International Conservation Education Conference 2021 (8-10 October)

The International Zoo Educator's Association (IZE), EAZA, Zoo Wroclaw, and San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance will host the International Conservation Education Conference 2021

Welcome from IZE

The global pandemic continues to change the world as we know it. It has had devasting effects on our profession yet we have continued to become more inventive to ensure that we can continue driving a caring and empathy for wildlife and long term, conservation behavioral change. And despite the pandemic, we were able to debut our profession’s first international conservation education strategy in 2020. With this excellent roadmap, there can be no better time to take a one-year snapshot on how it is influencing our work and how we will use it to take our programs to the next level.

We hope you consider submitting an abstract for the 2021 International Conservation Education Conference. Your achievements will be an inspiration for others and will help lay the groundwork for our post-pandemic recovery.

Debra Erickson President - International Zoo Educators Association

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Welcome from EAZA

We have been working through unprecedented times.The current global pandemic has created a multitude of setbacks in so many facets of life. The EAZA biannual conservation education conferences are always an opportunity not only to share experiences but also to gather colleagues and friends.

This year the Conservation Education Committee had to take some important steps in planning our conference, which should have been held in person at the Wroclaw Zoo (Poland) in March. The Committee initially decided to postpone the conference from March to October 2021, in the hope that an in-person meeting would be possible, however we had to choose to have the event held virtually.

When long-standing ways of doing things are destabilized, new ideas, institutions and ways of relating can be established that's why we decided to join forces with IZE and hold a joint virtual conference where Educators worldwide could speak with one voice. So we invite all EAZA Educators to join Educators worldwide at the 2021 International Conservation Education Conference

Maria Antonieta Costa - EAZA Conservation Education Committee Interim Chair, IZE Europe & Middle East Representative

fAntonieta Costa photo

Welcome from Zoo Wroclaw

Dear Friends,

Well over a year ago the preparations for the European ZOO Educators Conference to be held in Wroclaw were already in full swing and I was hoping to meet and greet many of you here. Unfortunately, the biggest crisis in post-war history struck and we had to cancel the meeting. COVID-19 will change not only the nature of the meeting but will have a profound influence on the world after. Some people think the world will emerge better and people will slowly realise that we are not immune and independent from the natural world and the customers’ behaviour will change. Others are pointing out the dangers like weak economy, increased poverty causing relentless exploitation of natural resources, decreasing spend by governments on conservation and lack of international cooperation.

Whatever the outcome will be, nothing will change if we don’t make a real change in young people minds through proper and professional education. There is an urgent need to reconnect people with nature and prevent them from detaching from it completely. Computer screens and simulations shall never dominate and continue to replace the real world. We have access to a most unique and important asset – living animals - and we have to use that opportunity in full. Also of great importance in my opinion is an education in global approach to conservation. We tend to concentrate on our local problems, that are in world scale not really of great importance.

I sincerely hope that the upcoming event will form a good forum for exchanging ideas and establishment of new ways of educating the public to achieve a real change in conservation in post-COVID times.

Hoping to see many of you “face to face” in the not too distant future.

Yours sincerely,

Radoslaw Ratajszczak - Director Zoo Wroclaw

Marta Zając-Ossowska - 2021 IZE EAZA Conference Program Chair

AA Radosaw Ratajszczak foty 5 Marta Ize

Keynote speakers

Telmo Pievani

Telmo Pievani (1970) is Full Professor at the Department of Biology, University of Padua, where he covers the first Italian chair of Philosophy of Biological Sciences. After Ph.D. researches in USA, he has been Professor of Philosophy of Science at the University of Milan Bicocca (2001-2012). Past President (2017-2019) of the Italian Society of Evolutionary Biology, he is Fellow of several academic Institutions and scientific societies. He is member of the editorial boards of Evolution: Education and Outreach, Evolutionary Biology, Rendiconti Lincei Sc. Fis. Nat., Istituto Treccani, and the Italian edition of Scientific American. 

He is author of 276 publications, including several books, most recently: “Imperfection. A natural history” (Cortina, 2019); “The Earth after us” (Contrasto, 2019; with F. Lanting’s photos), “Finitude” (Cortina, 2020). Fellow of the Scientific Board of science festivals in Italy, since 2014 he is fellow of the International Scientific Council of MUSE in Trento. He is Director of “Pikaia”, the Italian website dedicated to evolution. He is Director of the University of Padua web magazine, Il Bo LIVE. With Niles Eldredge, Ian Tattersall and Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza, he was the Curator of International science exhibitions on topics such as Darwin, DNA, and diversity. Author of books for children and theatre scientific shows, he is a columnist for Il Corriere della Sera, and the magazines Le Scienze and Micromega. Since 2017, he is a scientific and communication consultant for Parco Natura Viva, a zoo in Italy.


