A web-based tool that superimposes maps of valuable underground carbon stocks with great ape distribution in Africa and Asia – thereby making the strongest possible argument for protecting both – was launched this week in Monrovia, Liberia, by the Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP) and the United Nations Collaborative Programme for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (UN-REDD Programme).
Ambassadors for the Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP) today called on the government of Indonesia to immediately ban the use of fire to clear land if sustainable practices cannot be implemented, following the environmental crisis currently unfolding in Southeast Asia.
Jane Goodall, Richard Leakey, Russell Mittermeier, Richard Wrangham and Nadya Hutagalung issued a joint statement that warned endangered orangutans are at risk in Sumatra and Borneo and globally important biodiversity is at stake.
On a recent flight from Jakarta to Denpasar, I stared out the window at the blue sky — a real luxury these days that I was only able to see after passing through toxic haze and smog. I am sure there isn’t a person out there who hasn’t wished for blue skies to return.
The Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP) welcomed the bold commitment to halt deforestation and support orangutan conservation in the Malaysian state of Sarawak that was announced at the recent GRASP Regional Meeting – Southeast Asia.
Chief Minister Tan Sri Haji Adenan Bin Satem announced a series of actions to protect Sarawak’s estimated 2,500 orangutans, which are endangered by clearing of forests for new oil palm plantations, illegal logging and other threats. Describing himself as an “amateur naturalist,” Adenan pledged “make decisions that are in the favour of nature.”
Africans and Asians who battle poachers and illegal traders, train veterinarians, promote community engagement and return apes to the wild are among the winners of the 2nd Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP) – Ian Redmond Conservation Awards.
GRASP and PUMA Team Up for Great Ape Conservation
The Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP) and the German sports company PUMA have teamed up to support gorilla and chimpanzee conservation in West Africa through a $428,000 USD agreement that represents the first significant corporate support for GRASP.
The funds are derived from PUMA’s “Play for Life” campaign in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), a unique project that used an on-line voting system to select conservation activities.
GRASP will direct the funds to protect critically endangered Cross River gorillas in Nigeria and promote a trans-boundary initiative that benefits chimpanzees in Cote d’Ivoire and Liberia.
GRASP To Launch Database to Monitor Ape Trade
The Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP) will seek to monitor the illicit traffic in chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans and bonobos with the creation of a Great Apes Illegal Trade Database that will support law enforcement and conservation efforts around the world.
The Great Apes Illegal Trade Database was announced on November 6 at the Interpol-United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) International Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Conference at UNEP headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya.
The creation of a database was a key recommendation of the recent UNEP-GRASP report, Stolen Apes, which estimated that nearly 3,000 great apes are lost from the forests of Africa and Asia each year.
The Great Apes Summit, which brought together scientists, advocates, public policy experts, media professionals, conservation leaders, range state officials and program funders to discuss issues and propose solutions, was co-hosted by the Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP), the Arcus Foundation, and the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival.
We, the delegates to the Great Apes Summit, gathered 21-24 September in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, USA, and committed to the conservation of apes and their habitats, are concerned that the rapid and under-regulated expansion of oil palm plantations across Asia and Africa poses a significant danger to the long-term survival of all ape species in the wild. We therefore issue a coordinated response that seeks to protect priority forests and the apes they contain, including chimpanzees, gorillas, bonobos, orangutans and gibbons, and seek to promote the use of sustainably sourced palm oil through the following six action points:
GRASP-Ian Redmond Conservation Award Honors Dedicated Africans, Asians
The Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP) honored four Africans and Asian working on the frontlines of great ape conservation when it announced the winners of the inaugural GRASP – Ian Redmond Conservation Award on September 22.
The announcement was made at the Great Apes Summit, which is being held in conjunction with the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival in Wyoming, USA.
The GRASP-Ian Redmond Conservation Award was created to encourage innovation, build partnerships, inspire leadership, and offer hope in the field of great ape conservation. It also honors Redmond, who was instrumental in launching GRASP in 2001.
“If the great apes are to survive we need new thinking and commitment from people in the countries where they live,’ Redmond said. “I have long been inspired by the courage and commitment of African and Asian colleagues and am delighted that four such people are being honored today. There were many worthy applicants and it was difficult to select the winners.”
Great Apes Summit to Confront Threats, Seek Solutions
The 21st century issues confronting the long-term survival of great apes – including agro-industrial expansion, ecotourism, illegal trade, habitat destruction, and disease – will be on the agenda when the Great Apes Summit gets underway 21-24 September in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, USA.
Experts from around the world will gather to explore new approaches and innovative solutions to help protect chimpanzees, gorillas and bonobos in Africa and orangutans in Asia. The Great Apes Summit is hosted by the Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP), the Arcus Foundation, and the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival, and will complement the festival’s biennial media industry conference through a series of high-profile public events and private conference sessions.
GRASP ambassador Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, Founder – the Jane Goodall Institute, and United Nations (U.N.) Messenger of Peace, will deliver a keynote address from the Summit that will be live-streamed via the web on 22 September, and daily news updates will be distributed via Facebook, YouTube, and other social media.
Over 50 Great Apes Summit speakers will bring perspective from a variety of fields, including Google executive Michael Jones, anti-poaching specialist Damien Mander, Harvard professor Richard Wrangham, Conservation International president Russell Mittermeier, Greenpeace advocate Rolf Sklar, Uganda Wildlife Authority director Andrew Seguya, PETA vice-president Dan Mathews, and Volcanoes Safaris director Praveen Moman.