This article makes the case for an 18th Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) on animal health, welfare and rights. We have neglected animal considerations in our discussions on sustainable development – including on the SDGs on food, water, sustainable consumption and production, conservation, and climate change. The paper first provides an overview of the relationships between, and academic and policy debates on, animal and sustainability governance. While the relationships between sustainable development and animal issues are highly complex, these debates have evolved in a rather disconnected manner. The paper then argues for the integrative governance of animal and sustainability concerns in order to avoid trade-offs and enable synergies. We should integrate the interests of the individual animal into our definition of sustainable development and the SDGs. By doing so, we can develop one overarching global guidance system on all aspects of sustainable development, namely human, environmental and animal concerns.
The 18th Sustainable Development Goal
Visseren-Hamakers, Ingrid J.2020. The 18th Sustainable Development Goal. Earth System Governance Journal. In Press