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What Zoos are Currently Doing to Support the GSPC

These are the results of research carried out by BGCI's education department regarding how Zoos are contributing to the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation.

Zoos, particularly their education and horticultural departments, are already carrying out work that supports the aims of the GSPC. IZE (International Zoo Educators Association) members at the biennial congress held in Hong Kong, 2004, were asked to identify which of their programmes and projects contribute to the GSPC. They provided some excellent ideas and ways in which zoos are already contributing to the GSPC.

These activities can be used as a basis for increasing interest and status of the work of the education department within the zoo as a whole – useful when wrangling for more funds! 

 

Target 1: A widely accessible working list of known plant species, as a step towards a complete world flora

For example, maybe you have a database of the zoo’s plant collection. Does the education department work with research scientists in a science communication programme?

“Plants of interest” guide created for year 03-04 with original art illustration
Anne Warner, Oakland Zoo, California

List of native trees on site (and their location) primarily associated with their management either for public safety or as part of native woodland. Some other plant species on site are identified and recorded.
Stephen Woollard, Dudley Zoo, UK

Have database, also have at least one national collection
Stephen McKeown, Chester Zoo, UK

MOU with Agriculture faculty, UWKS, conduct cooperation with local universities
Making database with local provider
Rozano, Marketing and Promotion Manager, Surabaya Zoo, Indonesia

Plant list (not open to the public)
Kasumi Nagakura, Yokohama Zoological Gardens, Japan

Lahore does not have a formal programme but it does have a database of all its plant species
Uzma Khan, Senior Education Officer, Lahore Zoo, WWF Pakistan

Database of the zoo’s plant collection
Helena Olsson, Education Officer, Parlien Zoo, Sweden

Do have database of plants in the marsh
Cecily Yip Sze Man & Patrick Ho, Education Officers, Mai Po Marshes Nature Reserve, WWF Hong Kong


Target 2: A preliminary assessment of the conservation status of all known plant species, at national, regional and international levels

Are you funding, or helping to fund, local plant survey work, e.g. talks and guided walks?

Native endangered plants surveyed – done by another organisation, not funded by the zoo
Anne Warner, Oakland Zoo, California
Survey of site has primarily been conducted as part of an overall site survey for development work (UK species) Stephen Woollard, Dudley Zoo, UK

Starting to fund work in Surabaya zoo and Candra Wilwatchita Garden
Don Rozano, Marketing and Promotion Manager, Surabaya Zoo, Indonesia


Target 3: Development of models with protocols for plant conservation and sustainable use, based on research and practical experience

Do you work directly with conservation projects and programmes e.g. by helping to set up education programmes elsewhere, fund teacher training in developing countries or do you have a regular means by which to share expertise?

 

Support JGI-TAZARE, PASA that include reforestation projects
Anne Warner, Oakland Zoo, California

Planting 35,000 in Surabaya Area, cooperation with local government and media, NGO and community
Don Rozano, Marketing and Promotion Manager, Surabaya Zoo, Indonesia

Using and developing a training the trainers model for expansion of environmental education in rural areas of Laos
Chittana Phompila, team leader of Mobile Education Unit in Laos

Carry out conservation and monitoring projects on the reedbed and mangrove
Cecily Yip Sze Man & Patrick Ho, Education Officers, Mai Po Marshes Nature Reserve, WWF Hong Kong


Target 4: At least 10% of each of the world’s ecological regions effectively conserved

Are you funding, or running, in-situ conservation programmes, e.g. setting up protected areas?

Amur tiger conservation
Greek tortoise in the south of Russia
Elena Migunova, Moscow Zoo, Russia

Sent funds to help WCS create Langoué-Ivindo National Park, Gabon.
ARCAS administer Hawaii National Park, Guatemala
Anne Warner, Oakland Zoo, California

Small involvement in supporting in situ animal species based projects (e.g. Sumatran tigers), that links to habitat work
Stephen Woollard, Dudley Zoo, UK

Developing ecotourism projects in the Congo rainforest
- Breeding dormice, field crickets, corncrakes for release in conjunction with English Nature
Claire Robinson, Zoological Society of London, UK

It has an in-situ conservation project for the rescue of stranded Indus River dolphins, involving conservation of habitat
Uzma Khan, Senior Education Officer, Lahore Zoo, WWF Pakistan

The zoo is situated within a protected area of a national forest, which is partially managed by the zoo.
Furlah, zoologist and zoo educator, Zoo Ljubljana, Slovenia

Mai Po is in itself a protected area and Ramsar site
Cecily Yip Sze Man & Patrick Ho, Education Officers, Mai Po Marshes Nature Reserve, WWF Hong Kong


Target 5: Protection of 50% of the most important areas for plant diversity assured

Do you talk about biodiversity ‘hotspots’ with school groups and tell students of the need to protect an animals habitat in order to save the animal itself? Do you fund in-situ conservation projects, or support them in any way?

