This week saw the creation of the World Federation for Animals (WFA), an organisation of 19 national organisations, including GAIA in Belgium.
The aim of the federation, whose members come from all parts of the world, is to take on the representation of animals, their rights and their welfare.
“Animals also deserve protection at the level of the United Nations, the World Bank and the like, as is the case with for example climate change, environmental protection, hunger and poverty in the world,” said GAIA president and WFA board member Michel Vandenbosch.
“The current pandemic proves this more than ever; if we want to avoid the next zoonosis [a disease that passes from animal to human], we urgently need to treat animals and nature differently.”
The announcement of the creation of the WFA coincided with the opening in Nairobi of the United Nations Environment Assembly (on 22 February) – not an accidental choice, Vandenbosch said.
“Certainly because the central theme of that meeting is the protection of nature (Strengthening Actions for Nature to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals). If we have learned one thing today from the global health crisis, it is that nature and animal welfare are inherently linked to each other.”
• Meanwhile GAIA has launched a new campaign to encourage supporters of the organisation and its aims to include GAIA in their will, so that the contributions they have made in life can go on after they are no longer around.
The campaign includes a video aimed directly at the heart-strings, also produced in an English version: below.