Great Apes Offer Access, Inspiration to Protected Areas Partnership

Great Apes Offer Access, Inspiration to Protected Areas Partnership

15th Jun 2012 Press Releases

Great Apes Offer Access, Inspiration to LifeWeb Protected Areas Partnership

Innovative projects that focus on great apes to link forest corridors, promote sustainable land-use, conserve endangered species, develop responsible tourism, and engage community support are at the heart of the Spain-UNEP Partnership for Protected Areas in Support of LifeWeb, which will be featured at a side-event during the ongoing Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development.

“Protecting the Protected Areas: Partnering to Expand the Most Precious 17 Percent of the Planet” will be held June 20 at 1 p.m. in the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Pavilion Auditorium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP) manages six of the Spain-UNEP LifeWeb projects, ranging from reforestation work in Sumatra to health monitoring projects that track the Ebola virus in the Republic of Congo. Chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans are iconic species that can provide important clues to ecosystem health.

“Great apes are an extremely important part of the biodiversity equation,” said Doug Cress, coordinator of GRASP. “By focusing on the needs of chimpanzees and gorillas in Africa or orangutans in Asia, we can also have a positive impact on the forests, on other species, and the communities that live nearby.”

GRASP produced a promotional video – narrated by GRASP patron Richard Leakey — and resource materials for the Rio+20 side event. A sneak preview of the event curtain raiser video can be previewed here.

GRASP joined the Spain-UNEP LifeWeb programme in 2009, and  partners with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), the African Parks Network, and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to implement the LifeWeb projects.

“An important reason for this success to date has been the ability of the international protected area community to move beyond policy discussion – and to focus energies and resources increasingly on practical measures that foster on-the-ground implementation,” said Achim Steiner, executive director of UNEP.

Project LEAF Takes Aim at Illegal Logging

Project LEAF Takes Aim at Illegal Logging

10th Jun 2012 Press Releases

Project LEAF Takes Aim at Illegal Logging

Interpol has teamed up with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to launch Project LEAF (Law Enforcement Assistance for Forests), an initiative dedicated to combating forestry crime, illegal logging and timber trafficking that was launched on World Environment Day.

Project LEAF, which is funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD), is an innovative, international response representing the first time that organizations of this stature have joined forces against this organized, sophisticated and trans-national crime.

Nearly 1.6 billion people – more than a quarter of the world’s population – rely on forests for their fuel, food, and medicines, along with the great apes and other wildlife that inhabit those areas. But sophisticated syndicates are illegally extracting the world timber from forests in Asia, Africa and South America at a devastating pace.

Corruption, violence and even murder tied to illegal logging can also affect a country’s stability and security.

Rainforests in Asia that are home to orangutans and African forests that host chimpanzees, gorillas and bonobos are some of the most heavily harvested regions of all.


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sun19aug - 25All DayThe International Primatological Society(All Day) Nairobi, KenyaUnited Nations Office in NairobiEvent Organized By: GRASP and UNEPType:GRASP EventsInternational Events
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