In a few days, in the heart of New York City, I will join leading animal welfare advocates at the Rethinking Animals Summit to discuss the question of whether or not in these times of scarce resources, competitiveness, and conflict there is room in our future for both healthy human communities and thriving animal populations.
At the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), our answer is an unequivocal YES.
Secure Communities for People and Wildlife
How is this possible? By keeping a broad, long-term view, we can see that safe, environmentally and economically sustainable communities are good for both people and animals. The threats to wildlife from well-armed poachers, often funded by international criminal syndicates, are threats to communities living next to wildlife, and the international community as a whole.
That’s why IFAW has developed a counter-poaching network that includes people as disparate as Masaai villagers, Kenya Wildlife Service, INTERPOL, and other animal and conservation organizations. We are piloting this initiative called tenBoma in Kenya and finding that more and more organizations and governments are attracted to the approach of combining human security with the protection of endangered species. We have a mutual need for security and stability.
Measuring What Matters
Another approach to ensuring that our policies support a healthy environment, and healthy animals as well as healthy human communities, is to make sure we measure our progress as a society in a way that takes all these factors into account. Experience has shown that as a society, we invest in what we measure. That is why my colleague, Beth Allgood, IFAW US Country Director, co-developed with the Jane Goodall Institute a new report called Measuring What Matters, which she will also present at this Summit.
This report includes case studies from many different animal-focused organizations, demonstrating the strong linkage between animal and human well-being, especially for communities on the edge of poverty.
I encourage everyone who can attend Rethinking Animals in New York to buy tickets now. Even if you can’t attend, please follow the conference on social media, or visit our website where you can help us build a better world for animals and people.
Article source: IFAW