Accredited zoos and aquariums are gateways through which millions of people learn about and value the rich diversity of life that is humankind’s wildlife heritage.
The Association of Zoos and Aquariums envisions a world where, as a result of the work of accredited zoos and aquariums, all people respect, value and conserve wildlife and wild places.
The Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) provides its members the services, high standards and best practices needed to be leaders and innovators in animal care, wildlife conservation and science, conservation education, the guest experience, and community engagement.
FIVE YEAR STRATEGIC VISION
AZA accredited zoos and aquariums will be recognized for leading a compelling wildlife conservation movement. We will achieve this by:
- Caring for wildlife and wild places;
- Educating and engaging public,professional and government audiences;
- Serving and increasing membership;
- Developing a robust and sustainable economic model which empowers AZA to provide superlative member services.
1. CARING FOR WILDLIFE AND WILD PLACES
Ensure the sustainability of diverse wildlife collections in accredited zoos and aquariums; advance high standards of wildlife-focused animal care and welfare;and foster outcome-based conservation by connecting zoos and aquariums to the wild.
Sustainable Animal Collections - Implement best practices in animal management systems that ensure the sustainability of zoo and aquarium animal populations for the next century.
Animal Care and Welfare – Foster the advancement and implementation of animal care and welfare methods and standards for use by AZA members as best practices in maintaining healthy animal collections.
Species/Habitat Conservation – Facilitate increased involvement of accredited zoos and aquariums in the effective conservation of wildlife in nature.
2. EDUCATING AND ENGAGING PUBLIC, PROFESSIONAL, AND GOVERNMENT AUDIENCES
Build effective government and public affairs capabilities, and support AZA member conservation education programs to advance conservation outcomes and support for accredited zoos and aquariums.
Legislative, Policy, and Regulatory Impact– Ensure that AZA and its members are recognized as trusted leaders in environmental education, biodiversity conservation and animal welfare, resulting in laws, regulations and policies to support the sustainability of zoo and aquarium collections and operations.
Conservation Education and Public Engagement –Facilitate multi-institutional conservation education, outreach, and collaborations that activate the public to connect with and take personal action to conserve wildlife and wild habitats.
3. ENHANCING MEMBERSHIP
Provide services that build and support an expanding community of individual members, and diverse facilities of all sizes, in collectively achieving the AZA mission.
Enhancing Membership– Build capacity within the AZA membership while simultaneously increasing the number and professionalism of members in order to achieve the overall mission and vision of AZA
Accreditation – Create and manage the world’s leading zoological Accreditation Program and increase the wide recognition that AZA accredited institutions receive for their excellence across all areas of operation.
Professional Development - Continuously assess the need for new courses to increase member capacity and maximize new and ongoing programs that support AZA training, professional development, certification programs and the development of new leaders
4. DEVELOPING A ROBUST AND SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC MODEL
Strengthen current AZA funding sources and pursue innovative new funding strategies to double available resources by 2014.
New Revenue Streams - Develop enterprises that establish new and sustainable, non-dues revenue streams.
Fundraising Capacity - Assess the fundraising potential for AZA to provide consistent, strategic support to conservation programs of accredited zoos and aquariums, and to ensure a strong future for zoo and aquarium conservation action.
Watch a video about the strategic plan, unveiled at the 2010 AZA Annual Conference in Houston, TX.