aitc | Thinking Animals United

Animal Issues Thematic Cluster |

The Animal Issues Thematic Cluster (AITC) is an international group of wildlife conservation, animal welfare and other stakeholders coming together to ensure that the care, protection and conservation of animals is included in the United Nations 2030 Global Agenda for Sustainable Development and in the implementation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

We were founded in 2017 by Thinking Animals United as part of the NGO Major Group, one of 9 Major Groups part of the Major Group and Other Stakeholders (MGoS) system set up by the United Nations for civil society participation. The AITC will apply for MGoS membership as a stand alone organization in due time.

We operate as a fully democratic organization, with a functioning ToR (Terms of Reference/By-Laws), elections and codes of action. We have 3 Operating Partners who provide direction for the activities of the group and our work at the High Level Political Forum (HLPF): Bonnie Wyper (Thinking Animals United), Jessica Bridgers (World Animals Net), and David Kirschbaum (Nonviolence International). We serve terms as specified in our ToR (By-Laws). Currently we have monthly meetings on the third Tuesday of each month.

High Level Political Forum 2018

The HLPF is the main United Nations platform on sustainable development and has a central role in the follow-up and review of the  2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the global level. Each year since 2013 member states have presented on a voluntary basis their plans to meet the 2030 Agenda. In 2018, 46 States presented their plans for SDG #6, #7, #11, #12, #15, and #17 (see below for descriptions.)

This year the AITC had a display at the HLPF from July 9th to July 18th. During this time we held a reception at the UN at which Leilani  Münter, world famous race care driver and environmental activist, and Philip Lymbery, CEO of Compassion in World Farming, and one of our members Wolf Gordon Clifton spoke to a large crowd about the importance of including the care, protection and conservation of animals in the 2030 Agenda.


Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all


Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.


Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.


Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss.


Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.


Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.

AITC Membership



Through education, we promote compassion for animals, kindness towards people and respect for the environment in China and throughout Asia.

Animal People, Inc.

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A free online platform for information and perspectives on animal welfare and compassionate conservation worldwide.

African Network for Animal Welfare

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Our Mission is to work with communities, governments, partners and other stakeholders across Africa to promote humane treatment of all animals.

Arc of Nubia

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The Arc mission is the 55 African Nations Urban and Rural simultaneous regions development agenda by the African Kingdoms, with the application of the Kingdoms resources to see achieve to develop the community and protection of natural resources and forestry.

Arcus Foundation

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The Arcus Foundation is a leading global foundation dedicated to the idea that people can live in harmony with one another and the natural world.

Dr. Aysha Akhtar

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Dr. Akhtar is a double Board-certified neurologist and preventive medicine/public health specialist and has spoken and written extensively on the connection between animal protection and human health.

Born Free

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The Born Free Foundation is an international wildlife charity working throughout the world to stop individual wild animal suffering and protect threatened species in the wild.

Brighter Green

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Brighter Green is a public policy action tank that works to raise awareness of and encourage policy action on issues that span the environment, animals, and sustainability.

Compassion in World Farming

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Compassion USA is dedicated to reforming a broken food and farming system and introducing a more humane, fair, and sustainable one. Our vision is a world where farm animals are treated with compassion and respect.

Conservation X Labs

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Our mission is to harness exponential technologies, open innovation, and entrepreneurship to dramatically improve the efficacy, cost, speed, scale and sustainability of conservation efforts to end human induced extinction.

Cruelty Free International

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We are the leading organisation working to end animal experiments worldwide. We investigate and expose the reality of life for animals in laboratories, challenge decision-makers to make a positive difference for animals, and champion better science and cruelty free living.

The Donkey Sanctuary

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The Donkey Sanctuary’s mission is to transform the quality of life for donkeys, mules and people worldwide through greater understanding, collaboration and support, and by promoting lasting, mutually life-enhancing relationships.

