AZEC was born out of the International Zoo Educators Association (IZE). AZEC conferences are held every two years to allow professional zoological educators throughout Asia to share their thoughts and discuss topics of common interest.



The first zoo educator’s conference held in Asia was the 2007 event held at the Singapore Zoo. Some 54 individuals representing 15 countries participated with five local educators attending the conference, which had as its theme “Participation, Education, Preservation”. The second conference was held in 2009 at Hong Kong’s Ocean Park. Fifty-eight individuals representing twenty-nine organizations hailing from eleven regions participated. The theme of the 2009 conference was “Though Limited in Resources, We Are Brimming With Ideas to Save the Earth From Global Warming”.  The third conference was held in 2011 at the Taipei Zoo, with seventy-seven individuals representing thirty-eight organizations from fourteen regions participating. The theme of the 2011 conference was “Considering Ecosystems with a Focus on Tropical Rainforests”. Participants really enjoyed the third AZEC conference and were greatly impressed by the hospitality of their Taiwanese hosts. Conference-goers were also universal in their praise of the beauty of Taiwan with its fascinating culture and biodiversity.



The Asia Zoo Educators Conference (AZEC) of 2013 is to be held at Marine World Umi no nakamichi in Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan. The 4th AZEC conference will be held December 9 – 13, 2013 with the theme of “Educational Cooperation between Museums for Humanities and Sciences - A message of generating new life through new linkages -”.

The previous three AZEC conferences focused on key personnel from the zoo and aquarium communities. However the 4th conference will be held in cooperation with museums dedicated to the humanities (art galleries, history museums, folklore museums, archaeological museums, etc.) from all over Asia. Given this cooperation, when it comes to promoting the educational features of museums, the aim of the conference is to allow research presentations and information and personal exchanges, as well as to present Japanese museums and their activities to museum professionals throughout Asia.

In recent years, the social education features of museums have grown beyond zoos and aquariums with these roles being sought after globally. The theme of this conference - “Educational Cooperation between Museums for Humanities and Sciences - A message of generating new life through new linkages -” – has not been covered in the past by AZEC (The International Council of Museums (ICOM) has not covered the subject, either). In the future it is anticipated that this conference will play a major role in strengthening the organic relationship between museums and serve to promote Japanese museums internationally.

We look forward to seeing you at this year’s conference and hope that you will share your wealth of ideas. Also please make it a point to visit the official website of the 4th AZEC website regularly to see the latest news. If you should have any questions, please feel free to contact us at info2013@azec2013.jp at your leisure.





AZEC 2013 Objectives

The theme of the Asian Zoo Educators’ Conference (AZEC), to be held in Japan in FY2013, is enhancing . It is assumed that museums of both these types have been individually carrying out museum-related activities, such as research, studies, conservation work, exhibitions, and education; because each museum is specialized in a different field, such as visual arts, general arts, history, archaeology, ethnography, natural history, science, zoology, aquatic species, insects, plants, and astronomy. However, different types of museums have many functions in common, and museums function as organizations for lifetime learning and community learning. Therefore, linkages between the two types of museums will enhance exchanges in which specialized knowledge, experience, technologies, resources, stored materials, and exhibitions are shared between such museums. This will lead to people who go to such museums to further broaden their interest in nature and living organisms, such as animals, plants, and water species, while deepening their understanding of visual arts, crafts, as well as historical and cultural artifacts. In addition, it is expected that such linkages will allow museum-goers to comprehensively interpret social and historical backgrounds, artistic perspectives of the world and nature, as well as biological and environmental values, through which visual art and craft works and historic and cultural artifacts were created, leading to the expansion of their interest in a wider range of fields.

We believe that people become interested in nature and the environment not only by visiting zoos, aquaria and other natural science-related museums, and not only through carrying out fieldwork, but also by visiting humanities-related museums, such as visual art and history museums. Such museum-goers will get learning opportunities from perspectives common to these different types of museums. In fact, visual art museums, history museums, and ethnography museums hold exhibitions, education programs and cultural activities using seasonal animals, plants, and nature as themes. Therefore, we believe that the effects of forming linkages between museums of these two different types will not only improve tourism and revitalize local communities, but will also significantly contribute to facilitating educational values and functions of museums by making the museums more attractive.



About the Japanese Zoo & Aquarium Educators Conference (JZAE)


Created in 1975, the Japanese Zoo & Aquarium Educators Conference (JZAE) has been in existence now for 38 years. This research group puts out the oldest research publication dealing with zoo and aquarium education in Japan.



In addition to professionals representing museums and aquariums, JZAE membership is made up of museum professionals, teaching staff, students, businesspersons, government representatives and members of the general public. There are currently about 180 members of JZAE. Marine World Umi no nakamichi serves as the executive offices of JZAE with the director of Marine World Umi no nakamichi, Hiroshi Takada, serving as the chair of JZAE. http://www.jzae.jp/ 


JZAE holds its annual conference in various locales throughout Japan. The 53rd conference (2012) was held at the Japan Monkey Centre in Aichi Prefecture under the theme of  “Specimen Utilization”. This year (2013) will mark the 54th JZAE conference, which will be held at Marine World Umi no Nakamichi jointly with the 4th AZEC conference. Due to the joint sponsorship of this event, many JZAE members are sure to participate. What’s more, with the theme of  “Projects in Support of Cooperative Regional Activities Aimed at Creating Humanities and Natural Science Museums” the 4th AZEC conference is being supported by the Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs, a government body, so it is anticipated that, in addition to interested parties from zoos and aquariums, there will also be many participants from both Japan and abroad representing museums dedicated to the humanities and sciences.


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