We’re so excited to welcome Zoos & Aquariums for 350 to the movement! Earlier this month, the Conservation Breeding Specialist Group held their annual meeting and used the opportunity to launch a new initiative encouraging zoos and aquariums to divest from fossil fuels. You can read their press release below and download a copy of their new handbook here.

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Apple Valley, MN— On October 11, representatives of international zoos and aquariums committed to joining the 350.org climate change movement. The effort, “Zoos and Aquariums for 350,” was launched at the Annual Meeting of the Conservation Breeding Specialist Group (CBSG), held in Orlando, Florida.

Zoos and Aquariums for 350 invites zoos and aquariums to pursue divestment of their institutions’ investments from fossil fuel companies, reduce carbon footprints, offset remaining carbon emissions, and engage in climate change education initiatives that incorporate the number “350.”

“Zoos and Aquariums for 350 encourages our members and partners in the international zoo and aquarium community to green their investment portfolios and well as their operations,” said Dr. Onnie Byers, CBSG Chair. “What could be more consistent with the conservation mission of zoos and aquariums than working to ensure that governments acknowledge the reality of climate change and take action?”

Over one hundred participants from zoos, aquariums, universities, and other conservation organizations joined in the event. At the end of the three-day conference, participants stood up and pledged to join Zoos and Aquariums for 350 by taking action in their home institutions and communicating their progress with the zoo and aquarium community.

Zoos and Aquariums for 350 joins the climate change movement started by 350.org, an organization aiming to solve the climate crisis by addressing systemic barriers to climate solutions. Phil Aroneanu, co-founder of 350.org, helped kick off the Zoos and Aquariums for 350 initiative and shared his knowledge about climate change and fossil fuel divestment.
“Zoos and Aquariums are critical places for the fossil fuel divestment movement to take hold,” said Aroneanu. “As institutions dedicated to conservation and biodiversity, they have an incredible opportunity to educate the world on the climate crisis. We’re elated to be working with CBSG and Zoos and Aquariums for 350 in fighting for a safe planet for all species.”

Zoo and aquarium involvement with the 350 movement provides a multitude of new opportunities. Zoos have strong ties to their local communities and 700 million visitors that walk through their doors per year.

CBSG is focusing attention on the issue of climate change due to the urgency of the threat to all species, and because of a mandate from their members to start or join a social movement to address climate change. When CBSG’s research led them to 350.org, they knew they’d found the perfect fit for zoos, aquariums, and the conservation community.

In March 2013, CBSG proclaimed its own commitment to divest from fossil fuels. CBSG created Zoos and Aquariums for 350 to bring the 350.org movement to their members and colleagues in the zoo and aquarium community. For more information about Zoos and Aquariums for 350, visit http://www.cbsg.org/zoos-aquariums-350

ABOUT CBSG: The Conservation Breeding Specialist Group (CBSG) is an international conservation organization whose mission is to save threatened species by making conservation efforts more effective. CBSG has a volunteer membership network with representatives from zoos and aquariums, field conservation organizations, other conservation groups, governments, colleges, universities and research institutes.

Contact: Onnie Byers onnie@cbsg.org