The overall goal of the strategy is, as an immediate challenge, to lift the threat of imminent extinction facing most populations of Great Apes, namely gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos (pygmy chimpanzees) and orangutans, and, beyond that, to conserve in their natural habitats wherever they exist, wild populations of all species and subspecies of Great Ape, and to make sure that, where they interact with people, those interactions are mutually positive and sustainable.
Since its inception, GRASP activities and workshops have helped define what strategy GRASP might adopt to address this crisis, given its unique position as a truly international alliance among relevant stakeholders.
National Great Ape Survival Plans (NGASPs) have helped Great Ape Range States develop conservation strategies, scientific reports have raised the profile of the crisis, and the umbrella function of GRASP has improved communication and cooperation among NGOs and provided valuable insights into the challenges of addressing the problem at the global level.
The Partnership is a unique mix of UN Agencies, Governments, Civil Society and Private Sector members. An international Executive Committee guides the work of GRASP and an independant Scientific Commission provides advice on Great Ape conservation priorities. The GRASP coordinating team sits at UNEP headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya.
The following outlines the Partnership's overall strategy:
Promote international dialogue on Great Ape conservation at the highest levels among donor and range state governments, institutions and other stakeholders.
Strengthen collaboration with the relevant biodiversity-related multilateral environmental agreements, including CITES, CMS, WHC, CBD and Ramsar.
Engage intergovernmental bodies (NEPAD, AMCEN, European Union, ASEAN, etc), international financial institutions (World Bank, IMF, Export Credit Agencies, etc), other relevant multilateral organizations (ITTO, ATO, etc) and UN agencies to include biodiversity conservation, with a particular emphasis on Great Apes, as a key factor in establishing programme priorities at the national, regional and international levels.
Identify priority populations of Great Apes for conservation and to formulate and begin the implementation of detailed national, regional and international conservation plans for all high-priority populations.
Design and initiate a system for monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of Great Ape conservation efforts at regional and international levels
Work with range state governments to facilitate and assist in the development of national policies to advance the conservation of Great Apes.
Promote greater cooperation and communication between all stakeholders (including local communities) in governance and priority setting for Great Ape conservation, through such activities as the:
Provision of technical and other support to range state authorities to increase capacity to manage Great Ape populations and their habitat sustainably
Organization of regional and other law enforcement training activities and workshops for relevant officials and experts to address illegal trade and resource extraction issues.
Develop and replicate best practices to address common threats facing the Great Apes, with a focus on special projects such as:
Joint initiatives to address deforestation and habitat loss involving governments and representatives of extractive (timber, oil, mining) and forest conversion (plantations, palm oil) industries, with a particular focus on Central Africa and Southeast Asia in cooperation with national ministries, the private sector and multilateral institutions
Those that identify and implement effective and adaptable common approaches to unresolved issues such as the bushmeat crisis and interspecies disease transmission
Other pilot projects in key fields where the UN-led GRASP Partnership has a competitive advantage such as those with transboundary collaboration, peace-building and integrated conservation and sustainable development opportunities.
Initiate and facilitate interested GRASP Partners to undertake a locally-adapted Great Ape public information and awareness raising conservation education campaign in priority regions of the African and south-east Asia Great Ape Range states.
Increase current efforts to present Great Ape information to key decision makers and staff in relevant national, intergovernmental and donor institutions, the United Nations system and the corporate sector, including dissemination through the media.
Raise new and additional funding to achieve the preceding priority actions for Great Ape conservation from donor governments, intergovernmental and multilateral bodies and large corporate sponsors.
Adopted at the first GRASP Council Meeting in Kinshasa on the 7th of September 2005, the official and detailed Global strategy for the survival of great apes and their habitat highlights the strategy objectives and actions at different levels.
Global strategy for the survival of Great Apes and their habitat [English] [Français]
© 2012 Great Apes Survival Partnership