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GRASP: the UNEP/UNESCO Great Ape Survival Project Can the UN Save the Great Apes (and their Biodiverse Habitats)

GRASP Secretariat in UNEP and UNESCO

Date and Time
30 March 2006 13:15 - 15:0

Eighth Ordinary Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 8)

The great apes are heading for extinction, unless loss of habitat and hunting are stopped. The Kinshasa Declaration on the Great Apes was signed last September by 22 countries and most of the NGOs involved in their conservation. It affirms commitment to a global strategy and sets a timetable for reducing the rate of decline of great ape populations by 2010, and securing the future of 94 priority sites by 2015. If successful, this will ensure that all taxa of orangutans, gorillas, chimpanzees and bonobos should survive in their natural habitat. Great apes are keystone species in those habitats, and so their survival affects thousands of other species that are ecologically dependent on them. Great apes are also important economically, and so policies for their survival are being linked to poverty reduction strategies and sustainable development initiatives.