With the power of millions behind us, we are resolved to halt and reverse the world’s catastrophic decline in biodiversity
SAN FRANCISCO, CA (October 11, 2023) — The California Academy of Sciences is joining more than 100 Association of Zoos and Aquariums(AZA) member facilities in advancing the goals of the Kunnming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, including protecting at least 30 percent of the planet by 2030 (30x30).
Similar biodiversity goals have been set by the Biden Administration and the state of California, which the California Academy of Sciences supports through our Thriving California initiative.
The AZA-accredited members have already signed a declaration (with signatories as of Oct. 10, 2023) uniting behind efforts to end and reverse the world’s catastrophic decline of biodiversity.
AZA members, located in 13 countries, currently invest more than $250 million annually in field conservation, making the group one of the largest funders for biodiversity globally. In addition, these zoos and aquariums inspire and engage more than 200 million visitors a year to care about and take action for animals and their ecosystems.
“International agreements, while important to address the scale of the biodiversity crisis, are only effective insofar as they are implemented. So now is the time for bold actions. Halting the decline of biodiversity is not enough. We must seek to regenerate the natural world and fix humanity's broken relationship with the rest of nature if we are to secure a healthy planet for generations to come,” said Scott Sampson, PhD, executive director of the California Academy of Sciences.
“The California Academy of Sciences looks forward to working more deeply with other AZA members and leveraging our vast scientific collections, expertise on biodiversity science and environmental learning, and longstanding global collaborations to support governments, nonprofits, and local communities as they work towards the 30x30 goals in the Kunnming-Montreal Framework.”
AZA and the Wildlife Conservation Society have joined together to unite the entire AZA community behind making 30x30 a reality, along with the other agreed-upon targets of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework. Those goals and targets include retaining and restoring ecological integrity of ecosystems; saving threatened and endangered species; ending illegal and unsustainable wildlife trade; and preventing future pandemics.
The declaration reads in part: “With the power of the millions who support our parks annually, we fully commit to the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, especially its goals and targets to halt and reverse the decline in biodiversity.
“We will strive to make it a reality by working globally with governments, other conservation organizations, civil society, Indigenous peoples, local communities, businesses, and other stakeholders.
“We will continue to work to ensure that all our visitors and members understand the importance of protecting, conserving, and restoring both species and their habitats, and achieving all of the targets of the Global Biodiversity Framework. We will strive to find ways to enlist their help and support.”
Dan Ashe, president and CEO of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, said,“The super-power of AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums is the opportunity to influence and inspire the 200 million people who visit every year. Our members provide experiences that create connections to nature, evoke empathy, and inspire action that will help us succeed in preserving 30 percent of nature by 2030.”
“This is the decade where it must be all hands on deck to halt and reverse the biodiversity crisis,” said Monica Medina, president and CEO of the Wildlife Conservation Society, which runs four zoos and an aquarium in New York City, including the Bronx Zoo, said, “At WCS, we are proud to be a part of efforts uniting zoos and aquariums behind the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework goals and targets, including 30x30 and ecological integrity. “Zoos and aquariums are a mega force for conservation.”
