Polar bear on ice image

Activity Five

Advocating for Climate Action

Shifting from fossil fuels to renewable sources of energy will require an unprecedented scale of community-level action. Now more than ever, it’s critical that zoos and aquariums work with policymakers and the public to advocate for a healthy planet. In this section, we’ll explore the unique role that zoos and aquariums play in advocacy.

First, let’s define advocacy. 

Our conservation field work is core to who we are. Equally important is our work to ensure that systems and society are set up for conservation success. This is advocacy, and it can take many forms. Here are a few examples:

  • Posting social media in support of the Endangered Species Act

  • Educating voters on environment-related issues

  • Inviting an elected official to visit your zoo/aquarium

  • Writing a letter to Congress in support of climate legislation

  • Requesting federal funds to support a program

Advocacy is a frame of mind, and we can fold it into many of our routine tasks, activities, programs, communications and events.

Why should zoos and aquariums advocate?

Your organization relies on government relationships to operate, whether it’s through funding, regulations or a partnership with wildlife agencies. If we’re not actively participating in these relationships, then others are making decisions for us.

Simply put, advocacy helps us advance our missions, and the public expects us to advocate.

Polling data shows that the public trusts zoos and aquariums more than government agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGO’s). More than 75% of those polled agreed that zoos and aquariums are highly credible sources of information, and that zoos and aquariums should recommend ways for the general public to support its causes and mission.

This section is intended to help you consider advocacy in your climate action plan as you integrate the knowledge you gain from Climate Alliance.

Polar bear jumping sea ice floes


Let's begin with Activity 5A–Focus.

Mother bear and her two cubs cuddled up to one another


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