Today BIAZA, the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums, has expressed its disappointment in the UK Government’s watering down of Net Zero promises. As a conservation organisation committed to a future where nature is thriving, we know that tackling climate change must be at the top of the Government agenda.
BIAZA’s CEO Dr Jo Judge spoke against the Government’s announcement saying: “Far from reneging on net zero the Government should be doubling down. Our planet, our lifestyles and the nature we treasure are reliant on the world stopping climate change.”
“Our zoos and aquariums are leaders in sustainability and many are on their way to achieving Net Zero sites. They teach visitors, adults and children, everyday about the challenges of climate change. The Prime Minister should come to our zoos and see this positive, practical work to fight climate change in action.”
BIAZA zoos such as Marwell Wildlife are committed to sustainable futures. Marwell has recently achieved net zero through innovative practices including using animal poo as a sustainable source of energy!
Species being conserved by BIAZA zoos and aquariums at risk from climate change include:
- Coral reef ecosystems – many species are threatened from rising ocean temperatures and ocean acidification. BIAZA members such as ZSL are working to conserve Coral Reefs and support the people reliant on them.
- Polar bears – are increasingly having to adapt to a changing world. Zoos, such as Yorkshire Wildlife Park, are supporting research into these brilliant bears ensuring they can thrive and provide insights that could inform conservation planning in the wild.
- Sea grass - our zoos and aquariums are actively restoring seagrass habitats in the UK. Sea grass is a fantastic carbon sink as well as an important habitat for our native marine species.
- Elephants – climate change is altering habitats and leading to shortages in food, habitat and water for both Asian and African elephant species. BIAZA zoos are world leaders in elephant care and conservation. Zoos such as Chester Zoo are part of pioneering work to protect elephants in their habitat and reduce human elephant conflict which is increasingly a threat to these amazing animals.
- Koalas – Keepers at Longleat Safari Park have been out to Australia in the wake of bushfires assisting with the work caring for koalas that received burns. Wild fires, threatening beloved species such as koalas, are a growing threat as the world continues to warm.
BIAZA is joining other environmental charities in calling for all the major parties to commit to ambitious environmental pledges in their manifestos for the next general election. We are calling for support for farmers, making polluters pay, making more space for nature, the creation of green jobs and a right to a healthy environment to be enshrined in law.
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