|The Frankfurt Gorilla Declaration - what now?|
Under the title 'Gentle Giants in need” 160 government officials, experts, corporate representatives and conservationists from 20 countries attended a conference in Frankfurt, 9-10 June to mark the Year of the Gorilla. In the “Frankfurt Declaration” they highlighted major threats to gorillas and their habitats, as well as the strategies available for the conservation of the second closest relative to humankind.
Government representatives must promote the Declaration within their own governments. The German government, who was the main organizer of the Frankfurt event, is very active (e.g. through the Life Web and International Climate Initiatives) to reduce deforestation in the tropics, so the possibility exists for prioritisation of great ape habitat in this context and in the context of developmental aid. Once translated into French, the Declaration will also be spread to appropriate ministers, logging companies and others in the frrancophone gorilla range states.
The CMS will make sure the Declaration plays a guiding role in the future development of the CMS Gorilla Agreement. We rely on NGO representatives to promote the Declaration to a wider audience and ask them to make it the basis of guidelines for their gorilla conservation work. So too can zoos and the many individuals who are enthusiastic about gorilla conservation.