Social Change for Conservation - The World Zoo and Aquarium Conservation Education Strategy - World Association of Zoos ...

 
Social Change for Conservation - The World Zoo and Aquarium Conservation Education Strategy - World Association of Zoos ...
Social
Change for
Conservation
The World Zoo and Aquarium
Conservation Education Strategy
Social Change for Conservation - The World Zoo and Aquarium Conservation Education Strategy - World Association of Zoos ...
THE WORLD ZOO AND AQUARIUM CONSERVATION EDUCATION STRATEGY                                                                                                                                             TABLE OF CONTENTS

      Credits
      TITLE                                                        CITATION
      Social Change for Conservation:                              Thomas, S (2020) Social Change for
      The World Zoo and Aquarium Conservation                      Conservation: The World Zoo and Aquarium
      Education Strategy                                           Conservation Education Strategy; Barcelona,
                                                                   WAZA Executive Office, 89pp
      AUTHOR
      Sarah Thomas, Ph.D.                                          WAZA EXECUTIVE OFFICE
      Head of Conservation Advocacy                                Carrer Roger de Llúria 2, 2-2

                                                                                                                 Table of
      and Engagement, Auckland Zoo                                 08010 Barcelona
      sarah.thomas@aucklandzoo.co.nz                               secretariat@waza.org
                                                                   www.waza.org

                                                                                                                 Contents
      LAYOUT AND DESIGN
      Courtney Garrud                                              IZE OFFICE
      Graphic Designer, San Diego Zoo Global                       ize.centraloffice@izea.net
                                                                   www.izea.net
      COVER PHOTOGRAPHY
      Front: Auckland Zoo Conservation Education.                  EDITORIAL ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
      © Auckland Zoo                                               Debra Erickson
      Back: Sumatran tiger cub.                                    Amy Hughes                                     GENERAL
      © San Diego Zoo Global                                       Dr Judy Mann                                   Credits                                                                                       02
                                                                   Dr Madelon Willemsen
                                                                                                                  Foreword                                                                                      04
      COPYRIGHT                                                    The Auckland Zoo Team
      © 2020 International Zoo Educators Association                                                              Executive Summary                                                                             06
      and World Association of Zoos and Aquariums                                                                 Recommendations                                                                               08
                                                                                                                  Commiting to Quality Conservation Education                                                   10
                                                                                                                  Terminology                                                                                   12
                                                                                                                  Outline of Chapters                                                                           13
                                                                                                                  Introduction                                                                                  14

                                                                                                                  CHAPTERS
                                                                                                                  1- Building a Culture of Conservation Education                                               18
                                                                                                                  2 - Embedding Multiple Purposes of Conservation Education into Zoos and Aquariums             24
                                                                                                                  3 - Promoting Conservation Education for All                                                  34
                                                                                                                  4 - Applying Approaches and Methods in Conservation Education                                 42
                                                                                                                  5 - Integrating Animal Care and Welfare into Conservation Education                           50
                                                                                                                  6 - Prioritising Conservation and Sustainability in Conservation Education                    58
                                                                                                                  7 - Optimising Training and Professional Development in Conservation Education                66
                                                                                                                  8 - Strengthening the Evidence of the Conservation Education Value of Zoos and Aquariums      72

                                                                                                                  APPENDIX
                                                                                                                  Bibliography                                                                                  80
                                                                                                                  Acronyms and Websites                                                                         83
                                                                                                                  Glossary of Terms                                                                             84
                                                                                                                  Contributing Organisations                                                                    86
                                                                                                                  WZACES Recommendations Checklist                                                              88

Mātauranga Māori conservation education session at Auckland Zoo.
© AUCKLAND ZOO
Social Change for Conservation - The World Zoo and Aquarium Conservation Education Strategy - World Association of Zoos ...
THE WORLD ZOO AND AQUARIUM CONSERVATION EDUCATION STRATEGY                                                                                                                                                                                    FOREWARD

Foreword
Over the last 15 years, the World Association of Zoos and        In collaboration with the International Zoo Educators            As elected Chair of IUCN’s Commission on Education           In its 2015 Conservation Strategy, WAZA endorsed
Aquariums (WAZA) has produced a number of influential            Association (IZE), the World Association of Zoos and             and Communication (CEC), I am always thrilled to see         CPSG’s One Plan approach, promoting the consideration
strategies. In 2005, the Conservation Strategy was the first     Aquariums (WAZA) is proud to share the World Zoo and             a deep commitment to excellence in communicating             of all populations of a species under all conditions of
to position zoos and aquariums as centres of conservation        Aquarium Conservation Education Strategy. The ways               conservation. The World Zoo and Aquarium Conservation        management from the start of the conservation initiative.
excellence. It was followed in 2015 by the Animal Welfare        in which we help people understand, experience, and              Education Strategy truly manifests this understanding of     I see Social Change for Conservation: The World Zoo
Strategy, which addressed the critical role of animal welfare.   connect to nature remains crucial for the life our planet        the power of education and culture in transforming the way   and Aquarium Conservation Education Strategy as a
The 2020 Environmental Sustainability Strategy brought           sustains. We work hard to inspire positive change in those       the public supports conservation. Zoos and Aquariums         marvellous interpretation and application, by IZE and
into focus the importance of environmental sustainability        who come to us, and others that we are not shy to reach          are gateways to the magic world of nature for many           WAZA, of the One Plan approach; an application arguably
in zoological operations. Therefore, it’s fitting that the       out to. We have learned how to carry out conservation            around the world, and offer an incredible opportunity to     more meaningful than the original in its potential to
International Zoo Educators Association (IZE) should             education missions, and we continue to ensure our                reach urban audiences and help shift their relationship      increase humanity’s awareness of the values of biodiversity
now produce the World Zoo and Aquarium Conservation              approaches are enlightened and underpinned by science.           with conservation. This strategy is powerful in that it      and the steps they can take to conserve it. The devastating
Education Strategy. This strategy highlights the critical        As former chairman of the Education and Exhibit Design           recognises that the enjoyment and pleasure afforded by       decline in our planet’s biodiversity continues. The
role of conservation education in the work of zoos and           Committee of one of our regional partners, EAZA, and as          zoos and aquariums can be used to thoughtfully activate      conservation community must face the fact that while
aquariums, and clearly demonstrates the interdependence          someone who studied pedagogics as well, I am pleased to          conservation action within the public at large. Imagine if   we are doing valuable, impactful work, it is not enough,
of all four pillars of operation: Conservation, Welfare,         have another tool to offer to our community. We thank all        the hundreds of millions of people who connect with zoos     and not fast enough, to move the needle. We must scale
Sustainability, and Conservation Education. We hope this         the contributors who prepared this valuable document. We         and aquariums each year also help conserve our planet—       up our efforts. Conservation education, as defined in this
strategy generates support among leaders for conservation        are sure that you will find this guide inspiring, and that you   what a powerful outcome that would be! This strategy can     insightful and ambitious document, is at the heart of these
education, inspires and guides educators, and ultimately         will use it to further enhance and drive quality conservation    help make this dream a reality.                              efforts and no community is better placed to take the
benefits people and our natural world.                           education in your organisation.                                                                                               lead than accredited zoos and aquariums. Social Change
                                                                                                                                  SEAN SOUTHEY, CHAIR                                          for Conservation not only defines the challenges but the
DEBRA ERICKSON, PRESIDENT                                        PROF. THEO PAGEL                                                 Commission on Education and Communication                    aspirations and guidance needed to overcome them and,
DR. JUDY MANN, PRESIDENT ELECT                                   WAZA PRESIDENT, 2018 - 2021                                      International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)        thus, transform how we value the natural world. It comes
International Zoo Educators Association                          World Association of Zoos and Aquariums                                                                                       not a moment too soon.

