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Zoos reach hundreds of millions of people all over the world, most of them living in urban areas and having little or no contact with nature. They come to the zoo because in one way or another they have an interest in animals. Consequently, living animals form the basis for education in zoos, however important the manner of exhibition and the addition of other collection components - such as plants and non-living materials - may be.

The total zoo public, not only children, forms the target group for informal education in or by zoos. In addition, target groups outside of the zoo can be reached through zoo outreach programmes.

The array of educational possibilities offered by zoo animals is inexhaustible, and certainly does not stop with topics in classical biology. Special emphasis is laid on conservation education.

Zoos should also develop educational programmes that elucidate the socio-economic backgrounds of the threats to nature. Through this they should play an active role in increasing the public and political awareness of the connection between consumption and lifestyle and the survival of species and biological systems.
It is of great value that zoos world wide are carrying the same message, and have a network that is demonstrating the importance of nature conservation on a global scale.
(WAZA)

So what are the benefits of joining the International Zoo Educators Association.

The benefits of membership in the IZE include: opportunities for international networking and professional development; access to the latest information on educational techniques;

updates on geographical region activities;

special wildlife and cultural tours planned just for IZE conference participants;

subscriptions to the ‘Journal of the International Association of Zoo Educators,' which includes conference proceedings and papers, as well as an informal newsletter; opportunities for sponsored membership and limited financial aid for conference attendance.

Associate Membership
US$45, €35

Associate membership is open to any individual supporting the objectives of the Association, who is interested in, but who may not be directly employed in the capacity of zoo education. These individuals may include zoo directors, animal curators, biologists/conservation scientists, animal keepers, university faculty and graduate students, zoo volunteers, school teachers, and educators working in protected areas.

The law states that establishments must provide for education and joining an association such as IZE would be your first step to meeting this requirement, and of course is a step on the way to becoming a Modern Zoo with all that it entails – But! You have to put into practice educational programmes not just have them on paper in a folder.

Contact: www.izea.net

M.T.H.

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