EAZA and Education
One of EAZA's objectives, as stated in its constitution, is "to promote education, in particular environmental education". This objective is interpreted in two ways:
- EAZA wants to further the quality and extent of environmental/conservation education in its member institutions in order to increase effectiveness in nature conservation. EAZA wants to be a facilitator for the membership to help achieve this objective
- EAZA wants to promote the enormous potential value of zoo and aquarium education to authorities and conservation bodies. EAZA seeks support for its members' individual and joint education programmes, and invites other organisations to make efficient use of these programmes.
As suggested in chapter 5 of the World Zoo and Aquarium Conservation Strategy (2005), zoos and aquariums should make a significant conservation contribution by acting as leaders and mentors in socially - and culturally - relevant formal and informal education, thereby influencing people's attitudes and behaviour toward wildlife and environments, local and global.
World Zoo and Aquarium Conservation Strategy
Summary version in English
Summary version in German
Summary version in Arabic
Zoos and aquariums reach hundreds of millions of people all over the world. The great majority of the people live in urban areas and have little to no contact with nature. Education - explaining the irreplaceable value of the entire biological system of our planet and all of its constituent components - is a most powerful tool in raising the level of general awareness.
Education and Exhibit Design Committee
The EAZA Education and Exhibit Design Committee, one of the Specialist Committees of EAZA, keeps a close watch on new developments relating to this area and stimulates a high level of education in the EAZA membership. Members of this committee are diverse educational specialists from zoos throughout Europe. A European Board member of IZE (International Zoo Educators) is also a member of this EAZA committee.
The Conservation Education Strategy was approved by the EAZA Council in September 2010. It can be downloaded by EAZA members from the Member Area. Any non-member of EAZA may request a copy by email: firstname.lastname@example.org. A new strategy for 2013-2016 is currently in development.
The Education and Exhibit Design Committee also drafted Education Standards which were adopted by the EAZA Council in 2001 and updated in 2008.
EAZA Education Standards (2008) EAZA Education Standards (2008) - German translation