                                                                                                                                                                                               DR. ONNIE BYERS, CHAIR
                                                                                                                                                                                               IUCN, SSC, Conservation Planning Specialist Group

04                                                                                                                                                                                                                          African penguins swimming underwater
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       © SAN DIEGO ZOO GLOBAL
Social Change for Conservation - The World Zoo and Aquarium Conservation Education Strategy - World Association of Zoos ...
THE WORLD ZOO AND AQUARIUM CONSERVATION EDUCATION STRATEGY                                                                                                                                                                      EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

                                                                                      Build a culture of conservation
                                                                                      education in their organisations.

                                                                                      Appreciate the range of authentic and
                                                                                      relevant purposes of conservation
                                                                                      education—such as creating connections
                                                                                      to nature, fostering empathy for wildlife,

      Executive
                                                                                      capacity building, and motivating
                                                                                      pro-environmental behaviours.

      Summary
                                                                                      Create strategic conservation
                                                                                      education plans with measurable
                                                                                      learning outcomes for diverse
                                                                                      audiences.

                                                                                      Grow audience reach while being
                                                                                      diverse, equitable, accessible,
Zoos and aquariums play                                                               and inclusive.
a critical role in building diverse
                                                                                      Design and deliver clear messages,
and sustainable futures for                                                           compelling content, and innovative
people and nature.                                                                    programming.

                                                                                      Be optimistic and solution-focused
                                                                                      to relevant conservation and
            Rapidly changing environments, a global pandemic, and                     environmental issues.
            devastating biodiversity loss due to human activities make
            this role increasingly important.                                         Prioritise embedding principles of animal
                                                                                      welfare into conservation education.
            Urgent, effective, and collaborative action is therefore needed to
            change how people collectively think, feel, and act toward the
            natural world. This context presents a unique opportunity for             Optimise conservation education
            zoos and aquariums to take a leadership position in contributing          training and professional
            to this social change for conservation.                                   development opportunities for staff,
                                                                                      volunteers, and audiences.
            Through its set of recommendations, Social Change for
            Conservation: The World Zoo and Aquarium Conservation                     Strengthen the evidence of the
            Education Strategy guides zoos and aquariums to achieve                   contributions, value, and impacts
            educational and social outcomes crucial to their organisational           of conservation education by
            mission. It specifically calls on zoos and aquariums to:                  zoos and aquariums.

            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.

                                                                                                                                   Conservation education at the Tisch Family Zoological Gardens in Jerusalem. © SHAI BEN AMI

06                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            07
Social Change for Conservation - The World Zoo and Aquarium Conservation Education Strategy - World Association of Zoos ...
THE WORLD ZOO AND AQUARIUM CONSERVATION EDUCATION STRATEGY                                                                                                                                                                              RECOMMENDATIONS

              Recommendations
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Lecturer introduces how to use
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    animal matured compost to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   plant flowers. © TAIPEI ZOO

       CHAPTER ONE                                                     CHAPTER TWO
       Building a Culture of Conservation Education                    Embedding Multiple Purposes of Conservation Education
                                                                       into Zoos and Aquariums
       • The conservation education role of the zoo or aquarium
         should be reflected in its written mission statement.         Conservation education in zoos and aquariums should aim to:

       • The zoo or aquarium should have a written conservation        • Build knowledge and understanding about species,
         education plan. This plan should outline the conservation       the natural world, and zoo and aquarium contributions
         education activities, how they apply to different types         to conservation.
         of audiences, and the strategic thinking behind the           • Foster positive connections, emotions, attitudes, values,
         plan’s design.                                                  and empathy toward species, the natural world, and zoos
       • The conservation education plan should make specific            and aquariums.
         reference to how the zoo or aquarium has integrated           • Promote awe, wonder, enjoyment, creativity, and inspiration
         its mission and vision, as well as applicable national,         about species and the natural world.
         regional, and international policies and standards into its
         conservation education.                                       • Motivate pro-environmental behaviours, actions, and
                                                                         advocacy toward species and the natural world.
       • The zoo or aquarium should have appropriate facilities
         to deliver its conservation education.                        • Develop scientific, technical, and personal skills connected
                                                                         to zoos, aquariums, and biodiversity conservation.             CHAPTER FIVE
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • The zoo or aquarium should support staff and volunteers
       • Conservation education should be an integral part                                                                              Integrating Animal Care and Welfare into
                                                                                                                                                                                                        involved in conservation education to be active in local,
         of exhibit design.                                            CHAPTER THREE                                                    Conservation Education
                                                                                                                                                                                                        national, regional, and international conservation education
                                                                       Promoting Conservation Education for All                         • The zoo or aquarium should comply with WAZA or                networks and meetings.
                                                                       • The zoo or aquarium should expand their reach and                regional guidelines on animal-visitor interactions.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • The zoo or aquarium should support staff and volunteers
                                                                         opportunities for people to learn about and get involved in    • The zoo or aquarium should connect audiences                  involved in conservation education with the appropriate
                                                                         conservation onsite, offsite, and online.                        to the principles of animal care and show how their           continuous professional development and training to help
                                                                       • The zoo or aquarium should be able to demonstrate                organisation achieves high welfare standards for the          meet their conservation education plan.
                                                                         a range of delivery approaches in their conservation             species in their care.
                                                                         education programmes to cater to different audiences’                                                                        CHAPTER EIGHT
                                                                         needs and diversities.                                         CHAPTER SIX                                                   Strengthening the Evidence of the Conservation Education
                                                                                                                                        Prioritising Conservation and Sustainability into             Value of Zoos and Aquariums
                                                                                                                                        Conservation Education
                                                                       CHAPTER FOUR                                                                                                                   • The zoo or aquarium should collect and share a range
                                                                       Applying Appropriate Approaches and Methods in                   • Conservation education in zoos and aquariums should           of evidence to demonstrate how it is carrying out its
                                                                       Conservation Education                                             aspire to make conservation issues relevant to audiences’     conservation education plan.
                                                                       • The conservation education plan should include a                 own lives and inspire people to take direct and indirect
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • The zoo or aquarium should evaluate its conservation
                                                                         specific reference to applying a cross-curricular approach       actions for species, ecosystems, and communities.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        education programmes at multiple stages using
                                                                         with measurable learning outcomes to all aspects of            • The zoo or aquarium should educate their audiences            appropriate methods.
                                                                         conservation education.                                          about their conservation and sustainability work by
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • The zoo or aquarium should aspire to conduct
                                                                       • The conservation education messages should be based              demonstrating their organisation’s direct and indirect
                                                                                                                                                                                                        evidence-based research to demonstrate the effects
                                                                         on scientific facts and theories. Where cultural, religious,     contributions to conservation.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        that conservation education in zoos and aquariums has
                                                                         or alternative ideas are represented, they must be clearly
                                                                                                                                                                                                        on people’s knowledge, attitude, and behaviours toward
                                                                         indicated as such.                                             CHAPTER SEVEN
                                                                                                                                                                                                        the natural world.
                                                                                                                                        Optimising Training and Professional Development
                                                                       • The zoo or aquarium should present accurate and                in Conservation Education                                     • The zoo or aquarium should aspire to build partnerships
                                                                         relevant information about the species, ecosystems,
                                                                                                                                        • The zoo or aquarium should have at least one member           with external organisations and academic institutions to
Hands on the soil - planting, growing                                    and issues exhibited.
and learning to start over at Belo                                                                                                        of staff with the necessary experience and qualifications     conduct social research and evaluation projects.
Horizonte Zoo. © HUMBERTO MELLO
                                                                                                                                          responsible for leading and implementing their
                                                                                                                                          conservation education plan.

