SEAZA Annual Conference Summary

Date: 2018/11/02


South East Asian Zoos Association Annual Conference


The 26th South East Asian Zoos Association (SEAZA) Annual Conference 2018, organised by the Zoological Park Organization, took place from October 28 - November 2, in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The SEAZA Conference followed right after the WAZA Conference, which was held in Bangkok from 21 - 25 October 2018. Delegates visiting both conferences had an opportunity to learn about zoos and aquariums from world renown speakers and could exchange information, expertise and co-ordinate matters of common interest with friends from all over the world.


SEAZA is the regional association of zoological institutions in the Southeast Asian Region. Institutional members come from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries, as well as from neighbouring nations, including Taiwan and Hong Kong. Associate members extend from different parts of the world including other parts of Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America. SEAZA is a regional association member of WAZA.


The conference programme included a wide variety of sessions, including conservation, zoo management and animal welfare, and featured seven keynote presentations. The opening keynote was delivered by Dr. Jenny Gray, CEO of Zoos Victoria and current WAZA President, followed by Dr. George Archibald, co-founder of the International Crane Foundation. Day two featured Dr. Kathy Traylor Holzer, Senior Program Officer at the Conservation Specialist Planning Group (CPSG) and Dr. Francis Cabana, wildlife nutritionist at Wildlife Reserves Singapore. Day three featured Dr. Sonja Luz, Director Conservation, Research and Veterinary Services at Wildlife Reserves Singapore, Dr. Nantarika Chansue from the Chulalongkorn University, and Sabrina Brando, WAZA Director of Animal Welfare.


Delegates enjoyed the animals and an animal show, as well as networking and dinner during a social event organized by the Chiang Mai Night Safari. The conference was concluded with another wonderful dinner, preceded by an opportunity to taste different amuse bouche from street food stalls and take photos with colourful umbrellas. During the farewell dinner the famous SEAZA skits showcased cultural, fun and some very creative performances by each country, with bright costumes, musical instruments, song and dance.


The SEAZA conference was followed by two days of workshops: CPSG workshop on the ex situ Conservation Tool (iCAP), marine mammals rescue workshop, launching SEAZA animal welfare certification, the 24/7 approach to promoting optimal welfare for captive wild animals, SSMC species management workshop, and the SSN nutrition workshop.



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