AHEAD Update – April 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 a new 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.html.

If you would like to post an item in the next AHEAD Update, please just send it to me- thanks! And please send me your nominees for the new AHEAD Beyond Boundaries Journal Subscription Awards' (see below).


"What's in a Name?"

If you've been to the AHEAD website recently, you may have noticed that we've updated what AHEAD stands for from "Animal Health for the Environment And Development" to "Animal & Human Health for the Environment And Development." I think when we launched AHEAD back in 2003, we may have taken the public health dimensions of the concept (although clear to us from the start) a bit for granted. I'll confess that it also seemed somewhat presumptuous to me, working for a wildlife conservation organization, to reference human health up-front in the original program name. But it didn't take long for the One World, One Health™ concept to fill an interdisciplinary niche long overdue for attention, and for more and more physicians, public health specialists and members of related biomedical fields to participate in and actively contribute to a range of important One Health initiatives, including AHEAD. So, to the many colleagues who have been suggesting that we officially broaden the name of the program, thank you! And as we have from the start, AHEAD will continue to focus on problem-solving at the interface of wildlife health, domestic animal health, and human health and livelihoods as underpinned by enhanced environmental stewardship. Shouldn't every day be Earth Day?


* 9th AHEAD (Animal & Human Health for the Environment And Development) Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area (GLTFCA) Working Group (WG) meeting held March 4, 5 and 6, 2009 in Namaacha, Mozambique, with almost 80 participants from Mozambique, Zimbabwe and South Africa. This year's meeting broke several records- in terms of attendance, in terms of the number of graduate students from the tri-national region attending as well as actively presenting, and in terms of the number of attendees whom were able to make it from Zimbabwe, which was particularly encouraging. Winners of all ten AHEAD GLTFCA Seed Grants (http://www.wcs-ahead.org/gltfca_grants/grants.html) shared their plans for the coming year, making it clear that finding additional donors to maintain the Seed Grants program longer-term would be of tremendous value to the overall TFCA initiative. This year's meeting themes, which helped drive much discussion and highly constructive debate, included but were not limited to: Surveillance and Disease Management in the GLTFCA; Communications at Different Scales; Climate and Other Environmental Change and ‘One Health';  Livelihoods and Governance in a Transboundary Context; and Human / Wildlife Conflict in the GLTFCA. Public health issues also featured prominently in this year's meeting, given recent major outbreaks of rabies as well as cholera in the region. The spread of bovine tuberculosis, a zoonotic disease, was also discussed, and the challenges of surveillance, management and awareness-raising / outreach remain in the face of the reality of limited resources. The importance of the human health component of the 'AHEAD Triad' was more clear than ever, so much so that we are officially recognizing this by changing AHEAD from "Animal Health for the Environment And Development" to "Animal & Human Health for the Environment And Development," as per the MINI-TORIAL above. With this year's funding from the Rockefeller and MacArthur Foundations, as well as from USAID, to catalyze problem-solving by Great Limpopo stakeholders, AHEAD GLTFCA continues to mature into a critical regional mechanism for addressing the key conservation and development challenges facing the vision of a vast, tri-national transfrontier conservation area. PDFs of most of the Powerpoint presentations from the diverse agenda of the 9th AHEAD GLTFCA WG meeting are now available online at http://www.wcs-ahead.org/workinggrps_limpopo.html, and the meeting photo gallery will be posted as soon as possible. The final minutes from the 9th meeting of the AHEAD Great Limpopo TFCA Working Group will be emailed to AHEAD GLTFCA WG members and posted on the website in PDF as soon as they are finalized. Special thanks go to our Mozambican hosts, and to SANParks' Dr. Nicky Shongwe, AHEAD GLTFCA WG Coordinator.

