildlife diseases. The Wellcome Trust grant will provide funds for SACIDS to:
    * Develop and deliver new MSc courses in critical areas of Molecular Biology and Epidemiology
    * Enhance biosafety systems and quality management in laboratories
    * Support continuing professional development to upgrade skills
    * Develop a secure internet-based technology platform for partners to share resources
    * Enhance ICT support to distance learning
    * Provide research apprenticeships with partner institutions

For more information, see http://www.ghsi.org/projects/sacids.html or contact mark.rweyemamu@btinternet.com


*Diversitas- Biodiversity and Society: Understanding Connections, Adapting to Change. October 13-16, 2009, Cape Town, South Africa –
Diversitas is an International Programme of Biodiversity Science with the following missions:
*Promote an integrative biodiversity science, linking biological, ecological and social disciplines in an effort to produce socially relevant new knowledge
*Provide the scientific basis for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity
*Draw out the implications for policies for conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity

Plants, animals, their genetic diversity and their diverse habitats are being threatened as never before by factors such as habitat loss, overexploitation of resources or climate change— all of which result from human activities. These changes in biodiversity will have far-reaching and often unanticipated consequences on our planet’s life-support systems and on the services that humans derive from ecosystems. See http://www.diversitas-osc.org/ for details,
or contact info-OSC2@diversitas-international.org.

*2010 (10th) AHEAD Great Limpopo TFCA Working Group Meeting on track- please save the dates! – Special thanks to the Rockefeller Foundation for providing the core support needed! More details on the South African venue and agenda development to follow over the next few months, but please mark your calendars for February 23, 24, 25, 26 (same pattern as last year- folks arrive on Feb. 23rd with the meeting actually starting on the morning of the 24th).


*LifeWeb- major funding for protected areas – LifeWeb is an initiative of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to strengthen the creation and management of new and existing protected areas as a powerful tool to address climate change, sustain livelihoods and conserve biodiversity. LifeWeb supports implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity and its Programme of Work on Protected Areashttp://www.cbd.int/protected/pow.shtml

LifeWeb helps achieve this goal by:
*Supporting donor decision-making with a user-friendly on-line clearing house of funding priorities
*Facilitating funding matches between donors and recipients
*Enabling complementary funding leverage opportunities among donors
*Inspiring and recognising donor support

See http://www.cbd.int/lifeweb/ for further details on this exciting resource in support of protected areas. The preliminary Project Expression of Interest form is available at http://www.cbd.int/lifeweb/projectprofile/

*SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund Offers Funding for Wildlife Conservation – This nonprofit private charitable foundation supports wildlife conservation, research, and education around the world. Since its launch in 2003, the fund has granted a total of $5 million to more than 350 projects in 60 countries. The fund's grantees include global organizations as well as smaller, grassroots organizations. The fund focuses its resources in four strategic areas — Species Research, Habitat Protection, Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation, and Conservation Education. The fund has no set minimum or maximum grant amount. In the past, the fund has supported projects ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 each for a one-year term. The fund will consider multi-year proposals. The fund will accept online applications from, for example, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations based in the United States, non-U.S. based nonprofit organizations, governmental entities, accredited universities and research centers. Grant applications are reviewed once a year with a deadline date of December 1. Visit the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund website for complete program guidelines and examples of funded projects: 

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

What is AHEAD?

Animal & Human Health for the Environment And Development was launched six years ago- at the 2003 IUCN World Parks Congress in Durban, South Africa.  By assembling a ‘dream team’ of veterinarians, ecologists, biologists, social and economic scientists, agriculturists, wildlife managers, public health specialists and others from across East and southern Africa, the Wildlife Conservation Society, IUCN, and a range of partners tapped into some of the most innovative conservation and development thinking on the African continent- and AHEAD was born. Since then, a range of programs addressing conservation, health, and concomitant development challenges have been launched with the support of a growing list of implementing partners and donors who see the intrinsic value of what WCS has called the “One World, One Health” approach. AHEAD is a convening, facilitative mechanism, working to create enabling environments that allow different and often competing sectors to literally come to the same table and find collaborative ways forward to address challenges at the interface of wildlife health, livestock health, and human health and livelihoods. We convene stakeholders, help delineate conceptual frameworks to underpin planning, management and research, and provide technical support and resources for projects stakeholders identify as priorities. AHEAD recognizes the need to look at health and disease not in isolation but within a given region's environmental and socioeconomic context.

All the best,