7th IAC Shanghai
Life originated in the oceans and the process of evolution has brought us to
where we are now.
The theme of this IAC is: Progress and conservation: “The role of aquariums
in protecting the aquatic environment”: -
“Let’s extend both our hands to
Some progress has been witnessed in protecting our aquatic environment,
especially through efforts by aquariums in some developing countries. We
still have a long way to go and conservation and protecting the aquatic
environment is an urgent priority! We must nevertheless ensure that all
environmental, economic and cultural aspects are taken into account to
ensure that our actions are sustainable.
This is a serious but very difficult task. Aquariums are nevertheless
undeniably the best instrument to inform the public at large about its
actual status, its fragility and the positive actions we might take to
mitigate these risks:
- We carry the obligation on our shoulders to
protect the world heritage that is vested in our aquatic environment –
that is the most precious and largest single component of our planetary
- Improper management of this resource puts humanity
and our planetary stability at risk.
It is therefore incumbent on us to act responsibly and as one voice. Only
aquariums hold the keys to communicate best practise to decision makers,
stakeholders and to the public at large!
In our 2004 conference the seeds were sown for the creation of a common
worldwide aquarium platform to be born from the successful platform of the
IAC and to be known as the International Aquarium Forum. This 2008 IAC marks
the formal commitment of the aquarium community to this forum which, from
today, with the full endorsement of this congress, will be our common voice.
It is not too late to make a difference but we have to act today not
Therefore aquariums under the auspices of the IAF should unite to:
- use all possible resources
to inform the public correctly.
- use the positive emotional
impact of an aquarium visit to stimulate communication of easy and
understandable messages to reach all ages.
- work hand in hand with
scientists and research institutes to communicate positive results of
research to our public.
- solicit collaboration of our
public in ocean and aquatic environmental lobbying.
- act together to raise awareness
of the health of our oceans and aquatic environments to influence policies
and actions on a planetary scale.
- be more proactive in promotion
of and participation in worldwide common actions such as e.g. ‘World Ocean
Day’ on June the 8th of each year.
- be present and influential in
International global environmental forums such as the ‘Global Conference on
- actively promote the IAF as an
acknowledged and respected professional reference for aquatic environmental
- combine their efforts worldwide in
preservation as well as conservation.
work together to make this an even more beautiful ocean”