Monday, 18 March 2013

Breeding conservation alliances: Cooperation between key individuals and institutions can make a world of difference for species conservation activities - via Herp Digest

Posted by IUCN |  February 18th, 2013 By Emily Wick, Communications and Technology Administrator, Conservation Breeding Specialist Group of IUCN’s Species Survival Commission.

Cooperation between key individuals and institutions can make a world of difference for species conservation activities. As difficult as it is to get all the players in the same room – especially when they’re conservationists with busy schedules – bringing people together is only half the battle.

The real challenge is to encourage understanding of multiple perspectives on complex conservation questions and to promote shared decision-making among stakeholders.

Workshops facilitated by the Conservation Breeding Specialist Group (CBSG) are designed to do just that, and history shows that conservation alliances form as a direct result. Some well-known consortia we’ve played a role in forming include the Madagascar Fauna GroupPan-African Sanctuary AllianceTurtle Survival Alliance, and the  Amphibian Ark

Looking ahead to the next four years, we want to continue to use our position as a link between the diverse and capable communities that are already hard at work conserving nature, and provide platforms for developing strategic conservation consortia.

With that in mind, and in collaboration with John Fa of Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, we are developing an exciting partnership between zoos and the Alliance for Zero Extinction(AZE). AZE, a consortium of biodiversity conservation organizations, has defined places around the world that house Critically Endangered and Endangered species whose survival depends on the single site they inhabit.

Threats like climate change and habitat loss guarantee the imminent extinction of these species unless swift action is taken. Since CBSG works closely with both the zoo community and field conservationists, we got to thinking: what if zoos used their resources—living collections, expertise, space, communication platform, and financial support—to safeguard AZE species and their habitats?

Many zoos and zoo organizations are already AZE members, and a number of AZE species are already the focus of zoo conservation initiatives. CBSG plans to draw attention to connections that are already in place and serve as a link between the two communities by facilitating further collaboration. We are optimistic that a partnership like this could help prevent extinctions that otherwise would occur right before our eyes.

The CBSG is a global network of conservation professionals dedicated to saving threatened species by increasing the effectiveness of conservation efforts worldwide. 

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