 

Native plant restoration project on site
Anne Warner, Oakland Zoo, California

Not directly, but do work with EAZA on their campaigns, which include habitat based campaigns
Stephen Woollard, Dudley Zoo, UK

Funding in situ conservation project of the Cebu cinnamon tree in the Philippines and the Black poplar in the UK
Stephen McKeown, Chester Zoo, UK

ZSL manages in situ conservation programmes in 30 countries including the UK
ZSL raised £9000 to fund the planting of a corridor f trees to link fragments of forest in Brazil to allow tamarins to meet
Claire Robinson, Zoological Society of London, UK


Target 6: At least 30% of production lands managed consistent with the conservation of plant diversity

Is your animal feed obtained from sustainable sources?
Are you involved with government policy on agriculture?

Zoo has its own farm to grow peanuts to feed the animals
Uses cultivated plants, not wild ones
Elena Migunova, Moscow Zoo, Russia

Harvest browse on site
Anne Warner, Oakland Zoo, California

Set aside land for wildflowers in zoo, including corridors of plants
Stephen McKeown, Chester Zoo, UK

Cooperate with the gardeners at the zoo to get browse for the animals
Kasumi Nagakura, Yokohama Zoological Gardens, Japan

Browse for the animals is produced and harvested locally, from local markets - although this isn’t a conscious decision it is sustainable.
Uzma Khan, Senior Education Officer, Lahore Zoo, WWF Pakistan

Work with farmers in the neighbourhood – particularly organic farmers, and get organic food for the animals
Helena Olsson, Education Officer, Parlien Zoo, Sweden

 

Target 7: 60% of the world’s threatened species conserved in situ

Is there a connection between the education department and public awareness campaigns in house to raise money for in situ provision?
Do you discuss the importance of maintaining habitat and its value with college groups?
Is there a database of and programme for conservation of local plant species?

Survey work done working with landscape restoration in National Parks
Established butterfly/pollinator garden
Anne Warner, Oakland Zoo, California

Want to do via links and networking with others
Stephen Woollard, Dudley Zoo, UK

Hold a national collection of orchid genus
Stephen McKeown, Chester Zoo, UK

ZSL has an SSSI on its land at Whipsnade Zoo
It has joined the local Biodiversity Action Group, planted native bluebells, foxgloves, field maple and used interpretation to explain their significance.
Research into bumblebee us of plants on Brownfield sites
Growing barberry bushes to breed barberry carpet moths
Set up trail of a green roof system
Claire Robinson, Zoological Society of London, UK

Not yet, but are planning to work with an organisation in the area who does run a database for local plant species
Helena Olsson, Education Officer, Parlien Zoo, Sweden


Target 8: 60% of threatened plant species in accessible ex-situ collections, preferably in the country of origin and 10% of them included in recovery and restoration programmes

Do you hold a national collection of a particular plant genus?

As the zoo itself is old it is home to old trees that are protected. Also species like sheeshaw that is threatened throughout the region have specimens within the zoo
Uzma Khan, Senior Education Officer, Lahore Zoo, WWF Pakistan

Identification labels for some trees and bushes, indigenous species on site
Irena Furlah, zoologist and zoo educator, Zoo Ljubljana, Slovenia


Target 9: 70% of the genetic diversity of crops and other major socio-economically valuable plant species conserved and associated indigenous and local knowledge maintained

Has your department worked with local people to learn about their usage of traditional crops, and are there medicinal or herbal gardens in the zoo?

When Creek restoration work done – native plants were used by native Americans for medicine, that will be part of education project – all coming up in future
Anne Warner, Oakland Zoo, California
Beginning to look at education programmes focused on where food comes from - Stephen Woollard, Dudley Zoo, UK

Future development – working with an indigenous knowledge organisation in the area
Helena Olsson, Education Officer, Parlien Zoo, Sweden


Target 10: Management plans in place of at least 100 major alien species that threaten plants, plant communities and associated habitats and ecosystems

Have you conducted research into alien species and their effect on local populations? Do you have any talks, or interpretation about alien species?

Talk about alien species in education programmes
Helena Olsson, Education Officer, Parlien Zoo, Sweden
Have management plans for a handful of alien species, such as Makania and Sonneteris

Cecily Yip Sze Man & Patrick Ho, Education Officers, Mai Po Marshes Nature Reserve, WWF Hong Kong


Target 11: No species of wild flora endangered by international trade

Does your site use exhibits focussing on the unsustainable practices of the tourist trade in endangered species, such as orchids? Do you get involved in training programmes for customs officials etc so that they can identify endangered species?

Programmes on endangered species and tourist trade – especially 4th grade curriculum, public programmes and docent training
Anne Warner, Oakland Zoo, California

Education on CITES and international trade includes a little on plants too
Stephen Woollard, Dudley Zoo, UK

Bring in plants within education programmes about CITES protected animals
Helena Olsson, Education Officer, Parlien Zoo, Sweden


Target 12: 30% of plant-based products derived from sources that are sustainably managed

Does your shop sell fair trade and locally manufactured products that uphold the zoo’s aims and objectives?
What about your own office, if you print this out, is it on recycled paper? Can you influence your site to become more sustainable itself while encouraging your audience to do the same?

