EAZA campaigns have addressed a variety of issues affecting a range of species and habitats, thereby raising funds for field conservation projects and promoting biodiversity awareness.
There has never been a greater need for effective conservation of our natural world. We must demonstrate the value of conservation; by clarifying its meaning for endangered species and the wider global context. To do this, EAZA runs campaigns to raise awareness of and funds for major conservation issues, including all of the information and resources that our members need in order to help their communities understand the challenge and become involved in helping to solve it.
Much has been achieved in fifteen years of campaigning. EAZA members have made a real and tangible difference for the protection of biodiversity in many parts of the world. Some of the headlines and highlights are as follows:
EAZA’s new vision statement: “Progressive zoos and aquariums saving species together with you” places us in the complicated global puzzle of biodiversity conservation, just as a new piece is being added to the puzzle: the global post-2020 framework of biodiversity conservation.
The framework will be adopted in 2022 at the summit of Convention on Biological Diversity. After decades of strategies that failed to stop the decline of species and habitats, this post-2020 framework can be a real game changer, if it manages to unite all actions under the common goal, and if it causes a true transformative change in people’s approach to nature.
For this to happen, all citizens and all sectors of the economy and society need to be on board, and this includes modern zoos and aquariums as well as NGOs like EAZA.
This campaign should help us define the role of our community in this challenge and in the new global framework.
From all the goals and objectives of the framework we have picked three that are very relevant to the work of EAZA and its Members:
First, people must appreciate the value of biodiversity more. With 140 million visits a year, our Members are perfectly placed to help, and are already doing a lot through formal and informal education and public engagement. Which best practices can we learn from?
Secondly, how can we match our potential and ongoing work in species conservation with the species-oriented goals of the framework, species action plans and available funding, such as EU LIFE?
Thirdly, the global framework wants to ensure that wildlife is only traded if it is legal, sustainable and ethical to do so. What role do we want to play in this area?
The campaign should help us, the EAZA community, understand the global and European frameworks and their priorities. This way, we can determine which of our actions we need to strengthen or scale up.
At the end of the campaign, you – the staff in EAZA Membership – should have many practical ideas for the coming years and decades, so that you can profit from the opportunities of the frameworks.
This will allow the EAZA community to make the biggest possible contribution to the ultimate goal of “saving species together”.
76% of the world’s fisheries are fully exploited or overfished, 8 billion kilos of unwanted bycatch are thrown out yearly. If overfishing continues, food fisheries may collapse entirely by 2050.
It’s time to start asking… Which fish?
Oceans cover approximately 70% of the volume of our planet and provide resources to millions of people. Human activities such as overfishing, destructive fishing practices and marine pollution are the main threats for the oceans to continue providing ecosystem services and essential food resources. Fish and aquatic invertebrates are essential for human consumption and to sustain coastal populations by providing their income. There is a general consensus of the need to conserve and properly manage fish stocks to avoid massive unintentional losses.
This new EAZA Campaign addresses how commercially-based human activities impact marine species conservation. It focuses on how zoos and aquariums work and will encourage participants to make real changes to their working practices by applying the already shared vision to united objectives for marine biodiversity management and protection.
The campaign is developed along three different axes:
1) Human sustainable consumption
2) Sustainable animal feed
3) Collection planning for sustainable aquatic species
The Which Fish? campaign was officially announced in September 2019 during the EAZA Annual Conference in Valencia, Spain and was launched in January 2020. More information about the campaign can be found on the Which Fish? campaign website: whichfish.eu
Disseminate information to your visitors with public events focused on sustainable sea food topic, campaign merchandize in your gift shop or by introducing sustainable species in the menu of your restaurants. We will provide many resource materials to inspire your actions. Review your institutional collection plan according to expert guidelines or the feeding plan of your animals to favour sustainable options. Follow the updates of the campaign team and share the latest news on your social media.
Everybody can help save marine species from over exploitation!
Songbirds in Asia are threatened with extinction due to excessive and strongly cultural rooted consumption of wild songbirds for trade, songbird competitions, pets, export, traditional medicine and food. This campaign aims to save a growing number of songbirds by increasing knowledge, awareness and commitment to do action within and beyond the zoo community. The EAZA Silent Forest Campaign (www.silentforest.eu) is the first EAZA conservation campaign that focuses primarily on birds, particularly songbirds of Southeast Asia. Songbirds have become the subject of an excessive and strong culturally rooted consumption for trade, singing competitions, pet trade, export traditional medicine and food.
The aim of the campaign was to improve the situation of Asian songbirds in their natural habitat and to develop an increased knowledge and understanding of the threats to these birds and how zoos can contribute to save them.
