Dublin Zoo

With more than 700 million visitors a year, the world's 1,300 leading zoos and aquariums have a unique potential to attract, inspire and mobilize mass public engagement for species and habitat conservation. By making a direct connection between people and wildlife, zoos and aquariums educate the public on biodiversity conservation, human well-being, livelihoods and poverty alleviation, hence promoting environmentally sustainable development as well as social and political change. The income from entrance tickets to zoos and aquariums is spent on conservation projects around the world. Collectively, this financial support can match or surpass the contributions of some of the leading global conservation organizations. MORE...

"Our children should inherit the privilege of looking at tigers in the wild and not only behind bars in a zoo." John Scanlan, Secretary-General CITES.

Timber row as Zoo accused of using illegally-logged timber. 

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WOOD OF STRIVE: Tom Roche demonstrates at Dublin Zoo over use of wood he alleges was 'illegally' harvested.

By Ronnie Bellew

Tuesday May 25th 2010

AN ENVIRONMENTAL campaigner is at loggerheads with Dublin Zoo over the use of allegedly "illegally logged" tropical plywood at the Zoo's City Farm amenity which re-opened last weekend.

Tom Roche, the founder and co-ordinator of the Just Forests campaign, said he was "dismayed to discover the use of tropical plywood in the City Farm perimeter fence". He claims this Chinese-sourced plywood is manufactured using timber that is illegally and unsustainably logged from countries such as Papua New Guinea, "where illegal and destructive logging is rampant".

"Logging companies in the area have been accused of widespread illegality, including human rights abuses. Much of this bintangor [wood] is shipped to China where it is used in the manufacturer of cheap, throw-away plywood -- such as the hoarding seen on numerous building sites in Ireland," said Mr Roche.

The Just Forests campaign had been working closely with the zoo in recent months on the 'Wood For Life' exhibition adjacent to the zoo's Tropical Bird House. Highlighting the importance of sustainable forestry and ethical timber trading, the exhibition was due to run until this Friday, but Mr Roche claims he was told "to pack up" his exhibition by the zoo's management when he requested a meeting to discuss his concerns about the perimeter fencing at City Farm.

A Dublin Zoo spokesperson rejected Mr Roche's claims, saying the zoo "has a policy of endeavouring at all times to use only materials certified from sustainable sources which is in line with our ethics, values and principles".

"While we endeavour at all times to ensure that all timber is certified and from sustainable sources, we are sometimes at the hands of contractors and third party suppliers who are asked to provide the required paperwork," the spokesperson said. "We are attempting to make the sourcing of materials from sustainable sources as watertight as possible and, while it may not be 100pc perfect at this time, the process is ongoing."

- Ronnie Bellew

Irish Independent

STOP PRESS STOP PRESS STOP PRESS: Members of Just Forests, officials of Dublin Zoo and Pembroke Communications, met in the offices of Pembroke Communications, Dublin, on Tuesday 22nd June 2010. At that meeting it was agreed Just Forests will develop a ‘Timber Procurement Policy’ with a clear step-wise approach to implementation for Dublin Zoo. This policy will reflect our mutually supportive missions regarding the conservation of animal/forest ecosystems. It will enable Dublin Zoo to specify timber and wood-based products with confidence when embarking upon any further construction projects.

We also acknowledged the complexities of having such a policy formally adopted within the ‘system’ that Dublin Zoo operates within. To that effect we agreed that six months (December 2010) would be a fair period by which time to have such a policy formally adopted and in place.

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Tom Roche (trading as) Just Forests Ltd.
Ringfort Workshop, Rathcobican, Rhode, Offaly, Ireland
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