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Committing to Conservation: Can Zoos and Aquariums Deliver on Their Promise?

Committing to Conservation: Can Zoos and Aquariums Deliver on Their Promise?

Chapter:
(p.107) Chapter Eight Committing to Conservation: Can Zoos and Aquariums Deliver on Their Promise?
Source:
The Ark and Beyond
Author(s):
Rick Barongi
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226538631.003.0009

This chapter focuses on why and how modern zoos and aquariums can and must play a more significant role in --and have a greater impact on--saving animals in the wild. While a core mission for most zoological parks is conservation, few of these institutions have demonstrated a strong commitment to or culture of conservation. This chapter highlights some of the key messages in the 2015 WAZA (World Association of Zoos and Aquariums) Conservation Strategy: Committing to Conservation. Integration with a number of Aichi Biodiversity targets is also demonstrated. The Seven Steps to Conservation Leadership and a Triple Bottom Line business approach to funding conservation programs are other key points in the text. Developing a sustainable business model for funding conservation programs is critical for the long-term commitments required to support field conservation projects. Examples of the One Plan Approach of connecting every animal exhibit to the wild are cited, as well as how active conservation participation enhances the brand and image of a zoo and aquarium. The chapter concludes with a proactive strategy to “walk the talk” by having zoos and aquariums become conservation powerhouses in the fight against extinction and environmental degradation.

Keywords:   conservation strategy, WAZA, zoological parks, conservation culture, One Plan Approach, triple bottom line, Aichi biodiversity targets

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