International conservational charity ZSL has joined forces with Singapore’s Mandai Wildlife Group to pledge their combined commitment to addressing the global climate and biodiversity crisis – supporting the recovery of wildlife and healthy ecosystems within South East Asia.
ZSL President Sir John Beddington signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Mandai Wildlife Group’s Deputy Chairman Mr Tan Chuan-Jin during a recent visit to ZSL London Zoo, pledging ZSL’s expertise and support to further scale efforts to stem the loss of species and populations in the region.
The MOU marks the start of a new collaboration between ZSL and Mandai Wildlife Group, who are both committed to protecting wildlife and inspiring conservation action: this wide-ranging partnership will enable the two world-leading organisations to scale up wildlife recovery solutions in South East Asia, home to a significant proportion of the world’s biological diversity.
South East Asia faces some of the greatest conservation challenges, from the conversion of forests to the illegal wildlife trade; combatting these pressures requires new and innovative approaches.
The two organisations will devise new programmes to protect and restore ecosystems at scale, including harnessing new sources of finance for conservation, while identifying joint research priorities.
ZSL’s Director of Conservation Dr Andrew Terry said: “This is an exciting partnership - as two organisations we share very similar objectives and working practices, while both being deeply committed to the recovery of wildlife and finding conservation solutions that work at scale.
“The extinction crisis demands that we fast-track new and innovative solutions; we’re looking forward to sharing our expertise, learning from colleagues in Singapore and building joint conservation programmes together.”
Dr Sonja Luz, Vice President, Conservation, Research & Veterinary at Mandai Wildlife Group and Deputy CEO of Mandai Nature, which is the Group’s conservation arm added: “The inking of this collaboration links two like-minded partners that regard conservation as a priority and see it as their professional responsibility to protect wild habitats and reverse the rapid loss of biodiversity, especially in the South East Asian region.”
The two institutions will also set ambitions around how they can scale up the recovery of highly threatened species, through the development of new collaborative conservation breeding programmes - alongside new opportunities for staff training and development.
Both organisations manage globally recognised zoos as part of their operations and are strong advocates for effective zoo conservation - through the collaboration, they will further grow expertise in animal care and specialist veterinary knowledge, which can be widely shared among the global zoo community.
ZSL London Zoo’s Chief Operating Officer Kathryn England said: “ZSL London Zoo and Mandai Wildlife Group have long had a common goal – to protect endangered species and further conservation action by inspiring change and connecting our visitors to wildlife.
“By sharing our world-leading expertise through knowledge exchange visits, joint workshops and collaborative conservation efforts, we can work towards a better world for all wildlife.”
ZSL hopes this new partnership will help to bring threatened species back from the brink, while empowering new generations to make pro-wildlife decisions in their daily lives.