AHEAD Update – January 2007

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. News on potential funding appears towards the end of these Updates.

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

*Free Access to the Journal of Wildlife Diseases – The Wildlife Disease Association (WDA) and the Wildlife Conservation Society Field Veterinary Program (WCS-FVP) are pleased to announce the free electronic availability of all contemporary issues of the Journal of Wildlife Diseases to 113 countries with the least developed economies. Previously, the WDA had made freely available over 35 years of back issues of the Journal of Wildlife Diseases in electronic form and has donated many paper sets of the Journal of Wildlife Diseases to institutions in developing countries. The electronic form of the Journal of Wildlife Diseases can be accessed at http://www.jwildlifedis.org and is produced in cooperation with HighWire Press of Stanford University. If you are from a country that meets the above criterion and have trouble accessing the journal via that URL, please let me know. (Obviously internet access itself may be an issue in some cases, but nonetheless we hope this is an encouraging step in the right direction in terms of information accessibility.)

*The Pilanesburg Resolution, as endorsed by the Wildlife Disease Association (WDA) and Society for Tropical Veterinary Medicine (STVM) and calling for the recognition of animal health sciences as critical to the design and management of sustainable programs for both livestock and wildlife, is now posted on the AHEAD website at http://www.wcs-ahead.org/pilanesburg.html. Please share the link with potentially interested colleagues. This resolution, which is targeted at multilateral and bilateral donors as well as governmental authorities, encourages agencies to consider potential wildlife health impacts when development projects (particularly livestock development) are being planned or implemented. The WDA and STVM, representing over 1,000 scientists and meeting together to address the issue of diseases transmitted between domestic and wild animals, wished to emphasize the interrelatedness of development actions and the environment, the potential for adverse consequences in projects that neglect to consider wildlife disease issues, and the importance of considering the true and overall costs and benefits to natural as well as human-made production systems when evaluating or defining sustainable projects. The resulting “Pilanesburg Resolution” summarizes what we still need to be doing to proactively foster successful conservation and development outcomes at the wildlife / livestock / human health interface.

*ASHOKA Fellowship awarded to AHEAD Collaborator! – Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka is pleased to report that she has recently been selected as an Ashoka Fellow. Her selection was based on her vision for linking Uganda's wildlife management and rural public health programs to create common resources that benefit both people and animals. In many parts of Uganda, communities and wildlife are sharing habitats, living closer and more interdependent lives than ever before. As a result, the health and wellbeing of wildlife and the health and wellbeing of local people and their animals are increasingly interdependent. As Founder and CEO of Conservation Through Public Health (www.ctph.org), she joins Ashoka’s global fellowship of leading social entrepreneurs developing innovative solutions to social problems, with the potential to change patterns across society. Ashoka Fellows are selected for their unrivaled commitment to bold new ideas and prove that compassion, creativity, and collaboration are tremendous forces for change. Gladys note that she hopes this fellowship will help to advance the AHEAD concept across many continents. With a vision of making "everyone a changemaker," Ashoka has been committed to developing the field of social entrepreneurship since 1981. In 2001, Ashoka elected the first Fellows from East Africa, and has since supported 26 such Ashoka Fellows and their institutions. The global network of Ashoka Fellows currently covers 60 countries. For further information, please visit the Ashoka website at www.ashoka.org. Congratulations, Gladys!!

