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AHEAD (Animal & Human Health for the Environment And Development)

Addressing animal and human health, facilitating conservation, alleviating poverty

Earth’s rangelands, stretching from the savannas of Africa to the steppes of central Asia, support the livelihoods of millions of pastoralists as well as some of the world’s largest remaining wildlife populations. Increasing competition for land leads to conflict over land use and grazing resources, more livestock predation, and an increased likelihood of disease transmission between wildlife and livestock. Diseases can pose a threat to the lives and livelihoods of communities sharing the land with wildlife. In addition, disease management policies, particularly in Africa’s savannas, have relied heavily on vast fencing systems to separate livestock from wildlife, which has been disastrous for free-ranging migratory wildlife. Fence-based disease control policies also exclude livestock farmers who live closest to wildlife from access to world markets, leading to increased hostility towards wildlife. 

Given the importance of these landscapes to both peoples’ livelihoods and conservation efforts, finding holistic solutions that allow for greater wildlife-livestock compatibility is critical. Launched in 2003, the AHEAD program is based on an integrated approach to addressing a range of themes of critical importance to the future of animal agriculture, human health, and wildlife health. We work on the ground and in the policy arena, providing technical support, training, and policy guidance to decision makers and other key stakeholders, and create platforms that literally bring competing sectors to the same table to find collaborative ways forward.