Brooke has gained accreditation as an observer to the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) of the UN Environmental Programme, giving the charity a key opportunity to participate in and influence the UN Environment’s governing bodies and place working equids on the agenda.
The UNEP is the leading global environmental authority that sets the agenda for sustainable development within the UN system. Its mission is to ‘provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.’
One of the first equine welfare charities to receive observer status, Brooke will now have access to high-level government representatives and the opportunity to address the UN when advocating on behalf of communities.
Our accreditation with the UNEP is a real testament to the way in which Brooke is contributing to the global environmental agenda. We intend to use our observer status to advocate for working horses, donkeys and mules and the communities that they support to help them build resilience in the face of climate change.
Brooke will use this new avenue to raise awareness of the contribution of working equids to sustainable livelihoods as well as to resilience in the event of environmental disasters, such as floods or droughts, and highlight vital work in this area. Current examples of this include Nicaragua, where Brooke is training regional government institutions on how to include animals in their disaster risk preparedness plans, or in Karachi, Pakistan, where Brooke research has identified the vital link between the welfare of cart donkeys working in waste management and the livelihoods of their owners.
Today’s announcement marks another milestone in Brooke’s history of engagement with the United Nations system. The charity also has specialised consultative status with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and advocacy work with FAO has resulted in official recognition of the contribution of working livestock to food security and nutrition by the Committee on World Food Security in 2016.
Brooke also holds consultative status with the UN’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). This enabled the charity to deliver an official oral statement in front of UN officials and Ministers which called on the UN to expand Sustainable Development Goal 15 (Live on Land) to include working livestock at the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in July 2019.
Brooke will put its new status with UNEP to work at key forums to ensure that working equids and the communities that rely on them receive the recognition and support that they deserve.