Wildlife and One Health: wildlife ecology, health surveillance and interaction with livestock, human population and environment Ref.: OC/EFSA/BIOHAW/2022/01
According to the specifications of the tender “Wildlife and One Health: wildlife ecology, health surveillance and interaction with livestock, human population and environment” (OC/EFSA/BIOHAW/2022/01), the objectives of the open procurement call for which the consortium ENETWILD 2.0 is proposing to cover, are as follow:
- to improve and extend the existing published or unpublished data on the ecology, geographical distribution, abundance and structure of selected wildlife species and on the epidemiology of their diseases, including disease surveillance, and ecological and environmental aspects where wildlife species are involved:
- to maintain and implement the European network of wildlife health professionals and data providers established during previous ad hoc projects (European Observatory for Wildlife), with the aim to support the data collection activities and create a network of expert partners working together with EFSA in the field of wildlife research and management;
- to automate as much as possible, the data submission process and data standardisation, the development and promotion of harmonised protocols for wildlife demography and disease surveillance, validation and quality assessment of data submissions;
- to harmonise and store the collected data with suitable tools, to make data accessible by EFSA and selected users and usable for risk assessment at different scales and formats;
- to fill the so far identified data gaps, both for animal species and geographical areas.
- to generate original data via ad-hoc field studies regarding wildlife populations (distribution, abundance and structure as needed), disease epidemiology, environmental factors relevant to wildlife populations, wildlife management practices, including training on data generation methodologies.
- to perform data analysis on collected or newly generated data and to model the geographical distribution, abundance and structure of selected wildlife species as well as the occurrence and transmission dynamics of selected diseases in wildlife species and their interaction with livestock, humans and environment, according to the EFSA needs, and to provide interpretation and discussion of the generated results, with the goal of recommending management strategies and to predict emerging issues.
- to strengthen and foster collaboration on wildlife research activities in the EU and in neighbouring countries, to network with other European or international groups active in the area of wildlife surveillance such as the European Wildlife Disease Association (EWDA), the WOAH Wildlife Disease Working group, FAO, etc.
- to deliver ad-hoc scientific advice to support EFSA concerning technical questions and advice about possible emerging issues where wildlife could be involved, especially about wildlife demography, ecology, wildlife trade and health issues (e.g. under the form of systematic reviews, field surveys, preparation of fact sheets, data analysis, predictive modelling), including the rapid generation of targeted information on wildlife health and/or wildlife populations in case of emerging health-threatening events or other ecological/sanitary issues.
- to communicate the results achieved during the project by tailoring the language for the different stakeholders (researchers, managers, hunters, civil society, etc.), through proper channels and communication tools including website, social media, etc. The communication developed with the project shall be synergized with EFSA communication activities.
For objectives 1 to 3, the selection of target species will be driven by current sanitary or ecological issues, but also driven by a predictive vision to foresee possible future emerging issues.
The deliverables of the project will support the production of risk assessments by EFSA.
This procurement procedure will be implemented through specific annual contracts or order forms. In this tendering call, EFSA defined the subject matter of the procurement but for some tasks did not state when, where and what quantity of services it will need during a certain period. Also, some activities are based on initial review of existing data and subsequent gap analysis. The specific contracts or order forms between EFSA and the consortium would set out the specific conditions for performing assignments, requesting specific services. The tender specifications contain only indications on the foreseeable volume and distribution of the work that may be demanded under the framework contract. The use of the budget for specific demanded activities, therefore, will depend on the orders which EFSA may place through annual specific contracts. That makes it not possible to assign the entire budget from the beginning to specific tasks and groups.
This technical proposal aims to demonstrate to EFSA that the consortium ENETWILD 2.0 has all the competencies and structures to provide reliable results while strengthening the network of wildlife (disease) experts and structuring the consortium to become a long-standing support to EFSA on wildlife and wildlife diseases.
Consortium partners in this joint offer assume joint liability towards EFSA for the performance of the contract. The consortium has been working extensively in the past six years within the previous EFSA call OC/EFSA/ALPHA/2016/01 and had gained extensive experience to effectively manage communication, workload distribution, analysis and reporting activities among partners and subcontractors. Our capacities are complementary, and we are able to meet contract requests through reliance upon the capacities of other partners which had been expanded compared to the previous network to include foreseeable developments into south-eastern Europe and to encompass a full-rounded knowledge of wildlife and wildlife disease management. As a consortium, we demonstrated the capacity to fully respond to EFSA requests in a timely manner, providing scientifically based solutions and answers to requests spanning from wildlife management to science communication and from disease monitoring to IT tools development.
In the following section, we show the methodology proposed to resolve the questions underlying the tender in an efficient and effective way. The methods proposed are in conformity with the needs of EFSA and the technical specifications.