The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA),the global alliance of regional associations, national federations, zoos and aquariums, recently published its WAZA Short Guide: How to Choose Responsibly Sourced Forest Products at Your Zoo or Aquarium. The guide originated from the organization’s Annual Conference in 2018.
There, WAZA and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) signed a memorandum of understanding regarding the use of FSC-certified products. WAZA’s goal was for half of its members to develop responsible procurement policies for wood and paper products by 2021.
Forests need stewardship, sustainable practices
1.6 billion humans rely on forests and their products for their basic needs. 300 million of them live inside forests, and 70 million of that number are indigenous people. The majority of the planet’s land-based biodiversity rely on forests as well.
Because of urbanization, agriculture, climate change, and poor harvesting practices, forests are under threat. On the other hand, sustainable use of these products, can provides valuable data for scientists and livelihoods for local communities.
Zoos and Aquariums leading the conversation
Additionally, as respected advocates for conservation, Zoos and Aquariums have an opportunity to speak up about sustainability. Changing industry standard practices to best practices drives innovation and offers a platform to encourage guests to amend their behavior.
“They don’t need to do big things,” says Martin Zordan, WAZA CEO. But if they become conscious of what their consumption is costing the planet, and how they might change the way they choose to consume, then there is a role for the visitors to do something meaningful.”
Learn from leaders sharing their sustainability experiences at the first conference specifically for the industry: April 20-21 online at greenloop, Blooloop’s new conference focusing on sustainability in visitor attractions. For every ticket sold, Blooloop will both donate 5% of revenue to EarthDay.org and plant a tree.