GRASP Regional Meeting Promote Central African Cooperation
Law enforcement, illegal trade, trans-boundary collaboration and other issues of importance in the Congo Basin will be on the agenda when the Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP) Regional Meeting – Central Africa begins May 25 in Brazzaville, Congo.
The two-day meeting is designed to promote cooperation and collaboration among the seven nations that comprise GRASP’s central African partners, along with conservation organizations, research institutions and other agencies working in the region.
Congo, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Angola, the Central African Republic, Gabon, and the Democratic Republic of Congo collectively host the majority of Africa’s great apes.
“Central Africa is blessed with large populations of gorillas, chimpanzees and bonobos, but it also faces major obstacles in protecting them,” said GRASP coordinator Doug Cress. “Political strife, poaching, habitat loss and disease threats are just a few of the concerns, and it is extremely important that the GRASP partners work closely together if we are to ensure the long-term survival of great apes.”
The GRASP Regional Meeting – Central Africa was scheduled to coincide with the IUCN Great Ape Conservation Workshop, which will craft a regional action plan to protect chimpanzees and gorillas.
Guest speakers at the GRASP Regional Meeting will include Bonaventure Ebayi of the Lusaka Agreement Task Force,Naftali Honig of the Project for the Application of Law for Fauna, and author Tamar Ron (Angolan Rendezvous).
GRASP will hold regional meetings in West Africa, East Africa, and Southeast Asia at a later date.
GRASP is a unique alliance comprised of partner nations, research institutions, United Nations agencies, conservation organizations, and private supporters working to protect great apes and their habitat in Africa and Asia.