Increase your Handprint and Decrease your Footprint Presentation by Meena Nareshwar, CEE
<ul><li>In the 21st century, it is important to develop [the educational role of zoos] so as to have an active and direct impact upon people's attitudes and behaviour. In this way, awareness will be converted into action that has positive benefits for wildlife, people and conservation. (WAZA) </li></ul>
It is proposed to weave sustainable action generated by all programs of the Zoo as a Hand Print. This is possible by promoting all sustainable action at Zoo as Hands for Change; this will also enable enumerating positive actions by visitors at Zoo. These will highlight a variety of sustainable action messages identified in line with the overall sustainability strategy of the Zoo.
Zoos in India are viewed as a place for animal displays, a place of cheap entertainment, child-centric and a boring place for adults. For this, an urgent need is to change the mindset of people and bring a paradigm shift by developing interesting programmes and activities for all categories of audience and popularizing the zoo with proper marketing and public relations strategies Zoos can make an impact on visitors’ attitudes & mindsets about environment conservation. Zoo messages should not only concentrate on conservation education but environment education as a whole.
Need for a Strategy Zoos are universal, inspirational, and educational and they care for their animals. But, in addition to conservation, education, welfare and research, zoos are about fun, and conservation and fun are not mutually exclusive. The strategy should include networking and information sharing with other organizations (for marketing and benchmarking) and increasing, through training, the professionalism of staff communication skills. Zoos should use the full range of communication media available and recognize that all staff and volunteers need to be well informed, so they can act as message bearers in their families and communities.
contd….. Probably the most effective way that zoos can encourage attitude and behaviour change for a sustainable future is by example. Zoos should strive to become environmentally sustainable in all their activities - from evolving policies to management style, from use of resources to public relations. Zoos should celebrate and share these activities with the public visitors as well as non-visitors.
Zoos and Sustainability Zoos have the potential to be extremely important agents of change in creating a sustainable future and ensuring the conservation of species and habitats on a global scale. Use the zoo's educational resources to help people understand why changes are important and what they can do personally to live in a more sustainable manner.
Be energy efficient <ul><li>Maximize energy efficiency in all on-site and off-site operations. </li></ul><ul><li>Try to reduce travel-related energy consumption. </li></ul><ul><li>Efficiently maximize the use of energy which is produced and distributed, especially from renewable sources. </li></ul><ul><li>Apply the three R's reduce, re-use, recycle where possible. </li></ul><ul><li>The Zoo could conduct and maintain energy audits </li></ul>
Use environmentally sound waste management <ul><li>Minimize the total production of waste. </li></ul><ul><li>Manage separation of waste at source to encourage maximum re-use and recycling. </li></ul><ul><li>Minimize the risk of polluting. </li></ul>
Use natural resources responsibly <ul><li>Use products that embody the most efficient and least environmentally damaging use of renewable and non-renewable natural resources. This applies to products from major construction materials to daily consumables, and should apply back along the supply chain to source. </li></ul><ul><li>Apply the three R's . </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure that animal acquisitions and dispositions are not only sustainable environmentally but also ethically acceptable. </li></ul>
If you pollute, you pay <ul><li>Support the general principle that the polluter should not pass on to others the cost of cleaning up pollution. </li></ul><ul><li>Apply the principle in your own institution as a measure of good practice. </li></ul>Put local consumption first <ul><li>Maximize the proportion of goods and services that come from local providers with acceptable environmental practices. </li></ul><ul><li>Reduce the environmental impact of transportation wherever feasible. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Keep in mind that sustainable development requires a </li></ul><ul><li>reduction in the differences of living conditions across </li></ul><ul><li>the world and that you can contribute to this by: </li></ul><ul><li>Conducting activities that contribute to this ideal; </li></ul><ul><li>Supporting conservation projects that embody this general principle </li></ul><ul><li>Adjusting purchasing policies and practices to help. </li></ul>Contribute to equitable development
Apply the precautionary principle <ul><li>Obtain and analyze as much information as possible before making a decision. </li></ul><ul><li>When in doubt, put in place measures to reduce environmental impact. </li></ul>
Encourage public awareness and participation <ul><li>Use the zoo's or aquarium's educational resources to help people understand why changes are important and what they can do personally to live in a more sustainable manner. </li></ul><ul><li>Set an example for other businesses in Earth-friendly operations. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Zoos want to do the right thing for the environment. By embracing sustainable practices in their every day operations, they can be convenient, fun, inexpensive, and make you feel good. For Zoo educators, these actions can be shared with visitors as messages of how zoos are “walking the talk” for sustainable living. </li></ul><ul><li>Zoos can live up to this “green” responsibility by substantially reducing their environmental foot print in the areas of waste, carbon emissions and energy consumption. Each and every employee can be part of this endeavor and can inspire others to take action. Together, zoos’ collective efforts can make a big difference! </li></ul>
Some steps towards a Green Zoo: <ul><li>Development of an Environmental and Education policy and commitment to the international standard ISO14001 (for the best environment or eco-friendly zoo) </li></ul><ul><li>Designing animal enclosures which are not only animal friendly but also eco-friendly. </li></ul><ul><li>Designing and developing interpretive facilities like signages, wayside exhibits, directional and facility signs which are environment friendly (e.g. Use of materials, messages etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Using energy and water saving/efficient devices in the zoo. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Using recycled and environment friendly materials in construction of buildings, enclosures etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Recycling waste generated within the zoo, e.g. office paper, bottles, tins, organic waste from animals and restaurant, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Declaring and maintaining the zoo as a plastic free zone. </li></ul><ul><li>Using and promoting fuel efficient vehicles. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Training and capacity building of staff in the zoo on choosing lifestyles that are low on consumerism. </li></ul><ul><li>Setting up model examples of recycling like setting up compost pits and display of the amount of energy being used and saved in different parts of the zoo, and compare with levels of energy used in the past. </li></ul><ul><li>Use the zoo's educational resources to help people understand why changes are important and what they can do personally to live in a more sustainable manner. </li></ul><ul><li>Set an example for other businesses in Earth-friendly operations. </li></ul>
Zoos and Climate Change <ul><li>Burning fossil fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas) in particular has lead to a significant increase in the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere. Individuals and organizations, through their use of energy, generate CO2 emissions – these emissions are generally known as a “carbon footprint.” </li></ul><ul><li>By reducing the amount of energy we use, changing the source of our energy and simultaneously removing CO2 from the atmosphere through carbon sequestration, we can reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere and diminish its effects on global ecosystems and wildlife. </li></ul>