WAZA partners with the UN to save biodiversity
The zoo and aquarium community enters an agreement with the United Nations
Gland, Switzerland, Tuesday 20 September 2011 (WAZA): Today
in New-York the World Association for Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) signed a
Memorandum of Cooperation together with 24 other international organisations to
help conserve the world's biodiversity.
"I would like once again to convey my deep
gratitude for accepting to join forces for the implementation of the
Biodiversity Targets and to attend the signing ceremony of the Memorandum of
Cooperation" says Dr Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive Secretary of the United
Nations Convention on Biological Diversity"
After the UN General Assembly has declared
the period of 2011 to 2020 as the UN Decade on Biodiversity the UN Convention
on Biological Diversity has invited international organisations to support the
implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity. This plan represents a
ten-year global framework to conserve and sustainably use biodiversity.
For the first time governments, NGOs,
associations and other bodies are working together to successfully reach twenty
different targets structured in five strategic goals:
- Address the underlying causes of biodiversity loss by mainstreaming
biodiversity across government and society.
- Reduce the direct pressures on biodiversity and promote sustainable use.
- Improve the status of biodiversity by safeguarding ecosystems, species
and genetic diversity.
- Enhance the benefits to all from biodiversity and ecosystem services.
- Enhance implementation through participatory planning, knowledge
management and capacity building.
Dr Gerald Dick, WAZA Executive Director: "Biodiversity is under
continuous threat globally, there is only a chance to turn trends around by
working together, everybody contributing on his part, it might be the last
Species which have been assessed for extinction risk are on average
moving closer to extinction. Amphibians and corals are of special concern. The abundance
of vertebrate species, based on assessed populations, fell by nearly a third on
average between 1970 and 2006, and continues to fall globally.
The world's zoo and aquarium community is
best placed to raise awareness of the values of biodiversity and to provide
incentives and examples for everybody's participation through concrete actions.
With 700 million visitors passing through the gates of institutions within the
WAZA network, WAZA is committed to further develop concrete activities in
support of the Decade on Biodiversity. "WAZA will contribute to the activities of
the Decade on biodiversity by focusing on 2 main duties of zoos and aquariums
which are education and conservation. WAZA is planning to develop related
information material and enhance conservation work" says Dr Gerald Dick,
WAZA Executive Director.
With hundreds of species conservation
projects and an annual contribution of about 350 million $ for conservation
activities, the world's zoo and aquarium community already plays a major role
in conservation and will remain committed to save threatened species.
A selection of more than 200 conservation
projects of WAZA members can be found on www.waza.org , on the following link: WAZA conservation projects.
The education manual on biodiversity
"Biodiversity is life", developed by WAZA and IZE (International Zoo Educators)
is available on: Biodiversity Manual. You can also read it directly on this link: Biodiversity Manual.pdf
Fig. 1. Dr Gerald Dick signing the Memorandum and Dr
Ahmed Djoghlaf, CBD Executive Secretary. © WAZA
Fig. 2. Dr Gerald Dick and
Ahmed Djoghlaf, CBD Executive Secretary.
Click here to download the Memorandum of Cooperation document.
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