        08                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         09
Social Change for Conservation - The World Zoo and Aquarium Conservation Education Strategy - World Association of Zoos ...
THE WORLD ZOO AND AQUARIUM CONSERVATION EDUCATION STRATEGY                                                                                            COMMITTING TO QUALITY CONSERVATION EDUCATION

                                                                                                         CHAPTER 3                                                            CHAPTER 5

                                                                                                    Promoting                                                            Integrating Animal

      Committing
                                                                                                    Conservation                     CHAPTER 4                           Care and Welfare
                                                                                                    Education For All                                                    into Conservation
                                                                                                                                                                         Education

      to Quality
                                                                                                    Our commitment is to        Applying Appropriate
                                                                                                    understand the range        Approaches                               Our commitment is to
                                                                                                    of audiences and            and Methods in                           develop conservation

      Conservation
                                                                                                    expand the reach of         Conservation                             education techniques
                                                                                                    conservation education      Education                                that demonstrate

      Education
                                                                                                    of zoos and aquariums.                                               respect for animals and
                                                                                                                                Our commitment
                                                                                                                                                                         the high standards of
                                                                                                    Our commitment is           is to advance and
                                                                                                                                                                         welfare they receive in
                                                                                                    to promote diverse,         innovate evidence-
                                                                                                                                                                         human care.
                                                                                                    equitable, accessible       based approaches in
                                                                                                    and inclusive               conservation education                   Our commitment is to
The commitments listed below frame the key                                                          conservation education.     in zoos and aquariums                    enhance the positive
                                                                                                                                that raise awareness,                    perception of zoos and
outcomes of this strategy. These commitments
                                                                                                                                connect people to                        aquariums through
and recommendations can be used by IZE, WAZA,                                                                                                                            quality conservation
                                                                                                                                nature, and motivate
other regional and national associations, and                                                                                   pro-environmental                        education.
individual institutions to understand and support the                                                    CHAPTER 6              behaviours.
conservation education role of zoos and aquariums.
                                                                                                    Prioritising Conservation
                                                                                                    and Sustainability in                                                     CHAPTER 8
                                                                                                    Conservation Education
                                                                                                                                     CHAPTER 7
                                                  CHAPTER 1                                         Our commitment is                                                    Strengthening
                                                                                                    to facilitate, motivate,    Optimising Training                      the Evidence of
                                                                                                    and mobilise zoo and        and Professional                         the Conservation
                                            Building a Culture of
                                                                                                    aquarium audiences          Development                              Education Value of
                                            Conservation                      CHAPTER 2
                                            Education                                               to act and advocate         in Conservation                          Zoos and Aquariums
                                                                                                    for biodiversity,           Education
                                            Our commitment is to         Embedding Multiple         environmental, and                                                   Our commitment
                                                                                                                                Our commitment is to                     is to maximise the
                                            build a culture of quality   Purposes of                conservation-related
                                                                                                                                offer and support a wide
                                            conservation education       Conservation               issues.                                                              opportunities for and
                                                                                                                                range of opportunities
                                            at the heart of all zoos     Education into Zoos                                                                             build evidence of the
                                                                                                                                for professional
                                            and aquariums.               and Aquariums                                                                                   effects and impacts of
                                                                                                                                development and
                                                                                                                                training in conservation                 conservation education
                                                                         Our commitment is to                                                                            through monitoring,
                                                                                                                                education.
                                                                         create clear, authentic,                                                                        evaluation, and social
                                                                         and relevant purposes                                                                           research in zoos and
                                                                         for conservation                                                                                aquariums.
                                                                         education in zoos
                                                                         and aquariums.

10                                                                                                                                                                                                11
Social Change for Conservation - The World Zoo and Aquarium Conservation Education Strategy - World Association of Zoos ...
THE WORLD ZOO AND AQUARIUM CONSERVATION EDUCATION STRATEGY                                                                                                                                                                   TERMINOLOGY AND OUTLINE OF CHAPTERS

Terminology                                                        However, conservation education, in its broader sense, can
                                                                   include activities that make contributions to biodiversity
                                                                                                                                     Outline of Chapters                                                 The strategy recognises the range and complexity of
                                                                                                                                                                                                         conservation, environmental, and sustainability topics that can
                                                                   conservation—such as education for sustainable                                                                                        be woven throughout conservation education. It advocates
It is essential to ensure a clear understanding of the key terms                                                                     Each chapter in this strategy guides zoos and aquariums
                                                                   development, biological, science or environmental education,                                                                          for optimistic and solution-based approaches to catalyse
used within this strategy and explain the rationale behind                                                                           to achieve each recommendation. It gives an overview of
                                                                   ocean literacy, practical skills-based programmes, campaigns,                                                                         social change for conservation (Chapter 6). It briefly outlines
these choices. Different words describe the programmes,                                                                              the purpose of this strategy, and the scope of conservation
                                                                   and interpretation. The words “learning,” “engagement,”                                                                               the diverse development pathways and training opportunities
activities, and events within zoos and aquariums depending                                                                           education in zoos and aquariums (Introduction). It describes
                                                                   and “advocacy” are relevant, but as this strategy is globally                                                                         that help to build capacity for success in staff, volunteers, and
on language, cultural, and organisational contexts.                                                                                  the need to build a culture of quality conservation education
                                                                   inclusive, “conservation education” has been chosen as the                                                                            their audiences (Chapter 7). Finally, the strategy focuses on
                                                                                                                                     within individual organisations and the wider global zoo and
                                                                   primary descriptive term. It can be translated across a wide                                                                          research approaches that can strengthen the evidence of the
                                                                                                                                     aquarium community (Chapter 1). It recognises and describes
                                                                   range of languages while maintaining its underlying meaning.                                                                          contributions, value, and impacts of conservation education
                                                                                                                                     the core purposes of conservation education (Chapter 2),
                                                                                                                                                                                                         by zoos and aquariums (Chapter 8).
                                                                                                                                     to motivate and mobilise audiences into active
                                                                   AUDIENCES
                                                                                                                                     conservation advocates.                                             The appendices include a bibliography on page 80 and
                                                                   Throughout this strategy, the word “audiences” is used.                                                                               glossary of terms on page 84. It has a recommendations
                                                                                                                                     The strategy acknowledges zoos and aquariums are in a
                                                                   This choice is a deliberate departure from the use of the                                                                             checklist tool on page 88, which is a self-evaluation tool for
                                                                                                                                     unique position to reach large, diverse audiences, while
                                                                   word “visitors,” as most zoos and aquariums now reach a                                                                               zoos and aquariums to audit their organisation’s conservation
                                                                                                                                     highlighting the importance of being diverse, equitable,
                                                                   multitude of individuals and groups in their conservation                                                                             education against the strategy’s recommendations.
                                                                                                                                     accessible, and inclusive organisations (Chapter 3).
                                                                   education efforts. Using the term audiences helps to depict
                                                                                                                                     It emphasises how quality conservation education should             In the development of this conservation education strategy,
                                                                   a more accurate representation of the range and diversity
                                                                                                                                     be designed and delivered through innovative programming            thanks are given to the IZE Board and WAZA Council for their
                                                                   of human and social connections with zoos and aquariums.
                                                                                                                                     and compelling content (Chapter 4), and critical factors that       guidance throughout the strategic development process.
                                                                   Zoo and aquarium audiences include, but are not limited to:
                                                                                                                                     exemplify excellence in conservation education. It outlines         Wider thanks and praise go to the hundreds of contributing
                                                                   day visitors such as families and school children, participants
                                                                                                                                     how animal welfare should be prioritised in conservation            individuals and organisations. Over 350 individuals from 180
                                                                   of outreach programmes, community projects, in situ field
                                                                                                                                     education—first, concerning how animals are involved in             institutions and 44 countries/regions (see page 86) shared
                                                                   programmes and summer camps, annual pass holders, and
                                                                                                                                     activities and interactions with audiences; and second, how to      their ideas, enthusiasm, and expertise to shape this innovative
                                                                   those that interact with the zoo’s or aquarium’s website and
                      One of our Ocean Experts delivering a                                                                          communicate how zoos and aquariums care for their animals           and inclusive global approach for conservation education in
                                                                   social media platforms.
                      virtual tour to home education pupils.
                                                                                                                                     and their contributions to biodiversity conservation (Chapter 5).   zoos and aquariums of the future.
                          © OCEAN CONSERVATION TRUST
                                                                   SPECIES

