WAZA Supports Global Coalition for Biodiversity

Date: 03/03/2020

Global Coalition: United for Biodiversity. Image credit: Gatis Šļūka

On 3 March 2020, World Wildlife Day, the European Commission launched a new global coalition for biodiversity in Monaco. The coalition calls on all world zoos, aquariums, botanic gardens, science and natural history museums to join forces and boost public awareness about the nature crisis, ahead of the crucial CoP 15 in Kunming, China in October 2020.

The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) supports the coalition and the call for zoos, aquariums, national parks, botanic gardens, science and natural history museums around the world to now intensify their communication actions about biodiversity. Participating institutions are asked to raise their voices for nature and display a common pledge/message at the entrance to their institutions and engage in educational and other activities related to the protection and restoration of biodiversity in all its forms. Inspired by the successful coalition of world aquariums against plastic pollution and welcomed by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), this new, bigger coalition will be organised by the European Commission.

The Commission also encourages national, regional and local authorities, non-governmental organisations, businesses, scientists and individual citizens to play their part in raising awareness ahead of the UN Biodiversity Summit. Following the Summit, the focus of the coalition will be on coordinated actions with tangible impact aimed at bending the curve of biodiversity loss.

WAZA Interim CEO, Martín Zordan attended the ceremony at the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco, which marked both the launch of new coalition and the handover of the direction of the Aquariums coalition from the European Commission to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) under the Clean Seas campaign. The event took place with the active participation of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, Virginijus Sinkevičius, European Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, and Inger Andersen, United Nations Environment Programme Executive Director. During the ceremony, HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco announced that the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco will be the first to officially pledge its support for the new coalition “United for #biodiversity”.

“WAZA is pleased to support the new global coalition, United for Biodiversity, and we would like to encourage our members to join forces for biodiversity and intensify communications about the nature crisis,” said Martín Zordan, Interim CEO of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA). “Zoos and aquariums globally welcome more than 700 million visitors every year and are in a prime position to raise awareness about the nature crisis, which threatens more than one million species with extinction. WAZA members play a vital role in the conservation of biodiversity and collectively can build momentum for transformative change.”

To view a recording of the ceremony, please click here.

Institutions interested in joining the coalition can contact ec-biodiversity-coalition@ec.europa.eu to receive more information.

More information:

This new coalition will complement the successful coalition of “World aquariums #ReadyToChange to #BeatPlasticPollution” launched in 2017 which gathered more than 200 aquariums in 41 countries to raise global awareness about marine litter.

Annex

Text of Pledge

UNITED FOR #BIODIVERSITY

WE,
WORLD NATIONAL PARKS, AQUARIUMS, BOTANIC GARDENS, ZOOS, NATURAL HISTORY AND SCIENCE MUSEUMS,
JOIN FORCES FOR NATURE.
OUR COLLECTIONS SHOW THE DIVERSITY OF LIFE ON EARTH.
OUR CONSERVATION PROGRAMMES HELP PRESERVE ENDANGERED ANIMALS AND PLANTS.
OUR EDUCATION PROGRAMMES UNDERLINE THE IMPORTANCE OF NATURE FOR OUR EXISTENCE.
TODAY THE WORLD IS FACING A PLANETARY EMERGENCY,
A NATURE CRISIS FUELED BY HUMAN IMPACTS, INCLUDING CLIMATE CHANGE.
SCIENCE IS WARNING THAT ONE MILLION SPECIES ARE AT RISK OF EXTINCTION,
NOT IN A DISTANT FUTURE, BUT WITHIN A FEW DECADES.
AS SIGNATORIES TO THIS COALITION, WE SUPPORT THE CALL
BY THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION
FOR DECISIVE GLOBAL ACTION TO HALT BIODIVERSITY LOSS.
WE URGE ALL GOVERNMENTS TO AGREE ON AMBITIOUS POLICIES TO RESTORE AND PROTECT THE ECOSYSTEMS ON WHICH WE ALL DEPEND.
WE INVITE ALL NATIONAL, REGIONAL AND LOCAL AUTHORITIES TO TAKE URGENT MEASURES ON THE GROUND.
WE CALL ON ALL BUSINESS LEADERS TO ACKNOWLEDGE THEIR DEPENDENCE AND IMPACT ON NATURE AND TO COMMIT TO SUSTAINABILITY.
AND WE APPEAL TO ALL OUR VISITORS TO RAISE THEIR VOICE FOR NATURE.
WE BELONG TO NATURE, WE NEED NATURE, AND NATURE NOW NEEDS US LIKE NEVER BEFORE.

The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) is the global alliance of regional associations, national federations, zoos and aquariums, dedicated to the care and conservation of animals and their habitats around the world.

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