World Federation for Animals highlights missed opportunities at UNEA-6

The World Federation for Animals (WFA), a coalition representing 53 non-governmental organisations globally, commends the United Nations Environment Assembly on concluding its sixth session (UNEA-6) and adopting 15 resolutions to tackle climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution.  

Among these, the WFA welcomes UNEP/EA.6/L.16 Resolution, which focuses on effective and inclusive solutions for strengthening water policies. This resolution is particularly noteworthy for its comprehensive approach to sustainable water management and the protection, conservation, restoration, and sustainable management of aquatic ecosystems. It emphasises the integration of the One Health approach into intergovernmental processes and development strategies at all levels, highlighting the interdependence of human, animal, and environmental health.

Despite this, WFA expresses its disappointment with the Assembly’s failure to give attention to the crucial nexus between animal welfare, the environment, and sustainable development.

Two years ago, in its fifth session (UNEA 5.2), the Assembly adopted UNEP/EA.5/Res.1, requesting the Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) to produce a report on the nexus between animal welfare, the environment, and sustainable development for UNEA-6. However, while implementation has progressed with a scoping study in the lead-up to UNEA-6, the report itself remains pending, missing the resolution’s target date. 

James Yeates, CEO of WFA, emphasised “Understanding the nexus between animal welfare, the environment, and sustainable development is fundamental for effective policy-making. The historical lack of dedicated action on animal welfare has had profound implications, affecting not just animals but humans and the health of our environment at large. Now is the time for UNEP, with adequate support from Member States, to prepare and deliver this landmark report latest at UNEA–7.

Additionally disappointing is the absence of language emphasising the role of animal welfare in new UNEA-6 resolutions, despite the consensus reached during UNEA-5.2 on its significance in addressing environmental challenges, promoting the One Health approach, and advancing the Sustainable Development Goals. This is a missed opportunity.

The World Federation for Animals calls upon UNEA to address this oversight in its future sessions and urges UNEP to advance the implementation of Resolution UNEP/EA.5/Res.1 with urgency. This is critical given animals’ indispensable role in our shared global ecosystem, their contributions to addressing the triple planetary crises, and achieving sustainable development for all.



  • The United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) brings together representatives of 193 Member States of the UN. Its Sixth Session (UNEA-6) took place in Nairobi (Kenya) between 26th February and 1st March 2024.
  • With UNEP/EA.5/Res.1 resolution of 2 March 2022, UNEA acknowledged that “animal welfare can contribute to addressing environmental challenges, promoting the One Health approach and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.” UNEA also noted “that the health and welfare of animals, sustainable development and the environment are connected to human health and well-being.” It further acknowledged “the increasing need to address these connections through the One Health approach, among other holistic approaches” and “that there is a strong body of science supporting animal welfare” 


Silvia Mantilla, WFA Communications Manager,

Written by

Silvia Mantilla

Silvia, Communications Manager at the World Federation for Animals, coordinates the implementation of WFAs’s communication strategy.

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