                                                                   Animals have traditionally been the primary focus for zoos
                                                                   and aquariums, as species in their care and through their
ZOOS AND AQUARIUMS                                                 conservation programmes. However, now many organisations
This document aims to be relevant, applicable, and useful to       incorporate plants into their conservation programme
all zoos and aquariums. The scope includes safari and wildlife     portfolios and into collection plans for their sites, and
parks, nature reserves, and other members of national and          they acknowledge the crucial role that plants play in their
regional zoo and aquarium associations. The phrase                 conservation education efforts. To reflect the importance
“zoos and aquariums” is intentionally used throughout              and inclusion of plants, where the word “species” is used,
this document to reflect that this strategy is as relevant to      it explicitly represents both animals and plants.
aquariums as it is to zoos.
                                                                   NATURE
EDUCATION                                                          The terms “nature,” and “the natural world” are used to reflect
The word “education” is used to mean education and                 the broad range of taxa and environments within a zoo or
learning in the broadest sense. It encompasses all learning        aquarium’s conservation responsibilities. Noticeably, the
opportunities (formal, informal, and non-formal), experiences      adjectives “good,” “modern,” “progressive” are often used
and activities for all ages and diversities of audiences.          interchangeably to describe a level of quality in zoos and
Importantly, it is not confined solely to schools or education     aquariums operating at a certain standard. These adjectives
focused only on children.                                          are open to interpretation, and there is often confusion about
                                                                   their parameters. Although these terms are deliberately
CONSERVATION EDUCATION                                             excluded in this document, there is a clear intention that if
                                                                   an organisation meets all the recommendations within this
The term “conservation education” is used to reflect
                                                                   strategy, it can claim to be a good, modern, or progressive zoo
that biodiversity conservation should be at the core of
                                                                   or aquarium. However, this is only with specific reference to
any educational activity delivered by a zoo or aquarium.
                                                                   their conservation education.

12                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    00
                                                                                                                                          Ramat Gan Israel. © RAMAT GAN SAFARI
Social Change for Conservation - The World Zoo and Aquarium Conservation Education Strategy - World Association of Zoos ...
THE WORLD ZOO AND AQUARIUM CONSERVATION EDUCATION STRATEGY                                                                                                                                                                                        INTRODUCTION

                                                                                                                                                                                                     The Sustainable
      Introduction                                                                                                                                                                                   Development Goals
                                                                                                                                        Protecting our Planet: World Association of Zoos
                                                                                                                                        and Aquariums Sustainability Strategy 2020-2030,
                                                                                                                                        links to each of the United Nations Sustainable              17 Goals for People, for Planet
                                                                                                                                        Development Goals (SDGs). Many of this strategy’s
                                                                                                                                        recommendations for zoos and aquariums involve               The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) are a
This strategy aims to support zoos and aquariums                                                                                        conservation education as a tool to support individual       universal call to action to end poverty, protect the
                                                                                                                                        and societal sustainable actions and change. SDG 4
to deliver quality conservation education as part                                                                                                                                                    planet, and improve the lives and prospects of everyone,
                                                                                                                                        is specifically about quality education with the aim to:     everywhere. The SDGs aim to secure a sustainable,
of their roles in biodiversity conservation

                                                                                                                                        “
                                                                                                                                                                                                     peaceful, prosperous and equitable life on earth for
                                                                                                                                                                                                     everyone now and into the future.
                                                                                                                                                                                                     The 17 Goals were adopted by all UN Member States
             THE NEED FOR A WORLD ZOO AND AQUARIUM CONSERVATION EDUCATION STRATEGY
                                                                                                                                                                                                     in 2015, as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable
             Social Change for Conservation: The World Zoo and Aquarium Conservation Education Strategy was initiated                                                                                Development, which set out a 15-year plan to achieve
                                                                                                                                        ensure inclusive and equitable quality
             by the International Zoo Educators Association (IZE) and developed in collaboration with the World Association                                                                          the Goals. The commitment of zoos and aquariums to
             of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA). IZE is dedicated to expanding the educational impact of zoos and aquariums                   education and promote lifelong                               the SDGs has the potential to significantly contribute to
             worldwide. Its members are guided by a mission to conserve biodiversity by encouraging pro-environmental
             behaviours in people who visit zoos and aquariums. WAZA is a worldwide alliance of regional associations, national
                                                                                                                                        “
                                                                                                                                        learning opportunities for all                               the global achievement of these goals. The SDGs provide
                                                                                                                                                                                                     aspirations for improving the world, and sustainability
             federations, zoos, and aquariums dedicated to the care and conservation of animals and their habitats around the                                                                        should be integral to how progressive zoos and
             world. Despite conservation education being a long-standing core role for zoos and aquariums, it has, until now,                                                                        aquariums lead, think, and act.
             lacked a formalised and unified global strategic approach. This strategy acknowledges the relationship between                                                                          Read Protecting our Planet: the WAZA Sustainability
             conservation education and the existing WAZA strategies on conservation, animal welfare, and sustainability.                                                                            Strategy for more details.

             Together, these four strategies link to provide the foundation for how zoos and aquariums should operate, and
             recognises the connectivity between these critical core responsibilities of all zoos and aquariums.                        Social Change for Conservation acknowledges that
                                                                                                                                        individual organisations, and national and regional
                                                                                                                                        zoo and aquarium associations have already given
In Committing to Conservation: The World Zoo and Aquarium Conservation Strategy (2015),                                                 significant attention to the strategic direction of
the commitment to conservation education is evident:                                                                                    conservation education in their specific contexts.

                                                                                            “
                                                                                                                                        Several regional zoo and aquarium associations
                                                                                                                                        have an existing suite of education standards and
                                                                                                                                        guidelines. This strategy in no way aims to supersede
                                                                                                                                        these efforts. Instead, it draws from their current
     Zoos and aquariums have a duty to lead, support, and collaborate                                                                   work to further raise the profile of conservation
       with education programmes that target changes in community                                                                       education globally. It aims to provide a unified
                 behaviour toward better outcomes for conservation.                         “                                           framework all zoos and aquariums can align with to
                                                                                                                                        help deliver quality, consistency, and accountability
                                                                                                                                        for conservation education throughout their
                                                                                                                                        organisations.

                                                                                                                                        The foundational framework used for this strategy
                                                                                                                                        has already been implemented in over 400 zoos
                                                                                                                                        and aquariums in nearly 50 countries. Launched in
                      Caring for Wildlife: The World Zoo and Aquarium Animal Welfare Strategy (2015), includes a chapter on the         2016, the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria
                                  welfare aspects of conservation education and visitor interactions. In this chapter it states that:
                                                                                                                                        (EAZA) Conservation Education Standards has

                                              “
                                                                                                                                        20 standards that have been embraced by EAZA
                                                                                                                                        Members as a useful tool to audit, celebrate, and
                                                                                                                                        further develop conservation education within their
                                                                                                                                        organisations. Within this strategy, the 20 EAZA
                                              Our commitment is to protect and enhance the welfare                                      Conservation Education Standards have been
                                              of our animals in all of their interactions with visitors                                 modified to complement and include other existing
                                              “
                                              while we engage visitors in wildlife conservation.                                        regional frameworks, and to align with the global
                                                                                                                                        context of this strategy. The result is a set of 22 global
                                                                                                                                        recommendations of good practice for conservation
                                                                                                                                        education in zoos and aquariums.

