A regional One Health approach to ecosystem and wildlife management

Clara Bocchino

Southern Africa seems to have almost reached a conservation impasse, which is reflected in the increased human-wildlife conflicts in and around protected areas, the unsustainable use of natural resources (including bushmeat), and the soaring illegal hunting of endangered species. None of these problems are new and unprecedented, they actually date back to the first experiences of land expropriation for conservation and to the changes of wildlife status from res nullius to property and commodity.
The alternative wildlife management approaches which appeared from the second half of the 20th Century have had localised success, but effectively failed because of poor theoretical understanding and implementation strategies. The common denominator for current threats to conservation is perhaps conservation theory itself, as a centralised monolithic approach to environmental protection, which is required to take into account public sensitivities and idealisation of wildlife and ecosystem management.
The One Health Approach applied to ecosystem and wildlife management may contribute to resolve the impasse, provided lessons learnt from previous experiences and theories are taken seriously into account. At the regional level, the Veterinary Faculty of the University of Pretoria has experimented with the implementation of a One Health approach, specifically in the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Areas, with contributions from the Animal and Human Health for Environment and Development Network and government institutions.
This paper will critically look at how the work carried out by the Veterinary Faculty of the University of Pretoria, as supported by other critical role-players, may contribute to sustainable wildlife and ecosystem management.

Presentation Topic

A regional One Health approach to ecosystem and wildlife management


Contact Ms Bocchino

Faculty of Law, North West University, Potchesftroom, Centre for Veterinary Wildlife Studies, University of Pretoria