15 March 2024

Brooke advocates for animals at UN Environment Assembly

Anna Marry, Senior External Affairs Advisor, Brooke (third left) with other animal welfare organisation representatives. Photo courtesy of World Federation for Animals.

Last month, Brooke representatives were in Nairobi to attend both the 6th UN Environment Assembly (UNEA) and the preceding Open Ended Committee of Permanent Representatives (OECPR) to meet with member states and advocate for the health and welfare of working animals within environmental policy.  

The UNEA is the world’s highest-level decision-making body on environmental issues, with 193 member countries meeting in Nairobi every two years to make decisions in the forms of resolutions and the Ministerial Declaration. Brooke holds consultative status with the UN Environment Programme, giving the organisation a voice to influence proceedings. 

Brooke was pleased to ensure the inclusion of language on animal health and welfare within a number of UNEA documents and statements, including the Ministerial Declaration and the resolution on water.

We are pleased that UNEA-6 recognised the importance of animal health, animal welfare and One Health. However, it missed the opportunity to acknowledge the vital role working animals play as resilience assets, helping communities access water and protect themselves from the effects of climate related disasters such as drought. We will continue working with member states to ensure the role of working animals is duly acknowledged.

Anna Marry, Senior External Affairs Advisor, Brooke

Brooke also appeared on an official side event organised by the Africa Network for Animal Welfare (ANAW), where Senior External Affairs Advisor Anna Marry used the recent African Union donkey skin ban as an example of the role civil society can play in multilateral actions to combat biodiversity loss, pollution, and climate change. 

The wellbeing of humans, animals and the environment is intrinsically linked. If the health of one of the three is impacted, the others will be compromised too. Two years ago at UNEA-5, great progress was made with the adoption of the historic Animal Welfare-Environment-Sustainable Development Nexus resolution. Whilst advances this year were comparatively modest, UNEA remains a hugely important forum for Brooke to advocate for the health and welfare of working animals.