AHEAD Update – September, October, November 2011

Dear AHEAD Colleagues:

*Welcome to the third AHEAD Update of 2011. 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 us- thanks.


The Progressive Control Pathway for Foot and Mouth Disease (PCP-FMD): OIE, FAO, the EU and the Need to "Think Outside the Ox"

Across parts of southern and East Africa, it is perhaps more clear than ever that both wildlife and livestock represent economic growth opportunities in an increasingly globalized world. However, costs associated with current approaches to managing international trade-associated animal disease risks often preclude the livestock sector's access to international markets, while many attempts to meet international standards related to “freedom from disease” under currently emphasized policy constructs have had significant negative repercussions for free-ranging wildlife, largely related to veterinary cordon fencing. The time has come to seriously explore alternative animal health and trade management regimes that do not implicitly pit the livestock and wildlife sectors against each other. Could The Progressive Control Pathway for FMD (PCP-FMD) take wider economic and land-use trends into account and thus lead by example in terms of meaningful cross-sectoral analysis? We think it could, but thus far it does not explicitly appear to do so. This is a serious problem, given that the PCP-FMD is "expected to form the backbone of the Global FAO / OIE Strategy for the Control of FMD that is under development" (as per
). But perhaps there is hope and scope for meaningful interdisciplinary engagement given that the PCP-FMD itself notes that "the most effective approach to achieve the key outcomes might be different in different countries and regions" and that there is "flexibility built into the PCP."

Given the importance of both the livestock and wildlife sectors to many countries across southern and East Africa, we believe the timing has never been better in terms of a rethinking of how to best manage risks from diseases like foot and mouth in ways that help post-colonial Africa's pastoralists and farmers, do not threaten free-ranging wildlife, and also provide confidence to beef importing countries that the products they are buying pose minimal threats to their own agricultural sector. At the same time, we suggest that any sound foot and mouth disease (FMD) management initiatives must be genuinely multi-sectoral in nature. The offering of animal health policy guidance requires serious, proactive cross-sectoral dialogue and earnest stakeholder consultation in order to be comprehensive, inclusive and socially, environmentally and economically sustainable. In other words, evaluations of animal health policy approaches and their potential impacts cannot be confined to the agricultural sector alone. History has shown that other activities, such as wildlife conservation, that are undertaken on the same land base, are perhaps just as likely to be impacted, positively or negatively, by policies designed for the livestock sector. Recommendations from the international community for progressive control of a disease like FMD, with its inherent epidemiological complexity (different from rinderpest in many important respects), should not be promulgated without a truly cross-sectoral economic impact analysis for those countries in southern and East Africa for which livestock and wildlife are both vital contributors to GDP. To date, we are not aware of robust, holistic analyses examining multi-sectoral impacts of alternative animal disease and trade management regimes, including those based on commodity-based trade- this despite the fact that the OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code provides clear guidance in terms of the acceptability of commodity-based trade of beef from FMD infected countries or zones in Article 8.5.25. In short, especially where wildlife and associated industries play an increasingly prominent role in national and regional economies, an emphasis on zonal freedom from disease not only appears to be increasingly fragile as an FMD management strategy (as evidenced by recent outbreak trends), but also potentially precludes countries from seriously considering other, more holistic approaches to managing FMD and the concomitant potential for more diversified land-use options likely to enhance resilience in an uncertain world. We urge OIE, FAO and EU colleagues to thoroughly consider more "outside the ox" information before providing guidance on critical resource allocation and land-use decisions that must prove themselves to be ecologically and economically sustainable for generations to come.


*Five Heads of State sign the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA TFCA) Treaty – On August 18, 2011 at the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Summit in Luanda, Angola, the Presidents of the Republics of Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe signed a binding Implementation Treaty to formally and legally establish the KAZA TFCA. Spanning over 444,000 sq. km., and incorporating national parks, game reserves, forest reserves, conservancies and wildlife management areas embedded within a matrix of land under traditional communal tenure, the KAZA TFCA is poised to become the world’s largest conservation-oriented landscape. By signing this Treaty, the five partner states aim to ensure that the natural resources they share across their international boundaries along the Kavango and Zambezi River Basins are conserved and managed prudently for present and future generations within the context of sustainable development. For more information, see http://www.kavangozambezi.org.


