The creation of the two strategies was part of a global initiative made possible through a collaboration of efforts, intensive research, and expert analysis by external internationally respected authors and contributors from the world zoo and aquarium community. Both strategies were launched at WAZA’s 70th Annual Conference which was held in Al Ain, UAE on 15 October 2015.
Committing to Conservation – The World Zoo and Aquarium Conservation Strategy
With more than 700 million visitors annually passing through the gates of zoos and aquariums of the world, zoos and aquariums have an unrivalled platform to engage the general public in conservation. The strategy focuses on the wider objective of inspiring leaders, personnel and supporters of institutions, to recognize their unique position to effect positive change when it comes to conservation success stories.
The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) calls on all zoos and aquariums to adopt an integrated One Plan Approach to conservation. The strategy states that conservation must be the primary purpose, and zoological institutions should be guided by this in every action that is taken. The World Zoo and Aquarium Conservation Strategy underlines the importance of the role zoos and aquariums have to instill in visitors a strong sense of excitement and a desire to care for life on earth which in return would create a solid platform for fulfilling the promise to care for and conserve wildlife.
Caring for Wildlife – The World Zoo and Aquarium Animal Welfare Strategy
Modern zoos and aquariums primarily exist for the purposes of wildlife conservation, using field engagement, environmental education, public awareness, advocacy breeding programmes, fundraising, research collaborations and partnerships to achieve their goals. A modern zoo or aquarium uses the most up-to-date information, evidence and knowledge to achieve its conservation mission and has an ongoing commitment to continued progression in best-practice holistic animal care. Caring for Wildlife – The World Zoo and Aquarium Animal Welfare Strategy, provides guidance on how to establish and maintain acceptable animal welfare standards and related best practice within this framework.
The World Zoo and Aquarium Animal Welfare Strategy provides a structured approach for assessing and managing animal welfare through accreditation, staff awareness, exhibit design and environmental enrichment. The strategy incorporates animal welfare into the conservation activities of zoos and aquariums, such as breeding programmes and programmes for the reintroduction of animals into the wild.
“While striving for becoming real conservation champions and achieving high standards of animal welfare for the animals in our care, the two new WAZA strategies provide support and guidance for the daily animal welfare work and the ultimate core purpose of leading zoos and aquariums which is conservation of wildlife.”, says Dr Gerald Dick, Executive Director WAZA - the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
- Conservation Strategy: http://www.waza.org/files/webcontent/1.public_site/5.conservation/conservation_strategies/committing_to_conservation/WAZA%20Conservation%20Strategy%202015_Portrait.pdf
- Animal Welfare Strategy: http://www.waza.org/files/webcontent/1.public_site/5.conservation/animal_welfare/WAZA%20Animal%20Welfare%20Strategy%202015_Portrait.pdf
Gerald Dick, PhD, MAS
Executive Director, WAZA Executive Office