14                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          15
Social Change for Conservation - The World Zoo and Aquarium Conservation Education Strategy - World Association of Zoos ...
THE WORLD ZOO AND AQUARIUM CONSERVATION EDUCATION STRATEGY

A GLOBAL CALL TO ACTION

There is growing evidence demonstrating the link
between rapidly changing environments and human
activity. It includes the 2018 Living Planet Index (LPI) report,
the 2019 Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform
on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) report,
and several recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change (IPCC) reports. Collectively, they call for prioritising
timely, ambitious, and coordinated action to address
unprecedented and enduring changes to species, climate,
ecosystems, and communities.

There is clear evidence that biodiversity is deteriorating
at an alarming rate worldwide. Often described as the
sixth mass extinction, there are fears that three-quarters
of all species could disappear in the next few centuries.
Evidence shows that the planet has now entered the
Anthropocene epoch as human activity is now the primary
cause of changes to the Earth’s climate and ecosystems.
                                                                                                  The “Dream tree activity” during Zoo Escola
As a result of an evident climate and biodiversity crisis, the                                          teacher training. © SÃO PAULO ZOO
International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN)
Species Survival Commission in 2019 called for:

   urgent and effective action to address
 the unprecedented, unsustainable, and
                                                     “             exploring and expanding the definition, function, scope, and
                                                                   audiences of their conservation education efforts. Evolving
                                                                   conservation education to encourage and catalyse individual
                                                                                                                                                   Houston Zoo, Zoo Mobile program. © HOUSTON ZOO

                                                                   behavioural and broader social changes should be a clear
  growing impacts on wild species from                                                                                                          CONSERVATION EDUCATION
                                                                   future focus for zoos and aquariums.                                         FOR SOCIAL CHANGE
                        human activities.
                                                                   This strategy is motivated by the growing disconnect between                 Conservation education can be thought of as a multifaceted          It is important to note that there are multiple ways to achieve
           with specific reference to zoos and aquariums           people and the natural world. This disconnection from                        and blended discipline. It is underpinned by aspects of many        this strategy’s recommendations. The cultural, geographical,
                                                                   nature, together with the increase in urgent and alarming                    cognitive, social, emotional, behavioural, and educational          economic, and political contextual diversity within the global
                to scale up their commitment                       environmental issues, can make people feel hopeless                          theories. It embraces elements of environmental education,          community will influence the scale and focus of conservation
                     to species conservation.        “             and disempowered. Zoos and aquariums provide unique
                                                                   platforms to reconnect people with nature, build empathy
                                                                                                                                                science education, interpretation, education for sustainable
                                                                                                                                                development, and community engagement. It draws
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    education at each organisation. For example, individual
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    countries have different legislative and cultural expectations
                                                                   for wildlife, and mobilise social change for people to                       on several approaches to behaviour and social change,               for conservation education in their zoos and aquariums.
                                                                   become powerful advocates for species, ecosystems,                           such as environmental and conservation psychology and               Social Change for Conservation is a tool that helps to reflect,
                                                                   and communities.                                                             social marketing. It is informed by the already established         audit, and improve the conservation education provided by
SOCIAL DIMENSIONS OF                                                                                                                            environmental, science, and ocean literacy frameworks.
                                                                   As well as being spaces where people can experience the                                                                                          all zoos and aquariums. It aims to guide zoos and aquariums
BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION                                                                                                                       It is cross-curricular, interdisciplinary, and often takes place
                                                                   richness of the world’s biodiversity, zoos and aquariums are                                                                                     to engage in critical thinking about their conservation
A recent paradigm shift in the understanding of the human          social levellers. They attract and provide opportunities for                 in real-world contexts. It can be delivered by individual zoos      education initiatives to drive better outcomes for conservation.
and social dimensions of biodiversity conservation highlights      all cultures, faiths, demographics, and generations. Globally,               or aquariums, or through multi-organisational collaborative         This global strategy raises the profile and standards of
the important part that people and their actions play in the       hundreds of millions of people visit and connect with zoos                   partnerships with other zoos, aquariums, nonprofits, schools,       conservation education in zoos and aquariums. It helps frame
conservation landscape. This is further reinforced by the          and aquariums annually. These large and diverse audiences                    and community groups. Essentially, there is no one way              conservation education as an organisation-wide endeavour
“One Health” approach that recognises the health of people         provide a huge potential reach for messages and to catalyse                  to design, deliver, and evaluate conservation education.            to leverage support and involvement from all levels of
is closely connected to the health of animals and their            pro-environmental behaviours that positively impact the                      However, this strategy will help frame and expand on some           staff and volunteers.
shared environment. Like many conservation organisations,          natural world. With a broad scope and diverse audiences,                     of conservation education’s core components. The document
zoos and aquariums are furthering their understanding that         zoos and aquariums need to further invest in conservation                    is not designed to be an in-depth operational or practical
conservation of species has human and social behavioural           education resources, capacity, and expertise to ensure that                  guide. It intentionally excludes the finer details of the theory,
challenges and therefore should be tackled with behaviourally      the right messages reach the right audiences to leverage                     research, practice, and policies connected to
informed solutions. Consequently, zoos and aquariums are           social changes and conservation outcomes.                                    conservation education.

16                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               17
Social Change for Conservation - The World Zoo and Aquarium Conservation Education Strategy - World Association of Zoos ...
THE WORLD ZOO AND AQUARIUM CONSERVATION EDUCATION STRATEGY                                              CHAPTER ONE

                                                             Two Kindergarten kids play with magnifying glasses while on
                                                              excursion at Healesville Sanctuary. © CORMAC HANRAHAN

            CHAPTER ONE

Building a Culture
of Conservation
Education
         Our commitment is to build
         a culture of quality conservation
         education at the heart of all
         zoos and aquariums.

18                                                                                                                   19
THE WORLD ZOO AND AQUARIUM CONSERVATION EDUCATION STRATEGY                                                                                                                                                                                         CHAPTER ONE

Recommendations                                                     when conservation education was solely confined to formal
                                                                    sessions delivered by educators in an education department.
                                                                                                                                             Tied to the culture of quality conservation
                                                                                                                                             education, zoos and aquariums should “walk the         CASE STUDY
• The conservation education role of the zoo or aquarium            Zoos and aquariums will benefit from this holistic approach,             talk.” This means they must commit to the same
  should be reflected in its written mission statement.             as key conservation education messages can be consistently               actions and behaviours they ask of their audiences.

• The zoo or aquarium should have a written conservation
                                                                    delivered and amplified across the organisation.                         For example, conservation education initiatives            Conservation Education
  education plan. This plan should outline the conservation
                                                                                                                                             often ask audiences to make pro-environmental
                                                                                                                                             choices in consumer behaviours, such as in their
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Plan, a hands-on,
  education activities, how they apply to different types
                                                                                                                                             decisions on purchasing plastics, palm oil, wood,          minds-on and hearts-on
  of audiences, and the strategic thinking behind the
  plan’s design.
                                                                                                                                             or seafood. Zoos and aquariums should pay equal            based strategy
                                                                          CASE STUDY                                                         attention to their own procurement and use of these
• The conservation education plan should make specific                                                                                       resources as outlined in WAZA’s Protecting our
  reference to how the zoo or aquarium has integrated                                                                                        Planet strategy. Zoos and aquariums will only be
  its mission and vision, as well as applicable national,                    Love, Care, Protect,                                            credible and trusted voices if they can demonstrate
  regional, and international policies and standards into its                Together – A value-driven                                       their commitment to the issues they advocate to
  conservation education.
                                                                             approach to visitor
                                                                                                                                             their audiences—with action.
• The zoo or aquarium should have appropriate facilities
                                                                             engagement and advocacy
  to deliver its conservation education.
                                                                                                                                             Conservation
                                                                                                                                             Education Plans
• Conservation education should be an integral part
  of exhibit design.                                                     Conservation is about people and how they view and value
                                                                         nature. Wild Planet Trust, UK developed an Interpretive
                                                                         Strategy that works alongside the knowledge base,                   To help build a culture of quality conservation

