200 zoos, botanical gardens and museums unite for biodiversity!

Focusing on local species and biodiversity, the Let It Grow campaign now has 200 participants from all over the world working together create havens for native species of animals and plants and to combat biodiversity loss.

Let It Grow is a joint two-year campaign by three of Europe’s largest scientific associations – Botanic Gardens Conservation International, the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria, and Ecsite, the network of European Science Centres. It is a public engagement conservation campaign to raise awareness on local biodiversity and encourage citizens to get involved in its valorisation and protection. In 2014, all three parties decided to work together towards the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity’s AICHI Target 1, namely that “By 2020, at the latest, people are aware of the values of biodiversity and the steps they can take to conserve and use it sustainably.” Uniting some of the most progressive science engagement, conservation and research institutions in the world, the Let It Grow campaign aims to help turn the fortunes of nature around across Europe.
Kicking off in March 2016, a year later the campaign has reached the 200-participant milestone. It is very exciting to have this many zoos, botanic garden, science centres, and natural history museums join the campaign; and fact is that the campaign has branched out beyond Europe, now having participants in North and South America; Asia and Africa. Most participants are members of the organising associations, however several unaffiliated conservation institutions have also joined. Reaching 200 participants is wonderful news, however the numbers are not the end goal for the Let It Growcampaign. 22 May is the International Day for Biological Diversity, a day on which participants are asked to host public engagement events throughout Europe and beyond. Getting citizens involved in experiencing and measuring biodiversity is one of the campaign’s main goals, and a collective initiative such as this will have an even greater impact. Institutions are still very much encouraged to join the campaign and organise an event on 22 May. Those who already celebrate the International Day for Biological Diversity are welcome to incorporate their experiences by signing up for the campaignand continuing their work in the Let It Grow community. Join the campaign by signing up here. More information and stories can be found on the campaign website and Facebook page.

Daniëlle de Jong is the Biodiversity Communications Coordinator for EAZA and the contact person for the Let It Grow campaign. She can be contacted at danielle.de.jong@eaza.net

Let It Grow website: http://www.letitgrow.eu/

EAZA: http://www.eaza.net/

BGCI: https://www.bgci.org/

Ecsite: http://www.ecsite.eu/

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