Farm Animal Investment Risk & Return / Coller Capital (FAIRR)


FAIRR is an investor initiative started by Jeremy Coller that aims to put factory farming on the ESG agenda.

German Speleological Federation

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The German Speleological Federation is an umbrella organisation for speleologists in Germany and a point of contact for the issues connected with caves and karst landscapes.

Global Animal Law

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The goal and aim of the GAL Project is to help and create a new framework for the global discussion on animals in law.

Green Faith

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GreenFaith’s mission is to inspire, educate and mobilize people of diverse religious backgrounds for environmental leadership.

Innovation for the Development and the Protection of the Environment (IDPE)

The IDPE is an association of riverside communities in the Virunga National Park that advocates for the welfare of animals. We sensitize communities to protect the Virunga National Park ecosystems while fighting the epizootic in and around the Virunga National Park; illegal trade in primate babies, ivories and other specimens of Virunga National Park. We vaccinate Dogs and Cats against canine rabies.

The International Action Network on Small Arms


IANSA is the global movement against gun violence, linking civil society organisations working to stop the proliferation and misuse of small arms and light weapons.


International Fund for Animal Welfare


IFAW’s mission is to rescue and protect animals around the world. We rescue individuals, safeguard populations, and preserve habitat.

The Jeremy Coller Foundation

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The Foundation seeks to address animal welfare and human health issues caused by factory farming through both grant-making and the Farm Animal Investment Risk & Return initiative (FAIRR).

Liberia Chimpanzee Rescue and Protection (LCRP)

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Liberia Chimpanzee Rescue and Protection’s (LCRP) mission is to provide lifelong care for chimpanzees who are victims of Liberia’s bushmeat and live pet trades and help drive dynamic strategies in the fight against chimpanzee trafficking and the conservation of wild populations.

Nonviolence International

Operating Partner


Nonviolence International researches and promotes nonviolent action, a culture of peace, and seeks to reduce violence and passivity worldwide.

One More Generation

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One more generation is a nonprofit to help educate children and adults about the plight of endangered species.

The Orangutan Project

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Leading and sponsoring projects on the ground that help protect orangutans and their forest homes.


Rapad Maroc


Our mission is to promote the defense and protection of animal life in all its forms, taking into account the preservation of nature and the environment.

Reacción Climática


Reacción Climática is focused on increasing the population’s awareness of the problem of climate change as a global challenge, but with a local focus.

Safina Center

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The Safina Center creates an original blend of science, art and literature that inspires a deeper connection with nature, especially the sea.



Our values are “responsible animal welfare” and “compassion” and they are at the core of all of our operations at S.P.A.R.E.: these two philosophies translate into all of our activities, and actions inside and outside the Shelter.

Robin Stark

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Robin Stark is an investigator seeking to shine a light on animal trafficking and abuse in Australia.


Thinking Animals United

Founder, Operating Partner

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Thinking Animals United is a communications, advocacy and coalition-building organization whose purpose is to galvanize world-wide support for the care, protection and conservation of animals.

Vier Pfoten / FOUR PAWS

FOUR PAWS is an international animal welfare organisation with headquarters in Vienna, Austria, and offices in 13 other countries. Founded by Heli Dungler in 1988, the organisation strives to help animals in need with sustainable campaigns and projects. FOUR PAWS focuses on animals that are directly under human influence, for example stray dogs and stray cats, farm animals, companions animals and wild animals kept in inappropriate conditions. FOUR PAWS aims to help animals in need directly and quickly.



WTG’s work for animal welfare focuses on countries and regions with little protection for animals with an aim at improving the situation for animals in long term i. e. by providing veterinary care, by supporting animal sanctuaries and through their educational work.

Wildlife Direct

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Wildlife Direct’s mission is to change hearts, minds and laws to ensure that Africa’s critical species endure forever.

World Animal Net

Operating Partner

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WAN’s mission is to improve the status and welfare of animals worldwide by offering information, expertise and new opportunities to connect, collaborate, and campaign for change.