Introduction                                                             perceptions, and values of guests to develop meaningful             education requires the creation and implementation
                                                                         engagement and involvement. The approach centres                    of a written strategic conservation education plan.
Strengthening the culture of quality conservation education              around four core statements and messages that guests                This plan should:
is critical for zoos and aquariums. A strong culture within and          can tangibly relate to, identified by repeated straplines,          • Use the recommendation in this strategy as the
between zoos and aquariums promotes quality, consistency,                keywords, and logos that appear on all signage. The                   basis for the conservation education plan.
and accountability. Catalysing a culture for quality                     messages take a logical four-step approach - engage the
                                                                                                                                             • Outline the philosophy and commitment of the
conservation education requires the whole organisation                   guest (love); allay their concerns (care); show them what
                                                                                                                                               organisation to design, deliver, and evaluate
to embrace a collective responsibility to deliver effective              Wild Planet Trust are doing (protect); help them to join
                                                                                                                                               quality conservation education.
evidence-based messages and provide a solutions-based                    (together) - with all of the interpretive content relating to one
approach to critical conservation issues.                                or more of these themes. Guests can understand the ethos            • Describe the different activities and how they
                                                                         of Wild Planet Trust as a conservation charity and can see            apply to diverse audiences.
                                                                         that the conservation issues discussed are relevant to,
Organisational
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Inspiring audiences at the Zoo. © LISBON ZOO
                                                                                                                                             • Highlight the theories and strategic thinking
                                                                         and impacted by, their day to day actions at home.
                                                                                                                                               behind the plan’s design.
Approach                                                                                                                                     • Refer to the importance and relevance of
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Lisbon Zoo’s (Portugal) conservation education mission
                                                                                                                                                                                                    is to inspire and encourage different types of audiences,
                                                                                                                                               indigenous science, knowledge, and cultures.
Conservation education is widely recognised as a core                                                                                                                                               inside and outside the Zoo, to change behaviours in
role of a zoo or aquarium, regardless of the organisation’s                                                                                  • Demonstrate the need and benefit of                  favour of protecting biodiversity through cognitive,
business model. As such, conservation education should                                                                                         partnerships between zoos and aquariums, other       emotional and behavioural goals. Building a Conservation
be reflected in the organisation’s mission statement. This                                                                                     conservation organisations, and communities.         Education Plan (CEP) is the result of strategic planning
gives a clear signal to staff, volunteers, external audiences,                                                                                                                                      and reflects the philosophy of the institution. Lisbon
                                                                                                                                             • Link and align to broader conservation efforts and
and stakeholders of the zoo or aquarium’s commitment to                                                                                                                                             ZOO CEP dates from 2008 and is updated annually
                                                                                                                                               the organisation’s mission, vision, and strategic
conservation education at the highest level.                                                                                                                                                        according to the Portuguese National Curriculum,
                                                                                                                                               plans.
The responsibility for conservation education should be                                                                                                                                             Sustainable Development Goals, EAZA Conservation
                                                                                                                                             • Draw on and include applicable state, national,      Education Standards. It includes a quality conservation
embedded at all levels across the organisation. From
                                                                                                                                               regional, and international policies and             education framework reflected on more than 50 different
directors to animal care specialists/zoo keepers and
                                                                                                                                               standards—such as national school curriculums,       programmes and activities, exhibition contents, key
aquarists, from retail staff to conservationists and researchers,
                                                                                                                                               the Ocean Literacy Framework, and UN                 learning outcomes, and evaluation methods, but is also
connecting to audiences through conservation education
                                                                                                                                               Sustainable Development Goals.                       open to creating innovative learning scenarios.
should be part of the culture, mindset, and responsibility of
                                                                         Consistent use of simple straplines, icons, and keywords
all staff and volunteers. Different roles and departments can
                                                                         underpin our approach to interpretation and help to convey
fulfill this responsibility in diverse ways. Gone are the days           meaningful messages that visitors can relate to and engage
                                                                         with. The content of our signs and interpretive panels always
                                                                         relates to one of the core statements shown above.
                                                                         © WILD PLANET TRUST
20                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          21
THE WORLD ZOO AND AQUARIUM CONSERVATION EDUCATION STRATEGY                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   CHAPTER ONE

A strategic planning process will help decide the scope and
purposes of conservation education, outline priorities, map
                                                                       conservation education plan. Their responsibility is to create
                                                                       and ensure the correct implementation of the conservation                                         Quality in                                                         Challanges
out intended outcomes, and allocate resources. It can help
develop quality frameworks and build theoretical models
                                                                       education plan throughout the organisation.                                                       Conservation Education                                             There are global differences in how much institutional
                                                                       All operational aspects that include elements of conservation                                                                                                        attention, resources, and profile conservation education
of change for programmes and audiences. It can drive                                                                                                                     Zoos and aquariums should embrace the notion of quality
                                                                       education, such as exhibit design, interpretative planning, and                                                                                                      is given. Shifting organisational cultures that position
evaluation and social research agendas and ignite innovative                                                                                                             in how they create, deliver, and evaluate their conservation
                                                                       institutional collection planning should involve staff who have                                                                                                      conservation education at the heart of a zoo or aquarium
practices. The plan should provide a clear roadmap across                                                                                                                education. This can involve developing a quality framework
                                                                       the appropriate conservation education qualifications and                                                                                                            could be perceived as a challenge. It requires organisational
the organisation to ensure a culture of governance, quality,                                                                                                             as part of a conservation education plan. This kind of
                                                                       experience. Integrating conservation education throughout                                                                                                            leaders to acknowledge conservation education as one of,
consistency, and accountability for all conservation education.                                                                                                          framework will underpin each activity to ensure quality for all
                                                                       these operational aspects can ensure consistent messaging                                                                                                            if not the, most important roles to champion within their zoo
                                                                                                                                                                         conservation education efforts throughout the organisation.
Zoos and aquariums should have at least one member of                  and more effective implementation of the conservation                                                                                                                or aquarium. More specifically, leaders need to support the
staff with the necessary experience and qualifications to              education plan throughout the organisation.                                                                                                                          notion that zoos and aquariums should drive social change
lead their conservation education efforts. They should work
with colleagues across the organisations to develop their
                                                                                                                                                                         Facilities and                                                     and behavioural solutions to conservation issues through
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            their conservation education efforts.
                                                                                                                                                                         Infrastructure                                                     Conservation education is still emerging as a recognised
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            profession, requiring a high level of skills and expertise.
                                                                                                                                                                         Zoos and aquariums should invest in appropriate facilities and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            There is a widely reported lack of consistency in the level
                                                                                                                                                                         infrastructure to deliver quality conservation education. Every
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            of recognition and remuneration for skilled conservation
                                                                                                                                                                         zoo or aquarium has a wide variety of spaces and places that
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            education workers. It remains an unpredictable career path, as
                                                                                                                                                                         are suitable for self-led conservation education experiences.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            many individuals leave the field challenged by lack of work-life
                                                                                                                    OCEAN LITERACY: ITS HISTORY AND ITS FUTURE           Other onsite facilities include outdoor nature play spaces,
                                                                                                                     DEFINITION AND HISTORY OF OCEAN LITERACY
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            balance or inequitable opportunities for professional growth
                                                                                                                                                                         indoor classrooms, laboratories, and flexible teaching spaces.
CASE STUDY                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  and the ability to move into senior leadership positions.
                                                                                                                                                                     1   Examples of offsite conservation education facilities include
                                                                                                                                                                         field studies sites, nature trails, community spaces, temporary    The responsibilities of staff and volunteers involved in
                                                                  The essential principles of Ocean Literacy
     The Ocean Literacy                                                                                                                                                  outdoor learning spaces, and schools. Online facilities
                                                                                                                                                                         include digital learning portals, marketing materials, websites,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            conservation education have shifted away from being solely
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            educational to include a focus on behavioural, psychological,
     Framework                                                    1.   The Earth has one big ocean                                                                       and social media platforms. Facilities and infrastructure for      and social changes for nature. Thus, those working in
                                                                       with many features                                                                                conservation education vary depending on the individual site,      conservation education require new skills and training in
Ocean literacy is defined as an understanding of the                                                                                                                     budget, and operating structures. Importantly, all facilities      areas such as conservation psychology, social marketing,
ocean’s influence on people and people’s influence on                                                                                                                    need to be in good working order, comply with relevant             and social research.
the ocean. An ocean-literate person:
                                                                  2.   The ocean and life in the ocean shape                                                             health and safety legislation, and be fit for the purpose of the
                                                                       the features of the Earth                                                                         conservation education they host.
• can communicate about the ocean in
  a meaningful way; and                                           3.   The ocean is a major influence
                                                                       on weather and climate
• is able to make informed and responsible
  decisions regarding the ocean and its
  resources.                                                      4.   The ocean makes the Earth habitable

