Friends Beyond Species: The Society for Animal and Environmental Welfare, NLUO in furtherance of its goal, to create affirmative discourse on issues related to animal and environmental law organized the National Conference on Animal and Environmental Welfare, 2018 on the theme “Wildlife Conservation and Sustainability”.

Our guests included former Union Minister Smt. Maneka Gandhi who is an animal and environmental rights enthusiast. The conference saw great participation from various law schools form across the nation and the authors presented their papers over two days before distinguished panel members like Prof. Dr. Priyambada Hejmadi Mohanty, Mr. N.G. Jayasimha, Mr. Sumanth Bindumadhav, Ms. Gauri Maulekhi and Mr. Abhijay Negi.

The Conference to enable a much refined and comprehensive discussion on animal and environmental welfare had multiple sub-themes. The sub-themes included: Human-wildlife interactions: Does conservation lead to conflict?; Community Conservation: A critical tool for wildlife protection; Environmental Entrepreneurship as a tool for livelihood of local communities and conservation; Illegal Wildlife Trade: Technology enables policing and traceability; Role of citizen science in wildlife management; Institutional governance and legal requirements for co-existence; Live elephant trade in India: Legal and Illegal; Use of social science in wildlife conservation; Zoo: Wildlife Conservation or Violation of Animal Rights; Wildlife Crimes and Law: International Accords and Treaties; National Policy and Legal Framework to curb wildlife trade; Tourism Industry, Environment and Wildlife – Impact and Legal Challenges.

Through these carefully chosen sub-themes the Society sought to cover various pertinent issues that exist in the area of animal and environmental welfare. The two-day conference witnessed a much needed deliberation and dialogue in animal and environmental jurisprudence and rights. The panelists and the authors engaged in an intense parley, with every question attempting to identify a lacuna in the existing legal frameworks across the globe. Authors covered both national and international aspects of animal and environmental law and policy concerns and came up with comprehensive solutions to resolve the same.

The Society through this venture, aimed to initiate a conversation on the rights of all the sentient beings around us and provide a platform for discussion on the marginalized concerns of animal and environmental welfare. The Society seeks to conduct such events in the future as well.