Over 1,800 great apes were seized from an illicit live traffic that went undetected for over a decade but is now confirmed through the Apes Seizure Database that was launched at the 17th Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) Conference of the Parties on 29 September in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Following innovative projects that battled illegal trade, promoted community conservation and ecotourism, rehabilitated great apes caught in snares, and released rehabilitated orangutans in Indonesia, the Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP) will honor more Africans and Asians at the frontline of great ape conservation through the 3rd GRASP – Ian Redmond Conservation Award.
The Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP) expanded its global reach with the addition of the Canadian Ape Alliance, the first Canadian partner to join the United Nations effort to protect great apes and their habitat in Africa and Asia.
UN Year of the Gorilla boosts conservation of the world’s most endangered great apes
Bonn, 11 March 2010 – The plight of gorillas in danger was given a higher profile during the UN Year of the Gorilla through hundreds of articles, interviews, lectures, conferences and films – more than through any similar global species campaign. In addition, the UN Year of the Gorilla 2009 generated 100,000 Euros for field projects to prevent critically endangered gorilla species going extinct.
The educational and awareness raising campaign was led by the UNEP Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (UNEP/CMS). Member states to the Convention, members of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), the Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP), conservation bodies, individuals at the grass root level and online donations helped to raise funds.
Elizabeth Mrema, UNEP/CMS Executive Secretary said: “With the support of innovative gorilla projects the UN Year of the Gorilla has created a permanent legacy. Conserving gorillas not only helps safeguarding their habitat, which is shared by us, but it also addresses the major challenges of climate change and poverty.”