French Zoos Building Capacity to Engage Visitors in Climate Action

Opportunities for change

by John Fraser
Jun 7, 2022

The Association Française des Parcs Zoologiques’s website claims that “Zoological parks are establishments that raise awareness and involve visitors of all ages in the implementation of a more sustainable society for ecosystems and therefore for us and species.” To claim that they achieve these goals, however, is a bit of a stretch.

Knology participated in a global panel discussion on climate change communications convened by Professor Susan Clayton, a visiting Fellow at the Institut d'Etudes Avancées de Paris. In that panel, Knology’s President & CEO Dr. John Fraser, co-author of The Social Value of Zoos, suggested that zoos are an ideal venue to help people think with nature, noting that they can do much more than raise awareness of the need for environmental protection. As part of the panel discussion, Dr. Fraser and his colleague, Dr. Janet Swim of Penn State University presented a detailed discussion of their research in partnership with the National Network for Ocean and Climate Change Interpretation (NNOCCI). Dr. Fraser laid out a framework that illustrated how zoos work in the public mind, how to leverage these affordances to help build wisdom, and a path for using social networking with other like-minded organizations to change the way each community chooses to create local solutions to the climate crisis.

Additional information about this panel discussion, including associated documents, is available here:

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Banner image: Institut d'Etudes Avancées de Paris

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