The Sustainable Development Agenda
The Sustainable Development agenda envisions a world in which “humanity lives in harmony with nature and in which wildlife and all other living species are protected”. The full sustainable development goals can be read on the United Nations website.
The Agenda reads as follows:
TRANSFORMING OUR WORLD: THE 2030 AGENDA FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
This is the People’s Agenda, a plan of action for ending poverty in all its dimensions, irreversibly, everywhere, and leaving no one behind. It seeks to ensure peace and prosperity, and forge partnerships with people and planet at the core. The integrated, interlinked and indivisible 17 Sustainable Development Goals are the People’s goals and demonstrate the scale, universality and ambition of this new Agenda.
The SDGs and Faith Organisations
The Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC) (closed in 2019 after completing its remit) was founded by Prince Philip in 1995 and was led by the inspirational Martin Palmer as ARC’s Secretary-General from his offices in Bath, UK. It was a secular body that helped the major religions of the world to develop their own environmental programmes, based on their own core teachings, beliefs and practices. They created powerful alliances between faith communities and conservation groups.
In 2009 they held the first Long Term Plan event at Windsor Castle, UK and the then UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon attended. In 2015 they launched the Bristol Commitments as the faith-based response to the SDGs and published the book ‘Faith in the Future’ which outlined this response.
ARC closed in 2019, believing that they had achieved what they had set out to do, as the religions and conservationists were now working together.
The SDGs and Animals
In 2019 the UN Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR) identified animal welfare as a missing issue from the SDGs. It stated “The clear links between human health and well-being and animal welfare is increasingly being recognised in ethics-and rights-based frameworks. Strong governance should safeguard the well-being of both wildlife and domesticated animals with rules on animal welfare embedded in transnational trade”.
It is incumbent on the animal protection movement to address this omission and put animals on the agenda in the next round of SDGs in 2030. AIA has a key role in being the faith-based voice of the animal protection movement here. Animal protection should be recognised with its own SDG.
We are delighted to have received accreditation by the United Nation’s Environment Programme (UNEP). This gives AIA consultative status at UNEP and l allows AIA to attend their meetings and engage with them on policy matters. It will allow us to promote the cause of animals at the UN level and pursue our goal to put animals into the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. We will also be working closely with the World Federation for Animals (WFA) at the UN.
The Animal Interfaith Alliance is a registered not-for-profit company number 8958588.
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