The Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP) was founded in 2001 at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in South Africa, in response to the critical threats facing great apes and the forest ecosystems on which they depend to survive.
Although great ape conservation activities had taken place across the globe for decades, GRASP was formed with the aim that conservation efforts would have a greater impact if incorporated in a systematic and prioritized approach. By including governments of great ape range countries, GRASP’s activities could also be complemented by policy changes and therefore enjoy improved sustainability.
The 1st GRASP Council was held in 2005 in DR Congo, where relevant stakeholders committed to great ape conservation by signing the Kinshasa Declaration.
GRASP’s ability to access funding and promote collaboration has led to over 100 conservation projects in 16 countries in the past decade. GRASP also published important reports on forest management, illegal trade, climate change and protected areas, and launched the GRASP-Ian Redmond Conservation Awards to honor frontline Africans and Asians.
The 2nd GRASP Council was staged in Paris in 2012, and approved a set of 6 priorities that govern GRASP’s current work: Political advocacy, habitat protection, illegal trade, conflict-sensitive conservation, disease monitoring, and Green Economy.