Fair trade, shade grown organic coffee in shop
Anne Warner, Oakland Zoo, California

Some fair trade and fairly traded in shop
Beginning to highlight FSC in education
Also talk about use of peat-free compost in gardening
Stephen Woollard, Dudley Zoo, UK

Shop sells fair trade tea and coffee – Chester was the first official fair trade zoo in the U.K.
Stephen McKeown, Chester Zoo, UK

ZSL has a green team which helps direct the society into sustainable management of resources
New buildings are made form materials from sustainable sources
Claire Robinson, Zoological Society of London, UK


Target 13: The decline of plant resources, and associated indigenous and local knowledge, innovations and practices that support sustainable livelihoods, local food security and health care, halted

Does your site have involvement in projects documenting local knowledge e.g. stories, games, songs, poems, uses and history of local people’s interaction with plants. Do you get involved with training courses to encourage sustainable livelihoods?

For animals and plants – collecting folklore items and making projects and performances based on it (together with the museum of biology)
Elena Migunova, Moscow Zoo, Russia

Last year’s winter camp was based on documenting local knowledge and included plants.
Future – new exhibit area
Anne Warner, Oakland Zoo, California

Some focus on rainforest and developing country but not native species
Stephen Woollard, Dudley Zoo, UK

Indigenous knowledge on some interpretation n the new jaguar exhibits
Stephen McKeown, Chester Zoo, UK

Documents local knowledge, producing colour books, poster, calendar and brochure, sending them out to local villages for use and to raise awareness
Chittana Phompila, team leader of Mobile Education Unit in Laos

Integrated education about animals and habitats is provided through education programme
Uzma Khan, Senior Education Officer, Lahore Zoo, WWF Pakistan


Target 14: The importance of plant diversity and the need for its conservation incorporated into communication, educational and public-awareness programmes

Do you run school’s programmes about habitats and ecosystems, looking at plant/animal interactions and our own connection and place in these interactions?

School programmes about food chains involve talks about plants and their interactions with animals (and humans)
Elena Migunova, Moscow Zoo, Russia

Programmes on habitats and ecosystems – especially 3rd grade curriculum and family workshops on butterfly gardening
Anne Warner, Oakland Zoo, California

Particular focus on changes over tie mint eh UK and internationally – school programmes on ecosystems and habitats
Stephen Woollard, Dudley Zoo, UK

Plant interpretation via static boards, plus a programme of botanic presentations during summer
Stephen McKeown, Chester Zoo, UK

Have a lecture for university students how important plants are, and have a hands-on exhibit in the zoo (but temporary)
Kasumi Nagakura, Yokohama Zoological Gardens, Japan

Wide ranging education programme for school
Claire Robinson, Zoological Society of London, UK

Village selection, run school programmes by storytelling, games, songs, illustration and puppet shows
Chittana Phompila, team leader of Mobile Education Unit in Laos

There is zoo outreach educational programme too which talks to schools and local communities about solid waste management
Uzma Khan, Senior Education Officer, Lahore Zoo, WWF Pakistan

Programmes about habitats and ecosystems with workshops about plants
Irena Furlah, zoologist and zoo educator, Zoo Ljubljana, Slovenia

Always start education programmes with the ecosystem and animal/plant interactions
Helena Olsson, Education Officer, Parlien Zoo, Sweden

Look at habitats and ecosystems in schools and other education programmes
Cecily Yip Sze Man & Patrick Ho, Education Officers, Mai Po Marshes Nature Reserve, WWF Hong Kong


Target 15: The number of trained people working with appropriate facilities in plant conservation increased, according to national needs, to achieve the targets of this strategy

Do you help at or organise regular capacity building and training events for zoo staff and staff in the field?

New training this year for docents (volunteer guides)
Anne Warner, Oakland Zoo, California

Some
Stephen Woollard, Dudley Zoo, UK

Curator of botany involved in zoo management
Stephen McKeown, Chester Zoo, UK


Target 16: Networks for plants conservation activities established or strengthened at national, regional and international levels

Are your horticultural team active in conservation education networks? Do you share your ideas and experiences with others in the same field?

Educators involved with networks
Anne Warner, Oakland Zoo, California

Not to any great extent yet, but soon will be!
Stephen Woollard, Dudley Zoo, UK

One of education staff a BGEN council member
Stephen McKeown, Chester Zoo, UK

ZSL has a curator of horticulture and it is registered as a botanic garden
Claire Robinson, Zoological Society of London, UK

Work with FSC projects at a regional and international level
Cecily Yip Sze Man & Patrick Ho, Education Officers, Mai Po Marshes Nature Reserve, WWF Hong Kong

   
 
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