Animals are key to our restoration of the planet, explain Kate Wall and Mark Hofberg of the International Fund for Animal Welfare in a report titled Thriving Together: The Critical Role of Animals in Achieving the SDGs. The world’s progress toward a sustainable society has been charted by the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a set of 17 goals that include environmental, social, and economic projects deemed necessary to create a just, equitable world that can live on its current resources instead of borrowing from the future. The SDGs address people, planet, prosperity, peace, and partnerships that we need to put in place by 2030, but they do not include animals. Animals are mentioned just once in the 8,600 or so words that document the SDGs.
When we take care of animals, we take better care of people. Biodiversity is the basis of the web of life and we need to recognize that when we remove even a few nodes from a network it can make the entire system fragile. Unfortunately, we’ve removed hundreds of species from the natural world in which we evolved. The cost is falling on women, animals, and all of us through greater exposure to zoonotic diseases that a resilient nature can help prevent. To make your impact, Mark and Kate suggest that listeners follow and support the Leaders Pledge for Nature, an international agreement that the U.S. has not signed, and Congressional action around a national biodiversity strategy and national wildlife corridors. You can learn more about the International Fund for Animal Welfare at ifaw.org.