Conference Programme

Get ready for an icebreaker of a different kind and a trivia contest. We will also invite all IZE members to join our business meeting so you can learn more about the future of your organization.

Creating a great conservation education programme requires a solid foundation of knowledge, experience, and planning. The World Zoo and Aquarium Conservation Education Strategy and the EAZA Conservation Education Standards are designed to support educators with building the best conservation education programmes for their institutions. The tracks for our conference are based on the Conservation Education Strategy, with the aim of showcasing how educators are using these different ‘building blocks’ in their own practice.

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The theme of the online conference is: Building Conservation Education Success!

The tracks to choose from are:

1) Building a Culture of Conservation Education

Building a successful conservation education program includes creating a conservation education plan that highlights education and interpretation activities, explains how the plan applies to different types of audiences, and highlights the strategic thinking behind the plan’s design.

2) Embedding Multiple Purposes of Conservation Education into Zoos and Aquariums

Developing key conservation education outcomes for programs is critical and should encompass building a knowledge and understanding of wildlife, fostering positive connections and empathy toward nature, promoting awe and creativity, motivating conservation behavioral action, and developing scientific skills.

3) Promoting Conservation Education for All

Driving inclusivity is key to conservation education success and programs should offer opportunities for diverse audiences to learn about and get involved in conservation onsite, offsite, and online using different delivery techniques.

4) Applying Appropriate Approaches and Methods in Conservation Education

Creating effective conservation programs involves a cross-curricular approach with measurable learning outcomes and ensures curriculum is built on accurate scientific facts and theories.

5) Prioritizing Conservation and Sustainability into Conservation Education

Developing strategies to make conservation issues relevant to audiences’ own lives and inspiring people to take direct and indirect actions for species, ecosystems, and communities should be an important end goal for all zoological organizations.

6) Optimizing Training and Professional Development in Conservation Education

Incorporating continuous professional development and training for staff and volunteers is crucial to the success of any conservation education plan.

7) Strengthening the Evidence of the Conservation Education Value of Zoos and Aquariums

Evaluating conservation education programs at multiple stages using appropriate methods allows an organization to determine the success of their conservation education plan, allows for continuous improvement, and demonstrates the efficacy of our field’s conservation education efforts. This can be engagement at an institutional level or as part of a broader effort such as EAZA’s Which Fish? campaign.

8) Successfully coping with a crisis

From climate change, to pandemics, to the global diversity crisis we’re all working to avert, none of us can escape dealing with crises. Finding a way through them takes creativity, positivity, dedication… and inspiration. Share your stories of hope, resilience and success to inspire others.

The conference will include a discussion panel with invited speakers on the topic of Integrating Animal Care and Welfare into Conservation Education: Connecting audiences to the principles of animal care and showing how their organization achieves state-of-the-art health and welfare standards should be a part of every organization’s conservation education plan.

We will also have a Resources and Tools Marketplace, where you can share resources or tools you find especially useful, and initiate a discussion where others can also contribute. If you are interested in being a panelist for the discussion session, or have a resource you would like to share in the marketplace, please contact

IZE logo


This year’s conference registration fee remains nominal to encourage broad participation. 

REGISTRATION IS OPEN NOW! You must be an IZE or EAZA Member to register for the conference. PLEASE FOLLOW THIS LINK FOR REGISTRATION

The registration fees are as follows:

  Early bird fee (Until 31 August, 2021) Late Registration (After 31 August 2021)

Category 1

$15 (€13)

$30 (€25)

Category 2

$75 (€63)

$100 (€84)

* The registration fees in Euros are based on the actual USD exchange rate. Euro rates in the table based on 18-03-2021

You will receive a confirmation email upon registering. In early October, you will receive the weblink and password to access the conference sessions. This website will contain a list of programs, times, and Zoom links to each session and event.

Registration fees are based on categories developed by the World Bank. View the PDF to determine which category applies to you.

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Call for proposals (Closed)

Submissions are currently closed

Submissions are currently under review, authors will be notified by 6 August.

The conference will include three types of presentations:

  • Oral presentation (15 minutes + 5 for Q&A) for sharing experience, expertise, and examples
  • ‘Poster’ presentation (5 minutes, maximum 3 slides) for sharing ‘small’ ideas with a big impact, or briefly outlining a bigger picture
  • Workshop (90 minutes) sessions designed to build participants’ knowledge and skills in a specific area

For all abstracts, you will need to indicate the following:

  1. Presentation Title
  2. Author name(s)
  3. Author affiliation(s)
  4. Author email(s)
  5. Author(s) biography (100 word limit each) and profile photo(s)
  6. Track with which presentation aligns
  7. Description (250 words max)
  8. Outcomes for participants (3-4 outcomes for sessions; 5-7 for workshops)
  9. Brief description of presentation strategies, including those you will use to keep audience members engaged