Animals and Climate Emergency Conference
Sydney, 22 to 29 July, 2021
Minding Animals International Incorporated (MAI) and the Centre for Compassionate Conservation (CfCC) at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) have joined forces to bring you the inaugural Animals and Climate Emergency Conference (ACEC).
This conference builds on over a decade of highly successful animal studies conferences organised by MAI. This event will incorporate the 5th Minding Animal Conference and the 1st Compassionate Conservation Oceania Conference.
The conference will also feature a distinct Critical Animal Studies Day to be organised by the Human Animal Research Network (HARN) at the University of Sydney with the support from the Institute for Critical Animal Studies (ICAS) Oceania.
While there is an ever growing body of evidence on the impacts and immediacy of a changing climate, there is a distinct lack of awareness in what local communities can do to help mitigate the effects on wildlife in their local area during the climate emergency. MAI and CfCC will also bring together academics and grassroots animal protection organisations in a ‘Meeting of Minds’ to discuss:
- How animal protection organisation are reacting to the emergency;
- How the climate emergency is impacting animals and how those impacts can be alleviated;
- How academics can engage in this process and with animal protection organisations; and,
- How to stimulate solutions to help impart real change for animals, locally and globally.
Other groups and universities will also be participating and further announcements will be made as the conference develops. Negotiations are proceeding apace and will be announced as the conference unfolds, including the incorporation of special events, lectures and satellite programmes.
The conference will be held in Sydney, from 22 to 29 July, 2021 (venue in a central Sydney city location is yet to be confirmed). Until the conference website is up and running and if you need to make contact, please email: email@example.com
We believe that rapid global heating and the impact of subsequent tipping points are threatening all life, human or nonhuman animal, plant or otherwise. There is critical urgency in understanding and responding to this threat, at local, regional, and global scales. Wildfires, drought and heatwaves, flooding, melting icecaps and glaciers, are all increasing suffering and jeopardising the already fraught survival responses many animals face in the Anthropocene. The ramifications for animals have received only superficial attention to date, focusing on extinction risk and changes in diversity, rather than their welfare. Energy is needed to consider how best to support animals through these increasingly prevalent events.
Our considered response will only materialise through evaluation of empirical evidence and discourse among disciplines of environmental and social theory to create open, transparent, and ethically just policy and actions. This is no time for siloed debate and insular decision making.
We have therefore created a truly novel space for the intersection of animal studies, animal protection, and climate change science to provide scholars, practitioners, and the community a place to meet and facilitate public and scholarly debates.
Hosted by the Centre for Compassionate Conservation, we have designed a conference program to draw upon the co-held values of respect and compassion for all life. The conference will also benefit from the UTS pledge to foster a diverse, inclusive and thriving community, and its goal of cultivating sustainability and social justice values.
We will bring academic rigour to the challenge of tackling the climate emergency facing animals by addressing the intersectionality of issues studied within the Humanities, Arts and Social Science (HASS) and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Drawing upon a wide variety of knowledge, including First Nation perspectives, delegates will be drawn not only from academia, but also from government, politics, corporations, and industry, harnessing divergent views on how nonhuman animals are perceived and treated to ensure that issues are considered broadly. Key will be identifying gaps in knowledge and policy actions to support all animals, how they are perceived, and whether they are captive (companions, livestock, zoos) or wild (pest or invasive [that is, out of place], endangered, or common and thriving).
Abstract and Themes
Everyone who submits an abstract for the academic component of the conference will be asked to consider the impacts of the climate emergency on animals. That said, and first and foremost, please understand that the conference is a transdisciplinary animal studies event. So, if your paper does not in any way consider the climate emergency or crisis, your abstract will not be excluded and will indeed be considered for inclusion in the programme.
We believe that the greatest threat posed to the planet, to all planetary life, human or nonhuman animal, plant or otherwise, is the climate emergency. Hence, the urgency and criticality of climate as the key theme. Besides the overarching theme and how that is impacting individuals and habitats, all life on our fragile planet, we have also proposed the following and linked sub-themes for your consideration and to help you focus your abstract submission and conference debate:
- The Sixth Great Extinction
- Wildlife and compassionate conservation
- The animal industrial complex
- Animals, the circular economy and sustainable food systems
- Animals in development and food sovereignty
- First Nations and decolonisation
- Educating with and for Animals
- Animals, the law and public policy
- Multi-species justice
- Personhood, animal philosophy and bioethics
We also encourage papers that consider animals in art, biodiversity conservation, gender studies, literature, religion, film, the media, medicine, politics, science, veterinary science, the zoological sciences ….. and as for all previous Minding Animals Conferences, the list goes on …..
Importantly, and unlike previous conferences, there will be delegates from a broader cross-section of society. There will be delegates from government, politics, corporations and industry that will have quite divergent views on how nonhuman animals are perceived/utilised/treated/exploited. To consider nonhuman animals and climate more broadly, to not just talk to the ‘converted’, and to reach tangible outcomes for the future, we believe this is a necessary conference objective. Thus, this conference will seek to encourage dialogue and impart change from a broad cross-section of society.
The ACEC is NOT an animal rights conference, or a wildlife conservation or zoology conference, or an animal welfare conference, or an environmental conference, or a veterinary conference, it is ALL that!
And like all previous conferences, we stress to all delegates who attend ACEC that they participate in a spirit of honesty and cooperation, accepting that other delegates may have very divergent opinions on how animals are perceived/utilised/treated/exploited, but always with the overall objective of protecting animals, no matter in what form or time frame, with the objective to reach better outcomes for nonhuman animals. Nonetheless, we urge active and critical debate with your fellow delegates.
Further announcements regarding the conference will be made in the coming Minding Animals Bulletins and website as arrangements continue to develop, including establishment of a dedicated website, an official call for abstracts and registrations, and of special events and programmes.
Special note: Sydney (and Australia) IS expensive – PLEASE start to save for your registration, travel and accommodation. If you are an academic or student with an allocated budget or stipend, please make arrangements for funding applications as soon as you can.
Off-setting your Carbon Emissions from attending ACEC
A component of your registration equal to the need to offset your carbon emissions will be directed to the CNCF. A carbon sink will sequester carbon through a self-sustaining biodiverse tree planting programme in Australia, converting your carbon emissions from your flights into living trees that will be protected in forests in perpetuity. Carbon Neutral Charitable Fund will plant endemic trees in Australia to offset conference related flights.
Saffron Aid is a registered Australian charity that is helping local villagers in Myanmar and other developing nations in the Asia Pacific to build micro businesses using traditional skills. These businesses are being mentored through all stages of the business set up with training in basic book keeping, production techniques, marketing and logistic skills. For the conference, Saffron Aid will direct your allocated funds to expand and replant large sections of mangroves, especially in southern Myanmar. Mangroves are one of the key habitats on the planet that store incredible levels of carbon. They are among the most carbon rich habitats on the planet. Your funds will directly increase the planet’s living biomass to help shield the planet.