*Recommended Video: Livestock Commodity Trade: The Way ForwardBob Mabego is a Botswana farmer who is trying to export beef to an international market. The video provides an overview of how the Commodity-Based Trade concept can improve the way countries and farmers like Bob can gain market access. The world's demand for meat and milk is increasing. How do we ensure that developing countries and their farmers access markets for these high value livestock products? Why have some regions not done so already? How can changes in international livestock trade policies also complement southern African efforts to promote transfrontier conservation areas and thus connectivity of wildlife habitat? The video has been produced by the DFID, the UK's Department for International Development, and the African Union's Directorate for Rural Economy and Agriculture.

To watch the video (12 min, 22 sec), see:

*New AHEAD White Paper: Constraints to Conservation and Development Success at the Wildlife-Livestock-Human Interface in Southern African Transfrontier Conservation Areas: A Preliminary Review, by David H. M. Cumming – This rigorously referenced white paper examines three questions: (i) What is the wildlife-livestock-human interface?, (ii) What would represent conservation and development success at the wildlife-livestock-human interface?, and (iii) What are the key constraints to achieving conservation and development success at the interface? A significant part of the review deals with the third question but answers to the first two questions provide a necessary prelude to dealing with the constraints to conservation and development success at the interface in southern African transfrontier conservation areas (TFCAs). By examining conservation and development success through the lens of existing TFCA objectives as outlined in treaties and MOUs, and by evaluating constraints against a simple set of objectives and indicators, the author provides a thought-provoking overview and analysis.
See http://www.wcs-ahead.org/workinggrps_kaza.html for a downloadable PDF.

*New AHEAD-Kavango-Zambezi primer: "Beyond Fences: Policy Options for Biodiversity, Livelihoods & Transboundary Animal Disease Management in Southern Africa" – downloadable in PDF from http://www.wcs-ahead.org.

*Managing the Risks of Disease Transmission through Trade: A Commodities-Based Approach? (2011) Brückner, G K, Rev. Sci. Tech. Off. Int. Epiz., 30(1), 289-296 – Since its founding in 1924, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) has facilitated safe trade in animals and animal products by developing effective standards to prevent the spread of animal diseases across the globe. A protocol for recognising the disease-free status of countries is an integral part of this process and has been adopted and advanced through the years to assist OIE Member Countries in placing disease-free animals and their products on the international market. Options such as trade from disease-free zones and disease-free compartments are now available to Members and have proven to be a positive mechanism for facilitating trade. A further option is trading in safe commodities, i.e. animals and animal products that have been identified as safe to trade even in the presence of disease, either with or without applying risk mitigation measures before export. Although most Members have incorporated the acceptance of disease-free countries or zones into their animal health policies and sanitary measures, there still appears to be a reluctance to trade in commodities from infected countries, despite clear, scientifically based risk management standards that can be applied if needed. This paper offers some examples reflecting the apparent reluctance to trade in commodities and discusses how the standards in the OIE’s Terrestrial Animal Health Code could be used to apply scientifically based risk management practices to review outdated policies. To access the full paper, click on the following
and then on the PDF link at the bottom left hand side of the box.

*Ensuring Safe International Trade: How Are the Roles and Responsibilities Evolving and What Will the Situation Be in Ten Years’ Time? (2011) Brückner, GK, Rev. Sci. Tech. Off. Int. Epiz., 30(1), 317-324 – The roles of the international standard-setting bodies that are mandated to facilitate safe trade, such as the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), the Codex Alimentarius Commission, the International Plant Protection Convention and the World Trade Organization, are well documented, as are the roles of the international organisations responsible for global health issues: the OIE, the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. However, developments in international trade, such as accelerating globalisation and the frequent emergence and re-emergence of diseases affecting both humans and animals, have brought new challenges and the need to reconsider the future roles of such organisations. New participants and new demands have also emerged to challenge these mandates, leading to potential areas of conflict. The need for countries to establish themselves as new trade partners, or to strengthen their positions while still maintaining safe trade, poses a challenge to standard-setting organisations, which must meet these demands while still remaining sensitive to the needs of developing countries. In this paper, the author describes and discusses some of these challenges and suggests how international organisations could evolve to confront such issues. To access the full paper, click on the following
and then on the PDF link at the bottom left hand side of the box.

