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WAZA bio-literacy survey (Biodiversity literacy in global zoo and aquarium visitors)

Key indicator facts

Indicator type

State

Applicable for national use

No

Indicator classification

Operational and included in the CBD's list of indicators

Indicator type

State

Applicable for national use

No

Indicator classification

Operational and included in the CBD's list of indicators

Last update

2018

Coverage

Global

Availability

Not freely available

Partners

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Chester Zoo

Waza logo

World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA)

Contact point

Andrew Moss, Chester Zoo: a.moss@chesterzoo.org

Stephanie Sanderson, WAZA: steph.sanderson@waza.org

Indicator description

Between 2012 and 2015, Chester Zoo and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) successfully coordinated a project that measured the positive contribution of world zoos to helping achieve Aichi Biodiversity Target 1.The research concentrated on the impact of a zoo or aquarium visit on what we termed ‘Biodiversity Literacy’ – that is, the understanding of the term biodiversity and ability to name actions they could take to conserve it. More than 30 global zoos in 19 countries (including institutions from all continents bar Antarctica) and over 10,000 zoo visitors participated in this research.

The main findings of the study were very positive; namely, that biodiversity literacy in zoo visitors significantly increased over the course of zoo visits. These people, on average, tend to end their visit with a greater understanding of what biodiversity is, as well as the ways that they personally can help protect it. In sum, world zoos and aquariums are helping to achieve Aichi Target 1.

From 2018 onwards, we are developing a more detailed indicator of Aichi Target 1. This indicator will not only include visitor knowledge, but also values, attitudes, connections to nature as well as pro-conservation behaviours. We will use automated social survey technology to provide an indicator that is cost efficient and sustainable over the longer term, as well being able to produce results in real-time to allow full flexibility in the analysis of this time series. Our indicator will be flexible enough to adapt to any anticipated future changes to this target, and any other related targets.

Related Aichi Targets

Primary target

1

Target 1:

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.

Primary target

1

Target 1:

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.

1

Related SDGs

E sdg goals icons individual rgb 12

GOAL 12 - Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.

Target 12.8| Relevant indicator

By 2030, ensure that people everywhere have the relevant information and awareness for sustainable development and lifestyles in harmony with nature.

E sdg goals icons individual rgb 12

GOAL 12 - Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.

E sdg goals icons individual rgb 12

Other related MEAs and processes

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CITES

Target 3.2| Relevant indicator

Awareness of the role and purpose of CITES is increased globally.

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CMS

Target 1| Relevant indicator

People are aware of the multiple values of migratory species and their habitats and migratory systems, and the steps they can take to conserve them and ensure the sustainability of any use.

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IPBES Regional Assessment Chapters

Chapter 2| Relevant indicator

Nature’s benefits to people and quality of life

Chapter 3| Relevant indicator

Status, trends and future dynamics of biodiversity and ecosystems underpinning nature’s benefits to people

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CITES

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CMS

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IPBES Regional Assessment Chapters

Cites high resolution
Cms logo blue4c
Indicator icon

Themes

Bip sustainable

Sustainable use of natural resources and land

View related indicators >
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Partners

Cz oceanblue rgb pt
Waza logo

Key indicator facts

Indicator type

State

Applicable for national use

No

Indicator classification

Operational and included in the CBD's list of indicators

Indicator type

State

Applicable for national use

No

Indicator classification

Operational and included in the CBD's list of indicators

Last update

2018

Coverage

Global

Availability

Not freely available

Indicator description

Between 2012 and 2015, Chester Zoo and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) successfully coordinated a project that measured the positive contribution of world zoos to helping achieve Aichi Biodiversity Target 1.The research concentrated on the impact of a zoo or aquarium visit on what we termed ‘Biodiversity Literacy’ – that is, the understanding of the term biodiversity and ability to name actions they could take to conserve it. More than 30 global zoos in 19 countries (including institutions from all continents bar Antarctica) and over 10,000 zoo visitors participated in this research.

The main findings of the study were very positive; namely, that biodiversity literacy in zoo visitors significantly increased over the course of zoo visits. These people, on average, tend to end their visit with a greater understanding of what biodiversity is, as well as the ways that they personally can help protect it. In sum, world zoos and aquariums are helping to achieve Aichi Target 1.

From 2018 onwards, we are developing a more detailed indicator of Aichi Target 1. This indicator will not only include visitor knowledge, but also values, attitudes, connections to nature as well as pro-conservation behaviours. We will use automated social survey technology to provide an indicator that is cost efficient and sustainable over the longer term, as well being able to produce results in real-time to allow full flexibility in the analysis of this time series. Our indicator will be flexible enough to adapt to any anticipated future changes to this target, and any other related targets.

Contact point

Andrew Moss, Chester Zoo: a.moss@chesterzoo.org

Stephanie Sanderson, WAZA: steph.sanderson@waza.org

Graphs / Diagrams

Figure. Trends in biodiversity literacy in global zoo and aquarium visitors between 2012-2015. Both measures (biodiversity understanding and knowledge of pro-conservation actions) stem from the content analysis of open-ended survey questions, both using a 10-point scale.

Current storyline

During phase 1 of our indicator development of Aichi Target 1, we found a slightly fluctuating trend in biodiversity literacy in zoo and aquarium visitors between 2012 and 2015 (see graphs and diagrams section). However, we don’t believe that these fluctuations are of a large enough magnitude to warrant detailed further explanation. Nor do we have data describing the necessary explanatory variables to make any such explanations valid.

