|What we do||Steering Committee|
IntroductionIn 2000, representatives from seven of the world“s professional keeper associations met to discuss the need for better communication among zookeepers worldwide. The idea to create the International Congress of Zookeepers (ICZ) was formulated and the first conference of the ICZ was held in Holland in 2003. A steering committee was formed to direct the progress of the ICZ and create a vision for the budding association. The need to incorporate the ICZ as a non-profit association became evident. By-laws and a constitution have been written and accepted by the seven founding associations. Conference and paper guidelines were produced. A website was created. Membership categories have been established.
|A Dorcas Gazelle in Barcelona Zoo|
The Steering Committee (SC) of the ICZ consists of 18 members representing the world“s 9 professional keeper associations. They have met once a year since 2000 to coordinate the development of an international association that will promote professional animal care throughout the world.
Strategic directions of the ICZ
- Achieve the highest standards of zookeeping globally.
- To assist zoos in need of improvement.
- Securing the financial growth and stability needed to implement the ICZ“s strategy.
- Increasing ICZ“s visibility and impact.
- Improving and developing the ICZ, reflecting the needs of zookeepers, zookeeper associations and zoos needing improvement.
- Developing and delivering ICZ“s core conservation activities.
- Developing and strengthening ICZ“s external partnerships.
- Procure and develop a professional administrative management.
|Sharks exhibit in Seaworld, AUS|
Keeper development and the advancement of the animal care profession have become a top priority for the ICZ. The role of the ICZ in helping keepers, especially those in developing countries and those without their own associations has been huge. I can think of nothing else that has occurred in the last 14 years that has had such a positive effect on the global development and networking of the world“s zookeepers. Increased communication, advanced husbandry and the sharing of expertise are the products of the ICZ . Another great example of the ICZ“s positive influence has been the transformation of Dreamnight at the Zoo from a European-based event into an international success story.
Developing the ICZ as a non-profit organisationIn 2008 the ICZ became incorporated as a 501-C-3 non-profit association in the state of Ohio, USA. The Steering Committee determined this to be crucial. Legal issues were the main reason for this conclusion. There are different legalities, in each of the nine countries represented by ICZ that apply to various issues such as liability, fundraising, accounting, etc.
A constitution, by-laws, statement of purpose, mission statement, and various guidelines and other documents were developed to achieve this aim.
The future of the ICZ - where do we go from here?The ICZ will continue to develop a global network for zookeepers. Already, many keepers have developed lifelong friendships, with colleagues throughout the world, as a result of the ICZ. Additionally, there is greater opportunity to share expertise with colleagues on a global scale.
The ICZ will work towards developing and supporting conservation. The ICZ has many things to accomplish before becoming a major player in conservation; however, the future looks bright for the development of a global conservation effort for zookeepers. We envision a flagship conservation effort that all of the world“s keepers can promote and take pride in.
|Pink Dolphin in Sentosa Aquarium, Singapore|
Does having a conference every three years meet our needs? How do we develop financial stability for the future? What does your region need from the ICZ? What else can we be doing for keeper development? How should this association continue to evolve as we grow? How do we improve our communication? What should our conservation strategies include? How do we develop the priorities of this association? These questions cannot be answered by the Steering Committee alone. We need your feedback and involvement. Most importantly, this association belongs to all of you. Speak up, get involved, and help guide the evolution of your international keeper association.
Liz Romer (ASZK)
Carsten Knott (BDZ)
Dennis Blomjous (HARPIJ)
Cristian Gillet (GACAS)
Emilia Lastica (ZAP)
Guillermo Delfino (GACAS)
Leo Jonathan Suarez (ZAP)
Lex van der Leije (HARPIJ)
Michael Drinkwater (ASZK)
Pascal Wohlgemuth (AFSA)
Penny Jolly (AAZK)
Raśl Cabrera Porcel (AICAS)
Sara Wunder Steward
ICZ Executive Officer
ICZ Executive Officer
Sebastian Schorr (BDZ)
Sebastien Pouvreau (AFSA)
Yianna Cooling (ABWAK)
Yvette Kemp (AAZK)