The Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP) is a unique alliance of nearly 100 national governments,conservation organizations, research institutions, United Nations (UN) agencies, and private companies, committed to ensuring the long-term survival of chimpanzees, orangutans, gorillas, and bonobos and their habitats in Africa and Asia.
GRASP was founded in 2001 and is the only species-specific conservation programme within the UN. GRASP strives to combine political commitment, education, and practical conservation into an effective agenda.
Great apes exist in 23 countries across Africa and Asia and are classified as “endangered” in each. Some populations -- such as Sumatran orangutans or Eastern Lowland gorillas -- are considered “critically endangered,” and the remaining 300 Cross River gorillas in West Africa are considered the rarest apes on earth.
GRASP focuses on key issues that are integral to the conservation of great apes, including illegal trade, habitat protection and restoration, disease monitoring, political advocacy, Green Economy, and transboundary collaboration.
GRASP is governed by a council, which meets every four years and permits each partner an equal vote, while the GRASP executive committee is elected to represent the council through quarterly meetings. The GRASP secretariat is co-hosted by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
GRASP’s ability to deliver a strong, unified message on behalf of great ape conservation is one of its greatest assets. With access to politicians, business leaders, agro-industrial executives, key decision-makers, and relevant stakeholders, GRASP impacts local, national, and international attitudes, and raises political and social debate regarding great ape conservation to the highest possible level.