A joint initiative spearheaded by AU-IBAR, World Federation for Animals (WFA), and Africa Network for Animal Welfare (ANAW) is providing technical and logistical support to countries in the formulation of resolutions on animal welfare that will be tabled at the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) in September 2022. The United Nations Environment Assembly will address animal welfare issues under the assembly theme: “Strengthening Actions for Nature to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals”, thus providing the opportunity to integrate animal welfare issues into the global environment agenda.
The resolution in pursuing the integration of animal welfare into the global environmental agenda was passed during the 2019 Africa Animal Welfare Conference, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The resolution was passed from the realization of the nexus between animals, the environment, and humans. In the spirit of sustainable development, this nexus between the protection of animals, the environment, and humans have not been well established in several international policy-making conferences and institutions such as the UN.
This resolution calls the international community to take concrete actions in recognizing and institutionalizing the nexus. Therefore, the United Nations Environment General Assembly will shape a collective strategy by encompassing animal welfare resolutions in the environment development agenda.
The AU-IBAR, ANAW, and UNEP teams have visited champion countries, namely Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, and Ethiopia. Visits to DRC, Eritrea, and South Sudan are yet to be undertaken.
The process of obtaining submissions on animal welfare resolutions has involved working with member states to prepare a strategy on the nexus between animal welfare and the environment and relevant stakeholders. The strategy will ensure the institutionalization of animal welfare in policies, legislation, education, and development strategies, particularly towards implementing the animal welfare and animal health strategies for Africa. Within this context, various actors and the international community can forge partnerships to build the capacity of member states and relevant institutions to coordinate animal welfare improvement efforts.
First picture: Meeting with State Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change of the Federal Republic of Ethiopia.