Janice is co-founder and a director of World Animal Net. She has held a variety of management and advocacy roles in the international animal welfare movement over the past 25 years. Janice focuses on WAN’s work on advocacy, development and education/training. Based in South Africa, she has assisted with regional strategic planning for animal welfare on the continent, including working with the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE)'s Southern African office for one year. Janice was the recipient of the Humane Society International 2014 award for “extroardinary commitment and achievement for animal protection”.
The third session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-3) took place from 4-6 December 2017 at the United Nations Office in Nairobi, Kenya, under the overall theme “Towards a Pollution-Free Planet”. Over 4,300 delegates participated in UNEA-3 and its related events, including 1,197 delegates from more than 170 Member States, 711 representatives of Major Groups and other stakeholders, and 94 intergovernmental organisations.
This blog analyses reports on the outcomes of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (COP)23, and outlines opportunities for animal protection organizations that have emerged as a result. For more information on activities at the conference from an on-the-ground perspective, please see this guest post from Caroline Wimberly of Brighter Green, who attended the COP23 in Bonn, Germany.
One important, yet low-profile, outcome from this year’s climate change conference was the end of a deadlock on agriculture which has lasted for years.
The first week of October was an eventful one—on Monday I had a knee operation, and thankfully it went well. A planned public transit strike was called off, and so on Thursday, the 5th and Friday, the 6th I attended the Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) Conference on Extinction and Livestock, which was held at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in London. It was worth the hobble to London, and the indignity of looking aged … leaning on a walking stick!
The Animal Welfare Strategy for Africa (AWSA) has now been endorsed, and the African Platform for Animal Welfare (APAW) launched. These groundbreaking events took place in a dedicated meeting at the African Union Commission (AUC) Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (24th-25th July 2017).
The African Union’s Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR), which spearheaded this initiative, advises that the AWSA will now be submitted to the African Union Commission (AUC) organs and to African Ministers in charge of livestock in October 2017.
The final regional preparatory meeting of the UN’s 2017 High Level Political Forum (HLPF) took place in Addis Ababa from 17-19 May 2017, hosted by the UN’s Economic Commission for Africa. Being based in South Africa, I attended this on behalf of World Animal Net (WAN), after discovering that no other African Animal Protection Organisations (APOs) were planning to attend.
Animal Protection Organizations (APOs) across the world were once again disappointed when the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were agreed by UN member countries back in September 2015. These included no specific mention of Animal Welfare (AW), and no recognition of animal sentience. Instead, animals were lumped in with “natural resources”, and treated as if they were no more than inanimate objects to be divvied up for human use and profit. We were not alone in our disappointment, as other NGOs also pointed to the anthropocentric nature of the goals, and the fact that they overlook the central importance of nature and animals to our world and our humanity.
The African Union Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resource (AU-IBAR) recently hosted a retreat to review a draft animal welfare strategy and action plan for the entire continent. This took place from 6-8 March in Naivasha, Kenya. Participants included member states from the region, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), Regional Economic Communities, and a number of major animal protection organisations. World Animal Net (WAN) was represented by Nick de Souza, veterinarian and experienced African animal protectionist. Tozie Zokufa, the President of the Pan African Animal Welfare Alliance (PAAWA), and a member of WAN’s International Policy Forum, also attended.
I have some exciting news which I want to share with you!
I have just returned from Washington, D.C., where I was invited to speak about animal welfare at this year’s World Bank Agricultural Global Practice Forum. There were three speakers on animal welfare. I opened the session, speaking about animal welfare as an important ethical, societal and policy concern. Then, a speaker from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations introduced the benefits of including animal welfare in development, followed by a presentation from the International Finance Corporation which included a lending case study.