News Release

Contact: Sondra Katzen, Public Relations, 708.688.8351, sondra.katzen@czs.org

November 13, 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 
Wildlife Conservation Society, Chicago Zoological Society, and Partners Launch #FramingOurFuture Campaign to Support Nature-Based Solutions to Climate Change
 
Harnessing the power of Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) accredited zoos across 46 states that reach 200 million people each year, the Bronx Zoo-based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) announced today #FramingOurFuture—a partner-based campaign aimed at zoo guests, as well as digital audiences, about how their actions to protect nature will support our climate.

The campaign kicked off at COP26, the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow.

The goals of the campaign are to educate and empower the public to take action on climate by advancing nature-based solutions in U.S. foreign and domestic climate policy, including protection of intact forests and restoration of coastal ecosystems. In addition, the campaign supports doubling U.S. investments in global biodiversity conservation funding streams that support nature-based solutions to climate change over the next four years.

“Brookfield Zoo is located within the Forest Preserves of Cook County, where we experience firsthand the benefits of nature-based solutions to climate change. Nearby wetlands filter our water and the surrounding forests absorb pollution, cool our cities, and clean our air. By protecting our diverse landscapes, waterways, and oceans, we can address the global climate crisis while ensuring wild spaces survive to inspire the next generation of conservation leaders,” said Dr. Mike Adkesson, president and CEO of the Chicago Zoological Society and director of Brookfield Zoo.

The campaign emphasizes that by saving nature, in particular protecting intact forests and restoring coastal ecosystems, we can achieve one third of the action needed to keep global temperature rise to 1.5°C by 2030. The climate crisis today is directly connected to a growing biodiversity crisis. The United Nations has suggested that as many as a million animal and plant species face extinction today. Driving the threat to biodiversity is the destruction and degradation of countless intact landscapes that provide habitat for species large and small and store carbon that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere.

“Nature-based approaches, such as protection of intact forests, serve as one-third of the immediate solution to the climate crisis, said Cristian Samper, WCS president and CEO. “However, they only receive 8 percent of climate change mitigation resources globally. To ensure U.S. policymaking, investment and diplomacy advances the role of nature in mitigating climate change, we need dedicated action not only of scientists and policymakers, but of ordinary citizens from coast to coast.”

Such intact areas are likewise a key reservoir of viral pathogens like SARS-CoV-2 to which people have no natural immunity. The opportunity for “zoonotic” spillover of such viruses from wildlife to humans is greatly increased as the integrity of large swaths of forest is compromised—largely through the carving up of such areas for industrial agriculture, resource extraction, transportation infrastructure, and via the illegal wildlife trade.

“The zoo and aquarium community will come together to ensure that the conservation of nature is a key component to fighting the climate crisis, which is directly linked to the extinction and pandemic crises. We must begin actively framing our future. Protecting tomorrow starts today,” said John Calvelli, WCS executive vice president for public affairs.

Framing our Future supports several bills that address these crises: the FOREST Act, sponsored by Sen. Schatz (D-HI) and Reps. Blumenauer (D-OR) and Fitzpatrick (R-PA); the Tropical Forest and Coral Reef Conservation Reauthorization Act, sponsored by Reps. Chabot (R-OH) and Sherman (D-CA) and Sens. Portman (R-OH), Coons (D-DE), Burr (R-NC), Whitehouse (D-RI), and Schatz (D-HI); the Ocean-Based Climate Solutions Act, sponsored by Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ), along with other priority pending legislation.

Framing Our Future’s inaugural partners include the AZA, Brevard Zoo, Chicago Zoological Society-Brookfield Zoo, Houston Zoo, Indianapolis Zoo, Oregon Zoo, San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, Shedd Aquarium, Saint Louis Zoo, Woodland Park Zoo, and Zoo New England.
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About the Chicago Zoological Society
The mission of the Chicago Zoological Society is to inspire conservation leadership by engaging people and communities with wildlife and nature. The Chicago Zoological Society is a private nonprofit organization that operates Brookfield Zoo on land owned by the Forest Preserves of Cook County. The Society is known throughout the world for its international role in animal population management and wildlife conservation. Its Center for the Science of Animal Care and Welfare is at the forefront of animal care that strives to discover and implement innovative approaches to zoo animal management. Brookfield Zoo is the first zoo in the world to be awarded the Humane Certified™ certification mark for the care and welfare of its animals, meeting American Humane Association’s rigorous certification standards. The zoo is located at 8400 31st Street in Brookfield, Illinois, between the Stevenson (I-55) and Eisenhower (I-290) expressways and also is accessible via the Tri-State Tollway (I-294), Metra commuter line, and CTA and PACE bus service. For further information, visit CZS.org.
 
About WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society)
MISSION: WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. To achieve our mission, WCS, based at the Bronx Zoo, harnesses the power of its Global Conservation Program in nearly 60 nations and in all the world’s oceans and its five wildlife parks in New York City, visited by 4 million people annually. WCS combines its expertise in the field, zoos, and aquarium to achieve its conservation mission. Visit: newsroom.wcs.org Follow: @WCSNewsroom. For more information: 347-840-1242.
 
 

MEDIA CONTACT:

Sondra Katzen
Media Relations Manager
Office: 708-688-8351
Cell Phone: 708-903-2071
E-mail: Sondra.Katzen@CZS.org

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