Today sees the launch of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (BIAZA) exhibition at London’s Palace of Westminster, the aim of which is to raise awareness of the value of good zoos and aquariums. The exhibition is in the Upper Waiting Hall exhibition space at the Palace of Westminster from Tuesday, January 8 to Thursday, January 10.
With the theme, ‘Zoos and Aquariums in Conservation and Education’, the exhibition will showcase a selection of the wildlife and habitat conservation and education work being actioned by BIAZA’s member zoos and aquariums both in the UK and overseas.
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With over 24 million people visiting BIAZA’s member Zoos and Aquarium in 2012 , these attractions contributing over £658 million in total activity to the economy and the driving of over 600 field conservation projects around the world, the role of Britain and Ireland’s zoos and aquariums has never been more important.
Projects highlighted at the exhibition include Chester Zoo’s Assam Haathi Project in India which is working to resolve human/elephant conflict through education and Paignton Zoo Environmental Park’s conservation work in Tanzania to protect three of Africa’s rarest frogs.
Miranda Stevenson, Executive Director of BIAZA, said: “We were delighted when the chair of the All Party Parliamentary Zoo and Aquarium Group, Andrew Rosindell, MP told us that the application for the exhibition space had been successful. This is a wonderful opportunity to highlight the vital conservation and education work that our member zoos and aquariums carry out and how important they are to the national and regional economy of the UK.
“It is also the perfect platform to reach an audience who may not be aware of how zoos have evolved and how they are leading the way in conservation, research and education. BIAZA zoos receive more than 24 million visitors, contributing more than £14 million a year to field conservation and about £658 million to the economy. “We know time is always tight for those working at Westminster, but we do hope they take the time to stop and speak to us on their way into meetings.”
Andrew Rosindell, MP, said: “It is excellent that the Upper Waiting Hall in the Palace of Westminster will play host to this exciting exhibition of wildlife conservation for the next week. We are very fortunate to have been successful in our ballot and I hope that Members of both houses will take the opportunity to learn a little more about this fascinating subject, from reading the range of informative posters to utilising the knowledge of various zoo professionals who will be on hand throughout the week.”
Representatives from BIAZA, ZSL London Zoo, Chester Zoo, the National Marine Aquarium, Yorkshire Wildlife Park and Paradise Wildlife Park will be manning the exhibition throughout the week to answer any questions.