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Zoo and university to offer conservation course

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Chester Zoo and the University of Chester have joined forces to offer a "game changing" new course "vital to saving our planet".

Applications have opened for the Conservation and Sustainability Education postgraduate course.

The University of Chester said it will enable educators to "find solutions to climate and biodiversity emergencies".

Chester Zoo said it was a "big step" to train more conservationists and empower people to live more sustainably.

Liz Webb, Chester Zoo's conservation academy training manager, said: "Education is vital to saving our planet.

"It has a crucial role to play if we're to resolve the urgent crises we're currently facing in the form of climate change and global biodiversity loss."

She said it can only truly be done with "more and better trained educators who thoroughly understand the magnitude of the environmental challenges we face and have the skills to engage their learners and organisations with the solutions needed to address them".

The course for education professionals, which starts in January, was the "first of its kind" in the UK, and the first education course developed by a zoo and a university globally, Ms Webb said.

She added it was a "big step forward" in the zoo achieving one of its key aims in its 10-year conservation masterplan.

Prof Helen O'Sullivan, provost and deputy vice-chancellor at the University of Chester, said: "This powerhouse partnership will be a game changer for how the vital topics of conservation and sustainability are ultimately taught in conservation organisations, schools, colleges and universities around the world."

She added it would equip educators to engage their learners and "make a real difference" in enabling them to play a "significant role in helping find solutions to the climate and biodiversity emergencies our planet is faced with".

Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio recently praised Chester Zoo for its conservation work in helping to resurrecting a rare fish species.

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