Bonn, 8 October 2008 - The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (UNEP/CMS), also known as the Bonn Convention, will declare 2009 the Year of the Gorilla (YoG) on December 1st at its ninth Conference of Parties in Rome. Partners in this campaign will be the Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP), in cooperation with UNEP and UNESCO, and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA). The Year of the Gorilla is part of the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development.
Three of the four gorilla subspecies, which belong to two species, are listed as 'Critically Endangered' in the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. Gorillas are listed on Appendix I of the IUCN. The legally binding CMS Gorilla Agreement on the conservation of gorillas and their habitats in the ten African range states aims at securing the survival of gorilla populations in the wild.
The main threats to gorillas are hunting for food and traditional medicine, destruction of habitat through logging, mining and production of charcoal, the effects of armed conflicts and diseases like Ebola.
The YoG campaign will work for the implementation of the CMS Gorilla Agreement by supporting conservation action in gorilla habitat. Other aspects will be the funding and training of rangers, support for scientific research, development of alternative sources of income, e.g. ecotourism, as well as education and awareness raising. Interested parties will be given the possibility of supporting specific projects presented on the website www.yog2009.org .
For more information please contact:
53113 Bonn, Germany
T. +49 228 815-2409
F. +49 228 815-2449