GRASP Council Sets Bold Agenda to Save Great Apes
Faced with declining wild ape populations and dwindling forests, the Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP) set law enforcement, habitat protection and political advocacy among its top priorities and emerged with renewed energy and urgency following the 2nd GRASP Council that was held 6-8 November at UNESCO headquarters in Paris.
The GRASP Council is comprised of over 80 nations, conservation organizations, United Nations agencies, research institutions and private supporters committed to the long-term survival of great apes in Africa and Asia.
The GRASP Council adopted the GRASP Priority Plan 2013-2016, which includes addressing disease threats, conflict-sensitive conservation, and Green Economy as other areas of focus.
The M23 rebels entered Goma November 20 on foot, escalating clashes with the United Nations-backed troops defending the city. Goma is the provincial capital of North Kivu, and is home to more than 1 million people.
More than a dozen GRASP partners work to study, conserve and protect great apes in eastern DR Congo, and each is committed to ensuring the safety of its national and expatriate staffs. Although power cuts may hinder communication, some updates may be found at web links listed below:
Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International (DFGFI): Congolese staff members are reported safe in their homes, and expatriate staff were evacuated on security concerns earlier this year. DFGFI has plans ready for the evacuation of Congolese staff, if necessary. All field gorilla protection, research and community programs have continued without interruption.(http://gorillafund.org/blog)
GRASP Cheer Mountain Gorilla Census, Cautions Conservation Vigilance
gorillas exist in Uganda than previously thought, but warned that the worldwide population remains at risk and requires greater conservation effort if the rare apes are to survive.
A census conducted in 2011 found a minimum of 400 Mountain gorillas living in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, which boosts the population found in eastern Africa to an estimated 880.
Approximately 780 Mountain gorillas were thought to exist previously. The 13% rise was attributed to more accurate census techniques and actual population growth among the gorillas.
Wild populations of chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans and bonobos are in sharp decline and their habitat is under severe threat, adding urgency to the 2nd Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP) Council meeting that gets underway 6-8 November in Paris, France.
GRASP will examine threats, consider solutions and ask its broad membership to craft a strategy to ensure the long-term survival of great apes, which are closer than ever to extinction.
The 2nd GRASP Council will be held at the headquarters of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), which jointly hosts the GRASP secretariat with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
2nd GRASP Council Set for Paris
The Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP) will craft a long-term strategy that meets the demands of conserving great apes and their habitat in a rapidly changing world when it stages the 2nd GRASP Council from November 6-8 in Paris, France. Click here to visit the council Website.
UNESCO headquarters will host the event, which will bring together GRASP’s unique alliance of partner nations, United Nations agencies, conservation organizations, and private supporters.
The 2nd GRASP Council will also consider proposals suggested by the recent GRASP Strategic Review designed to make the partnership more effective, and consider reaching out to areas of government, industry, science, and research that could increase the scope and scale of GRASP’s work.