Certified Gorilla Friendly™ Tourism
Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network, in close partnership with the International Gorilla Conservation Programme (IGCP), a coalition programme of Conservation International, Fauna & Flora International, and WWF, and through a multi-year consultative process with the mountain gorilla range state governments and the private sector, has piloted a first-of-its kind species-focused Certified Gorilla Friendly™ tourism certification.
Mountain gorillas represent a culturally, ecologically and economically important resource to the three range countries where they occur (Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo) , as well as holding significant value for tourists globally. Yet, while tourism has provided an economic incentive to conserve mountain gorillas and their habitat, they remain endangered and are extremely vulnerable to disease transmission, armed conflict, poaching, illegal trade in live infants, and habitat degradation.
An aim of Certified Gorilla Friendly™ tourism certification is to empower consumers to create change on the ground, engaging them as partners in conservation, by putting in place incentives for the protection of one of the world’s most endangered species, providing increased economic opportunities for some of the most economically disadvantaged park edge communities, and contributing to the conservation of one of the most spectacular and bio-diverse landscapes in the world.
Reconciling the demand for tourist dollars with the needs of the gorillas is a delicate balancing act. The key is to minimize the risk of disease transmission and to avoid disrupting the gorillas’ natural behaviour. If you are planning on seeing gorillas in the wild, please take the Certified Gorilla Friendly™ Pledge and follow our progress on Twitter.
To learn more about this effort please see the Executive Summary of the Feasibility Report.
We thank WWF-Sweden, WWF-Switzerland, and Arcus Foundation for generously supporting
Certified Gorilla Friendly™