Since the launch of the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) first global strategy for aquatic animal health, the WOAH Community has been working to implement its activities.
This edition of Panorama provides an overview of just some of the important work currently under way to achieve the strategy objective of improving aquatic animal health and welfare worldwide.
This work will continue over the long term, to enhance aquatic animal health at all levels and ensure that we maintain a strong global system well into the future.
WOAH staff are leading these activities in partnership with our Members, WOAH Regional Commissions, the WOAH Aquatic Animals Commission, WOAH Reference Laboratories and Collaborating Centres, partner organisations, and the private sector.
Since the launch of the strategy, the project team has established a governance structure, appointed project leaders and designed project plans for each activity. To date, 14 of the 23 activities have begun, with many of the remaining activities scheduled to start in 2023.
A WOAH activity leader has been assigned to each activity and an Internal Strategy Committee monitors progress. This Committee provides a forum to support and guide activity leaders, identify links between relevant activities, test ideas and share information. It provides a key mechanism to imbed aquatic animal health and welfare activities within the Organisation and build capacity and expertise in aquatic animal health and welfare.
To complement the work at WOAH HQ, a number of regional and sub-regional aquatic animal health networks are also being established. Their purpose is to put the strategy into operation to meet specific needs in their region. This follows the success of the Regional Collaboration Framework on Aquatic Animal Health in Asia and the Pacific, created in 2019 (see article 4-1-1).
There are many other regional projects contributing to the objectives and outcomes of the strategy, some of which have been highlighted in previous articles.
Each year, an annual workplan will be developed to identify priorities and resource requirements, define timelines and assess possible obstacles to the successful implementation of activities. This will ensure that the strategy remains relevant and our objectives are being realised.
The WOAH Aquatic Animal Portal will be used as the central point of information on the strategy’s implementation.