EAZA Campaigns

EAZA campaigns have addressed a variety of issues affecting a range of species and habitats, thereby raising funds for field conservation projects and promoting biodiversity awareness.

There has never been a greater need for effective conservation of our natural world.  We must demonstrate the value of conservation;  by clarifying its meaning for endangered species and the wider global context.  To do this, EAZA runs campaigns to raise awareness of and funds for major conservation issues, including all of the information and resources that our members need in order to help their communities understand the challenge and become involved in helping to solve it. 

Much has been achieved in fifteen years of campaigning. EAZA members have made a real and tangible difference for the protection of biodiversity in many parts of the world. Some of the headlines and highlights are as follows:

  • More than €5 million raised for conservation projects around the world, with increased awareness of particular issues creating further fundraising opportunities;
  • More than 140 conservation projects have received grants from EAZA campaign funds – and grants are still being awarded by some of the campaigns;
  • New links have been established between EAZA and other conservation organisations, and between EAZA member institutions and individual conservation projects;
  • EAZA campaigns have been the catalyst for important regulatory change, in particular relating to the negative impacts of the bushmeat trade on apes;
  • Hundreds of millions of zoo and aqarium visitors have been exposed to messages about the importance of biodiversity conservation.

Let It Grow Campaign - Return of the Natives

Let It Grow is a joint campaign by three of Europe’s largest scientific associations – Botanical Gardens Conservation International, the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria, and Ecsite, the network of European Science Centres.  Together we aim to help make our communities into havens for native species of animals and plants – working ecosystems that will help protect our continent from biodiversity loss and invasive alien species.

What's the problem?

Over many thousands of years, plants and animals have adapted to fill spaces in the tapestry of life, with each species having its own function in the system.  The range of native species in any one place is called biodiversity.  The more diverse nature is in that place, the more stable and healthy the environment is.  Without the full range of species, the system starts to breaks down, and the risks increase to every organism that lives there, including us.  The natural environment becomes more hostile, agriculture, flood planning and so on becomes more difficult, and essential services provided by nature’s engineers are lost.

How are we losing species?

Changes in agriculture, urbanization, and the appearance of plants and animals from other parts of the world all play a part in the decline of native species. 

What can we do about it?

The Let It Grow campaign is aimed at giving your community the tools it needs to help nature recover through:

  1. Raising awareness of biodiversity, what it is, and why it is important to everyone.
  2. Helping communities and individuals to set aside space for native species in gardens, parks, roundabouts, balconies, and even window boxes!
  3. Measuring biodiversity at selected sites on one day events in both 2016 and 2017.

Because our museums, gardens, zoos and aquariums employ a huge number of scientists, communicators and other experts, we believe that we are in a great position to help you to help nature.  Across the whole of Europe (and beyond) we will be organising events and activities during 2016 and 2017 that are aimed at kick-starting a recovery for our native species and the benefits they bring to nature and our communities. 

LET IT GROW banner3

Pole to Pole Campaign (2013-2015)

The EAZA Pole to Pole Campaign was officially closed during the EAZA Annual Conference Wroclaw last September. The campaign ran from September 2013 to September 2015 and it can be said great things have been achieved. Many people across the globe (not necessarily zoo visitors) actively joined in the Pull the Plug pledge as well as signing the petition. An overwhelming number 250 participating institutions worldwide signed up for the Pole to Pole Campaign and showed the commitment and involvement of the zoo community towards combating climate change.  It was amazing to observe the enthusiasm of all colleagues who produced educational materials, including colouring sheets, factsheets, infographics, stickers, informational brochures and leaflets as well as logos. The resources were translated from English into seven European languages including Czech, Swedish and Polish.

Until this date (Mid-January 2016) 3123 individuals registered the pledge to pull the plug of a total number of 12214 electronic devices (which are not in use) for the upcoming months. This means that together we have saved 338762 kilowatt-hours of electricity (!) which equals: 

  • Co2 emissions of 250.906 pounds of coal burned
  • Co2 emissions of 26.285 gallons of gasoline consumed
  • Carbon sequestered by 191 acres of forest in one year (Source: EPA)

The pledges of the participants were registered in a database and monitored throughout the course. Participants received occasional reminders and at the end of the pledging period successful participants received an exclusive digital photograph for personal use, taken by Daniel J.Cox/Natural Exposures and generously made available to EAZA Pole to Pole Campaign. The second year the ‘2 degrees is the limit’ petition initiative was launched. We’ve collected 17.160 signatures in total (both hand-written and digitally).  The signatures, printed on recycled paper with a total weight of almost 10 kg, have been handed over to the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention at the intergovernmental meeting on climate change in Paris in December last year.  The Paris climate summit, COP21, resulted in an Agreement to curb climate change! Yet there is still is a lot to be done, but the global willingness to tackle the problem of rapid climate change is evident. Back in 2013, before the Pole to Pole Campaign kicked off, the campaign team identified and formulated the following objectives:

  1. Secure the participation of as many zoos and aquariums in as many countries as possible
  2. Affect positive behaviour change amongst: zoos, schools and zoo visitors
  3. Run as near a carbon-neutral campaign as possible
  4. Present a petition calling on world leaders to reduce CO2 emissions to below 350 ppm

We can say this awareness campaign has been successful. But this is only the beginning, action is still required. That’s why it has been decided to keep the Pole to Pole Campaign website up and running, you can continue to take the pledge and resources will continue to be available at no cost. News and developments about climate change as well as new initiatives from the zoo and the conservation community will be published right here on the campaign site. Lots of zoos will continue spreading the word and organizing awareness activities. The campaign team would like to express gratitude to all zoos and individuals who were involved in making this campaign a success. Thanks to your effort and dedication we have been able to make a difference! Please continue to use energy wisely, visit the Pole to Pole Campaign website regularly and stay connected!


