The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the global alliance of regional associations, national federations, zoos and aquariums, has announced the launch of a new website: Sustainable Palm Oil Resources for Zoos and Aquariums.
The move follows WAZA’s signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) at its annual conference in 2018. This introduced a framework of cooperation between the two organisations, who have a shared goal of making sustainable palm oil the norm.
Palm oil is the world’s most widely used vegetable oil as it is cheap and efficient. However, the creation of palm oil plantations is a major driver of deforestation, threatening some of the world’s most endangered species.
Member case studies and experiences needed
The new site has been created by the WAZA Palm Oil Subcommittee. It aims to help members understand the MoU and to give them the right tools to transform the way their organisation approaches palm oil.
Members can help the website develop by submitting case studies, which the subcommittee will add to a new short guide. Organisations that have made the change to certified sustainable palm oil can tell their story here.
WAZA members can also fill in a short survey, which will help the subcommittee to understand the use of certified sustainable palm oil in zoos and aquariums, enabling them to continue their work on driving the WAZA/RSPO MuO forward.
WAZA also recently published its WAZA Short Guide: How to Choose Responsibly Sourced Forest Products at Your Zoo or Aquarium. Again, this originated from the organization’s Annual Conference in 2018, where WAZA and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) signed an MoU 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. Now, collaborating with the FSC, WAZA members have committed to sourcing at least 70% FSC-certified wood and paper products.