From 22 to 25 May the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) held their biannual Conservation Forum. Hosted by the Vienna-based Tiergarten Schönbrunn the meeting assembled over 100 participants from the EAZA membership and beyond. The programme provided a great opportunity for a wide range of conservation work across the globe, ranging from reintroduction of Northern bald ibis in Europe over engaging local people to counter poaching of the Saiga antelope to conservation issues around palm oil and bushmeat. The plenary presentation sessions were complemented by a series of workshops as well as a poster session.
LHNet was invited to attend this forum and to give a keynote presentation in the European Conservation session. Ben Delbaere presented an overview of the key EU policy instruments, with specific attention to the current EU 2020 Biodiversity Strategy. He highlighted the possible link between the Strategy’s targets and the conservation work of EAZA and its members, with special attention to the connection with LHNet. Key points coming out of this review included the important role that zoos and aquaria play with regard to education, awareness raising and research. Within a European and global contexts it is essential that networks such as EAZA build on their strengths and cooperate in partnership with other networks, such as ECNC and LHNet.
Full programme and presentations are available from http://www.eaza.net/activities/Pages/Conservation2012.aspx.