AHEAD Update – January 2005

Dear AHEAD colleagues:

* I hope the New Year is treating you well so far.

* 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.

* The next (fifth) AHEAD-GLTFCA Working Group meeting will be held in Pretoria on February 17th and 18th (Thursday & Friday), 2005. The meeting will be hosted by Johan du Toit and colleagues at the University of Pretoria's Mammal Research Institute, and will include updates on program progress, a review of individual project concepts under development and of current gaps in the overall program matrix, and further discussion and perhaps finalization of the draft MOU/letter of collaboration that has been circulating within the group. As a reminder, the minutes of the last (Maputo) AHEAD-GLTFCA WG meeting (which includes the Table of program themes and modular project ideas) is available as a PDF on the AHEAD website at
http://www.wcs-ahead.org/workinggrps_limpopo.html. In terms of developments relevant to AHEAD-GLTFCA since the Maputo meeting, funding for the critically important Sengwe disease assessment work in Zimbabwe has reportedly been made available by the Peace Parks Foundation. More information on that very positive development and the work underway will likely be available at the February meeting. LOGISTICS DETAILS RELATED TO THE FEB. PRETORIA MEETING WILL BE SENT TO THOSE OF YOU ON THE AHEAD GLTFCA EMAIL LIST.

* The AHEAD website (www.wcs-ahead.org) has a new introductory 2 minute Quicktime video clip: just click on the cheetah! Please let us know if you are able to view it where you are, and whether you think it is a reasonable introduction to AHEAD for the interested general public. And please remember that the website 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.

*The AHEAD Great Apes/Human Health Working Group is now finalizing the short version of their consensus document, "Protecting African Great Apes and Conservation Employees through Occupational Health Programs: Practical Considerations." We hope to have the final version up on the AHEAD website at http://www.wcs-ahead.org/workinggrps_greatapes.html as a PDF shortly.

*The components of the AHEAD Proceedings have been sent to IUCN to be forwarded to their Publications Unit (whew!), where they will be prepared for layout and printing. Given the fact that full manuscripts were not due at the September 2003 AHEAD launch in Durban but were submitted during the months that followed, we're actually doing fairly well, schedule-wise. While I envision this next pre- and post- galleys phase will take several months, I can say the book is extremely impressive in scope, thematic cohesiveness, and in the quality of your papers. In short, I believe it will be worth the extraordinary effort that has been put into it by many of you. More news on the publication's progress to follow in the months to come.

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

All the best,

Steve O.