Data and methodology

Coverage: Global

Scale: 19 countries 30 zoos and aquariums and over 10,000 participants

Time series available: 2012-2015

Next planned update: 2018

Possible disaggregations: By world region, by country, by zoo/aquarium (anonymised) and by visitor demographics

Methodology: Our current indicator is derived from impact survey data from global studies of zoo and aquarium visitors (n~10,000). In terms of measurement, we operationalised the two main components of Aichi Target 1 by developing two specific open-ended survey questions:

Aichi Target 1 componentQuestion design in survey
People are aware of the values of biodiversity ('biodiversity understanding' in our study)'Please list anything that comes to mind when you think of 'biodiversity' (space for up to five responses)
People are aware of the actions they can take to conserve and sustainably use biodiversity ('knowledge of actions to help protect biodiversity' in our study)'If you can think of an action that you could take to help save animal species, please list below' (space for up to two responses)


The qualitative data from the 2 dependent variables (biodiversity understanding and knowledge of actions to help protect biodiversity) were subjected to content analyses to provide quantitative data suitable for statistical analyses. Initial qualitative analyses to explore the range, type, and content of responses directly informed the scoring and coding schemes developed for each of the 2 dependent variables. A second trained coder performed inter-coder reliability analyses for both dependent variables (Cohen’s Kappa > 0.8). A detailed description of how the survey data were scored follows below:

Each response was scored according to the following scale:

  1. inaccurate (descriptions contained no accurate elements [eg “open air”, “everything in general”] or were too vague to indicate accurate knowledge [e.g. “many things”]);
  2. ambivalent (some accurate descriptions and some of inaccurate descriptions)
  3. some positive evidence (mention of something biological [eg “species”], but no other accurate elements or detail);
  4. positive evidence (some evidence of accurate descriptions, but only mention of animals or plants, not both [minimal inaccurate elements], or vague but accurate description [e.g. “lots of life”, “many species”, “variety of species”]);
  5. strong positive evidence (no inaccurate elements, specific mention of both animals and plants [e.g. “diversity of flora and fauna of the region”, “wide variety of plants and animals in a given environment or ecosystem”, “all the animals and plants on our planet”, “wildlife and plant life in balance”]).

In addition, we developed a series of binary coding variables (yes or no), all of which were based on the Convention on Biological Diversity’s (CBD’s) “Value of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services”. Individual survey responses were again scored for each of the following queries on a yes or no basis:

  • Interconnections between species and the environment mentioned?
  • Genetic value of biodiversity mentioned?
  • Expressed importance of biodiversity for humans?
  • Expressed need for biodiversity conservation?
  • Mention of environmentally responsible behaviours relating to biodiversity?

A master combined score was calculated as the sum of the biodiversity accuracy scale (1–5 points) and all the five binary variables (yes = 1 point and no = 0 points). The maximum combined score per survey response was therefore 10.

Knowledge of actions to help protect biodiversity

Responses were coded under an initial binary variable (yes or no) to determine whether an action or behavior was mentioned (yes = 1 point and no = 0 points). If an action or behavior was mentioned (1 point), then further points were added along a continuous scale as follows (up to a maximum of 5 points per action):

  • 0, action or behavior identified not relevant to conservation;
  • +1, no specific action or behavior mentioned (vague platitudes about need for change [e.g. “save ecosystems”]);
  • +2, specific identification of pro-biodiversity action or behavior at a general level (not feasible to address as an individual [e.g. “stop hunting”, “stop Chinese medicine”, “scientific research in environmental studies and conservation”, “don’t cut our forests”, “give animals space and protect their environment”]);
  • +3, very specific identification of pro-biodiversity action or behavior that can be done at an individual level (e.g. “hanging bird houses, feeding birds in winter time”, “drive less to reduce effects of climate change”);
  • +4, very specific identification of pro-biodiversity action or behavior that the respondent clearly states is a personal action or behavior (e.g. “I recycle my mobile phone for gorillas”).

We left spaces for respondents to identify up to two different actions. Where two actions were reported, each action was coded separately using the scale defined above. The two separate scores were then summed to yield a combined score (maximum total of 10).

We will also develop our indicator further by including the measurement of additional variables. By this we mean that not only the knowledge of zoo and aquarium visitors will be measured, but also values and attitudes towards biodiversity and its conservation, connection to nature, as well as self-reported pro-conservation behaviours (and the motivations that might drive them).

National use of indicator

Producing this indicator nationally: The measure has been used in zoos and aquariums in 19 countries. It is straight forward to sort results by country but as yet we have insufficient data points to make this useful.

Use of the global method and data at a national level: Data from our original indicator could be easily aggregated at the country level. We currently have data from 19 countries.

To date our indicator has only been used internationally (see further resources).

Contact person for supporting national use: Andrew Moss, Chester Zoo: a.moss@chesterzoo.org

Further resources

Key indicator facts

Indicator type

State

Applicable for national use

No

Indicator classification

Operational and included in the CBD's list of indicators

Indicator type

State

Applicable for national use

No

Indicator classification

Operational and included in the CBD's list of indicators

Last update

2018

Coverage

Global

Availability

Not freely available

Partners

Cz oceanblue rgb pt

Chester Zoo

Waza logo

World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA)

Contact point

Andrew Moss, Chester Zoo: a.moss@chesterzoo.org

Stephanie Sanderson, WAZA: steph.sanderson@waza.org