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March 6, 2003

Dear Colleague:

It is our pleasure to invite you to participate in a unique forum being organized for September 14th and 15th, 2003 within the context of the World Parks Congress:

Southern and East African Experts Panel on Designing Successful
Conservation and Development Interventions at the Wildlife/Livestock Interface:
Implications for Wildlife, Livestock, and Human Health

Who and What – You have been selected for invitation to this important forum because of your expertise and experience at the interface between wildlife, livestock, and human health. The theme of this World Parks Congress is, quite appropriately, ‘Benefits Beyond Boundaries.’ The World Parks Congress itself is only held once every 10 years, and fewer than 50 international animal health and other experts have been invited to participate in this opportune working meeting focused on the wildlife/livestock interface. We hope you will join us, and help (i)raise the profile of your issues in this important conservation venue(i). In fact, we welcome co-sponsorship by your home institution. It is our hope that by the time the Congress arrives, many of you will be co-conveners of this important meeting along with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), the IUCN SSC Veterinary Specialist Group (VSG), the IUCN SSC Southern African Sustainable Use Specialist Group (SASUSG), the Pan-African Programme for the Control of Epizootics / Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (PACE/IBAR), and others.

Where and When –

*Southern and East African Experts Panel on Designing Successful Conservation and Development Interventions at the Wildlife/Livestock Interface: Implications for Wildlife, Livestock, and Human Health: SEPTEMBER 14 and 15, 2003

*Within the IUCN World Parks Congress: SEPTEMBER 8­17, 2003

*Associated with Congress Stream “Building Broader Support for Protected Areas”: SEPTEMBER 11­15, 2003

The IUCN World Parks Congress is being held in Durban, South Africa September 8 ­ 17, 2003 (more details on the Congress available at www.iucn.org). The relevance of animal health to protected areas and conservation more broadly will be introduced in the open sessions of the “Building Broader Support for Protected Areas Stream” on the 12th. To participate in the wildlife/livestock/human health forum it is essential that you arrive before the two full-day working sessions on Sunday September 14th and Monday September 15th. Please see attachment 5-DraftAHEADagenda. We of course encourage you to participate in as much of the Congress as you are able. [Please complete attachment 2-WPCNominForm.doc and e-mail or fax it back as indicated to IUCN. They need the form to manage logistics of the meeting.] (i)We hope to be able to cover the costs of all invitees for airfares and lodging for the nights of the 13th, 14th and 15th(i). More details on funding will follow, as we are still exploring options with several potential donors.

Why – For those of you familiar with the convening institutions, you know that bringing the health sciences more intimately into conservation’s mainstream has been among our strongest collective goals. The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), lead sponsor of this forum, is the only large international nongovernmental conservation organization with a Field Veterinary Program dedicated to strengthening the links between the conservation and health sciences. WCS is now launching a collaborative initiative called Animal Health for the Environment And Development ­ AHEAD. With the World Parks Congress being held in South Africa, this seems like a perfect venue to kick it off. AHEAD’s initial focus is on Southern and East Africa and its key protected areas, buffer zones, and corridors (real and proposed within the transboundary vision continuing to gain momentum regionally). We look to you to help define the most pressing animal-health related conservation and development challenges, and to also share the solutions you feel are most promising. The IUCN SSC Veterinary Specialist Group (VSG), now co-chaired by Dr. Richard Kock and Dr. William Karesh, is very interested in the nexus of conservation and animal health policy. To that end, co-sponsoring this forum is very appropriate for the VSG as we begin our first triennium together. The Pan-African Programme for the Control of Epizootics / Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (PACE/IBAR), representing the first continental epidemiology programme,  focuses on unraveling the epidemiology of diseases of economic and ecological importance to livestock as well as wildlife, including but not limited to rinderpest. The IUCN SSC Southern African Sustainable Use Specialist Group (SASUSG) works to bring sound science to bear on natural resource management decisions that directly affect the livelihoods and cultures of Africa’s people, as well as the future of Africa’s wildlife. Acting as a catalyst for research, policy debate, information management, and action on sustainable use issues, the SASUSG has long recognized the importance of the health sciences to sound natural resources management. As socioeconomic progress demands sustained improvements in health for humans, their domestic animals, and the environment, our institutions recognize the need to move towards a “one health” perspective- an approach that we hope will be the foundation of our discussions in Durban.

