The period from 2011 to 2020 has been declared the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity. The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) welcomes this decision of the UN General Assembly according WAZA’s Executive Director, Dr. Gerald Dick.
He says that WAZA, representing the world community of zoos and aquariums and holding a working agreement with the Convention on Biological Diversity, will fully support the conservation of biodiversity and related educational and communication activities.
According WAZA’s website: “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).” (Source: website WAZA, 13.01.2011)