The Ocean Literacy Principles were developed in
2002 using the collective intelligence of over 100                5.   The ocean supports a great diversity
teachers, scientists and education policymakers.                       of life and ecosystems
Each principle has a “flow” of related concepts that
become gradually more complex. The principles offer
                                                                  6.   The ocean and humans
an excellent framework for formal and informal learning
                                                                       are inextricably interconnected
programmes and enable clear learning outcomes to be
developed and evaluated.
Ocean literacy is now a global movement with networks             7.   The ocean is largely unexplored
in Asia, Europe, North and South America, Canada, and
Australia. There is a clear role for zoos and aquariums
in providing access to authentic and compelling                                                                    Table 1. The essential principles of ocean literacy
                                                                                                          ‘Ocean Literacy for All – A toolkit’
ocean experiences and learning programmes that can                                                                         © UNESCO-IOC
                                                                                                                    IOC - OCEAN LITERACY FOR ALL                    19

strengthen the learner’s connection with the ocean.

22
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Children learning about shoebill. © UWEC
THE WORLD ZOO AND AQUARIUM CONSERVATION EDUCATION STRATEGY                                                           CHAPTER TWO

                                                             Zoo Intern Program teens build interpretive and leadership skills as they
                                                                        engage guests in hands-on activities. © LINCOLN PARK ZOO

            CHAPTER TWO

Embedding
Multiple Purposes
of Conservation
Education into
Zoos and Aquariums
         Our commitment is to create
         clear, authentic, and relevant
         purposes for conservation
         education in zoos and aquariums.

24                                                                                                                                25
THE WORLD ZOO AND AQUARIUM CONSERVATION EDUCATION STRATEGY                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             CHAPTER TWO

Recommendations                                                                           Introduction                                                           changes to how people think, feel, and act toward species
                                                                                                                                                                 and the natural world. Less well understood by zoos and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         methodology. Long-term goals, links, and assumptions can
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         be outlined, and outcome pathways mapped out. Theories of
Conservation education in zoos and aquariums                                              The “What” and “How” of conservation education are the                 aquariums is what they are trying to change, who their target                                           change are useful tools to explain how and why the desired
should aim to:                                                                            various activities, events, and programmes. These are                  audiences are, and how they will know that these changes                                                changes are expected and intended. A theory of change is
                                                                                          explored further in Chapter 4. Here, the purposes or the               have happened. Zoos and aquariums should invest in                                                      created with clear goals in mind, and usually before a delivery
• Build knowledge and understanding about species,
                                                                                          “Why” of conservation education in zoos and aquariums                  developing message frameworks that connect stories and                                                  method has been decided. Logic models are another tool to
  the natural world, and zoo and aquarium contributions
                                                                                          are described. Each zoo and aquarium is unique, with its               messages to conservation education aims and outcomes.                                                   help to map out the components of a specific programme.
  to conservation.
                                                                                          own geographical, social, economic, and cultural context.              These should describe and link how the effects and impacts                                              These models help to show the relationship between
• Foster positive connections, emotions, attitudes, values,                               Regardless of the size, budget, and business operating model,          of the conservation education that is delivered contributes to                                          resources, inputs, activities, outputs, outcomes, and impacts.
  and empathy toward species, the natural world, and zoos                                 the core purposes of its conservation education should be              social and conservation outcomes.                                                                       Creating logic models can help zoos and aquariums visualise
  and aquariums.                                                                          consistent, to enable outcomes that drive social changes that                                                                                                                  their conservation education activities. They can describe
                                                                                                                                                                 Zoos and aquariums should map out, critically think about,
                                                                                          benefit people and nature.                                                                                                                                                     what they hope to achieve and what they need to do to deliver
• Promote awe, wonder, enjoyment, creativity, and                                                                                                                and explore the various pathways of change catalysed
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         successful programmes. They show the components of
  inspiration about species and the natural world.                                                                                                               through their conservation education. Using a “theory
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         conservation education and help to ensure that activities lead
                                                                                          Theory of Change
                                                                                                                                                                 of change” model can be a helpful outcome-based
• Motivate pro-environmental behaviours, actions, and                                                                                                                                                                                                                    to the intended outcomes and impacts.
  advocacy toward species and the natural world.
                                                                                          Conservation education is a multifaceted discipline with
• Develop scientific, technical, and personal skills connected
                                                                                          a range of core purposes. These purposes centre around
  to zoos, aquariums, and biodiversity conservation.

                                                                                                                                                                        CASE STUDY

  The Bronx Zoo’s Youth Employee Advisory Council
                                                                                                                                                                                 Example of using a theory of change
                                                                                                                                                                                 in conservation education
              Inputs                         Activities                       Outputs                          Outcomes

     >600 youth employees at the       Recruit youth employees        90 youth employees participate          Youth Employees
                                                                                                                                                                        San Diego Zoo Global’s (USA) CARE Conservation Engagement Roadmap is a Theory of Change that outlines
             Bronx Zoo                                                          (30/year)
                                                                                                            Develop transferable
                                                                                                                                                                        how different types of experiences can be used in combination to promote conservation-related caring,
                                            Idea Generation                                                  professional skills                                        understanding, intent to take action, and action.
                                                                       Robust process for tracking,
      Dedicated team, including                                                                        Foster a sense of commitment
                                     Provide mentorship to identify   developing, and implementing
     department leadership and a                                                                            to the zoo’s mission
                                        problems and solutions                    ideas
         program manager
                                        Implement process for                                          Gain exposure to career options
                                           recording ideas                 900 ideas generated
                                                                                                       and capitalize on opportunities                                                                                                 GREATER CONSERVATION IMPACT*
     Experience facilitating youth                                                                      for advancement at the zoo.
             initiatives             Establish meetings to review
                                                ideas                                                                                                                                         GOAL        INCREASED MOTIVATION                           INCREASED INTENT                                    ACTION
                                                                          90 ideas implemented
                                                                                                              WCS Operations                                                                   S
                                      Identify actionable ideas for                                                                                                                   TOOL
  Idea driven organization model            implementation                                             Establish a culture of innovation
                                                                        15 workforce development        that embraces feedback from
                                                                            meetings (5/year)                                                                                             1
                                                                                                               youth employees                                                                                         Care
                                                                                                                                                                               Inspiring experiences                                                                                                                    KEY
                                       Workforce Development                                                                                                                                                           more
               Funding                                                                                                                     Logic model for the                      with wildlife
                                                                                                        Create permanent change to
                                       Provide job skills training    70% of members return to work    operations, including increased     Bronx Zoo’s Youth
                                                                         at the zoo the next year        efficiencies and visitor and      Employee                                      2                                                                                                                       Measurable outcomes
                                     Provide mentorship in career                                           employee satisfaction
                                                                                                                                           Advisory Council.                   Learning experiences
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Understand more
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Want to take
                                            development                                                                                                                          about wildlife and
                                                                      50% of members diversify their   Increase retention of dedicated     LOGIC MODEL                             conservation
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     action (general)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Causal links
                                                                             roles at the zoo              and talented employees          CREDIT:
CASE STUDY                                                                                                                                 Su-Jen Roberts                                3
                                                                                                                                                                               Learning experiences               Know what they                                  Want to take