*Climate Change, Health and Sustainable Use: IUCN SASUSG (Southern African Sustainable Use Specialist Group) meeting held December 2 and 3, 2008 in Cape Town, South Africa - The Southern African Sustainable Use Specialist Group (SASUSG) is a voluntary network of approximately 80 individuals involved with both research and applied aspects of the sustainable use of natural resources in the region. A two day meeting was held to explore the linkages between the impacts of climate change and growing health threats (human and animal) on the sustainable use of natural resources, with an emphasis on rural communities’ dependent on natural resources in southern Africa. An initial conceptual framework for SASUSG work was developed at the meeting, and key issues and themes for next steps were identified. These included a need to undertake case studies and support the development of tools relevant to climate change, health and sustainable use. It was also noted that there were considerable benefits for SASUSG in deepening the linkages with other IUCN Commissions. These include the World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) and its Protected Areas and Climate Turnaround (PACT) 2020 initiative; and the Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy (CEESP). An important issue noted during the workshop was the recruitment of new members and additional expertise into SASUSG from climate change and health perspectives. Anyone with an interest in contributing to this voluntary network would be most welcome and should contact the group via the SASUSG website (www.sasusg.org) or through Mike Kock mdkock@kingsley.co.za or Simon Anstey simon.anstey@gmail.com. The IUCN Southern African Sustainable Use Specialist Group is one of the founding partners of the AHEAD initiative.


*New Special Issue of IUCN's World Conservation Magazine- "Life Support: Human Health and the Environment" - See http://cms.iucn.org/resources/world_conservation/2009_issue1/ for freely available PDF downloads of articles / the entire magazine.

*AHEAD Great Limpopo TFCA Seed Grant Projects - abstracts (including contact information for project leaders) for all ten winning projects are now viewable online. Please see http://www.wcs-ahead.org/gltfca_grants/grants.html.

*Addressing the social aspects of sustainable forest / natural resources management - The Learning for Sustainability site - http://learningforsustainability.net - brings together resources to help address the social and capacity-building aspects of managing forests and other natural resources in a sustainable manner. The site highlights the wide range of social skills and processes that are needed to support collaborative change and capacity-building initiatives, and structures these in a practical way with a wide range of supporting links.  New sections link to resources to help with governance, community resilience, adaptive management, and visioning and scenario development. A central guides, tools and checklists section provides practical guidance to help readers address issues involved in managing multi-stakeholder participation and engagement initiatives. Lessons are drawn from different sectors including agriculture, health and conservation. Research links cover action research, systems thinking, participation, integration and interdisciplinarity. Feedback is welcomed, and users are encouraged to suggest links to add. Point of contact: Will Allen will@learningforsustainability.net

*Africa Drought Risk and Development Network (ADDN) on the web - The ADDN http://www.frameweb.org/CommunityBrowser.aspx?id=3003&lang=en-US is focused on promoting exchange of experience on key issues linking drought risk and development; provides a platform for the development and dissemination of good practice and tools; is a bridge to various resources and opportunities in Africa and beyond; and acts as a forum for the elaboration of policy-relevant collective practice on drought risk management. This group is sponsored by the UNDP's Dryland Development Centre and the UN International Strategy for Disaster Relief. Monthly newsletters are accessible under Tools and ResourcesFRAMEweb point of contact: Carmen Tedesco ctedesco@aed.org

*Conserving and Valuing Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity: Economic, Institutional and Social Challenges, edited by K. N. Ninan with a forward by Achim Steiner - new book published by Earthscan. The book has contributions from leading experts reflecting experience from around the globe including Charles Perrings, Clem Tisdell, Jefffrey McNeely, Timothy Swanson, R. K. Turner, Randall Kramer and others. Conserving and Valuing Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity addresses the economic, social and institutional difficulties in conserving biodiversity and the ecosystem services that it provides. It covers a wide range of issues such as biodiversity, ecosystem services and valuation in the context of diverse ecosystems such as tropical forests, marine areas, wetlands and agricultural landscapes; non-timber forest products; incentives and institutions; payments for ecosystem services; governance; intellectual property rights and the protection of traditional knowledge; management of protected areas; and climate change and biodiversity. It also covers the application of environmental economics and institutional economics to different cases and the use of techniques such as contingent valuation and game theory. See http://www.earthscan.co.uk/?TabId=34100&v=451721 for more details. Point of contact: K. N. Ninan ninankn@yahoo.co.in.

with book mini-reviews courtesy of Marshall Murphree

(1) Fortmann, Louise, ed. (2008) Participatory Research in Conservation and Rural Livelihoods: Doing Science Together. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell. 316 pp. More information available at http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-1405176792.html

