The African Association of Zoos and Aquaria (PAAZAB) was formed in 1989 at the National Zoological Gardens of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa. Chief Executive Officers and Directors from a number of African zoological institutions including South Africa, Zaire, Ivory Coast and Zimbabwe attended the inaugural meeting. PAAZAB is the only regional zoo association representing the continent of African within the international community of zoos and aquaria.
PAAZAB is a regional member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), the Conservation Breeding Specialist Group (CBSG) of the World Conservation Union (IUCN) and the International Species Information System ISIS).
PAAZAB’s mission is “Conservation through Cooperation” through the coordination, representation and promotion of the interests of Zoos and Aquaria at national and international levels.
Currently PAAZAB represents 32 Zoos and Aquariums in 15 African countries.
AFRICAN PRESERVATION PROGRAMME (APP) of PAAZAB:
The APP, as the African cooperative breeding programme is known, was founded at the 3rd PAAZAB Conference in June 1991, held at Oudtshoorn. The inaugural Chairman was Mr Viv Wilson, Director of the Chipangali Wildlife Trust, and the Co-ordinating Committee consisted of Dr. Ferdi Schoeman (Mammals), Dr. Alan Abrey (Birds), Mr C. McCartney (Reptiles/Amphibians), Mr. M. Penrith (Fresh Water Fish) and Dr. Paul Bartels (Genome Resource Bank).
The APP Charter was ratified at the Durban Conference in 1993. Johan Spence and Dave Morgan drew up the original charter document, both then of Tygerberg Zoo. The Charter, based on the European and American systems of EEP and SSP, laid out the infrastructure of co-operative captive management between African zoos. John Spence was voted in as APP Chairman and Dave Morgan took on the post of APP General Secretary. During the course of setting up the Charter it had been decided that only African species would be included in the programme
When Mr Spence resigned from the APP due to a period of ill health in 1999, Dr. Ferdi Schoeman succeeded him. By this time the APP Committee had been honed to a more streamlined format, with Dr Schoeman also fulfilling the role of Mammal Taxon Co-ordinator, Mr Dave Morgan - Reptile Taxon Co-ordinator and Vice Chair and Mr Karl Westphal - Bird Taxon Co-ordinator. In the same year Mr Ginger Smit of Johannesburg Zoo took over as General Secretary. In 2000 the APP Charter was revisited by the APP Committee and partially revised to bring it up to date.
In 2001, at the Cape Town Conference, the APP was dealt a double blow: Dr. Schoeman, who was due to retire soon, resigned as APP Chair, and since the Vice Chair (Dave Morgan) had resigned as CEO of his Institution and needed to clear his slate for an increased work load, he too had withdrawn from the APP. The result was a rather new team being elected to the APP Committee: Mr Karl Westphal took over as Chair and retained the Bird Taxon. Dr Mark Penning was elected as Taxon Co-ordinator for Reptiles and Tracey Rhese as Taxon Co-ordinator for Mammals. Mr Ginger Smit was asked to continue as General Secretary.
Mission Statement and Objectives
The mission statement of the APP is:
”The co-operative management of species”
The objectives of the APP, in order of priority, are:
a) To foster the conservation and management of species for long term viability through co-
ordinated maintenance of genetic variation and demographic stability.
b) To co-ordinate efforts to develop effective methods of husbandry and propagation of
c) To develop partnerships with wildlife agencies in the management of species.