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Governments Agree Deal on Biodiversity at UN Conference

A FOUR PAWS statement

20.12.2022

Vienna/Montreal, 20th December 2022 – Global governments at United Nations Convention of Biodiversity Conference (COP15) have agreed a Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF), which seeks to stop biodiversity loss by 2030.

The deal will do this through safeguarding wildlife biodiversity with a commitment to protecting a third of the planet for nature by the end of the decade.

The agreement came after four years of intensive negotiations resulting in two weeks of final talks in Montreal at COP15, which was chaired by the Chinese government and overran by over 24 hours.

“Many saw this as a last chance to globally address a way to halt biodiversity loss and the GBF is the end to a long process, what has finally been agreed upon is highly ambitious and vital in protecting the environment and animal welfare."

Dr. Jackson Zee, FOUR PAWS´ Director Global Affairs and Disaster Resilience

“FOUR PAWS is delighted that the deal recognises the interconnectedness and linkages of biodiversity loss, pandemic risk and animal welfare. Key measures have been adopted to address this key issue, such as implementing a holistic approach to protecting our health and well-being, promoting the adoption of the One-Health approach. This will reduce the risk of pathogen spillover from wildlife exploitation, preventing future and possible pandemic diseases such as COVID-19.

“Two other major victories for animal welfare were the removal of any reference to ‘trophy hunting’ or ‘conservation hunting’ as a sustainable practice, alongside governments agreeing that immediate measures to prevent the extinction of species that are known to be in danger due to human activity.

“The deal offers the possibility of better farm animal welfare through its promotion of agroecology and the phasing out of harmful subsidies. Transforming industrial livestock farming into nature friendly practices based on ecosystem adaptation, accompanied by dietary change should be the first focus of governments moving forward. It is therefore concerning that parties have seemingly still bought into the narrative of 'sustainable intensification' of agriculture which will further cause damage to biodiversity and cause mass animal suffering.

“The GBF is the latest progressive step in Member States legislating for the nexus between animal welfare, humans, and the environment after earlier this year the United Nations Environment Assembly passed a historic Animal Welfare Resolution, the direction of travel is moving in the right direction but what we must see now is full implementation at a national level.”

Background

FOUR PAWS is the global animal welfare organisation for animals under direct human influence, which reveals suffering, rescues animals in need and protects them. Our vision is a world where humans treat animals with respect, empathy and understanding.

The 15th Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) was held in Montreal, Canada between the 7th and 19th of December 2022.

Full text for the resolution: March 2022 – United Nations Environment Assembly Animal Welfare – Environment – Sustainable Development Nexus  

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Alexander Lawson

Senior PR International Officer

Alexander.Lawson@four-paws.org

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FOUR PAWS is the global animal welfare organisation for animals under direct human influence, which reveals suffering, rescues animals in need and protects them. Founded in 1988 in Vienna by Heli Dungler and friends, the organisation advocates for a world where humans treat animals with respect, empathy and understanding. The sustainable campaigns and projects of FOUR PAWS focus on companion animals including stray dogs and cats, farm animals and wild animals – such as bears, big cats and orangutans – kept in inappropriate conditions as well as in disaster and conflict zones. With offices in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Kosovo, the Netherlands, Switzerland, South Africa, Thailand, Ukraine, the UK, the USA and Vietnam as well as sanctuaries for rescued animals in eleven countries, FOUR PAWS provides rapid help and long-term solutions. www.four-paws.org

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