Changing Hearts, Minds and Ultimately Behaviours
Agenda 21, the protocol that emerged from the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, identified zoos as education providers for ‘Think Globally, Act Locally’, the mantra that urged every citizen to take responsibility for their lifestyle and the resultant environmental impact.
The 2005 World Zoo and Aquarium Conservation Strategy clearly defines the outcome of zoo education as being to inspire visitors to change behaviour and live more sustainably.
Environmental education initiatives that aim to change human behaviour provide the focus of many field projects where human activity impacts negatively on fragile habitats and threatened species.
Facilitating change is one challenge zoo and field educators face; another is devising monitoring and evaluation techniques that evidence success and increasingly we are asked to demonstrate that our education programmes are effective.
How can we as a global zoo community address this dual challenge in a meaningful way?