AHEAD Update – July 2004

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.

Key Developments:

AHEAD Great Apes Working Group: A Great Apes / Human Health Working Group convened in May (taking advantage of a larger Great Ape health / conservation forum being held in Germany), with the assistance of AHEAD consultant Lynne Gaffikin, to broaden discussions post-Durban on resolving challenges at the great ape / human health interface. Notes from the meeting are available in PDF format at http://www.wcs-ahead.org/workinggrps_greatapes.html: "May 2004 Meeting of the AHEAD Great Apes / Human Health Working Group (Liepzig, Germany): Addressing Occupational Health as a Key Conservation Issue." A shorter, summary document will be developed in the near future from these initial meeting notes, summarizing key consensus points and issues to consider when developing an employee health program for conservation staff working in great ape habitat.

The AHEAD Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area (AHEAD GLTFCA) Working Group had its 4th meeting on June 7 & 8 in Maputo, Mozambique. Special thanks go to Jorge Ferrao, Carlos Lopes Pereira and Bartolomeu Soto for all the work they did to organize and host such a productive forum. David Cumming will be circulating meeting notes to the AHEAD GLTFCA Working Group, but the meeting's highlights included:

*The participants have decided to develop a written MOU (one defining a cooperative alliance that emphasizes collaboration and information- sharing without being institutionally constraining).

*Members of the Veterinary and Conservation Subcommittees of the tri-national GLTP Joint Management Board (JMB) suggested that an MOU be developed between the AHEAD GLTFCA Consortium (as it will be defined above) and the JMB. This would facilitate responses from participants in the AHEAD GLTFCA initiative if / when the JMB requests assistance with / input on their delineated priority needs related to research, outreach and/or science-based policy.

*Carlos Lopes Pereira (Unidade de Epidemiologia Veterinária Departamento de Sanidade Animal, Direcção Nacional de Pecuária, Ministério da Agricultura e Desenvolvimento Rural) and colleagues are spearheading an initiative to develop a Wildlife Veterinary Unit for Mozambique, and an impressive overview of their planned approach was presented.

*Other issues related to ongoing development of proposals were discussed in detail, and will be covered in the meeting notes and table to be circulated back to the Working Group. All interested parties were asked to submit one-page project concept descriptions to David Cumming so that the AHEAD GLTFCA concept document's themes and modules can continue to be fleshed-out.

*Again, our thanks go out to the diverse range of Mozambican and South African agencies and institutions who helped make this meeting one of the most productive yet. The possibility of a next meeting in August or September was discussed, perhaps in Zimbabwe, and will be considered further as progress on meeting action items is made by the attendees.

The Proceedings from the September, 2003 Durban World Parks Congress AHEAD launch continue to be copy-edited and put into IUCN format- your ongoing patience is appreciated.

Please don't forget to check out the new AHEAD website at www.wcs-ahead.org . The site is yours to use. A number of Working Groups now have documents posted, and we encourage you to utilize the site if it helps you in terms of coordination and information-sharing. Comments on the site most welcome! Thank you.

All the best,

Steve O.