Participatory Research in Conservation and Rural Livelihoods: Doing Science Together starts from the understanding that all people create knowledge and that the creation of sustainable livelihoods and of conditions that protect and sustain rural ecosystems are interrelated. Here local experts and professional researchers write independently about the participatory research processes through which they created new knowledge together. They demonstrate that interdependent science can produce more accurate and locally appropriate data, while frankly addressing persisting issues such as unequal power, whose knowledge and what ways of knowing count, whose voice can be heard or appear in print, and other dilemmas of this practice. Conservation scientists and practitioners will both benefit from reading this book.

from Marshall Murphree: "This is one in the 'Conservation Science and Practice' series published in association with the Zoological Society of London. The series' stated objective is 'to publish books that address the multidisciplinary aspects of conservation, looking at how biological scientists and ecologists are interacting with social scientists to effect long-term, sustainable conservation measures.' When the membership of AHEAD gets to the stage where it wishes to publish more of its findings, this might be a publication channel. The book presents eight case studies from around the world dealing with seed and soil science (pathologies included), agricultural practice and production, and natural resource use and management. While topically interesting in their own right, the central message of the case studies is on methodologies which seek knowledge production through 'interdependent science.' The book should be of relevance and interest to those involved in AHEAD who work in areas which conjoin technical and social issues."

(2) Mandondo, A., Prabhu, R. and F. Matose, eds. (2008) Coping Amidst Chaos: Studies on Adaptive Collaborative Management from Zimbabwe. Bogor: Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR). 132pp. More information and freely downloadable PDF of publication available at http://www.cifor.cgiar.org/Publications/Detail?pid=2558

from Marshall Murphree: "The empirical base for this book consists of three extended case studies in forestry and agricultural management, each with a history of considerable time-depth.  Although taken from Zimbabwe the case studies will resonate with the rural experience of AHEAD Great Limpopo TFCA researchers in Mozambique and South Africa as well. The value of the book lies in this cognate material and the candour of the authors in their analysis of the shortcomings of the project planning and implementation approaches which were taken. The book also records elements of modest success that have been achieved and the resilience that rural people demonstrate in times of stress."


*The Ecological Society for Eastern Africa (ESEA) 2nd Regional Scientific Conference- June 16-20, 2009 at Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda. The theme for this year's annual conference is: "Challenges in Sustainable use of Natural Resource in Eastern Africa." The conference is open to all professionals who are involved with the science and practice of ecology within the eastern African region. Students are particularly encouraged to use this forum to share their work with other scientists in the region. The deadline for abstracts is May 4, 2009. For more information, see http://www.ecsea.org/.

*The 12th International Symposium on Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics (ISVEE)- August 10-14, 2009 at the International Convention Centre in Durban, South Africa. ISVEE is the premier international congress linking veterinary epidemiology and economics, and has been held every three years since 1976. This will be only the second time that the meeting has been held in Africa (the first was in Nairobi, Kenya in 1994). Please consider taking advantage of the geographical setting of the meeting to facilitate strong participation from developing countries, particularly those in Africa. ISVEE hopes to bring together veterinary and medical epidemiologists, economists, and associated professions to address common themes and challenges, with special emphasis on facilitating decision making on animal health issues in the developing world. Please note that "Zoonoses and Emerging Diseases" and "Wildlife Diseases and the Wildlife/ Livestock/ Human Interface" are two of the ten key conference themes. For details, see the ISVEE web site: http://www.isvee.co.za. For more information, please contact Vernon Ndlovu vernon@confcall.co.za or Ferran Jori ferran.jori@cirad.fr.