*"Poultry in Motion" in Zambia SANREM collaboration: "Developing a Participatory Socio-Economic Model for Food Security, Improved Rural Livelihoods, Watershed Management, and Biodiversity Conservation in Southern Africa" (a USAID-SANREM CRSP funded project with collaboration among WCS, Cornell University and a range of host country institutions). The multidisciplinary partnership between Cornell University and the WCS Community Markets for Conservation (COMACO) program (http://www.itswild.org) in Zambia is off to an encouraging start. COMACO provides market incentives for rural farmers to adopt biodiversity-friendly livelihood practices such as beekeeping, conservation farming and poultry farming. Improved food security and income generated by the COMACO-assisted marketing of products reduce the need for environmental degradation and wildlife poaching. Poultry rearing in particular provides an alternative protein source, further minimizing demand for wild animal meat. However, the benefits of poultry farming have historically not been optimized due to high mortality rates. This mortality and the overall health management of poultry in rural Zambia was investigated in June-July 2006 by Erin McDonald, a student from Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine. Over 500 poultry farmers in the program area were educated on proper poultry nutrition, housing, and health management. As of early October 2006, preliminary surveys indicated that chicken populations were in some cases 50% larger in comparison to previous years. This represents a significant increase in family income and protein availability. Monitoring of chicken health and disease by trained para-professionals will continue throughout the year, with plans for further research and targeted therapeutics trials to be initiated in summer 2007.

*Next full AHEAD Great Limpopo TFCA Working Group meeting being scheduled- please save the period March 7–9, 2007: We are still in the process of exploring a Mozambique venue (perhaps around Massingir). If that does not work out, we may consider a return to the Pestana Lodge outside of Nelspruit, near Kruger's Malelane Gate, where the previous full WG meeting was held. Tentatively, we are looking at the following possible topics for discussion, and are of course open to suggestions: 'conceptual framework' update (final paper likely circulated beforehand); update from JMB Cons. & Vet. Subcommittee; update from SANPark's Nicky Shongwe on her new coordinating role; CASS community-based scenarios (IDRC) project update; tri-national scenarios (Sand County, USAID) project update; update from SANParks and DNAC on joint fieldwork and planning; update on World Bank project from DNAC, DNAV; updates from SELCORE, CESVI, TPARI, (others?); possible presentation from AFD, Moz.; update by PPF GIS specialists; etc. Further details on the venue, logistics and agenda will be forthcoming to those on the AHEAD GLTFCA email list from Nicky shortly. For now, please do try and "save the dates."

*The new Consortium for Wildlife-Friendly Enterprise is a global initiative to link farmers, livestock producers and harvesters balancing economic activities with conservation of wildlife and habitats. The Consortium will launch via a Spring 2007 Summit, where it will explore opportunities to:
     Build a global network of people and organizations invested in Wildlife-Friendly Enterprise;
     Identify and fill gaps in the market chain to link Wildlife-Friendly producers to interested consumers; and
     Design criteria for certification of producers with scientific measures of success for wildlife conservation.
For more information about the Consortium and Spring 2007 Summit, visit www.coex-wildlife.org/Wildlife-Friendly.htm, or contact summit@coex-wildlife.org.

*Countries Agree on Transfrontier Game Park– Daily News– December 7, 2006 – By Basildon Peta
Five southern African countries have agreed to establish a second transfrontier wildlife park [KAZA- Kavango-Zambezi], a development that will boost regional tourism and conservation efforts and facilitate cross-border travel. Tourism and environmental ministers from Zimbabwe, Angola, Namibia, Botswana and Zambia converge on the resort town of Victoria Falls on Thursday to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the establishment of the second transfrontier park mainly along the Zambezi River, which straddles all five countries. Wildlife populated conservation areas like the Okavango Delta in Botswana, the Caprivi in Namibia and the adjoining area in Angola, the Kafue Wetlands in Zambia and the Victoria Falls in both Zimbabwe and Zambia would form part of the new transfrontier park. Zimbabwe's Tourism and Environment Minister Francis Nhema said the project would cover an estimated 30 000 square kilometres of such diverse ecosystems as the savanna, woodlands, rivers and wetlands in the countries concerned.... For the rest of the story, go to http://www.dailynews.co.za.

*New funding source- The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announces new RFP: "An Interdisciplinary Approach to Examining the Links Between Social Stressors, Biodiversity and Human Health." Several of you familiar with AHEAD participated in the Washington, DC workshop that helped inform the development of this RFP. See http://es.epa.gov/ncer/rfa/2007/2007_biodiversity_health.html for details. Proposals are due by April 19, 2007.

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

All the best,