The inaugural zoos and aquariums which have signed the declaration as of Oct. 10, 2023 (115 total):
Abilene Zoological Gardens; Akron Zoo; Ape Cognition and Conservation Initiative; Aquarium Of Niagara; Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum; Audubon Zoo & Park; Baylor University Bear Habitat; Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Birmingham Zoo; Blank Park Zoo; Brevard Zoo; Bronx Zoo – A Wildlife Conservation Society Park; Brookfield Zoo - Chicago Zoological Society; Butterfly Pavilion; Buttonwood Park Zoo; Cabrillo Marine Aquarium; California Academy of Sciences; Central Florida Zoo; Central Park Zoo – A Wildlife Conservation Society Park; Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden; Cleveland Metroparks Zoo; Clyde Peeling's Reptiland; Columbus Zoo & Aquarium; Como Park Zoo and Conservatory; Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo; Cosley Zoo; CuriOdyssey; The Dallas World Aquarium; Dayton Society of Natural History, Boonshoft Museum of Discovery; Detroit Zoological Society; Dickerson Park Zoo; Disney’s Animals, Science and Environment; Duke Lemur Center; El Paso Zoo and Botanical Gardens; Ellen Trout Zoo; Essex County Turtle Back Zoo; The Florida Aquarium; Fort Wayne Children's Zoo; Fossil Rim Wildlife Center; Fresno Chaffee Zoo; Georgia Aquarium; Great Plains Zoo; Henry Vilas Zoo; Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens; Jenkinson's Aquarium; Kansas City Zoo and Aquarium; Lake Superior Zoo; Lehigh Valley Zoo; Lincoln Park Zoo; Little Rock Zoo; The Living Desert Zoo and Garden; Los Angeles Zoo; Lubee Bat Conservancy; Marineland Dolphin Adventure; The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk; Maryland Zoo in Baltimore; Memphis Zoo; Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden; Millbrook's Trevor Zoo; Miller Park Zoo; Milwaukee County Zoo; Mississippi State Aquarium; Moody Gardens, Inc.; Mystic Aquarium; Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens; Nashville Zoo; National Mississippi River Museum; New England Aquarium; New York Aquarium – A Wildlife Conservation Society Park; North Carolina Aquarium Society; Northeastern Wisconsin Zoo & Adventure Park; Oakland Zoo; OdySea Aquarium; Oglebay Good Zoo; Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden; Oregon Coast Aquarium; Oregon Zoo; Peoria Zoo; Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium; Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium and Northwest Trek Wildlife Park; Polar Bears International; Prospect Park Zoo – A Wildlife Conservation Society Park; Pueblo Zoo; Queens Zoo – A Wildlife Conservation Society Park; Racine Zoo; Red River Zoo; Reid Park Zoo; Riverbanks Zoo; Roger Williams Park Zoo; Rolling Hills Zoo; Saint Louis Zoo; San Antonio Zoo; San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance; Santa Barbara Zoo; Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo; Scovill Zoo; SEA LIFE Aquarium at LEGOLAND California Resort; Seattle Aquarium; SeaWorld Parks; Sequoia Park Zoo; Shedd Aquarium; South Carolina Aquarium; The Staten Island Zoo; Sunset Zoo; Tennessee Aquarium; The Toledo Zoo & Aquarium; Toronto Zoo; Tracy Aviary; Virginia Aquarium Foundation; Virginia Zoo; Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo; Woodland Park Zoo; Zoo New England - Franklin Park Zoo & Stone Zoo; Zoo Miami; ZooMontana.
The California Academy of Sciences is a renowned scientific and educational institution with a mission to regenerate the natural world through science, learning, and collaboration. Based in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, it is home to a world-class aquarium, planetarium, and natural history museum, as well as innovative programs in biodiversity science, environmental learning, and collaborative engagement—all under one living roof. Museum hours are 9:30 am – 5:00 pm Monday – Saturday, and 11:00 am – 5:00 pm on Sunday. Admission includes all exhibits, programs, and shows. For daily ticket prices, please visit www.calacademy.org or call (415) 379-8000 for more information.
Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, animal welfare, education, science, and recreation. AZA is the accrediting body for the top zoos and aquariums in the United States and eleven other countries. Look for the AZA accreditation logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. The AZA is a leader in saving species and your link to helping animals all over the world. To learn more, visit www.aza.org.
WCS combines the power of its zoos and an aquarium in New York City and a Global Conservation Program in more than 50 countries to achieve its mission to save wildlife and wild places. WCS runs the world’s largest conservation field program, protecting more than 50 percent of Earth’s known biodiversity; in partnership with governments, Indigenous People, Local Communities, and the private sector. It’s four zoos and aquarium (the Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo, Queens Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo, and the New York Aquarium ) welcomes more than 3.5 million visitors each year, inspiring generations to care for nature.