*HALI Wildlife Health Handbook: Recognizing, Investigating, and Reporting Diseases of Concern for Wildlife Conservation and Human Health- A Guide for Protected Area Rangers, Scouts, and Staff (2011), Clifford, D, Wolking, DJ, Muse, EA, University of California, 60 pp. – The goal of this handbook is to enable protected area rangers, game scouts, and park staff to safely recognize, investigate, report, and respond to disease events that may impact the conservation of wildlife and threaten human health. The content in this handbook is adapted from a 2-day short course for park rangers and game scouts developed by the Health for Animals and Livelihood Improvement (HALI) Project and Ruaha National Park veterinarians and ecologists. Wherever possible we recommend this handbook be used in conjunction with a hands-on practical training course. The material presented in this handbook will help rangers, game scouts, and park staff be able to:

1. Recognize the signs of diseases of conservation significance and zoonotic disease in wild animals, including rabies, bovine tuberculosis, and anthrax.
2. Understand how diseases are transmitted between wildlife, domestic animals, and people. Transmission through work exposure, food (milk, meat, bush meat), and environmental routes is emphasized.
3. Assist with the investigation of disease and poisoning events in wildlife. Specific skills include how to recognize that a disease event may be occurring, basic necropsy, sample collection methods, and reporting of suspected disease events.
4. Protect themselves from exposure to zoonotic diseases during their normal work duties.

The English version of the PDF is freely downloadable at http://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/whc/local-assets/pdfs/HALIhealthhandbook2011.pdf.
A Swahili version is forthcoming.

*Assessment & Planning for Ecological Connectivity: A Practical Guide (2011), Aune, K, Beier, P, Hilty, J, Shilling, F, WCS, 82 pp. – The guide summarizes important concepts and ideas related to the science of ecological connectivity, and the translation of connectivity science into policy. It provides a summary of key points and recent literature pertinent to assessing and planning for ecological connectivity. The information is primarily aimed at the conservation practitioner who is beginning to engage in connectivity assessment or beginning to frame conservation policy / plans where connectivity is relevant. The authors provide a framework of thought, general principles and helpful concepts to consider, rather than a strict set of guidelines, and provide a set of options for consideration when assessing or planning for ecological connectivity. Downloadable PDF courtesy of the WCS North America Program. See http://www.wcs-ahead.org/kaza/kaza_additional_resources.html.

*Large Scale Conservation Planning and Priorities for the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area: A Report Prepared for Conservation International (2008), Cumming, DHM, 124 pp. – Downloadable PDF courtesy of Conservation International (CI). See http://www.wcs-ahead.org/kaza/kaza_additional_resources.html.

*Continuing Wildlife Population Declines and Range Contraction in the Mara Region of Kenya during 1977–2009, JO Ogutu, N Owen-Smith, H-P Piepho and MY Said, Journal of Zoology (2011): 1-11 – Populations of many wild ungulate species in Africa are in decline largely because of land-use changes and other human activities. Analyses that document these declines and advance our understanding of their underlying causes are fundamental to effective management and conservation of wild ungulates. We analyzed temporal trends in wildlife and livestock population abundances in the Mara region of Kenya. We found that wildlife populations in the Mara region declined progressively after 1977, with few exceptions. Populations of almost all wildlife species have declined to a third or less of their former abundance both in the protected Masai Mara National Reserve and in the adjoining pastoral ranches. Human influences appeared to be the fundamental cause. Besides reinforced antipoaching patrols, the expansion of cultivation, settlements and fences and livestock stocking levels on the pastoral ranches need to be regulated to avoid further declines in the wildlife resource. See http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1469-7998.2011.00818.x/abstract.

