‘Green Economy’ Leader to Make Economic Argument at 2nd GRASP Council

‘Green Economy’ Leader to Make Economic Argument at 2nd GRASP Council

24th Aug 2012 Press Releases

Former Costa Rican environment minister Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, whose commitment to conservation policies a decade ago helped his country become one of the first to convert to a “green economy,” will be a keynote speaker at the 2nd Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP) Council that will be held November 6-8 at UNESCO headquarters in Paris.

Rodriguez will headline a “Great Apes & Green Economy” session on November 7 that will feature presentations on sustainable forest management, human livelihoods, payment for ecosystem services, and eco-tourism.

The 2nd GRASP Council will bring together partner nations, conservation organizations, research institutions, United Nations agencies, and private supporters that are committed to the protection of great apes and their habitat in Africa and Asia.

“As the world considers issues of development and biodiversity, GRASP believes that Costa Rica’s successful conversion can serve as an inspiration,” said GRASP coordinator Doug Cress. “Many countries in Africa and Asia are facing the same environmental choices that Costa Rica did two decades ago, and we want to emphasize the economic benefits of protecting natural resources.”

Rodriguez is credited with implementing a unique conservation policy in Costa Rica whereby users of a forest’s environmental services — such as clean water, climate regulation, and minerals — were required to pay the forest’s owners for these rights. As a result, Costa Rica was able to reverse the process of deforestation, and today boasts twice as many forests as there were 20 years ago.

Rodriguez also pushed marine protection on to Costa Rica’s national agenda, demanding that 25% — or 12.5 million hectares – of the country’s ocean environment be protected.

Many experts believe Costa Rica’s models might be adapted successfully to promote great ape conservation in Africa and Asia. But Rodriguez warns that the time and political stability are required to commit to a green economy. “You cannot have those conditions unless you invest a lot in the political system, in governance, in human rights, and many elements around political stability,” he says.

Rodriguez, who served as Costa Rican’s Minister of Environment and Energy until 2006, is a senior policy advisor for Conservation International (CI) and a vice-president of CI’s Center for Conservation and Governments.

GRASP was established in 2001 to help lift the threat of extinction faced by chimpanzees. Gorillas, orangutans and bonobos by focusing on international policy, funding, research, and media.

August 2012

Blog Competition Seeks High-Tech Ideas to Save Great Apes

Blog Competition Seeks High-Tech Ideas to Save Great Apes

14th Aug 2012 Competitions

Are you concerned about the conservation status of great apes? Do you think you know how to save them? Can you say it in 500 words or less? If so, the Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP) wants to hear from you.

The GRASP Blog Competition is asking the question – “How Can Technology Save Great Apes?” – and the winner will receive an all-expenses paid trip to attend the 2nd GRASP Council, which will be held November 6th to 8th in Paris. The winning blog will be presented as part of the “Great Apes & Technology” session on November 8th.“Great ideas come from inspiration, and GRASP believes the on-line community offers a unique perspective on some of the conservation issues we face,” said Doug Cress, coordinator of GRASP. “If there is a new or novel approach to protecting chimpanzees, orangutans, gorillas or bonobos out there, we want to hear it.”

The GRASP Blog Competition is an opportunity to flex writing skills and creative energy, and entrants are encouraged to offer bold, visionary ideas. Technology is rapidly assuming a major role in the battle to protect great apes and their habitat, and GRASP is seeking ideas that are fresh and innovative.

All blogs are limited to 500 words and must be posted on the GRASP Facebook page or sent by mail to [email protected] prior to September 15th. A panel of great ape conservation experts will review the entrants, and the top five posts will be short-listed on the GRASP website at council.un-grasp.org. An on-line popular vote will take place to determine the winner by October 1st.

The complete rules for the GRASP Blog Competition can be found at council.un-grasp.org/blog-competition.

The 2nd GRASP Council brings together the entire GRASP partnership and is a unique opportunity to share ideas, forge alliances, and craft solutions to help conserve great apes and their habitat in Africa and Asia. In addition to “Great Apes & Technology,” other plenary sessions will include “Great Apes & Illegal Trade” and “Great Apes & Green Economy.”

For more information, visit council.un-grasp.org.


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August 2012



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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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