Arabian Zoo and Aquarium Association formed following meeting of regional zoos and aquariums in Al Ain
- United Arab Emirates: Monday, December 17 - 2012 at 15:22
- PRESS RELEASE
Following the Arab region's first zoo and aquarium meeting, Al Ain Zoo today announced the unanimous agreement by delegates from the UAE, Qatar, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan and Bahrain to establish the 'Arabian Zoo and Aquarium Association' (AZAA).
AZAA will facilitate communication, collaboration and cooperation among members with regular engagement with national institutions.
Al Ain Zoo will continue to play a principal role, providing office space and allocating staff time to coordinate regional communication and to form a working group of members to proceed with the development of mandate, membership criteria and guidelines.
The association would provide a louder voice for the region and a foundation to discuss challenges and opportunities related to wildlife conservation, standards and animal welfare issues.
H.E. Ghanim Al Hajeri, Director General for the Zoo & Aquarium Public Institution in Al Ain (ZAPIA), commented, "We are thrilled with the result of these meetings and for the enthusiasm of our regional counterparts in an initiative that will only further our shared commitment to protect and conserve wildlife. As a group, we have identified areas for future collaboration, and at Al Ain Zoo we look forward to taking the lead in this next phase that will see the historic establishment of AAZA."
Salma Sulaimani, Director of Public Affairs in Rabat Zoo in Morocco, further commented, "We commend Al Ain Zoo's initiative to establish AAZA. This is a great step forward for the zoo and aquarium community of the region, especially given the success of associations in other regions around the globe. Many zoos in the Arab world have been witnessing major transformations in exhibit development, breeding policies and animal welfare, and this means there is an absolute need to have a platform to exchange knowledge and expertise. Rabat Zoo will offer its full support to ensuring the success of AAZA."
Engineer Mohammed Al Hawashi, General Supervisor of Riyadh Zoo in Saudi Arabia, added, "We are grateful to Al Ain Zoo for inviting us to be a part of these meetings, and we appreciate the need for a regional association that will further develop our community and encourage the zoos of the Arab world to enhance standards and conditions to that of our global counterparts. Riyadh Zoo has recently implemented a series of developments as part of our commitment to wildlife conservation and preservation, and knowledge sharing with regional institutions will certainly drive forward further development."
Al Ain Zoo is a proud member of WAZA - an organisation committed to promoting animal welfare standards around the globe - and is actively involved in several internationally coordinated conservation projects and works with other like-minded organisations such as Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi, The Species Survival Commission, San Diego Zoo, Edinburgh Zoo, World Conservation Union and Species Survival Commission, the Northern Rangelands Trust of Kenya and the Sahara Conservation Fund to conserve and re-introduce threatened arid land species such as Arabian Oryx, Scimitar-horned Oryx, giraffes and gazelle.
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