Why Should Zoos and Aquariums Take Action on Climate Change?
This month celebrates two important days, International Climate Action Day and Sustainability Day, that remind us of our collective responsibility to protect our planet. At the core of these global initiatives stands the Paris Agreement, a pivotal multilateral treaty signed by 194 parties with the aim to limit global warming to well below 2°C, preferably to 1.5°C by the end of the century. However, projections show a worrying trend with an increase of 1.5°C in the next decade if not interfered. As a result, the number of natural disasters, such as bushfires, droughts, floods, cyclones, and tornados, and their intensity is escalating.
Zoos and aquariums are more than places for recreation; they are powerful platforms for educating the public about the natural world, wildlife conservation, and climate crisis. Through their unique position, they can illustrate vivid connections between human actions, the state of our environment, and the ramifications of climate change, in alignment with Sustainable Development Goal 13 (SDG 13): 'Climate Action.' Visitors are given the opportunity to learn the effects on wildlife and the importance of sustainable living through engaging habitats and interactive programs.
Zoos and aquariums have integrated energy-efficient measures, supported crucial conservation research, and adopted eco-friendly sourcing, playing their part in supporting a more a sustainable world. These actions set an example as they weave the sustainability narrative into visitor's experience. Therefore, individuals are empowered to embrace a more carbon-conscious lifestyle through carbon offset initiatives and adopting renewable energy solutions.
As we celebrate International Climate Action Day and Sustainability Day, the challenge is clear: not just to act but to inspire and lead by example, fostering a global community that partakes in mitigating climate change.
Learn more about the UN SDG 13 here.
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