AAZK and Polar Bears International
The American Association of Zoo Keepers and Polar Bears International are working together as Conservation Partners towards the conservation of polar bears, the Arctic ecosystem, and spreading our conservation messages on the effects of climate change. Our Associations have developed three key programs towards these goals, Leadership Camp, Acres for the Atmosphere, and Trees for You and Me. AAZK, PBI, and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources have also teamed together to create the Polar Bear Forest. Why are forests so important to polar bears?
Though it might not seem obvious at first, planting trees helps conserve polar bear habitat in the arctic. Trees act as “carbon sinks” and absorb carbon out of the air and convert it into plant material. Trees sequester this carbon in roots, trunks, stems and leaves while they grow, and in wood products after they are harvested. That means planting trees, whether in a rural or an urban setting, helps reduce carbon in the atmosphere. Less carbon in the atmosphere means better conditions to retain Arctic ice longer and to improve polar bear habitat and survival. Reforestation positively affects climate change and provides wildlife habitat, helping all of the species that AAZK members are so passionate to conserve. Referenced from http://dnr.wi.gov/forestry/PolarBear/.
Zoo Keeper Leadership camp:
This week-long camp brings together a motivated group of keepers who reach a wide audience with AAZK’s conservation messages. Keepers carry a unique cachet with zoo guests. Zoo industry research indicates that zoo visitors consider the conservation messages conveyed by Keepers to be the preferred and most credible sources of conservation education. Through education programs that are current, scientifically-based, fun, informative, retainable, and action-shaping, keepers inspire their public to pitch in to reduce carbon emissions. This camp is open to keepers affiliated with PBI’s Arctic Ambassador Centers around the world, and professional members of AAZK. It is designed to inform, inspire, and empower keepers with information and tools to motivate their constituents. This camp is focused on communication and presentation skills, creative planning, and program execution especially with regard to climate change and its effects on polar bears. The camp enhances professional skills and promotes networking with peers while providing access to renowned field scientists, educators, and community members.
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Acres for the Atmosphere:
Graduates of the 2009 Zoo Keeper Leadership Camp in Churchill, Manitoba created the initiative Acres for the Atmosphere (AFTA), both for conservation education and to take immediate action. With the continued support of PBI and AAZK, we intend to reduce the prevalence of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the earth’s atmosphere. Our initiative is designed around three objectives that will enable us to accomplish this goal. We will increase carbon sequestration by greening areas with vegetative plantings or trees, decrease CO2 emissions within our local communities, and raise awareness in our communities in order to curb our carbon addiction. Our program launches year to year in correspondence with each year’s Zoo Keeper Leadership Camp. Keepers can get involved on both the individual and AAZK Chapter level. Join us and lead your communities to a more sustainable future! Please contact: email@example.com for more information.