We will cooperate with campaign partner organisations on increasing pressure on government agencies in-region. We want to establish and support awareness campaigns in-region and promote birdwatching as an alternative pastime, for example by establishing used binocular collection points in zoos for shipment to local birdwatching initiatives in Southeast Asia. We also want to improve awareness within EAZA through the Passerine TAG, breeding programs and available EAZA media (newsletter, presentations at all conferences, magazines, websites). We aim to publish husbandry Best Practise Guidelines, establish functioning ex-situ safety populations of all key species and motivate more than 150 EAZA institutions to continue keeping relevant taxa of songbirds after the campaign. Our goal is to gain a much clearer picture of the current status (taxonomic and conservation) of all the key and secondary species mentioned.
In order to be able to make a difference we need to apply just that skillset which is already available in EAZA member zoos, and we have the chance to make the world more aware of the conservation value of zoos in general. By celebrating 25 years of the Bali Myna EEP we can clearly demonstrate that it is possible to save a songbird species through a zoo-based conservation breeding program.
All funds raised will go to the pre-selected conservation projects and grant scheme:
Both EAZA institutions and non-EAZA institutions joined the campaign and proactively participated by organizing and implementing at least one activity or programme in the field of zoo-based education and conservation which contributed to at least one of the outlined campaign goals. Click here to see which institutions signed up for the campaign.
As an individual you can also do lots of things that will benefit the survival of the threatened songbirds, click here to find out more.
Scan the QR code and get your Campaign InfoCard with updated information. For scanning the QR code and downloading the infocard use your mobile wallet on iOS or get the Pass2U application on Android here.
Let It Grow was a joint campaign by three of Europe’s largest scientific associations – Botanical Gardens Conservation International, the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria, and Ecsite, the network of European Science Centres. The campaign aimed to raise awareness on local biodiversity and encourage citizens to get involved in its valorisation and protection.
As biodiversity in Europe in mostly under threat from the pressures that humans put on it and with most of us not paying enough attention to the needs of nature and the services it provides, the Let It Grow campaign attempted to turn the fortunes of nature around, on three different levels:
In total 239 institutions joined the campaign, located in 43 different countries worldwide, displaying the reach of the collaborating parties. Many participants rose to the occasion and came up with beautiful, out of the box approaches to engaging their audiences. One of the highlight activities for citizen involvement were Bio-Blitzes. Several participants hosted one or more of these measuring activities throughout the course of the campaign. Seeing and interacting with local species is perhaps one of the most active ways in which people can learn about native species and biodiversity. Along with engaging visitors, these blitzes also provided participating institutions with vital information about the current state of biodiversity in their area and give them the chance to keep track of this for much longer than the lifespan of the Let It Grow campaign. Another campaign highlight was May 22, 2017, the International Day for Biological Diversity. Many campaign participants across the world held special activities and events to celebrate biodiversity and what it means to us.
In total, during the span of the campaign thousands of birdhouses and insect hotels were build and placed, hundreds of bat boxes were created, and thousands of seeds for local plants were sown. Visitors were educated, challenged and inspired to do what they can for their own backyards, and hundreds of square meters of space was left alone to Let It Grow!
All Let It Grow campaign resources are available on the EAZA Member Area
The EAZA Pole to Pole Campaign was officially closed during the EAZA Annual Conference Wroclaw last September. The campaign ran from September 2013 to September 2015 and it can be said great things have been achieved. Many people across the globe (not necessarily zoo visitors) actively joined in the Pull the Plug pledge as well as signing the petition. An overwhelming number 250 participating institutions worldwide signed up for the Pole to Pole Campaign and showed the commitment and involvement of the zoo community towards combating climate change. It was amazing to observe the enthusiasm of all colleagues who produced educational materials, including colouring sheets, factsheets, infographics, stickers, informational brochures and leaflets as well as logos. The resources were translated from English into seven European languages including Czech, Swedish and Polish.