     Examples of using logic models in
                                                                                                                                                                                promoting specific                   can do
                                                                                                                                                                                      actions                                                                    action (specific)

     conservation education programs                                                                                                                                                     4
                                                                                                                                                                               Positive engagement
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Want to take
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      action (in the                               Take action
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        moment)                                 (in the moment)
This logic model is for the Bronx Zoo’s (USA) Youth Employee Advisory Council (YEAC), a three-year pilot program
launched in 2017. The Bronx Zoo’s YEAC is a small group of front-line staff members who are invested in making                                                                           5
                                                                                                                                                                                  Assistance that
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Take action
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         (in the moment
their workplace better for themselves and visitors. The program makes real change to business operations and                                                                     removes barriers                                                                                                          and/or later)

workplace culture, while providing career development and mentorship to youth employees.                                                                                                6a
                                                                                                                                                                                 Reinforcing and                                                                                                                  Sustained action
Program leads convened stakeholders from across WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) departments to co-develop                                                                      supporting
                                                                                                                                                                                  relationships
target outcomes and work backward to develop the detailed activities, outputs, and timeline. Stakeholders return to                                                        FIGURE 2                                   * A complementary enhancement strategy (Tool 6b) can further increase benefits: leverage audience action for
the logic model annually to remind themselves of the goals of the program and report on progress against activities,                                                       Pathways toward conservation change.
                                                                                                                                                                           s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        change at higher levels; expand audience by working with communities or empowering partner institutions

outputs, and outcomes.
                                                                                                                                                                        The CARE Conservation Engagement Roadmap, San Diego Zoo Global. © EMILY ROUTMAN ASSOCIATES (2020)
26
THE WORLD ZOO AND AQUARIUM CONSERVATION EDUCATION STRATEGY                                                                                                                                                              CHAPTER TWO

Purposes                                                                                                    Cognitive Purpose                                               CASE STUDY

Conservation education covers many topics and themes. There is a host                                       Building knowledge and understanding remains a
of possible intellectual, social, emotional, and physical well-being aims and                               fundamental purpose of conservation education in                     Combining practical
outcomes for activities, programmes, and events delivered in zoos and                                       zoos and aquariums. This purpose helps audiences                     work with
aquariums. Therefore, a range of cognitive, social, emotional, inspirational,
behavioural, and skills-based purposes should be considered and included.
                                                                                                            to know and understand more about topics ranging
                                                                                                            from individual animals, species, and ecosystems
                                                                                                                                                                                 situation-based
This approach promotes a more diverse suite of outcomes and moves away from                                 to ex situ population management and biodiversity                    discussion: building
the traditions of solely providing a lot of information and facts to audiences. The                         conservation. In addition, zoos and aquariums should                 the foundation of
                                                                                                                                                                                 empathy in preschool
following five purposes are not hierarchical but are interlinked, and they provide                          build audiences’ knowledge and understanding of a
a useful way to conceptualise the multiple core purposes for conservation                                   range of complex conservation, sustainability, and
education in zoos and aquariums.                                                                            environmental issues.

                                                                                                            Building an understanding of nature in its broadest
                                                                                                            sense is an essential tool to help audiences know
                                                                                                            more, and think differently and critically about zoos,
                                                                                                            aquariums, and critical global issues. Many audiences
                                                                                      Diagram of the
                                                                                                            do not know about the full range of “work zoos and
              Develop scientific,              Build knowledge                        range of purpose
                technical, and                and understanding                                             aquariums do” for species care, animal welfare, and
                                                                                      in conservation
               personal skills                                                                              contributions to biodiversity conservation. Conservation
                                                                                      education (informed
                                                                                                            education should continue to build audiences’
                                                                                      by the Arts Council
                                                                                                            knowledge, understanding, attitudes, and positive
                                                                                      England “Inspiring
                                                                                                            perceptions of zoos and aquariums as authentic
                                                                                      Learning for All”
                               The purposes                                                                 conservation organisations.
                              of conservation                                         framework for
      Motivate             education in zoos and                                      generic learning
                                                         Foster positive
 pro-environmental
behaviours, actions,
                             aquariums are to:            connections,
                                                       emotions, attitudes,
                                                                                      outcomes).
                                                                                                            Affective Purpose
   and advocacy                                        values and empathy                                   Zoos and aquariums should aim to design experiences
                                                                                                            that encourage audiences to spend more time outside.
                                                                                                            Experiences in nature help develop emotional and
                                                                                                            physical well-being. They connect people emotionally to
                           Promote awe, wonder,                                                             the natural world, and to other people, and encourage
                           enjoyment, creativity,
                                                                                                            personal reflections. Conservation education can help
                              and inspiration
                                                                                                            audiences feel connectedness, interdependence, and
                                                                                                            a part of the global “socio-ecological system.” They can
(COGNITIVE PURPOSE)                                                                                         feel intrinsically part of nature, as just one species living   Helping with cleaning the European bison (Bison bonasus)
                                                                                                                                                                            enclosure, while talking about what they eat…..and what
Build knowledge and understanding about species, the natural world,                                         on this planet, not separate from the natural world.            comes out! © BORÅS DJURPARK

and zoo and aquarium contributions to conservation.                                                         Zoos and aquariums should aim to foster respect and
                                                                                                            empathy for wildlife, and promote the intrinsic values
(AFFECTIVE PURPOSE)                                                                                                                                                         Borås Zoo, Sweden combines practical husbandry work
                                                                                                            of nature, pride, guardianship, love, and compassion
Foster positive connections, emotions, attitudes, values, and empathy                                                                                                       with discussions about different animals where children
                                                                                                            toward nature. Audiences should feel a sense of
toward species, the natural world, and zoos and aquariums.                                                                                                                  identify and discuss the animal’s emotions. The scenarios
                                                                                                            responsibility as global “environmental citizens”; to look
                                                                                                                                                                            and images were developed by Animal Welfare Sweden,
(INSPIRATION PURPOSE)                                                                                       after, care about, and care for species and the natural
                                                                                                                                                                            together with an Ethologist and Psychologist to help
Promote awe, wonder, enjoyment, creativity, and inspiration about                                           world. Resilience and optimism should be nurtured to
                                                                                                                                                                            children develop their empathy.
species and the natural world.                                                                              keep audiences hopeful and positive, despite a rapidly
                                                                                                            changing global environment. Through these affective            The children also learn about the animals they are
(BEHAVIOURAL PURPOSE)                                                                                       learning pathways, zoos and aquariums can enhance               working with, basic biology and the threats they face in
Motivate pro-environmental behaviours, actions, and advocacy                                                people’s biophilia—namely their love, respect, and              the wild. Outcomes of this programme include teaching
to support species and the natural world.                                                                   care for nature.                                                children about empathy and respect, the need for
(SKILLS PURPOSE)                                                                                                                                                            conservation and what they can do themselves at home
Develop scientific, technical, and personal skills connected to zoos,                                                                                                       or in their classroom to preserve biodiversity.
aquariums, and biodiversity conservation.                                                                                                                                   For example, raising funds by recycling cans and
                                                                                                                                                                            donating to conservation programmes.

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