AHEAD Update – January 2011

Dear AHEAD Colleagues:

*Welcome to the first 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. News on potential funding opportunities appears towards the end of this Update. If you would like to post an item in the next AHEAD Update, please just send it to us – thanks, and all the best for 2011!


One Health, One Land Base, One Holistic Economic Impact and Risk Assessment?

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 current policy constructs have had significant negative repercussions for free-ranging wildlife, largely related to veterinary cordon fencing. Has the time come to seriously explore alternative animal health management regimes that do not implicitly pit the livestock and wildlife sectors against each other? Given the importance of both 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 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 economic impact or risk assessments of potential new trade initiatives must be multi-sectoral in nature. Major animal health policy adjustments require serious 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 and its 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 changes in policies designed for the livestock sector. Whether it is because some fencing regimes may be able to be altered to allow for greater freedom of movement of wildlife (good for wildlife) or whether demand curves shift for beef or other animal products leading to more land under livestock in an export enabling environment (potentially bad for wildlife), no credible economic impact or risk assessment can be carried-out without a truly cross-sectoral analysis in 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 management regimes, including those based on commodity-based trade. We urge policymakers to seek this type of critical information when faced with land-use decisions that must prove themselves to be ecologically and economically sustainable for generations to come.


*"Should We Be Worrying about Bovine TB?" – ...Given the enormous burden that the current HIV/AIDS and TB epidemics have imposed on rural areas in the eastern and central provinces of South Africa, how much attention should the National and Provincial governments be paying to zoonotic diseases such as bovine TB (BTB) in these areas? The answer lies not only in the extent to which BTB poses an additional burden on human health in the region, but also on the degree to which it threatens food security, exacerbates poverty, and threatens conservation and green tourism.... Please see this important article by AHEAD-GLTFCA Working Group member Dr. Wayne Getz in SACEMA's (South African Centre for Epidemiological Modelling) online magazine at

*New e-newsletter from the AHEAD-Great Limpopo TFCA Working Group coming soon, courtesy of SANParks and regional stakeholders – Keep an eye out for it if you are a member of the AHEAD-GLTFCA Working Group, and check out the AHEAD-GLTFCA's new regional website at http://www.aheadgltfca.za.net/.


*2011 (11th) AHEAD Great Limpopo TFCA Working Group Meeting being hosted by South African National Parks – please make your bookings! – Please mark your calendars for March 2, 3 and 4 (same pattern as last year- attendees are requested to arrive on March 1st with the meeting actually starting on the morning of the 2nd). The meeting will finish at lunchtime on March 4th. This year's meeting is being organized by SANParks, and will be held in the Kruger National Park, at Mopani Rest Camp, about 74 km from the Phalaborwa Gate. More logistics and agenda details have been sent to those of you on the AHEAD-GLTFCA Working Group email list, but please contact Merle Whyte merle@mpu.co.za asap for booking details as well as if you are interested in giving a presentation or displaying a poster: the agenda is almost full!

*1st International One Health Congress: Human Health, Animal Health, the Environment and Global Survival, February 14-16, 2011, Melbourne, Australia – This inaugural Congress has been convened to:
• Showcase the One Health concept globally
• Think “outside the box” to focus on the risks and challenges brought about by interactions between animals, humans and the environment
• Focus on outcomes needed to effectively manage growing risks to global health
• Make recommendations on global policy and organizational changes, using underlying science, to drive real and profound change

For more information on registration, etc. please see http://www.onehealth2011.com/ or email onehealth2011@arinex.com.au.

*OIE Global Conference on Wildlife: Animal Health and Biodiversity, Preparing for the Future, February 23-25, 2011, Paris, France – Organized by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), in collaboration with FAO and WHO, this solution-focused conference will be a unique opportunity to build the future in the context of globalization and climate change, taking into account the need to protect biodiversity worldwide. It will inform responsible parties and decision-makers about the important links between the health of wildlife, domestic animals and people and their relationships with the environment. The conference will bring together participants from both the public and private sectors to analyze the societal benefits, including public health and environment, to be gained from protecting the health of wildlife. In addition to OIE Delegates and Wildlife Focal Points, professionals and policy makers engaged in natural resource management, animal and human health and economic development are invited. This Global Conference will also be open to all other participants who would like to attend. The 2 1/2 days conference will be held at the “Maison de la Chimie." Simultaneous interpretation in English/French/Spanish will be provided during all plenary sessions. See http://www.oie.int/eng/A_WILDCONF/Intro.htm, or contact Alejandra Balmont a.balmont@oie.int for additional information.


*START, the global change SysTem for Analysis, Research and Training (www.start.org) grants available – The 2011 Call for Proposals (CFP) focuses on African scientists conducting collaborative research and assessments of global environmental change (GEC) in Africa. The theme for the 2011 CFP is climate change, agriculture and food security with an emphasis on the sustainability of ecosystem services. This 2011 Call For Proposals builds on previous START awards to African scientists and is consistent with priorities and science plans developed by the African scientific community (e.g.- AfricanNESS Science Plan and ICSU RoA Science Plan). See http://start.org/programs/africangec for complete details, or contact Skip Kauffman cskauffman@start.org for further information.

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