Norwegian Veterinarians - urgent warning and call to action!
We professional veterinarians, aqua medical biologist, and veterinary technicians have a professional oath to speak out when life and well-being are endangered. Therefore, we are sending out this urgent warning that climate change and destructive land management is endangering the livelihood and health to humans and animals.
Climate change and the destruction of nature and biodiversity are the result of human activity.
The United Nations climate panel (IPCC) and The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) have reached this conclusion after analysis of reliable scientific research and documentation. Despite the progress towards reaching IPCC goals, today’s trends indicate we will warm the earth as much as 3C or 5.5 F. This will cause dramatic and most likely irreversible consequences all over the world. Higher temperatures, droughts and extreme weather will increasingly threaten the livelihoods of humans and animals. We will see more unrest and conflicts for water and food, natural catastrophes, including more disease and death.
Oceans and farmland, animal health and welfare will be strongly affected by climate change .
This is the conclusion of both The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Climate change, globalization and degradation of nature facilitate the spread of disease. We will see a resurgence of diseases that we have had control over until now, and a likely increase in new infectious agents that are transmitted between animals and from animal to humans (zoonoses). The Covid-19 pandemic is a reminder that human invasion of wild animal’s habitat and having close contact with wild animals can have dramatic consequences.
We are seriously concerned about the world’s water and food safety, public and animal health, as well as animal welfare for livestock and wild animals.
Humanity has never faced such a major threat before, and Norway’s current climate and energy politics is insufficient in reducing this threat. Norway has accumulated great wealth from oil and gas and has an obligation to fight against climate change at home, and in addition help with this fight around the world.
Norway must also take the lead in protecting and developing a more progressive sea and land management system. This means setting a goal of no net loss of nature, similar to the goal of becoming climate neutral.
The Paris agreement’s goal of a maximum of 1,5°C temperature by 2100 is likely to be missed. People are increasingly concerned for the climate and environment, and with joint efforts there still is hope. But this requires concrete forceful action now!
« Leaders of the world, you must lead. The continuation of our civilisations and the natural world upon which we depend, is in your hands » Sir David Attenborough.
To curb the escalating climate changes, we strongly encourage the Norwegian Government and the Parliament to take further action and implement the following measures:
1. Stop all new oil exploration and intensify phasing out polluting oil and gas industry.
2. Norway should increasingly invest in domestic resources to secure sustainable agriculture and aquaculture.
3. Strengthen the protection of fertile soil and precious nature, and restore damaged areas both in ocean and on land.
4. Strengthen international collaboration and ensure binding agreements that prioritize nature and the climate.
We in the Norwegian veterinary climate action group wish to inspire and challenge all veterinarians, aqua medical biologists and other animal and public health care professionals worldwide to get involved in the work to save our planet from climate change and destruction of nature.
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