Habitat destruction and fragmentation are the primary threats to great ape survival in Africa and Southeast Asia. Healthy great ape populations critically depend on the forests in which they live, but these ecosystems are increasingly threatened by expanding agricultural plantations, commercial logging operations and the extractives sector. While these industries can help lift people out of poverty, their operations should be sensitive to the local biodiversity values and ecosystem services, on which wildlife and local communities heavily rely on.
GRASP seeks to develop holistic and inclusive approaches to sustainable land use management. The partnership works together with national authorities, local communities, civil society and the private sector to design solutions for better protection of great ape habitats, while safeguarding local livelihoods. Through mutual cooperation and inclusive planning, the aim is to strengthen protected areas, involve communities in conservation management and create corridors to allow wildlife to migrate between fragmented habitats. In addition, GRASP supports national and trans-boundary integrated land use planning and seeks strategies to sustainably accommodate economic activities in great ape habitats.
GRASP works to ensure the inclusion of great ape conservation issues in other international processes, such as the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) and the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). The partnership also advocates for inclusion of great apes and their habitats in the decision-making of development partners such as the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation and the European Union, among others.