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Key Highlights from AfA Connect’s Second Edition

The Insurmountable Challenges Can Be Vincible: Solidarity Is Key!

Following the success of the first AfA Connect event in March, we were thrilled to bring you the second edition, "Insurmountable Challenges: Aiming for Solutions," which took place on June 5th and 6th, 2024. This quarter’s event tackled topics relevant to all of AfA’s working groups, and was even more vibrant, bringing together a fantastic mix of animal welfare champions from all over Asia!

Digging deeper into the big challenges we face, that at times feel insurmountable, this edition was all about navigating these and fostering solutions collaboratively, emphasizing the power of unity. Participants were given an opportunity to explore innovative strategies presented by speakers on a wide range of issues, to help drive lasting change in animal welfare across species in Asia.

The event featured a wide range of topics that are most discussed in the animal advocacy world, including:

  • Animal welfare,  human rights and climate change interlink

  • Funding landscape in Asia

  • Combating online animal cruelty and wildlife trafficking

  • Just protein transition

  • Strategic organizational development

  • Celebrating the gradual change in animal welfare

The Insurmountable Challenges can be vincible: solidarity is key

"NGOs cannot, and should not, be doing everything!" - Matt Backhouse, FOUR PAWS

One Welfare/One Health is one of the event’s key words. The interspecies approach is praised by Dr. Kate Littin (Animals.People.Nature), and Dr. Mark Jones (Born Free) for its holistic solution that tackles the growing danger of environmental disasters. speakers emphasized that collaboration between different stakeholders with different agendas is crucial for the success of One Health. You can watch the session HERE.

On the practical side, Altamush Saeed (Charity Doings Foundation - CDF) introduced Interspecies Justice with a series of projects done by CDF in Pakistan. “We are also diverting the water to create green vegetable gardens across Pakistan which solve the problem of food security, environmental justice and animal cruelty all at once” said Altamush, “...Interspecies Justice is essentially diversity, equity, and inclusion in an operationalized form“ he continued.

The need for collaborative work is also pointed out in a session brought by the AfA Dog and Cat Coalition: “Engaging the Government for Effective and Sustainable TNVR Programs in Asia”. Matt Backhouse, FOUR PAWS’s head of Stray Animal Care Southeast Asia, explained that when addressing mechanisms of change, it is essential to provide governments reasons to implement change, and that for the case of TNVR (Trap - Neuter - Vaccinate - Release), one of the strongest arguments is public health and safety. Elly Hiby, International Companion Animal Management Coalition's (ICAM) Director, supported the idea with a supporting document to use when advocating for CNVR to governments. Insights and uses of documents are explained in THIS RECORDING.

“How we treat animals is how we treat the environment and other human beings as well” - Altamush Saeed, Charity Doings Foundation

The FAC session "Just, Humane & Sustainable Protein Transition" underscored the necessity of engaging both the public and multilateral development banks in ending industrial animal agriculture. “A healthy economy and a clean environment can and should coexist” said Vince Cinches, World Animal Protection. One Welfare/One Health was once again mentioned in the session-  WATCH HERE.

Not only highlighting the current trends and issues within the region, AfA Connect brought in experts to talk about the growing opportunities for organizations and individuals. As funding has been one of the most trending topics in the movement lately, we invited funders Jessika Ava from Thrive Philanthropy and Parag Aggarwal from India Animal Fund, to discuss in "The Asian Funding Landscape: Insights from the Asian Farmed Animal Movement". The discussion focused on identifying gaps in funding within the movement and on a need for enhanced funding practices. An interesting insight about the topic is shared by the Capacity in Animal Protection Coalition (CAPC) team, previewing their upcoming report, "The Capacity and Funding Landscape of the Asian Farm Animal Protection Movement", scheduled for release in July 2024. The report aims to provide a panoramic view of funding dynamics, assess movement capacity, and address barriers to growth, with localized recommendations for different countries. For more information, have a sneak peak into the report HERE

In the  "Preparing for Tomorrow: The Importance of Strategic Organizational Development to your SARCC” session, Jackie Bennett (Wild Pangolin Consulting) shares insights for organizations to grow stronger and more resilient. You can find a step-by-step guide to strategy development for your organization as well as other useful resources compiled in her presentation here.

Finally, the session on "We Can’t Solve It All: Celebrating Incremental Change" reminded us to appreciate and celebrate every bit of progress we make, no matter how small! 

What our Participants had to say!

As with the first edition, we are grateful to have had such an engaged audience for the second edition. People joined us from all over the world, even from parts of the world where it was fairly early! Find out what our participants thought of the event below:

Another successful and insightful AfA Connect has concluded. Two days, 7 sessions, 17 speakers and over 80 attendees from over the world tuned in AfA Connect June! We would like to extend our gratitude to all speakers, attendees and our network members for joining us, not only for a successful event, but also for a united voice for Asia’s animals.

More to come..

We look forward to continuing this important work together. Mark your calendars for August 13th and 14th and join us for the third edition of AfA Connect, themed "The Power of Communities". This event will provide an invaluable opportunity to discuss and share the skills, experiences, and resources needed to expand our movement. REGISTER NOW as we prepare for another inspiring and impactful  gathering!


Thanks for reading! Subscribe to our monthly mailing list to keep yourself up-to-date with other Asia for Animals events.


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