Series of workshops to discuss and find solutions to wildlife and environmental problems that affect human lives, as well as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in Southeast Asia and the Pacific, was organized to encourage the discussion of the issues and to compile the ideas from the discussion into a discussion paper that could be used as a policy guideline for the recovery of human health, poverty reduction, sustainable resource use, and environmental protection.
The Monitoring and Surveillance Center for Zoonotic Diseases in Wildlife and Exotic Animals, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Mahidol University (or MoZWE), was established in 2004 in accordance to the Resolutions of Thai Cabinet with the mission to monitor the emerging infectious diseases in wildlife or wildlife traded as exotic pets. The center also provides the laboratory diagnosis for those diseases.
MoZWE has been working with the government and private agencies at both the national and international levels to support wildlife disease surveillance activities and to build capacity for diagnostic techniques, human power, and wildlife health networking. With the One Health concept, one of MoZWE's roles is to share and exchange our experience and knowledge with our wildlife health collaborators.
In recent times, MoZWE has implemented our works and mission in line with the Sustainable Development Goals in the Item 15 (SDGs 15) of the United Nations. To conserve wild animals in natural habitats, important actions are taken, including urgent and necessary actions to reduce natural habitat degradation, cease the loss of wildlife biodiversity, and prevent the extinction of wildlife species that threatened by pathogens.
For the past several years, MoZWE has implemented our work and mission in line with the Sustainable Development Goals in Item 15 (SDG 15) of the United Nations. To conserve wild animals in their natural habitats, important actions have been taken, including urgent and necessary actions to reduce natural habitat degradation, cease the loss of wildlife biodiversity, and prevent the extinction of wildlife species that are threatened by pathogens.
MoZWE now has ongoing activities with the World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH) Twinning Project with the USGS National Wildlife Health Center and other international collaborators, including the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), to enhance the capacity of MOZWE and to get the designation as the WOAH Collaborating Center for Wildlife Health and Zoonotic Diseases in the Asia-Pacific region.
In 2022, MoZWE was designated the Secretariat of the South-East Asian Wildlife Health Network by the World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH), serving as the wildlife health network coordinator with the collaborators in the Southeast Asia region for a 4-year term.
A project was launched following a meeting of FAO representatives and wildlife experts to discuss the situations and solutions to problems relating to human and wildlife health, livelihoods, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The project has been conducted as a series of meetings entitling "Organizing an expert workshop on health, wildlife, and livelihoods" to discuss the issues, which will then be documented and published as a guideline for developing and restoring human health and poverty problems and the utilization of wildlife and the environment, with the support and publication of FAO. Wildlife and wildlife health experts across the globe were invited to join the meetings, especially those who work in the Asia-Pacific regions and those who work with One Health.
This project also aims to gather ideas and discuss the challenges and opportunities involved. A virtual inception workshop was already held on June 14-18, 2021, and was followed by expert- and small-group meetings to continue the writing process. Small regulatory meetings were held to review the writing content of each chapter. The content of the book consists of six chapters, as follows:
Section 1: Health, wildlife and livelihoods: context and rationale
Section 2: Wildlife resource base: status and trends in the region
Section 3: Livelihoods, poverty reduction, and food and nutrition security
Section 4: Linkages among One Health, wildlife and livelihoods
Section 5: Towards enabling green recovery
Section 6: Epilogue
In this regard, such operation is in the process of reviewing by the experts for the results of the discussion and correction. MoZWE and FAO team are planning to hold a meeting to review the content summary of issues and additional amendments from relevant parties once received the review.