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The UN Environment Assembly (UNEA) is the world’s most significant environmental decision-making body. This year, the Fourth Session of the Assembly is held from 11th to 15th March at the United Nations Environment Programme Headquarters in Nairobi, under the theme ‘Innovative solutions to environmental challenges and sustainable consumption and production’, and is expected to attract governments and global leaders from around the world.

The Assembly features a series of meetings and events in response to the theme, and one of the key points emphasised is that ‘innovation’ does not just mean ‘technology’ “but rather a mind-set or an enabling culture accessible to all countries and organisations alike, which includes also streamlining and simplifying processes and removing barriers to act as an enabler of innovation- doing different things and doing things differently”.

Every day there is increasing evidence of the urgent need to do things differently and move towards a healthy, sustainable, humane food and farming system. A substantial proportion of the world’s sustainability and health challenges arise from industrial livestock production and its use of huge quantities of cereals and soy as animal feed. Deforestation, land use change, soil degradation, biodiversity loss, water overuse and pollution, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are some of the consequences of the current farming and food system that will make it impossible to meet the globally agreed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Compassion has conducted extensive research suggesting an approach that will help shift to a more sustainable food and farming system for people, the environment and the biodiversity on which our future depends; a flourishing food and farming system without the cruelty of intensive animal farming.

Compassion will have a significant role during the Assembly calling for change and action in key areas. Philip Lymbery, our Chief Executive, will deliver two keynote sessions within the Science Business Policy forum on Agriculture Transformation. In addition, Philip will be participating in the following sessions: ‘The Nasty Nexus: Nutrients, Wastewaters, & Marine Litter’, and ‘Sustainable Food Systems: Ensuring Food Security for Future Generations’. Several bilateral meetings with UN Environment teams and side events are also scheduled. Philip’s response to UNEA-4, and news and updates from the Assembly will be shared on @ciwf, @philip_ciwf, and

Compassion’s call for a Global Agreement to end industrial agriculture

Scientific research indicates that fundamental changes in the way we produce and consume food are essential if we are to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and meet the objectives of the Paris Climate Agreement and the Convention on Biological Diversity. Additionally, without a far-reaching rethink of our food and farming system it will be impossible to halt the devastating impact of current food production practices on human health, food security, rural livelihood in the poorest countries, endangered species, and animal health and welfare.In July 2018 our Chief Executive took this message to the UN’s Economic and Social Council in New York calling for a Global Agreement that will promote the development of cohesive food and farming policies and will tackle problems that are global in their reach to help create a sustainable future for all.

We’re hoping that the UNEA-4 will bring us together with others who believe that the time for co-ordinated global action towards a regenerative agricultural system has come. Together we can stop the devastating machine of factory farming.


Further information on Compassion’s position on sustainable food and agriculture can be found here:

Philip Lymbery's Blog

On The Road To The United Nations
On the road to the United Nations
UN swaure.jpg
My message to the UN
Compassion Takes New Vision For Food To The United Nations
Compassion takes new vision for food to the United Nations

Events and participation at the UNEA-4

Saturday 9th March

  • Healthy Food for a Sustainable Planet – Part 1

          Philip Lymbery keynote session

Sunday 10th March

  • Healthy Food for a Sustainable Planet – Part 2

          Philip Lymbery keynote session

Monday 11th March

  • The Nasty Nexus: Nutrients, Wastewater, & Marine Litter

          Philip Lymbery panel participation

Tuesday 12th March

  • Sustainable Food Systems: Ensuring Food Security for Future Generations

          Philip Lymbery panel participation

Wednesday 13th March

  • Food, Forests, & Climate Change (side event)


          Duncan Williamson panel participation

Contact details

Duncan Williamson

International Head of Policy