One Year on Since Historic United Nations Animal Welfare Resolution
A FOUR PAWS statement
Vienna, 2 March 2023 – The World Federation for Animals (WFA), representing 48 global animal protection organisations, has published a report one year on from the historic United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA), where Member States passed the first-ever resolution with explicit reference to animal welfare.
The Animal Welfare – Environment – Sustainable Development Nexus recognised that animal welfare can contribute to addressing environmental challenges, promoting the One Health approach, and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is expected to explore these links in a report that draws on the expertise of other stakeholders.
The latest WFA report, “Unveiling the Nexus: The Interdependence of Animal Welfare, Environment & Sustainable Development” is being shared to help policymakers, provide a synthesis of scientific evidence, and stimulate public and open dialogue among stakeholders. It highlights the value of an animal welfare perspective to help tackle the planetary crises and accelerate sustainable development.
Josef Pfabigan, CEO of global animal welfare organisation FOUR PAWS, said, “Ensuring the nexus was passed last year was a huge moment for the animal welfare movement, but now this is where the real work begins. The report highlights some of the important links between animal welfare and biodiversity, climate change, livelihoods, and health, drawing on examples from the critical evidence base to enrich a common understanding of how improving animal welfare will help protect people and the environment.
“Ensuring the nexus was passed last year was a huge moment for the animal welfare movement, but now this is where the real work begins. The report highlights some of the important links between animal welfare and biodiversity, climate change, livelihoods, and health, drawing on examples from the critical evidence base to enrich a common understanding of how improving animal welfare will help protect people and the environment."
Josef Pfabigan, CEO of global animal welfare organisation FOUR PAWS
“The exploitation and abuse of animals is a key driver in the triple environmental crises of biodiversity loss climate change and pollution. We have connected the dots, we have the facts, now is the time to implement the solutions the Nexus lays out.”
Dr James Yeates, WFA’s CEO, said, “There is a critical scientific evidence base demonstrating how improving animal welfare can help people and the environment, including reversing biodiversity loss, mitigating climate change, and ensuring public health. This report is aimed to help decision-makers understand those connections, so they can make sustainable and effective decisions to reverse our current crises.”
Brita Riis, WFA’s President, added, “We hope that by Unveiling the Nexus, we can help others see the potential for animal welfare as a cross-cutting lever for sustainable development. The facts are there. It is time to implement the solutions the Nexus lays out and enable a generational shift in international policy to protect the people, the planet, and the animals.”
World Federation for Animals “Unveiling the Nexus” Report: https://wfa.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/Unveiling-the-Nexus-The-Interdependence-of-Animal-Welfare-Environment-Sustainable-Development.pdf
- The United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) brings together representatives of the 194 Member States of the UN, businesses, civil society, and other stakeholders to agree on policies to address the world’s most pressing environmental challenges. Its resumed Fifth Session (UNEA-5) took place online and in Nairobi between 28th February and 2nd March 2022. The Sixth Session will be held from 26th February to 1st March 2024, in Nairobi at the headquarters of the United Nations Environment Programme.
- Full text for UNEP/EA.5/Res.1 resolution: Animal Welfare – Environment – Sustainable Development Nexus. The report by UNEP as requested in the resolution is expected to: explore how animal welfare can help address environmental challenges, promote One Health, and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals; consider all animals’ welfare: wild and domesticated; and, refer to the substantial body of science supporting animal welfare, as recognised in the resolution, including animal sentience.
- World Federation for Animals “Unveiling the Nexus: The Interdependence of Animal Welfare, Environment & Sustainable Development” Report. The World Federation for Animals is a membership organisation founded in 2020 by and for national, regional, and international animal protection organisations. WFA is the result of these organisations’ decision to join forces and work together towards a broad representation of the interests of animals in international policy.
Alexander LawsonSenior PR International Officer
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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