A new agreement endorsed in Paris last week by nine African countries ensures better protection for gorillas and is being hailed as a major conservation achievement. This is the first time that countries agreed to be legally obligated to act in a coordinated manner against threats to great ape species in the wild.
The agreement, which will function like a mini-convention or protection treaty for great apes, specifies efforts on which the governments need to collaborate. These include combating poaching, supporting law enforcement and building capacity in the legal and judicial areas. The agreement will be legally binding, unlike previous declarations from the range countries, such as the GrASP Kinshasa Declaration in 2005.
“This new agreement is a powerful tool because it has the potential to reshape the way gorilla conservation is conducted," said Dr Susan Lieberman, Director of WWF’s Global Species Program.
“It will promote collaboration and political will to secure habitat, and stop escalating threats such as poaching and Ebola outbreaks, all threats to the future of the world’s gorillas.”
Central African Republic, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, Angola, Cameroon and Gabon participated in the talks, while Rwanda was unable to attend. (WWF)