*Elephants of South-East Angola in War and Peace: Their Decline, Re-Colonization and Recent Status, MJ Chase and CR Griffin, African Journal of Ecology (2011): 1-9 – Angola’s intermittent 27-year civil war displaced over four ;million people and decimated wildlife populations. During the 1980s, African elephants (Loxodonta africana Blumenbach) in Angola drew international alarm with reports of 100,000 elephants killed. Luiana Partial Reserve (PR), a conservation area in south-east Angola, was the military operations centre for UNITA (National Union for the Total Independence of Angola), which used elephant ivory to pay for arms and meat. However, the full impact of the civil war on elephants is uncertain because there are no reliable estimates of Angolan elephant populations. Following the end of the civil war in 2002, our three aerial surveys of Luiana PR indicated that elephant numbers are increasing rapidly, from 366 in January 2004 to 1827 in November 2005, and expanding their range in the Reserve. Concurrently, elephants tagged with satellite collars in northern Botswana and the Caprivi Strip, Namibia, moved into Luiana PR. To facilitate re-colonization and conservation of elephants and other wildlife in Luiana PR, we recommend: (i) realignment of the veterinary fence on the Botswana–Namibia border; (ii) development of effective land use management and anti-poaching programmes; (iii) clearing of landmines; (iv) designation of the Reserve as a national park; and (v) development of ecotourism and community conservation programmes. See http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2028.2011.01272.x/abstract.

*Biodiversity and Poverty: Ten Frequently Asked Questions – Ten Policy Implications (2011), Roe, D, Thomas, D, Smith, J, Walpole, M, Elliot, J, IIED, 28 pp. – Biodiversity conservation and poverty reduction are two of the most pressing global challenges of our time. But could the solutions to these challenges be mutually reinforcing? Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) have long called for improved integration of these two issues. However, there is a diversity of opinion as to the nature and scale of biodiversity conservation-poverty reduction links, a vast number of claims and counter-claims, and often very patchy evidence on which to base assertions. This paper aims to cut through the confusion by providing answers to 10 frequently asked questions and highlighting the resulting policy implications. See http://pubs.iied.org/14612IIED.html for access to the full paper.

*AHEAD Kavango-Zambezi DRAFT Year 2 Implementation Plan available in English and Portuguese –

DRAFT Year Two AHEAD-Kavango-Zambezi Work Plan for USAID-funded "Beyond Fences: Policy Options for Biodiversity, Livelihoods and Transboundary Disease Management in Southern Africa" Program

Draft Plano de Implementação do Ano-2, "Para Além Fronteiras: Opções de Políticas para Biodiversidade, Meios de Subsistência e Gestão de Doenças Transfronteiriças na África Austral" Programa Financiado pela USAID


*World Veterinary Congress, Cape Town, South Africa,
October 10-14, 2011 –

The World Veterinary Congress, being held in South Africa for the first time, is being organized by the World Veterinary Association and the South African Veterinary Association. The venue for the Congress is the International Convention Centre in Cape Town. The Congress offers a multidisciplinary array of themes and topics, within which One Health concepts feature prominently. The overall theme of “Caring for Animals: Healthy Communities” sets the scene for 12 separate scientific streams in more than 15 parallel sessions over the four Congress days. A number of pre- and post- Congress tours and workshops are planned, and a full accompanying persons program is also available. The major sessions include Production Animals and Wildlife, Small Animal, Exotic Animal, Animal Welfare, Veterinary Technology, Veterinary Nursing, Complementary Veterinary Medicine, Practice Management and Veterinary History. Sessions will be hosted by (for example) the University of Pretoria, the OIE, the World Aquatic Veterinary Medical Association, and the World Veterinary Dental Congress.
See www.worldvetcongress2011.com or contact Ms. Petrie Vogel worldvet2011@savetcon.co.za for more details.

Again, if you have items for the next AHEAD Update, please just let us know – thanks.

"What is AHEAD?" Animal & Human Health for the Environment And Development was launched 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,

Steve & Mark