WAZA calls on world leaders to combat climate change


Zoo and aquarium directors of the world have signed a petition, calling on United Nations (UN) Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to lead those present at COP15 of the UN Climate Change Conference, held on 7–18 December 2009 in Copenhagen (Denmark), to reach an agreement to reduce atmospheric CO₂ emissions to the safe level of <350 parts per million (ppm). A total of 788 signatures of senior management of the world's leading zoos and aquariums were collected in support of the WAZA petition.


The petition reads as follows:


An urgent message to world leaders.


Through our organisations, we, directors of the international zoo and aquarium community, collectively engage with and educate 600 million visitors each year, and conduct extensive conservation activities in the wild and in our zoos and aquariums.


We send an urgent message to world leaders, stressing the extreme gravity of the climate change threat facing wildlife and natural systems.


An agreement in Copenhagen to reduce atmospheric CO₂ to the safe level of <350 ppm is the only way to give the international conservation community a real chance to manage the negative effects of climate change on the natural world.


Through concerted and immediate action, this target is achievable. To avoid potentially catastrophic consequences for humanity and wildlife, it is essential.