Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network
Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network

Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network Joins Great Ape Survival Partnership (GRASP)

Guhonda, Silverback of the Sabyinyo Group, Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda  ©Julie Stein

Guhonda, Silverback of the Sabyinyo Group, Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda ©Julie Stein

New GRASP Partner Offers Sustainable Development and Conservation Skills

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Nairobi, Kenya – 31-Oct-14 – The Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP) fortified its capacity in key areas such as eco-tourism, and increased global impact with the addition of the Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network following a vote by the GRASP Executive Committee, bringing the partnership to 98.

“As GRASP continues to grow, our focus is to add strategic partners that bring skills and expertise to help us address key issues,” said GRASP programme coordinator Doug Cress. “Adding the expertise of the Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network as our latest partner gives GRASP the ability to be more effective going forward.”

GRASP is a unique alliance of national governments, research institutions, conservation organizations, United Nations agencies, and private companies committed to ensuring the long-term survival of great apes and their habitat in Africa and Asia. Each GRASP partner receives a vote in the GRASP Council, and is represented through delegates to the GRASP Executive Committee.

The Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network (WFEN) is an international consortium dedicated to the development and marketing of products and services that conserve threatened wildlife while contributing to the economic vitality of rural communities. WFEN includes conservationists, businesses, artisans, producers and harvesters, and recently launched the Gorilla Friendly™ Pledge eco-tourism campaign to promote best practices for gorilla tourism and to minimize the risk of disease transmission from humans to gorillas in East Africa. For more, visit www.wildlifefriendly.org.

“We are very excited to help advance the mission of GRASP in partnership with the GRASP membership in the months and years ahead — there is much work to do,” said Julie Stein, Executive Director and co-founder of WFEN.

For more information, please visit www.un-grasp.org or contact grasp@unep.org.

GF Pledge Banner

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Online Pledge Makes Tourists Partners in Conservation of Gorillas in the Wild

Kigali, Rwanda, 20 June 2014 – The International Gorilla Conservation Programme (IGCP) and Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network (WFEN) announce the launch of the Gorilla Friendly Pledge, an awareness raising campaign developed to minimize the risk of disease transmission from human to gorilla, during treks to see these magnificent great apes in the wild.

Launched to coincide with the peak gorilla trekking tourist season and Kwita Izina, the annual baby gorilla naming ceremony which takes place in Rwanda on July 1, Gorilla Friendly Pledge will serve to safeguard gorillas by minimizing the risk of disease transmission or behavioral change as a result of exposure to people.

“Conscientious mountain gorilla tourism has contributed to one of the world’s true conservation success stories. By demonstrating that gorillas and their forest habitat can provide real and lasting benefits to people and economies, people living around the parks have become their guardians,” states Anna Behm Masozera, Director of the coalition International Gorilla Conservation Programme. “But we cannot be complacent and now is the time to better equip tourists with the tools to become gorilla guardians as well. This Pledge aims to empower tourists visiting any of the gorilla subspecies in the wild across Africa with information as to the regulations in place for gorilla tourism to make these often once-in-a-lifetime experiences even more valuable – to their experience and to the gorillas.”

The Pledge outlines ten simple things that incoming gorilla tourists can do before, during and after their visit, including providing feedback on their experience.

The content of the Pledge originates from existing visitation rules and regulations defined by the leading experts on great apes and outlined in the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Best Practice Guidelines for Great Ape Tourism and has been endorsed by a wide range of institutions and organizations.

“We are very excited to be part of this innovative effort to engage tourists as active participants in the conservation of one of the world’s most iconic endangered species, the mountain gorilla,” said Julie Stein, Executive Director of the Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network. “We believe consumers, in this case tourists, can be empowered to support global conservation efforts and, through the Gorilla Friendly Pledge, enable them to make a significant contribution towards safeguarding mountain gorillas for future generations.”

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