*Announcing the ‘AHEAD Beyond Boundaries Awards' - for young researchers and managers conducting promising work at the interface between wildlife health, domestic animal health, and human health and livelihoods. Wiley-Blackwell will sponsor the awards: ten one-year subscriptions to the journal "Transboundary and Emerging Diseases" (as described in previous AHEAD Updates at http://www.wcs-ahead.org/newsarchive.html and at http://www.wiley.com/bw/aims.asp?ref=1865-1674&site=1). The awards are available to up-and-coming colleagues in developing nations making a difference on emerging disease and related One Health interface issues. Anyone can nominate a colleague or student. All that is required is the nominee's name, institutional affiliation and postal address, the nominee's email address, and a 150 word or less (!) overview of why the nominee's work is particularly promising. Nominations should be submitted to sosofsky@wcs.org by June 1, 2009, and winners will be announced in the next AHEAD Update after the due date, as well as on the "Transboundary and Emerging Diseases" journal homepage. Thanks in advance for your nominations! 

*African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) Charlotte Conservation Fellowships available - The application process for the 2009-2010 AWF Charlotte Conservation Fellows is open through July 31, 2009. Under the Charlotte Conservation Fellowship Program, AWF is offering scholarships for full MSc or partial PhD programs with field research components that produce knowledge or insight into specific conservation challenges in the African Heartlands or conservation in general. Citizens of Democratic Republic of Congo, Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Niger, Benin and Burkina Faso are eligible to apply. Expenses that AWF expects to cover under the scholarship will vary depending on the individual program selected by the scholarship recipient, but each scholarship is valued at a maximum of US$25,000. Those whose total costs for their studies exceed this figure must demonstrate that they have secured additional funding from other sources to enable them to complete their studies. All application documents must be submitted by close of business on July 31, 2009. Successful candidates will be notified by August 15, 2009. The Charlotte Conservation Fellows 2009-2010 Application form and Reference form are available at: http://awf.org/section/people/education/charlotte/2009application. For additional information, contact charlottefellowship@awfke.org.

*The Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund - First announced at the 2008 World Conservation Congress in Barcelona, The Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund is a significant philanthropic endowment established to: provide targeted grants to individual species conservation initiatives; recognize leaders in the field of species conservation; and elevate the importance of species in the broader conservation debate. The fund is open to applications for funding support from conservationists based in all parts of the world, and will potentially support projects focused on any and all kinds of plant and animal species, subject to the approval of an independent evaluation committee. The application process is being finalised, but early applications are now being accepted. For more information, see: http://mbzspeciesconservation.org.


*AHEAD website gets a facelift- please take a moment to visit the revamped http://www.wcs-ahead.org, and the range of resources available.

*HALI (Health for Animals and Livelihood Improvement) update - HALI http://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/whc/hali.cfm is in its 3rd year of activities investigating zoonotic disease and water management in the Ruaha ecosystem of Tanzania. 2008 was an exciting year for the HALI team and the highlights are below:

Bovine Tuberculosis (BTB) Update:

(a) Livestock: 21% of 62 pastoralist households tested had positive bovine tuberculosis reactor cattle in their herds. We are continuing to test more households this year.  
(b) Wildlife: Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex bacteria were isolated from 4/40 (10%) wildlife samples. Strains will further be characterized to determine their genotypes and relatedness to strains of M.bovis circulating in people and domestic animals within Tanzania. In November, HALI team members conducted a pilot effort to immobilize buffalo in the Pawaga-Idodi WMA. Despite our best efforts, we were not successful in capturing buffalo due to disturbance from concurrent hunting activities. We will attempt additional immobilization efforts in 2009 and have redoubled our outreach to hunting organizations in order to determine the prevalence and species distribution of infection in wildlife, and to identify geographic areas where risk of bovine tuberculosis transmission between wildlife and livestock may be high.

For information on other HALI modules related to water-borne diseases; socioeconomic impacts of disease and water scarcity; and neonatal diarrhea, see:
HALI blog: http://haliproject.wordpress.com/
HALI research briefs: http://glcrsp.ucdavis.edu/publications/?project=hali
HALI in UC Davis Magazine:  http://ucdavismagazine.ucdavis.edu/issues/win09/troubled_water.html  to view the article entitled “Troubled Waters."
Point of contact: Deana Clifford dlclifford@ucdavis.edu.

*More organizations continue to be added to the LINKs section of the AHEAD website at - http://www.wcs-ahead.org/links.html. We are pleased to now have a link in place to the International Conservation and Education Fund http://www.incef.org/, an innovative collaborating institution focused on integrating conservation and health through communication.

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 socioeconomic and environmental context.

All the best,