EAZA members work from the assumption that we can, and are obliged, to do whatever is possible to protect nature, both in the field and in our institutions
In recent years, our effect on the planet has been devastating, with a massive decline in animal numbers and habitats across the globe. EAZA has never believed that keeping animals in our institutions replaces action in the wild - but experience also shows us that the knowledge and finance that we and our visitors can provide to field conservation projects can make a huge difference. EAZA believes that zoos and aquariums form one pillar of the structure that is needed to safeguard the future.
Our approach to species conservation, called the One Plan approach, recognises that zoos and in situ conservationists need not only to work together to protect animals, but also to engage the public of their communities to take the lead in demanding action from authorities, governments, corporations and themselves so that together we can reduce the stress on endangered species and their habitats.
In short, EAZA believes that the future of nature depends on all of us; and that EAZA zoos and aquariums can act as a portal for their local communities into conservation across the world.
The EAZA Conservation Database is an online tool to facilitate communication on conservation efforts of our members within as well as outside of the zoo and aquarium community. Each month we highlight one of the projects or activities from the database.
Since 2011, Colchester Zoo and its charitable arm, Action for the Wild, later joined by Parc Animalier d'Auvergne, Zoologischer Garten Köln and Wroclaw Zoo, have supported Free the Bears by raising awareness of the threats bears face in Southeast Asia and funds for rescue operations.
Free the Bears is fighting against the practice of bear bile farming in Laos (an estimate of 152-185 bears currently being held in these farms) and provides safe sanctuaries and life-long care for animals rescued by government authorities.
They have helped rescue over 950 bears, and currently care for 230 bears in their sanctuaries in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, so far.
With the help of the Luang Prabang Provincial Agriculture and Forestry Office, the Luang Prabang Wildlife Sanctuary is currently being developed to welcome Malayan sun bears, Asiatic black bears and any other rescued animals on a 25-hectare area, as the government may begin the process of closing all bear bile farms in Laos.
Find more details about their latest projects in the EAZA Conservation Database.