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HIV/AIDS & Natural Resource Management Linkages
Photo Credit: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS


Human Suffering HIV/AIDS The HIV/AIDS pandemic is having unprecedented and tragic impacts on all sectors of society in sub-Saharan Africa, causing untold human suffering, serious economic effects, and social distruption. It is also affecting the environment: there are very close linkages between HIV/AIDS, rural livelihoods, human capacity and conservation.

Since 2001, the Africa Biodiversity Collaborative Group (ABCG) has been working with partners in Eastern and Southern Africa to learn about the environmental impacts brought on by HIV/AIDS, and to identify and catalyze coping strategies for the conservation sector to reduce these impacts. Much of this work is done in collaboration with other sectors.

Activities & Achievements

FY 2014 Activites & Accomplishments

HIV/AIDS has emerged as a significant threat to development and biodiversity conservation goals. In recent years, conservation practitioners have not been spared by the scourge, and institutions have realized the importance of equipping conservation practitioners and local communities with support, education and programs to address HIV/AIDS. ABCG has endeavored to mainstream the effects of HIV/AIDS through training, workplace policies and programs on HIV/AIDS and conservation for effective response to the threat [see the manual below].

In FY2013-14, JGI worked with a consultant to develop training materials, which were used in the workshop held in Kigoma, Tanzania in November 2013. Details of the training report can be found in 'Report on a Training Workshop on HIV & AIDS and Environment'.

FY 2013 Activites & Accomplishments

In FY 2013, following debilitating circumstances in the planned training workshops in South Sudan, ABCG with consultant Daulos Mauambeta shifted targets to carrying out similar work in collaboration with the Jane Goodall Institute in Western Tanzania. Following development of the training agenda and finalization of the ABCG HIV/AIDS and Conservation Manual, a workshop was held in early November in Kigoma, Tanzania. The workshop summary is archived under the newsletter: “Equipping Conservation Groups to Mitigate HIV and AIDS in the Workplace.

Further, ABCG members developed a manual on HIV/AIDS and the Environment: A Manual for Conservation Organizations on Impacts and Responses. The manual provides background information on the origin of HIV, the nature of AIDS and the AIDS epidemic. 

SCB-Africa 2011 Meeting: HIV/AIDS & Conservation

The 2nd Society for Conservation Biology (SCB) Africa Regional Meeting and the 48th global meeting for the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation was held June 12-16, 2011 in Arusha, Tanzania. ABCG and partners held two workshops and a symposium on addressing the interconnections between HIV/AIDS and conservation.

The first workshop, led by Guyo Roba of IUCN, shared lessons in IUCN's recent publication Interactions between HIV/AIDS and the Environment and facilitated a discussion among participants as to how to grow the network of conservation and health practitioners working on these issues and how to bring key lessons into the policy dialogue at multiple levels.

In the second workshop, Dr. Steven Kiruswa of the African Wildlife Foundation led participants through AWF's experience in Mainstreaming HIV/AIDS into NRM: AWF's AIDS Organizational Policy. Through this workshop, participants explored the components of an effective HIV/AIDS workplace policy, essential strategies for educating staff about resources available to them; and helpful linkages to providers of health care tools and family planning materials.

This symposium shared lessons learned on the connections between HIV/AIDS and conservation (impacts and mitigation), distributed resources such as the ABCG HIV/AIDS manual, the IUCN report on HIV/AIDS interactions and equipped participants with information, examples and resources on how conservation organizations can take action to reduce the impacts of HIV/AIDS on conservation.

Speakers representing many organizations and projects presented reports, projects and policies, including:

News and Resources

HIV/AIDS and Conservation: Impacts and Coping Strategies

The major environmental impacts are:

The possibility of future insecurity is a major concern: as AIDS orphans grow up they often have little indigenous knowledge, weak attachment to land and resources, and poor education. They and other disenfranchised people may turn to unsustainable fishing, hunting, logging and charcoal-making on a large scale, with serious impacts on the environment, local livelihoods, and long-term security. This is a particular concern given the correlation between demographic youth bulges and increased likelihood of civil conflict (identified by Population Action International).

Examples of coping strategies identified for the conservation sector include:

News & Related Resources

HIV/AIDS and Environment: A manual for conservation organizations on impacts and responses

12 May 2014

This manual aims to raise awareness of the linkages between HIV/AIDS and the environment, and provide guidance to conservation organizations on actions they can take to reduce the impacts on their...

ABCG equips conservation organizations to support staff, partners, and local communities affected by HIV and AIDS

Throughout sub-Saharan Africa, millions of adults and children are living with HIV. The disease affects everyone and can have a devastating effect on families, economies, communities, and the environment. Since 2001, ABCG has been working with partners in Eastern and Southern Africa to learn about the environmental impacts brought on by HIV and AIDS and to identify and catalyze coping strategies for the conservation sector to reduce these impacts.

Report on a Training Workshop on HIV & AIDS and Environment

30 November 2013

A training workshop on HIV and AIDS and Environment was organized for the Jane Goodall Institute and partners in Kigoma, Tanzania from 4th to 6th of November 2013. This was one of the tasks and...

HIV/AIDS and Environment: A Training Guide for Conservation Organizations

25 June 2013

This training guide is part of ABCG’s effort to strengthen its capacity and that of its partners in mainstreaming HIV and AIDS in conservation programs. It is designed for use mainly by...

Consultancy on developing a training manual and conducting training on HIV/AIDS and Conservation, South Sudan - inception report

3 April 2013

The report is divided into seven sections. The first is this executive summary; followed by a section on background information to the consultant; the third section is methodology and approach to...

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