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This section is about the activities of the Zoological and Botanical Garden Pilsen, an organization which strives to actively protect nature as much as it can. Protecting the environment should be one of the main priorities of zoological gardens. However, everything depends upon the priorities of each organization, upon the enthusiasm, hard work and patience of every individual, and on success with sharing knowledge with the public, for environmental protection must stem from the conviction and effort of all people. Cooperation between organizations with similar goals is also critical. So how can a zoological or a botanical garden help nature?
The goal of the Zoological and Botanical Garden Pilsen is to contribute to preserving the richness and diversity of nature.
In the past it was mostly about protecting endangered species ex situ (off site conservation), usually by ex situ breeding and attempts at subsequent repatriation back into their original biotopes (in situ). This approach of course appears natural and logical.
It is still the only viable option of preventing the extinction of some species in nature. It does, however, entail considerable risks and can lead to complete failure or even disaster, if, for instance, disease carrying animals are released into the wild and therefore cause considerable harm.
Wouldn`t it be right to cease to burden nature with our “good intentions” and just leave it in peace? Everything could work well on its own, if we only…
- didn`t constantly increase the human population
- didn`t attempt to rule the world without proper knowledge and didn`t prioritize business over sustainability of the environment
- didn`t bring over foreign species of flora and fauna
- didn`t overexploit natural resources
- just valued and respected nature
Sadly, nature is currently in such a state that it can`t be left to recover on its own. It truly depends on each and every one of us.
Currently, zoological and botanical gardens can provide help right in the afflicted area, directly in situ. The zoos have a unique opportunity to highlight individual issues via campaigns and conservation projects directly before the eyes of thousands of visitors. They serve to directly educate the public and have the means to call on the public for cooperation. They also employ specialized personnel operating directly in the afflicted areas. They also participate in international congresses, and can react to various threats flexibly, and in doing so provide help.
EAZA, or the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria, represents a union of 340 institutions spanning across 41 European countries. It was founded in 1992 and its mission is making collaboration between European zoos and aquariums easier, regarding education, research and nature conservation.
It also guarantees that every member abides by the highest standards in these areas. EAZA makes possible for the European citizen to obtain information about global goals in maintaining biodiversity and clarifies, how each of us can help to achieve them. It`s speculated that about 140 million people annually visit the zoos and aquariums grouped in EAZA, which constitutes about one fifth of the European citizens.
For more information, visit: www.eaza.net
EAZA, aside from other work, annually announces a themed campaign aimed at supporting and aiding the most endangered species and areas on the planet.
The Zoological and Botanical Garden Pilsen became a member of EAZA in the year 1997. Since then, it has participated in the following campaigns:
Bushmeat – signature drive 2001/2002
Protection of the Amazon Rainforest 2002/2003
The Siberian Tiger 2003/2004
ShellShock - Turtle and Tortoise Campaign 2004/2005
Save the Rhinos 2005/2006
Arovako i Madagasikara 2006/2007
Amphibian Ark – Frogs Sound the Alarm 2007/2008
European Carnivore Campaign – Do we want to live together…? 2008/2009
Biodiversity – continuation of the Carnivore Campaign 2009/2010
Ape Campaign 2010/2011
Southeast Asia Campaign 2011/2013
Pole to Pole 2013/2015
Let it Grow 2015/2017
Silent Forest 2017/2019
Which Fish? 2019/2021
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