Until this date (Mid-January 2016) 3123 individuals registered the pledge to pull the plug of a total number of 12214 electronic devices (which are not in use) for the upcoming months. This means that together we have saved 338762 kilowatt-hours of electricity (!) which equals:
The pledges of the participants were registered in a database and monitored throughout the course. Participants received occasional reminders and at the end of the pledging period successful participants received an exclusive digital photograph for personal use, taken by Daniel J.Cox/Natural Exposures and generously made available to EAZA Pole to Pole Campaign. The second year the ‘2 degrees is the limit’ petition initiative was launched. We’ve collected 17.160 signatures in total (both hand-written and digitally). The signatures, printed on recycled paper with a total weight of almost 10 kg, have been handed over to the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention at the intergovernmental meeting on climate change in Paris in December last year. The Paris climate summit, COP21, resulted in an Agreement to curb climate change! Yet there is still is a lot to be done, but the global willingness to tackle the problem of rapid climate change is evident. Back in 2013, before the Pole to Pole Campaign kicked off, the campaign team identified and formulated the following objectives:
We can say this awareness campaign has been successful. But this is only the beginning, action is still required. That’s why it has been decided to keep the Pole to Pole Campaign website up and running, you can continue to take the pledge and resources will continue to be available at no cost. News and developments about climate change as well as new initiatives from the zoo and the conservation community will be published right here on the campaign site. Lots of zoos will continue spreading the word and organizing awareness activities. The campaign team would like to express gratitude to all zoos and individuals who were involved in making this campaign a success. Thanks to your effort and dedication we have been able to make a difference! Please continue to use energy wisely, visit the Pole to Pole Campaign website regularly and stay connected!
Southeast Asia is one of the most bio diverse regions on Earth, populated by some of the best recognised and well loved species on the planet, including the Sumatran tiger, Asian elephant and orangutan. Unfortunately, most of these large animals are threatened, at some level, with extinction. The threats vary somewhat between species, between habitats, and between different parts of the region. The threats can be divided into several groups:
The International Union for Conservation of Nature Species Survival Commission (IUCN SSC) has identified large animals in Asia as being at particular risk through a combination of the aforementioned factors, most prominently illegal trade-driven hunting and habitat loss. The massive demand for wildlife and wildlife products among urbanized people in Southeast and East Asia is coupled with the steep rise in their purchasing power and the rapid infrastructure development throughout Southeast Asia. Species such as the saola probably number no more than a few hundred animals, yet we can and should save this species before it’s too late. While some of the species most at risk are largely unknown they play important roles in preserving the health of the ecosystems they inhabit, helping ensure that the tropical forests, the lungs of the world, are healthy and functioning.
The campaign logo shows a young saola (Pseudoryx nghetinhensis), a species not held in any zoos and one rarely seen in the wild. Described in 1993 from central Vietnam, the Saola was one of the most spectacular zoological discoveries the 20th century. Saola is endemic to the Annamite Mountains of Laos and Vietnam. Since its discovery, it has declined to a status of Critically Endangered (2010 IUCN Red List), due mainly to intense hunting in its range. Because of Saola’s elusiveness and the lack of investment in its conservation, precise population estimates of any confidence are not yet possible: the best we can say is that probably between 10 and 400 remain. Saola is now one of the most endangered mammals in Asia, perhaps akin only to the two Southeast Asian rhinoceroses.
Over 125 EAZA members and 12 non-EAZA participants joined the campaign and raised in total €270.000 for conservation projects in Southeast Asia. Many campaign participants collectively joined in the ‘Saola Awareness Month’ event. During during which zoo visitors were offered lots of opportunities to learn about the amazing animals in Southeast Asia, and how they are under threat from poaching, wildlife trade and habitat destruction.
The EAZA Ape Campaign was launched in September 2010 with the overarching aim of making a significant and lasting contribution to the continued survival of apes and their habitats.
Apes (the six species of great ape and 16 species of gibbons) are under threat from hunting, deforestation and disease. Without our support these beautiful and iconic animals will become extinct. All the apes are threatened and almost all are classed as either Endangered or Critically Endangered. For some species really urgent action is needed. The Hainan gibbon, for instance, is right on the brink of extinction with fewer than 20 surviving, while there are fewer than 400 Cross River gorillas left in the wild. The EAZA Ape Campaign has focused attention on the apes, the issues they face and the urgency with which we must act. Through the support of the EAZA membership and the campaign partners the EAZA Ape Campaign worked to improve their survival and leave a lasting legacy for ape conservation.
The four objectives of the EAZA Ape campaign:
The campaign covers all ape species; great apes and gibbons.
Great Ape Conservation Education in Congo Republic
The EAZA Ape Fund has funded 26 ape conservation projects, one of the projects focused on Great Ape Conservation Education and Public Awareness in Congo Republic. Jane Goodall Institute placed billboards
all over the country to raise awareness about the threats for chimpanzees and gorillas as part of a project that also included training workshops for Primary School teachers.
Watch the short movie about the project here:
EAZA’s first conservation campaign, the Bushmeat Campaign, was launched in the year 2000. In the ten years since, the campaigns have addressed a variety of issues affecting a range of species and habitats. EAZA's conservation campaigns have raised funds, promoted awareness and provided the impetus for key regulatory change.
Campaign factsheets about the previous campaigns have been produced and are available for download (click on the links below)