The role of zoos has evolved to prioritize research, education, and conservation in modern times. While some groups still condemn their existence based on a reputation of entertainment and fun-fairs started in the 1800s, many zoos are working hard to change that narrative. In collaboration with scientific agencies, governments and other conservation bodies, zoos are now playing their part in the much bigger picture of the conservation of our natural world
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.
The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) joined the battle to protect endangered orangutans from the fires and haze ravaging Southeast Asia today with a $100,000 USD contribution to support Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP) projects in Borneo.
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.
GRASP Adds Experience, Expertise Through New Partners
The Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP) strengthened its links to law enforcement, international development and the zoo community and added strategic allies in Africa and Asia as it voted to accept eight new partners at the 8th GRASP Executive Committee meeting in Cambridge, U.K.
GRASP welcomed the Lusaka Agreement Task Force, the Arcus Foundation, the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria, Endangered Species International, the Sumatran Orangutan Society, the Houston Zoo, the Barcelona Zoo, and the CHIMBO Foundation.
GRASP is comprised of 90 partners that include nations, conservation organizations, United Nations agencies, and private companies, each of which is committed to the conservation of great apes and their habitat in Africa and Asia.
GRASP partners receive a vote in the GRASP Council, and are represented through delegates to the GRASP Executive Committee.
“GRASP is pleased to be able to add new partners that offer such important skills and resources,” said Doug Cress, programme coordinator of GRASP. “Our commitment to protect chimpanzees, gorillas, bonobos and orangutans requires us to meet new challenges, access new resources, and engage new communities, and these partners are crucial to that effort.”
A recent Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP) report, Stolen Apes: The Illicit Trade in Chimpanzees, Gorillas, Bonobos and Orangutans , calculates that as many as 10 chimpanzees are killed for every living chimpanzee that is illegally traded. As a result, Diallo’s traffic could have been associated with the death of as many as 5,000 wild chimpanzees.
Diallo was arrested in the early morning hours in Conakry in a joint operation between Interpol’s national bureau, and the conservation organization, GALF (Guinée Application de la Loi Faunique).
Judge Magadouba Sow – who delivered the original sentence against Diallo and his accomplices – issued an order at 7 a.m. that called for the immediate transfer of Diallo to the central prison.