The European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA), represents and links more than 300 member institutions in 35 countries. Formed in 1992, EAZA’s mission is to facilitate cooperation within the European zoo and aquarium community towards the goals of education, research and conservation.
By ensuring that its member zoos and aquariums achieve and maintain the highest standards of care and breeding for the species they keep, EAZA empowers European citizens to learn about and contribute to global biodiversity conservation goals. It is estimated that more than 140 million people visit EAZA members each year, equivalent to approximately one in five European citizens.
“EAZA’s mission is to facilitate co-operation within the European zoo and aquarium community with the aim of furthering its professional quality in keeping animals and presenting them for the education of the public, and of contributing to scientific research and to the conservation of global biodiversity. It will achieve these aims through stimulation, facilitation and co-ordination of the community’s efforts in education, conservation and scientific research, through the enhancement of co-operation with all relevant organisations and through influencing relevant legislation within the EU.” (EAZA Strategy 2009-2012).
The IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) is a science-based network of some 7,500 volunteer experts from almost every country of the world, all working together towards achieving the vision of:
“A world that values and conserves present levels of biodiversity.”
Most members are deployed in more than 100 Specialist Groups and Task Forces. Some groups address conservation issues related to particular groups of plants or animals while others focus on topical issues, such as reintroduction of species into former habitats or wildlife health.
• government officials
• wildlife veterinarians
• zoo and botanical institute employees
• marine biologists
• protected area managers
• experts on plants, birds, mammals, fish, amphibians, reptiles, and invertebrates.
Working in close association with IUCN’s Species Programme, SSC’s major role is to provide information to IUCN on biodiversity conservation, the inherent value of species, their role in ecosystem health and functioning, the provision of ecosystem services, and their support to human livelihoods. SSC members also provide scientific advice to conservation organisations, government agencies and other IUCN members, and support the implementation of multilateral environmental agreements.
The technical guidelines produced by the SSC provide guidance to specialized conservation projects and initiatives, such as re-introducing animals into their former ranges, handling confiscated specimens, and halting the spread of invasive species.
United Nations Decade on Biodiversity
The United Nations General Assembly at its 65th session declared the period 2011-2020 to be “the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity, with a view to contributing to the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity for the period 2011-2020” (Resolution 65/161).
The United Nations Decade on Biodiversity will serve to support and promote implementation of the objectives of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. Its goal is to mainstream biodiversity at different levels. Throughout the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity,
governments are encouraged to develop, implement and communicate the results of national strategies for implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity.
There are five strategic goals and 20 ambitious yet achievable targets. Collectively, known as the Aichi Targets, they are part the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity. Their purpose is to inspire broad-based action in support of biodiversity over the next decade (2011-2020) by all countries and stakeholders promoting the coherent and effective implementation of the three objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity: conservation
of biodiversity; sustainable use of biodiversity; fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the use of genetic resources.