Historic Resolution Linking Animal Welfare & The Environmental Crisis Passed By Nearly 200 Countries At The UN Environment Assembly In Kenya

Vital links between animal welfare and the environmental crises were formally recognized for the first time at a global level after the adoption of a historic resolution yesterday at the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA 5) in Nairobi, Kenya. The theme for the event was “Strengthening actions for nature to achieve the sustainable development goals.”

The crucial resolution will help develop a better understanding of the relationship between improving animal welfare and tackling the drivers of wildlife loss, climate change, pollution, and pandemic diseases.

As a result of the new measure, Inger Andersen, the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), must now prepare a report exploring the link between animal welfare, the environment, and sustainable development.

This includes stopping biodiversity loss, restoring ecosystems, reducing climate change, pollution, and the risk of new infectious diseases that can pass from animals to humans.

“This is a momentous decision for animal welfare. Improving animal welfare is vital to securing a sustainable future for animals, people, and the planet, so the adoption of this resolution is hugely significant, although it’s just the beginning,” Ben Williamson, U.S. Executive Director of Compassion in World Farming, said in a statement.

Compassion worked as part of a major global movement of animal welfare groups raising support for the adoption of the resolution, under the leadership of Compassion trustee Josphat Ngonyo and the Africa Network for Animal Welfare (ANAW), together with the World Federation for Animals, and AU-IBAR. The groups wrote to environment ministries across the globe urging them to back the resolution, which was universally passed by 193 countries.

Williamson, who stated that it is now “up to all Member States and UNEP to fully implement the resolution” to ensure the improvement of animal welfare and nature protection at the country level across the globe, further shared that they look forward to working with the U.S. on the national implementation.”

“Urgent action is needed to transform agriculture and food systems, the main drivers of biodiversity loss. As highlighted at last September’s Food Systems Summit, we must change the way the world produces, consumes, and thinks about food,” UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed remarked yesterday at the leadership dialogue of the United Nations Environment Assembly. “Because all 17 Sustainable Development Goals rely to some degree on healthier, more sustainable, and equitable food systems, we need to utilize food systems reform as a catalyzer for the Agenda.”

“Nature-friendly practices can actually improve productivity. We can work towards conserving and enhancing the use of biodiversity in agricultural and other managed ecosystems,” continued Mohammed. “We can move away from policies and practices that erode nature and emit pollutants. We can rehabilitate degraded terrestrial and marine areas and curb incentives, such as environmentally harmful subsidies, that convert habitat for agricultural production and drive overfishing. We can leverage the power of trade to build deforestation-free supply chains for key global commodities.”

The resolution was initiated by the government of Ghana and co-sponsored by six other Member States: Senegal, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, and Pakistan.

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