The Pole to Pole campaign is a joint effort between the accrediting Zoo and Aquarium Associations of Europe and the United States that communicates climate change impacts on wildlife and inspires people to take action to reduce these impacts.
Participants in the Pole to Pole campaign recognize that increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2), as well as other greenhouse gasses, is causing changes to the earth’s climate. These changes are impacting wildlife in the oceans and on every continent. Accredited zoos and aquariums are trusted institutions through which millions of people learn about and value wildlife and nature each year. By communicating about the impacts of climate change on wildlife and habitats, these institutions can play an important role in inspiring people to take personal and civic action that will help decrease atmospheric CO2 concentrations to protect humankind’s wildlife heritage.
AZA’s Role in the Pole to Pole Campaign
The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) is concerned about species survival and ecosystem health and is therefore dedicated to making substantial positive impacts for their conservation. As trusted conservation leaders, AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums have the opportunity to model sustainable business operation practices, communicate about climate change impacts on wildlife, and inspire more than 182 million visitors to take personal and civic action to reduce these impacts each year.
AZA’s role in the Pole to Pole Campaign revolves around two goals:
- To help AZA-accredited zoos & aquariums reduce the climate change impacts of their own operations.
- To help AZA-accredited zoos & aquariums engage their visitors in reducing climate change impacts on wildlife through personal and civic action.
AZA will provide tools to help member institutions: gain a basic understanding of sustainable practices, become fluent in a consistent sustainability language, develop and implement a Sustainability Plan, identify AZA Smart Source cooperative purchasing programs sustainable product discounts, and document their progress.
In addition, AZA will provide informal science educators: opportunities to participate in communication training that focuses on making affective connections between wildlife and climate change; resources that link to the latest regional, national, and global climate science; examples of successful wildlife and climate change programming and activities; and tools to facilitate implementation of community-level activities that reduce CO2 emissions. AZA will strive to increase awareness about climate change impacts on wildlife and recognize our accredited zoo and aquarium success stories through related conferences and meetings, awards, publications, social and public media venues.
Many AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums are participating in the AZA portion of the Pole to Pole Campaign. The following institutions have provided examples of how they are actively reducing the climate change impacts of their own operations and engaging their audiences to take personal and civic actions to do the same:
|Arizona||Reid Park Zoo|
|North Carolina||North Carolina Aquarium|
|Washington||Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium|