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The Ark and BeyondThe Evolution of Zoo and Aquarium Conservation$
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Ben A. Minteer, Jane Maienschein, and James P. Collins

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780226538327

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226538631.001.0001

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Zoo Conservation Disembarks: Stepping off the Ark and into Global Sustainable Development

Zoo Conservation Disembarks: Stepping off the Ark and into Global Sustainable Development

Chapter:
(p.344) Chapter Twenty-Eight Zoo Conservation Disembarks: Stepping off the Ark and into Global Sustainable Development
Source:
The Ark and Beyond
Author(s):

Adrián Cerezo

Kelly E. Kapsar

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226538631.003.0029

This chapter proposes that the most promising way to achieve long-term success in biodiversity conservation is to interweave the unique capacities and perspectives of zoos and aquariums with the overarching agenda of sustainable development, as defined by the Sustainable Development Goals (also known as the United Nations’ Agenda 2030). Instead of isolated “arks” in a flooded planet, zoos are participants in a diverse, global network of actors and institutions striving toward a healthier and more harmonious relationship among humans and with other elements of the natural world. The chapter is organized in three sections: first, we explore the history and key concepts of sustainable development and discuss current efforts to move this agenda forward; second, we consider the knowledge, skills and resources that zoo-based conservation programs can contribute to global sustainable development, while giving attention to the historical obstacles that have limited zoo participation in this larger process; and finally, we examine how this shift in paradigm and practices is not just fundamental for the future of biodiversity conservation, but can increase the value of zoos as venues for family entertainment and strengthen their impact as informal educational institutions.

Keywords:   biodiversity, social ecology, sustainable development, Agenda 2030, United Nations, zoo-based conservation, informal education, zoo education

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