Our goal for this forum is to be catalytic. (b)The ideas you bring to the table remain your own(b).  Simply put, by raising the profile of these issues, it is our hope that the donor community will also be sensitized to the importance of the types of work we all believe are critical. As described below, this forum is meant to foster the development of concrete plans for conservation and development work at the wildlife/livestock/human health interface, and we hope to work with you to help find funding to help you get the work done. While we can of course make no guarantees at this stage, we do feel that the forum we hope you’ll participate in in Durban is an excellent first step toward building a network of colleagues willing to share lessons learned and work together- to enhance prospects for conservation and development in their areas of focus for years to come. In short, we hope you’ll become an active member of the AHEAD network and help shape its core conceptual underpinnings.

An agenda for the two-day working forum is outlined below. The symposium focuses on concrete deliverables- a plan for follow-on action, as described in the agenda. Catalyzing real world change for the better is of course very important to all of us. We think animal and related human health issues represent an unfortunately all-too-often neglected sector of critical importance to the long-term ecological and sociopolitical security of protected areas around the world. Whether we are talking about the ongoing tuberculosis crisis in and around Kruger National Park, the impacts of foot and mouth disease on land-use planning in southern Africa, or the brucellosis saga costing US authorities in and around Yellowstone National Park millions of dollars to manage, these issues merit more proactive attention in and around many of the world's protected areas, conservancies, buffer zones, and corridors than they have gotten to date. We hope you agree.

Please note that the draft agenda below is illustrative. Any of the topics listed are “up for grabs” if you want to address them in the paper / 15 minute talk we are asking you to consider presenting. Feel free to suggest any other topic you feel is relevant. Once we know who is planning to attend and what topics they will address, a final agenda will of course be circulated (a draft mock agenda showing time allotments is in attachment 5-DraftAHEADagenda). (i)Please note that there are only 26 fifteen-minute speaking slots available(i) (one day of such presentations). We will try to accommodate as many proposed presentations as possible- likely on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. Even if you choose not to present a talk on day one of the working meeting, we still want you to join us! The Working Group Sessions on the second day of the forum (again, see agenda) are essential for the outcome of this meeting to be successful, and your participation in these creative, interactive sessions is needed! Please see attachment 1b-ReplyForm.doc sent with this letter for the information we need you to send back to us as soon as possible in order to ensure a results-oriented, productive meeting. If for some reason you would like to recommend a specific colleague in your place, we are open to such suggestions as well as to suggestions of other participants we should consider. Please recognize that space is very limited, so it is unlikely many additional invitations can be extended.

We look forward to hearing from you! Again, please send back the reply sheet (1b-ReplyForm.doc) sent to you with this letter as soon as possible. The additional informational attachments referred to above will be sent to those invitees indicating they will attend, or to any invitees requesting additional information.

Sincerely,

Steve Osofsky
Senior Policy Advisor, Wildlife Health- WCS Field Veterinary Program
William Karesh- Head- WCS Field Veterinary Program; Co-Chair IUCN SSC VSG
Richard Kock- Technical Officer- Wildlife Epidemiology Unit PACE/IBAR; Co-Chair IUCN SSC VSG
Michael Kock- Animal Health Advisor- IUCN SSC SASUSG


Southern and East African Experts Panel on Designing Successful
Conservation and Development Interventions at the Wildlife/Livestock Interface:
Implications for Wildlife, Livestock, and Human Health

Organized/sponsored by (list still under development): Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) (lead); IUCN SSC Veterinary Specialist Group; Pan-African Programme for the Control of Epizootics / Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (PACE/IBAR); IUCN SSC Southern African Sustainable Use Specialist Group (SASUSG); YOUR INSTITUTION HERE??

Activity: A two-day interactive forum at which invited Southern and East African and other experts share their vision for conservation and development success at the wildlife / livestock interface with World Parks Congress attendees and invited representatives from bilateral and multilateral development agencies and other interested parties.

Purpose: To foster a sharing of ideas among African practitioners and development professionals that will lead to concrete and creative initiatives that address conservation and development challenges related to health at the livestock/wildlife/human interface. The focus of presentations will be ongoing efforts and future needs in and around the region's flagship protected areas and conservancies and their buffer zones- the places where tensions and challenges at the livestock/wildlife interface are greatest.

