Extinction and Livestock Conference: 5 and 6 October 2017
Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, London
International experts on the environment, conservation and human rights as well as leading food industry figures have been announced as key speakers at a major conference examining the impact of livestock production on the planet.
Ocean sustainability expert Professor Katherine Richardson of the University of Copenhagen, food activist Raj Patel of the University of Texas, former Director of the National Centre for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation (NCSC) in China Li Junfeng, Chair of Perdue Farms Jim Perdue, and Josh Balk, founder of Hampton Creek, are among leading international figures revealed as key speakers at the Extinction and Livestock Conference, which will examine how we can transform our global farming systems to work for people, the planet and animals.
Organised by Compassion in World Farming, WWF, Bird Life International, the University of Winchester, the Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC) and the European Environmental Bureau (EEB), the event will bring together diverse interests – such as conservation, biodiversity, agriculture, land and water use, environment, climate change, forests, ethics, food policy, production, security and business – and act as a catalyst for future collaboration and solution development.
The conference programme will set the planetary scene, look at the impact of livestock production on wildlife, the environment and humanity, and explore practical global solutions.
The launch follows the recent publication of a scientific paper in Nature warning that tens of thousands of species are threatened with extinction as a result of human activities. The paper, written by a team of international scientists, states: “Extinction rates for birds, mammals and amphibians are similar to the five global mass-extinction events of the past 500 million years that probably resulted from meteorite impacts, massive volcanism and other cataclysmic forces” but stresses that this can be turned around if action is taken.
Philip Lymbery, CEO of Compassion in World Farming and author of the book Dead Zone:Where the Wild Things Were, which explores the link between livestock production and the plight of some of the world’s most iconic and endangered species, said: “Many people are aware that wild animals such as penguins, elephants and jaguars are threatened by extinction. However, few know that livestock production, fuelled by consumer demand for cheap meat, is one of the biggest drivers of species extinction and biodiversity loss on the planet.
“Livestock production, the environment, wildlife conservation and human health are all interlinked so it’s vital that experts from each of these fields work together to come up with practical solutions to stop this before it’s too late.”
Glyn Davies, WWF’s Executive Director of Global Programmes, says: “The decline of species is reaching a critical point, and we cannot ignore the role of unsustainable livestock production. If nature is to recover, we need to work together and encourage sustainable farming systems which will limit pollution, reduce habitat loss and restore species numbers. The Extinction and Livestock conference is a launch pad for action on this global issue.”
Other key speakers at the conference include: award-winning author, Dr Carl Safina; World Food Prize winner, Hans Herren; Dr Hilal Elver, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food; Senior Adviser for the Sustainable Development in the European Policy Strategy Center (EPSC) and former EC Director General for Environment (2009-2014), Karl Falkenberg; bee expert, Professor Dave Goulson, of the University of Sussex; Britain’s best-loved environmentalist Jonathan Porritt; Professor Frank Hu of Harvard University’s School of Public Health.
To view the full conference programme and to register visit www.extinctionconference.com
Compassion in World Farming was founded in 1967 by a British dairy farmer who became horrified at the development of intensive factory farming. Today Compassion is the leading farm animal welfare organisation dedicated to ending factory farming and achieving humane and sustainable food. With headquarters in the UK, we have offices across Europe in the US, China and South Africa.