United Nations Decade on Biodiversity 2011-2020

Date: 2011/01/13

 

Zoos and Aquariums continue committing to Biodiversity Conservation

 

Gland, Switzerland (13 January 2011): After the conference of the parties (COP10) of the Convention on Biological Diversity, which took place in Nagoya in October 2010, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the period from 2011 to 2020 as the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity in its resolution 65/161. "The world community of zoos and aquariums welcomes this decision and WAZA as the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums, which holds a working agreement with the Convention will fully support the conservation of biodiversity and related educational and communication activities", says Dr Gerald Dick, Executive Director of WAZA.

 

The resolution reads as follows: "[the UN General Assemply]...decides, following the invitation of the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, to declare 2011-2020 the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity, with a view to contributing to the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity for the period 2011-2020, requests the Secretary-General, in this regard, in consultation with Member States, to lead the coordination of the activities of the Decade on behalf of the United Nations system, with the support of the secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the secretariats of other biodiversity-related conventions and relevant United Nations funds, programmes and agencies, and invites Member States in a position to do so to contribute, on a voluntary basis, to the funding of the activities of the Decade;"

 

The Decade coincides with and supports the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 adopted by the Conference of the Parties at its tenth meeting held in Nagoya, Japan.

 

Modern zoos and aquariums are playing an increasingly active and important role in conserving species in their natural habitat. Zoos and aquariums are all about biodiversity. Due to a recent study, zoos and aquariums, worldwide, invest at least 350 million US $ in conservation activities Over 700 million people visit annually one of the 1300-plus zoos and aquariums that exist worldwide and are exposed to environmental education programmes. The audiences are almost as diverse as biodiversity itself. Zoo and aquarium visitors represent a broader cross-section of local, national and regional societies. There appears to be a basic need of humans to connect with nature - with biodiversity. As such, zoos and aquariums, both individually and collectively, represent an amazing force for inspiring people, for catalysing attitudes and behaviors in support of biodiversity conservation. Collectively, zoos and aquariums also represent an untapped delivery mechanism for countries to fulfill some of their obligations to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

 

The full text of the notification is available on the CBD website at: http://www.cbd.int/doc/notifications/2011/ntf-2011-004-undb-en.pdf

 

Press Relesase (PDF)

 

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  • Notes to Editors

    The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) is a global organisation that harmonises the principles, policies, practices and strategy of over 1,300 leading zoos and aquariums.  WAZA is the unifying representative of the global zoo and aquarium community and works in partnership with IUCN, national governments and non-governmental organisations to ensure high standards of animal welfare and to achieve conservation in zoos and aquariums (ex situ) and in nature (in situ).

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