Healthy environments support healthy wildlife – and healthy livestock vital to the communities bordering conservation areas. Within an environment where partners countries strive to re-establish large functional ecosystems across man-made borders, the spreading of diseases across international lines needs to be carefully monitored and controlled.
Since antiquity, animal diseases in Africa have had an impact on wildlife, livestock and human settlement patterns. Food security, sustainable livelihoods and biodiversity can all be adversely affected by the inadequate control of animal diseases. While the responsibility of disease control globally lies with the government of each country, in the African context resources and the capacity to control animal diseases vary considerably from country to country.
Peace Parks Foundation, through its Transfrontier Conservation Area Veterinary Wildlife Programme (TFCA-VWP), supports TFCA partner countries to manage transboundary disease risks and to promote integrated and/or complementary disease control policies within and between countries. The programme focusses on providing research and consultative support and is currently managed by the Centre for Veterinary Wildlife Studies of the University of Pretoria. A formal agreement with the university, SANParks and other institutions, facilitates access to vast research networks, infrastructure and expertise, enabling proficient analysis of disease risks at the wildlife/livestock/human interface. The TFCA-VWP also participates in formal and informal networks relevant to important veterinary issues in TFCAs, particularly those related to bovine tuberculosis and foot-and-mouth disease.