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.
Social Change for Conservation — The World Zoo and Aquarium Conservation Education Strategy
Zoos and aquariums play a critical role in building diverse and sustainable futures for people and nature.
As the first unified global strategy on conservation education, Social Change for Conservation signifies an extraordinary step-change for many zoos and aquariums. It affirms IZE’s (International Zoo Educators Association) and the WAZA’s (World Association of Zoos and Aquariums) commitment to lead and support its members, colleagues, and the wider zoo and aquarium community to build expertise, leadership, and capacity in quality conservation education.
Through its set of recommendations, Social Change for Conservation: The World Zoo and Aquarium Conservation Education Strategy guides zoos and aquariums to achieve educational and social outcomes crucial to their organisational mission. It specifically calls on zoos and aquariums to:
- Build a culture of conservation education in their organisations.
- Create strategic conservation education plans with measurable learning outcomes for diverse audiences.
- Appreciate the range of authentic and relevant purposes of conservation education—such as creating connections to nature, fostering empathy for wildlife, capacity building, and motivating pro-environmental behaviours.
- Grow audience reach while being diverse, equitable, accessible, and inclusive.
- Design and deliver clear messages, compelling content, and innovative programming.
- Be optimistic and solution-focused to relevant conservation and environmental issues.
- Prioritise embedding principles of animal welfare into conservation education.
- Optimise conservation education training and professional development opportunities for staff, volunteers, and audiences.
- Strengthen the evidence of the contributions, value, and impacts of conservation education by zoos and aquariums.