The pan-Commonwealth Council meeting, held in January 2022 and attended by veterinarians from 21 Commonwealth countries, received an invited keynote presentation from Vet Sustain about the organisation’s work to champion sustainability in the veterinary professions.
This work has largely, to date, been focused on supporting the UK veterinary professions, but the memorandum of understanding signals Vet Sustain’s ambition to provide support and motivation to the global veterinary profession, whenever possible, in an area of critical global importance.
The CVA is also placing a strategic focus on sustainability, in recognition of the global imperative for the veterinary professions and for global society.
Vet Sustain Chair Dr Gudrun Ravetz, said: “Vet Sustain is delighted to have signed our first memorandum of understanding with the Commonwealth Veterinary Association, our first such collaboration with an international veterinary body. This is entirely fitting, given the scope of sustainability and the critical global issues it encompasses.
“The memorandum of understanding builds on existing positive relationships that we have with international organisations, such as Veterinarians for Climate Action based in Australia, giving us a platform to share our approaches, while learning from the experiences and approaches from veterinary colleagues across the Commonwealth.”
CVA President Dr Olatunji Nasir, said: “Vet Sustain’s presentation to our pan-Commonwealth Council meeting provided an illuminating overview of Vet Sustain’s work to date – how they have created a focus for sustainability in the UK veterinary professions, created a network of like-minded professionals and developed practical tools through partnership working with other veterinary associations.
“We received very positive feedback from attending country representatives, some who live and work in the world’s most climate-vulnerable countries. We look forward to building our relationship with Vet Sustain to provide practical support and knowledge exchange among our members across the Commonwealth.”
Examples of veterinary opportunities, responsibilities and current global sustainability commitments were highlighted during the CVA meeting, including Vet Sustain’s Veterinary Sustainability Goals and the World Veterinary Association’s Position Statement on the global climate change emergency.
Over 1000 veterinary professionals had previously supported Vet Sustain’s call for the global veterinary professions to declare a climate emergency and both Vet Sustain and CVA welcomed the WVA position and the emphasis it places on urgent and coordinated international veterinary action.