Advocates around the world have made amazing strides for animals this year. From the U.S. ending government-funded experiments on chimpanzees, to the end of animal sacrifice in Nepal’s Gadhimai festival, 2015 was a big year for animals.
I was surprised to learn that many Animal Protection Organisations (APOs) do not recognise the importance of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)’s work on animal welfare – and that some remain completely unaware of this work. This is the long-awaited international policy framework for Animal Welfare (AW), which we can use to push and prod obstinate governments to take action for the animals!
On the weekend of December 12 and 13, 2015, something monumental happened—representatives of 195 nations adopted a climate agreement in Paris at COP 21. For the first time in history, nearly every country on the planet is committed to working to limit dangerous greenhouse emissions to combat the worst impacts of climate change. More specifically, these nations have agreed to pursue efforts to slow the increase in global temperatures to 1.5 Celcius degrees above pre-industrial levels. Among the legally binding elements of the agreement are the requirements to submit emission reduction targets and regularly review those goals.
I had been nursing a burning desire to write another blog on the Animal Protection Movement for some weeks, when an excellent speech by Arundhati Roy came across my desk. Entitled ‘The NGO-isation of the Resistance’. Watch it now - it is a ‘must-view’!
Recently, World Animal Net was honored to meet Jim Ries, President of One More Generation (OMG). OMG is a unique organization in that it was founded by two kids, Carter and Olivia Ries, who care deeply about animals and the environment that they (and we) rely on for survival. Carter and Olivia are passionate about empowering their peers to realize that their actions can in fact have a profoundly positive impact on the world around them. The work of this organization has inspired us at World Animal Net, and makes us optimistic for the future generations who will inherit the torch of making the world a better place for all its inhabitants.
OMG's Jim Ries was kind enough to answer our questions about how their organization accomplishes its mission of youth empowerment. Don't forget to check out their Orangutan Letter Writing Campaign!
Last week, news broke that the U.S. government would retire all 50 chimpanzees it was holding in reserve “in case” of need for them in the future as research subjects. This victory comes as the result of a campaign spanning many years and which would not have been possible without the collaboration, cooperation, and joint advocacy of numerous animal protection groups, both small and large, nationwide.
Legal advancements for animals can often come at a painfully slow pace. But last week, we couldn’t help but notice how many wins and promising animal law-related news items kept coming in. Here are a few of the highlights:
A few months ago, Caroline Ruane, Campaign Manager for the World Animal Day initiative, wrote to tell us a bit about the background and meaning behind World Animal Day (celebrated October 4 each year). Now that World Animal Day 2015 has come to a close, Caroline has given us an update about how World Animal Day was celebrated and continues to grow around the world, thanks in no small part to World Animal Day’s 89 Ambassadors in 76 countries.
Many of us work long and hard to help dogs, and the communities they live amongst, to live in a more harmonious coexistence. Whether through sterilisation, vaccination, persuading owners to take better care of their dogs or rehoming the unwanted; these, and many other activities, fall under the banner of humane dog population management (DPM). But how do we know we are actually making a difference? This can be a very hard question to ask. It’s tough to find we are not making the difference we aimed for, but surely it’s better to know that now and change our approach than waste our efforts without benefiting the dogs? And if we are making a difference, imagine how powerful concrete evidence of that difference could be? We could gain greater security in funding, stronger support from governments leading to policy and legislative change, and a more engaged and appreciative public.
The next annual Conference of the Parties (COP 21) of the UN Framework on Climate Change – also called the 2015 Paris Climate Conference - will take place in Paris from November 30th to December 11th. This issue is in the words of Pope Francis: “a principal challenge for humanity”, and this will be a crucial conference, as it needs to achieve a new international agreement on the climate, applicable to all countries, with the aim of keeping global warming below 2°C. It is expected to attract close to 50,000 participants including 25,000 official delegates from government, intergovernmental organisations, UN agencies, NGOs and civil society.