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Towards a regional approach for animal health services provision and disaster risk reduction: the economics of the Caribvet network

Tago Pacheco D., Pradel J., Percedo Abreu M.I., Frias Lepoureau M.T., Gongora V., Lancelot R., Lefrançois T., Surujbally N., Lazarus C., Morales P., Vokaty S.. 2016. Farm and Business, 8 (1) : p. 98-102. West indies agricultural economic Conference, Conference Proceedings. 31, 2015-08-10/2015-08-14, Sainte Croix (Iles Vierges des Etats-Unis).

Climate change is expected to increase the frequency and intensity of natural disasters (Mechler et al. 2010) that impact the socio-economic development of nations worldwide, including those in the Caribbean, a region particularly vulnerable to natural perils (Macpherson and Akpinar-Elci, 2013). Global changes and climate change are also expected to have a significant impact on animal and human health, especially distribution and impact of vector-borne and zoonotic diseases which are considered particularly sensitive to climatic variables (Harvell et al. 2002). An integrated approach of disaster risk reduction (DDR) and climate change adaptation (CCA) has been suggested to avoid unnecessary duplication of efforts and to improve program effectiveness (Dwirahmadi et al. 2013). Consistent with the call of the World Organization of Animal Health (OIE), for reinforcing the role of veterinary authorities at national levels for disaster risk reduction (OIE and World Bank, 2007), a similar strategy is needed at the regional level in the Caribbean. In the Caribbean, veterinary services, agricultural and veterinary universities, research institutes, and regional and international institutions in agriculture and health have garnered efforts to create a regional animal health network (CaribVET) in 2006 to assist in decision making and to advise on best management practices to mitigate the impact of animal diseases on livestock production and health, human health and welfare. Since 2012, the Epidemiology working group of CaribVET works on DRR in close collaboration with CENSA, which is the OIE collaborating center on DRR in animal health in Cuba (Gongora et al. 2012). According to CENSA's expertise, prevention and preparedness are the key components of the DRR cycle towards which CaribVET's efforts should be oriented. In this paper, we propose a model that explains the economic rationale behind an animal health regional network as CaribVET. Then, the role of CaribVET in the improvement of knowledge on animal diseases, the development of tools that facilitates the provision of animal health, and the capacity development in the region is explained and associated to the well-known concepts of comparative advantages and economies of scale. We explain the role of CaribVET in DRR and the challenges to a regional approach on the deliverance of animal health services and DRR are discussed.

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