The European Association of Zoos and Aquariums have published a plant conservation strategy for 2013-2016. The Strategy has 6 objectives and 5 targets to be achieved by 2016.
As described in the Strategy, EAZA has a valuable part to play in plant conservation. Its members are conservation organisations, education organisations and visitor attractions. One in 5 of the population of Europe visits an EAZA zoo annually, which gives zoos a unique opportunity to engage with the people of Europe. The potential for positive actions, both by zoos and their visitors is vast. We must aim to inspire today’s zoo visitors to be tomorrow’s plant conservation champions.
The EAZA Plant Conservation Strategy seeks to be both efficient and effective so the strategy concentrates on outputs, such as the EAZA Plant Conservation Guides that will make a real change in the way we think about and treat plants. It seeks to support the existing plant conservation and biological strategies and the work of botanical gardens and others, while focusing on the strengths of zoos and the part that they can play in conserving plant biodiversity. As the EAZA Zoo Horticulture Groups strap line states:
“Plants need animals need Plants need animals need plants.”
Download a copy of the Strategy here.
Dr Lauren Weisenberger, a Hawaiian botanist and member of the Hawaiian Plant Specialist Group of the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC), has received the David Given Award for Excellence in Plant Conservation.