How do visitors relate to biodiversity conservation?

How do visitors relate to biodiversity conservation? An analysis of London Zoo’s ‘BUGS’ exhibit
– New EER Article Alert
Lauriane Suyin Chalmin-Pui & Richard Perkins
Pages: 1-14 | DOI: 10.1080/13504622.2016.1259395

Using a case study of London Zoo’s BUGS (Biodiversity Underpinning Global Survival) exhibit, this article assesses the role of experiential learning in raising biodiversity knowledge, concern and potential pro-conservation actions. Using Personal Meaning Mindmapping, a novel method in visitor research, the study examines how adult visitors relate to biodiversity conservation. Researcher priming, perceived proximity, affection, and responsibility are explored as key factors in understanding biodiversity and conservation. A mixed-method approach involving statistical, discourse and semiotic analysis finds that BUGS enables visitors to value nature by fascinating and entertaining them. However, BUGS falls short of its experiential potential as it does not resonate in visitors’ everyday lives, nor does it enable them to personally contribute to conservation efforts.
Keywords: Personal Meaning Mindmapping, experiential education, biodiversity conservation, visitor studies, zoos


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