New Web Tool Facilitates Joint Efforts to Protect Great Apes and Fight Climate Change

New Web Tool Facilitates Joint Efforts to Protect Great Apes and Fight Climate Change

15th Apr 2016 Featured, Home, Press Releases

A web-based tool that superimposes maps of valuable above ground 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).

GRASP Pioneer Mapesa Dies After Lengthy Illness

GRASP Pioneer Mapesa Dies After Lengthy Illness

30th Mar 2016 Featured, Home, Press Releases

Moses Mapesa Wafula, the former director of the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) who chaired the 1st Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP) Council and guided the partnership through its early years, died this week as a result of complications from leukemia.

UN Airlifts Chimpanzee to Safety in DR Congo

UN Airlifts Chimpanzee to Safety in DR Congo

24th Mar 2016 GRASP Activities, UN Rescues

An orphaned male chimpanzee discovered in a military camp in northern Democratic Republic of Congo was confiscated by Congolese wildlife officials this week and transported by United Nations peacekeepers to a rehabilitation centre in South Kivu.

Global Landscapes Forum 2015: Launching the New Climate and development Agenda

Global Landscapes Forum 2015: Launching the New Climate and development Agenda

03rd Dec 2015 Events, Home

The 2015 Global Landscapes Forum is the leading platform for bringing together individuals and organizations that have an impact on land use. The event is expected to be the largest meeting on the sidelines of the UNFCCC COP21.

Industrial agriculture, ape conservation and climate change: More than a business case for reducing deforestation

Hosts:  United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), UNEP Finance Initiative (UNEP-FI), Arcus Foundation

Day 1 – Saturday, 5 December    17.15 - 18.45    Room: Amphitheater Bleu


The recent rush towards sustainable palm oil and commitments to zero-deforestation by major corporations may be driven by public pressure and political expediency – but what are the realities of transforming the industry that produces one of the world’s most commonly used ingredients? Certified sustainable palm oil currently accounts for 20 percent of the global production, but half of that certified sustainable palm oil goes unsold, raising questions as to the market demand.

Meanwhile, land-use plans and industrial agricultural conversion continues to level rainforests across Southeast Asia and increasingly across Equatorial Africa at record rates, threatening great apes and the ecosystems in which they survive. Major palm oil producers have responded by committing to zero-deforestation policies as a means of addressing consumer demands and engaging more fully with the Sustainable Development Goals, but how many actually understand the cost – both financially and logistically – of doing so, particularly when supply chains are so difficult to monitor?

Experts will address the trajectory of industrial agriculture around the globe, with emphasis on Asia, where cultivation rates fuel all aspects of this industry, and in Africa, where cultivation rates have been relatively low but are predicted to increase dramatically in the foreseeable future.

Key questions addressed

  1. How can the growing demand for commodities, which will require increased production, be reconciled with environmental considerations that include biodiversity conservation and climate change?
  2. Can an entire industry re-invent itself in time to prevent more damage to the environment – and still meet market demand?
  3. What are the options to sustainably increase productivity and livelihoods from smallholders?
  4. How has the expansion of industrial agriculture into the tropical forest estates of Africa and Asia impacted species such as apes and affected climate change?



Background reading

State of the Apes pilot publication: Extractive Industries and Ape Conservation

How Herakles Farms’ illegal timber trade threatens Cameroon’s forests and VPA.

The Future of the Bornean Orangutan: Impacts of change in land cover and climate.

Will Oil Palm’s homecoming spell doom for Africa’s Great Apes? 

Union of Concerned Scientists (2014) Donuts, Deodorant and Deforestation: Scoring

America’s Top Brands on Their Palm Oil Commitments.


Rwanda President Backs World Great Apes Day Petition

Rwanda President Backs World Great Apes Day Petition

10th Sep 2015 Featured, Home, Press Releases

Rwanda president Paul Kagame publicly endorsed the petition to establish World Great Apes Day in his speech at the annual Kwita Izina gorilla naming ceremony on 5 September near Volcanoes National Park.

GRASP Blog  Winner  Goes ‘APP’

GRASP Blog Winner Goes ‘APP’

04th Oct 2012 Competitions, Press Releases

GRASP Blog Winner Goes ‘APP’

A mobile phone application that allows consumers to tell instantly whether products they might purchase contain materials harmful to great apes and their habitat was the winning entry in the Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP) Blog Competition that posed the question, “How Can Technology Save Great Apes?”

The winning entry was submitted by Adriana Klompus, a graduate of Colombia University in the U.S. with a life-long interest in conservation and the great apes. Her blog – “Barcode Activism: Use Your Wallet and Smartphone in a Wired Marketplace to Help Great Apes” – received 36 percent of the votes cast in an on-line voting competition that closed September 30.

Klompus will present her proposal during the “Great Apes & Technology” plenary of the 2nd GRASP Council, which will be held November 6-8 in Paris. The GRASP Blog Competition received 5,689 on-line votes and was presented in association with Brussels Airlines.

GRASP Backs Calls for DR Congo Peace Talks

GRASP Backs Calls for DR Congo Peace Talks

07th Jul 2012 Press Releases

GRASP Backs Calls for DR Congo Peace Talks

The Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP) welcomed Gabon’s recent call for peace negotiations between hostile forces in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, following weeks of fighting in the Virunga National Park that has threatened the security of critically endangered Mountain gorillas.

Gabon Foreign Minister Emmanuel Issozet Ngondet on July 11 proposed “serious and frank negotiations” to restore peace, following a meeting in Kinshasa with DR Congo President Joseph Kabila.

“Gabon strongly condemns and deplores the prevailing security situation in North-Kivu province,” Ngondet said.

On July 15, the African Union announced it was prepared to send a peace-keeping force into the region.

Fierce fighting between DR Congo government forces and rebel factions broke out in and around the Virunga National Park in mid-June. On July 10, over 800 people – including park rangers and their families – were evacuated, leaving only a small group to protect the park headquarters and an orphan gorilla sanctuary at the site.

New Gorilla Airlift Sparks Calls for Stronger Controls on Natural Resource Smuggling in Greater Congo Basin & Beyond

New Gorilla Airlift Sparks Calls for Stronger Controls on Natural Resource Smuggling in Greater Congo Basin & Beyond

06th May 2010 Press Releases

New Gorilla Airlift Sparks Calls for Stronger Controls on Natural Resource Smuggling in Greater Congo Basin & Beyond

 Kigali/Nairobi, 4 June 2010 – UN Peacekeepers in DR Congo are planning a new gorilla rescue airlift next month, in what may be one of the first operations conducted under their new mandate. As of 1 July, the UN Peacekeeping Mission in DR Congo (MONUC) will convert to a stabilization mission, as per a recent decision by the UN Security Council.

The rescue is being carried out amid concerns for the future of the endangered species and recommendations by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and INTERPOL to strengthen the capacity of the UN Mission and law enforcement bodies to combat cross-border environmental crime in the Greater Congo Basin and gorilla range states.

The operation, planned for mid July, is the second to be conducted by UN forces in DR Congo as part of a wider effort to combat the illegal cross-border trade in baby gorillas, which has intensified in recent years with the proliferation of armed groups in the region.


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