Expert Panel 5

Prevention is cheaper than cure: One Health in practice for sustainable livestock production in Sub-Saharan Africa

Int. Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)  

Time: Tuesday, 19. January 2021, 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. (CET)
Languages: English, German

This expert panel primarily addressed the second of four areas of action mentioned in the GFFA background paper ‘Avoid future pandemics’, while recognising that the other two action areas: ‘Strengthen climate resilience of food systems’ and ‘Achieve climate mitigation goals’ are inter-dependent. The panel included a short video introduction along with an expert panel discussion that included a number of policy specialists.

The consensus of these experts was that livestock production plays a major role in supporting livelihoods, food security and resilience of the more than 1 billion people who work within the livestock sector. The panel recommended One Health as an essential approach to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 (Zero hunger) and should be incorporated fully into policy making to detect and prevent threats at the human, animal and environment interface. They called for the implementation of appropriate production methods to guarantee food safety and animal health and stressed the need to support smallholder livestock farmers in developing countries by helping them to gain access to investment, technology and capacity building for good husbandry practices, hygiene and biosecurity. Around the area of wet-markets, research has shown it is better to improve prevention and mitigation measure than out right bans.


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Shirley Tarawali is Assistant Director General and Board secretary at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) based in Nairobi, Kenya and Chair of the Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock. Shirley has over 35 years’ experience implementing and leading research for development across sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, with a portfolio covering livestock-environment, animal nutrition and natural resource management. Shirley has authored or co-authored over 50 articles in scientific journal or peer-reviewed publications and contributed as author or editor to a further 30-plus books and proceedings articles. Shirley holds a PhD in Plant Science from the University of London, UK.

Panel guests

Björn Niere is Deputy Head of the Division “Pandemic prevention, One Health, animal health, biodiversity” at the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Before that he served as Senior Policy Advisor in the “ONEWORLD – NO HUNGER” initiative of the BMZ. Björn Niere holds an MSc and Doctorate in Agriculture from the Humboldt-University Berlin and Bonn University, respectively. He was a post-doc at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Uganda and joined the Federal Biological Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry (BBA), Germany, in 2003. He served in several international working groups, mainly dealing with quarantine aspects, and was a Member of the Plant Health Panel of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

Dieter Schillinger has been Deputy Director General Biosciences at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) since 2016 where he is responsible for ILRI’s animal and human health, feed and forages, and livestock genetics research programs across Africa and Asia. Dieter studied mechanical engineering in Regensburg, Germany, and veterinary medicine in Munich, Germany, where he graduated as Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. Dieter also holds an MBA from Brunel University, UK. He is a veterinarian with 30 years’ experience in the animal health area that includes experience in applied animal science, tropical veterinary medicine and the development and marketing of animal health products.

Doreen, from the United States of America, is a conservation ecologist by training with over twenty five years of experience. She is the Chief for Wildlife at UN Environment Programme based in Nairobi Kenya. She is a systems thinker driven by passion and a desire to connect people to find solutions to the world’s most complex environment and development challenges.

Prior to joining the UN team, Doreen served as the Regional Chief for Environment with the United States Agency for International Development in Pretoria, South Africa. She led programs on transboundary ecosystem management, combating wildlife crime, water supply and sanitation, water resource management, climate and energy in 14 countries. Doreen also worked for the United States Agency for International Development in Madagascar directing programs in biodiversity, agriculture, rural development and disaster management. In Washington DC, Doreen led policy and program development for global biodiversity conservation, promoting collaborative solutions, good governance and participatory approaches to protected area conservation, natural resource management and benefit sharing with local communities.

Doreen worked for the World Wildlife Fund and other environmental organizations spanning a range of locations including the Amazon, Atlantic Rainforests of South America, the Alps in Europe, the Coral Triangle in Asia and the Congo Basin. She began her career working with rural communities in Morocco.

She holds a MSc degree from the University of Maryland and a BSc from Cornell University.

Christian Julius Griebenow studied Political Science, Constitutional Law & Modern and Contemporary History at the Technical University Dresden and Roma Tre University and graduated in 2005 with a master’s degree. After completing his studies, he began working as a parliamentary group advisor in the German Bundestag for inter-religious dialogue and foreign and security policy. In his further professional career, he was the Executive Director for civil conflict transformation and peace work in the German Protestant Church and Managing Director of a church-based climate compensation fund (Klima-Kollekte gGmbH). Since 2017, Christian serves as the Managing Director of Vétérinaires Sans Frontières Germany (VSFG). In addition, he has been a member of the board of the German Network against Neglected Tropical Diseases (DNTD) and the German Centre for Intersectoral Action against Neglected Tropical Diseases (DZVT) since 2019.


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