UNESCO: United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization


Natural Sciences

2009: Year of the Gorilla (YoG)

Dr. Jane Goodall as the official campaign patron

2009: Year of the Gorilla (YoG)
  • Primates.com

The UNEP Convention on Migratory Species (CMS), the UNEP/UNESCO Great Ape Survival Partnership (GRASP) and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) have joined hands to declare 2009 the Year of the Gorilla (YoG).

Gorillas and great apes in general play a key role in maintaining the health and diversity of tropical forests, which people depend upon. They disperse seeds throughout the forests, for example, and create light gaps in the forest canopy which allow seedling to grow and replenish the ecosystem. A reduction in ape numbers is a sign that the forests are being used unsustainably.

Gorillas share their forest habitat with millions of people living on or below the poverty line in Africa. Poverty and lack of knowledge drive their victims to use wildlife and other natural resources unsustainably. The need to link the welfare of humans and wildlife through a genuine partnership between all stakeholders in these fragile ecosystems is key to empowering local communities and protecting the great apes.

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  • 28-12-2008
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