Experts' profiles - Johann Jenson
Johann Jenson
Johann Jenson joined UNEP in September 2008. He is part of a core-team of biologists, primatologists, and other experts that identify and implement strategies for the survival of great ape populations in equatorial Africa and South-East Asia. Previously, Johann worked as a communications specialist with the Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary in Sierra Leone, the Canadian Federal Government, and various local development NGOs. His professional interests include web-based environmental networking, training and fundraising; private sector engagement; and the role of civil society in environmental policy-making.

Johann is an Technical Consultant to the Great Apes Survival Project (GRASP) Secretariat, a partnership bringing together UNEP, UNESCO, the biodiversity related convention secretariats, donor and range state governments, international and local NGOs and the private sector. This new and innovative partnership was launched in an effort to try to halt the decline in great ape populations occurring throughout their range from West Africa to South East Asia.

The GRASP initiatives tackles a wide range of issues including habitat destruction, killing of great apes for the commercial bushmeat trade, smuggling of live apes and the development of "ape-friendly" policies and guidelines. The project also seeks to uphold the rights of indigenous peoples living in or displaced from forests inhabited by apes; to create an awareness of the risks of disease transmission from apes to humans and humans to apes; to create an awareness of the key role that poverty alleviation plays in the conservation of ape habitats; and to create greater awareness of the ecological services that ape habitats supply both to human populations living in their vicinity and globally.

Johann is currently completing his Masters and Social Sciences and Humanitites Research Council (SSHRC) Grant in Environmental Management with a focus on Transboundary Protected Area Management and Environmental Peacebuilding.
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