EAZA IUCN SSC Southeast Asia Campaign (2011-2013)

Southeast Asia is one of the most bio diverse regions on Earth, populated by some of the best recognised and well loved species on the planet, including the Sumatran tiger, Asian elephant and orangutan. Unfortunately, most of these large animals are threatened, at some level, with extinction. The threats vary somewhat between species, between habitats, and between different parts of the region. The threats can be divided into several groups:

  • Illegal trade (over harvesting of adults, young and/or eggs; of live or dead animals; by active pursuit or passive trapping)
  • Habitat loss (conversion, degradation and fragmentation)
  • Pollution, invasive species & disturbance

The International Union for Conservation of Nature Species Survival Commission (IUCN SSC) has identified large animals in Asia as being at particular risk through a combination of the aforementioned factors, most prominently illegal trade-driven hunting and habitat loss. The massive demand for wildlife and wildlife products among urbanized people in Southeast and East Asia is coupled with the steep rise in their purchasing power and the rapid infrastructure development throughout Southeast Asia. Species such as the saola probably number no more than a few hundred animals, yet we can and should save this species before it’s too late. While some of the species most at risk are largely unknown they play important roles in preserving the health of the ecosystems they inhabit, helping ensure that the tropical forests, the lungs of the world, are healthy and functioning.

The campaign logo shows a young saola (Pseudoryx nghetinhensis), a species not held in any zoos and one rarely seen in the wild. Described in 1993 from central Vietnam, the Saola was one of the most spectacular zoological discoveries the 20th century. Saola is endemic to the Annamite Mountains of Laos and Vietnam. Since its discovery, it has declined to a status of Critically Endangered (2010 IUCN Red List), due mainly to intense hunting in its range. Because of Saola’s elusiveness and the lack of investment in its conservation, precise population estimates of any confidence are not yet possible: the best we can say is that probably between 10 and 400 remain. Saola is now one of the most endangered mammals in Asia, perhaps akin only to the two Southeast Asian rhinoceroses.

Campaign aims

  • Raise awareness in the European public, European institutions and European business community of the amazing, yet threatened, animal species of Southeast Asia;
  • Create a fund for Southeast Asian species conservation projects
  • Assist in reducing trade and hunting of Southeast Asian species at risk;
  • Influence European consumer behavior, demonstrating how this can positively impact on conservation issues.

Key achievements

Over 125 EAZA members and 12 non-EAZA participants joined the campaign and raised in total €270.000 for conservation projects in Southeast Asia.  Many campaign participants collectively joined in the ‘Saola Awareness Month’ event. During during which zoo visitors were offered lots of opportunities to learn about the amazing animals in Southeast Asia, and how they are under threat from poaching, wildlife trade and habitat destruction.


Ape Campaign (2010-2011)

The EAZA Ape Campaign was launched in September 2010 with the overarching aim of making a significant and lasting contribution to the continued survival of apes and their habitats.

Apes (the six species of great ape and 16 species of gibbons) are under threat from hunting, deforestation and disease. Without our support these beautiful and iconic animals will become extinct. All the apes are threatened and almost all are classed as either Endangered or Critically Endangered. For some species really urgent action is needed. The Hainan gibbon, for instance, is right on the brink of extinction with fewer than 20 surviving, while there are fewer than 400 Cross River gorillas left in the wild. The EAZA Ape Campaign has focused attention on the apes, the issues they face and the urgency with which we must act. Through the support of the EAZA membership and the campaign partners the EAZA Ape Campaign worked to improve their survival and leave a lasting legacy for ape conservation.

 The four objectives of the  EAZA Ape campaign:

  • To increase habitat protection and reduce habitat loss
  • To reduce hunting and trade of apes, both live and dead
  • To change consumer behavior to reduce pressure on apes and their habitats
  • To raise €1 million to establish a lasting fund providing ongoing financial support to ape conservation

The campaign covers all ape species; great apes and gibbons.

Key Achievements

  • 180 participating institutions, the majority of which were EAZA members
  • Over €535.000 collected for great ape conservation projects

Great Ape Conservation Education  in Congo Republic

The EAZA Ape Fund has funded 26 ape conservation projects, one of the projects focused on Great Ape Conservation Education and Public Awareness in Congo Republic. Jane Goodall Institute placed billboards
all over the country to raise awareness about the threats for chimpanzees and gorillas as part of a project that also included training workshops for Primary School teachers.

Watch the short movie about the project here:

ape editttt