Day 1 – Overview of Challenges to Conservation and Development at the Livestock / Wildlife Interface:

Opening Address: Dr. Richard Kock- PACE / IBAR and IUCN SSC Veterinary Specialist Group

(Sample Possible Themes of Day 1 Invited Presentations- Please tell us what you what like to present on- these are just suggestions!):

*Diseases that affect the natural resources management and livestock sectors

*Human livelihoods and healthy animals- ideas for improvements in conservation and development interventions

*Disease surveillance in wildlife, livestock and people- importance and practicalities

*Community-Based Animal Health Care- successes and failures around protected areas

*Grass-roots human health and animal health intervention strategies- are there economies of scale (and of science) in combined approaches?

*Veterinary services and the role of governments- priorities for the future

*Conservation NGOs and Development NGOs and the 'human health-livestock health-wildlife health triangle'- models for better collaboration

*Transboundary conservation landscapes and implications for domestic and wild animal movements and international management

*Animal and human trypanosomiasis: potential for expansion of tsetse fly range via transboundary protected areas

*Persistence and re-emergence of human sleeping sickness in the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem

*Persistence and re-emergence of human sleeping sickness in and around Uganda’s protected areas

*Containing wild animal maintenance hosts of foot and mouth disease (FMD): implications for countries with disease-free status / those seeking disease-free status

*Virus topotypes and the role of wildlife in foot and mouth disease (FMD)

*Food-security and land-use policy: finding the right balance between wildlife and livestock in marginal semi-arid lands

*Role of disease prevention and control in poverty reduction and food security strategies- public and private sector animal health policy and implementation needs within and beyond park boundaries

*Protected areas, animal disease, and impacts on trade- balancing priorities in East and Southern Africa

*Wildlife as a land-use choice: practical and regulatory veterinary concerns for community-based as well as large-scale commercial enterprises

*Rinderpest: historical impacts and current issues for protected areas and pastoralists- strategies for control at the livestock / wildlife interface

*Options and trade-offs related to improved livestock production tempering a growing bushmeat trade

*Communications and health: the value of improved information technologies to the 'human health-livestock health-wildlife health triangle'

* What if we do nothing? ‘Business as usual’ and prospects for ecosystem health in protected areas and their buffer zones

Day 2 – Moderated Working Groups bringing African and other experts and senior foreign assistance professionals together to outline key priorities for future work on the themes discussed on Day 1:

AM- Moderated Working Groups outline project concepts they think can practically address the challenges discussed on Day 1. Working Groups to be landscape-focused so the proposal outlines that are developed are geo-referenced to places (which include core protected areas) of conservation interest (landscapes of focus will likely depend on final representation at the meeting). The emphasis should be on projects that can and should be developed and implemented soon. Concepts emphasizing further research must justify that the proposed research is critical to improved management practices on the ground.

AM session 1: Working Groups, arranged by country, meet to outline pilot project ideas for Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe. Concepts for transboundary work to be included in these outlines. Each Working Group should focus on no more than 3-4 pilot project concepts (including transboundary endeavors) to outline.

AM session 2: plenary- Each Working Group selects a representative to explain pilot project concept(s) outlined for their region.

Working lunch- Representatives from each working group convene to delineate
"measures of success"- what criteria should these conservation and development interventions be measured by? A suggested list of indicators of success relevant to goals at the livestock/wildlife interface should be outlined. This outline is to be distributed to all participants as the afternoon Working Groups get underway.

PM session 1: Working Groups Meet, this time together with any other Group relevant to identified transboundary work (thus forming larger Transboundary Groups). Transboundary project concepts are to be outlined and refined, with 'cross-border' sharing of ideas essential. Working Groups without identified transboundary needs continue to work on project concepts for their chosen landscapes.

PM session 2: plenary- Each Transboundary Working Group selects a representative to briefly explain pilot transboundary project concept(s) outlined for their region. Working Groups without identified transboundary needs select a representative to summarize key new thoughts since the AM sessions. Presenters should reference how identified or modified "measures of success" may help them monitor conservation / development results in their landscapes.

Closing Address: Dr. Steve Sanderson, Chief Executive Officer of the Wildlife Conservation Society

Follow-up:  The immediate product of the meeting will be proceedings of the talks given on Day 1, and a written summary of the outlines for envisioned future work produced by Day 2's Working Groups.

Longer term, WCS will work with interested participants from the various Working Groups to help them more fully develop the outlines into full proposals for donor consideration.  Obviously this will involve broader consultation within the regions of focus with a wider range of stakeholders than could be accommodated at this initial forum.

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