1. The technical assistance (TA) is designed at the request of the governments of the PRC and Mongolia to assist in formulating policy recommendations for establishment of a subregional mechanism for joint prevention and control of transboundary animal diseases(TADs) in Northeast Asia and conduct of priority capacity building programs. Where necessary and appropriate, the TA will encourage and support the participation of other parties concerned in Northeast Asia, particularly in the area of information exchange and knowledge sharing.
2. The PRC and Mongolia face a common threat posed by TADs, in particular foot and mouth disease, porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (also known as blue-ear pig disease), and highly pathogenic avian influenza. The two countries share a border stretching 4,700 kilometers. Animal husbandry plays an important role in the economic development of border provinces of both countries and is vulnerable to TADs. Recurrent outbreaks in domestic and wild animals have caused tremendous harm to animal health and safety. They also pose serious threats to human health and may cause huge economic losses. The International Federation for Animal Health reported that an outbreak of foot and mouth disease from November 2010 to April 2011 in the PRC, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and Mongolia required the culling of 3.5 million animals and an emergency vaccination program, inflicting losses of $2.8 billion.
3. Animal diseases incur costs in terms of (i) lost production, which disproportionally affects herders and farmers in rural and border areas who are often economically vulnerable; (ii) resources needed to monitor and control outbreaks; and (iii) harm to human health and welfare. When animal diseases cross borders, as often happens, costs are even higher, and prevention and control become more complex and difficult. In a rapidly globalized economy, TADs can trigger trade restrictions on animal products, especially meat, dairy, and leather goods. Mongolia is vulnerable to such trade restrictions because animal product exports are important revenue sources for the country.
4. The persistence and spread of TADs stem from various factors, including the migration of wild animals, illegal border trade in animal products, and cross-border grazing. The lack of a cross-border and regional mechanism for policy dialogue, information sharing, and joint action worsens the situation. Weak capacity for TAD control particularly in terms of surveillance, data collection and analysis, laboratory testing, and community monitoring and emergency response in rural and border areas is another constraint on TAD prevention and control. In the PRC and Mongolia, as in many other developing countries, veterinary services urgently need bolstering. To prevent the spread of TADs across the borders, countries need to adopt effective measures nationally and through regional cooperation.
5. The TA's impact will be strengthened regional cooperation to prevent and control TADs in the PRC, Mongolia, and more broadly in the CAREC region. The outcome will be a well-functioning institutional mechanism for cooperation to jointly prevent and control TADs in the PRC and Mongolia.
6. The impact and outcome will be achieved through the following outputs:
(i) a study report on establishing a mechanism for PRC-Mongolia cooperation to jointly control major TADs, which will recommend policies and steps toward establishing
such a mechanism and analyze the feasibility of and options for involving other countries and parties in Central Asia;
(ii) a manual on community-level TAD prevention and control to guide animal health workers in the border communities of the two countries;
(iii) enhanced capacity for TAD prevention and control in PRC and Mongolian border provinces achieved by preparing a 5-year capacity-development plan and organizing
training workshops; and
(iv) policy briefs and/or best practice notes for senior decision makers of the PRC and Mongolia.