Born Free Foundation - Keep Wildlife in the Wild

Awards for Great Ape Conservationists

12 August 2015

Categories: Homepage News, Primates Campaign News

Ian Redmond

Mamadou Saidou Deba Barry

Four inspirational conservationists win second GRASP Ian Redmond Conservation Awards, supported by Born Free.

Four frontline conservationists who devote their lives to battle poachers and illegal traders, train veterinarians, promote community engagement and return Great Apes to the wild have been recognised for their crucial and important work as the latest winners of the Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP) Ian Redmond Conservation Awards.

These prestigious Awards, presented in partnership with the Born Free Foundation, were created in 2012 to encourage innovation, build partnerships, inspire leadership, and offer hope in the field of Great Ape conservation. They also honour the work of world-renowned conservationist and Born Free Foundation wildlife consultant, Ian Redmond OBE, who was instrumental in launching GRASP in 2001.

Each GRASP Ian Redmond Conservation Awards winner receives a plaque and US$5,000 to support their project, made possible through generous grants from GRASP and the Born Free Foundation.

Ian Redmond OBE said:

“The work of these four people is inspirational. I am proud to recognise such outstanding individuals who display exactly the kind of innovative thinking we are going to need if apes are to survive – indeed to thrive – in their natural habitats. And in the run up to the Paris climate talks in December 2015, international recognition of the importance of tropical forests has never been greater. Apes are among the most important ‘gardeners of the forest’ and these conservationists don’t just save apes, they play an important role in keeping the forests healthy and the climate stable for the benefit of all.”

The winners of this year’s Awards, chosen by a review panel comprised of Great Ape experts, are:

Peter Apell, from Uganda, East Africa, who trains local veterinarians and provides emergency care for apes caught in snares as part of the Chimpanzee Health Interventions Monitoring Programme (CHIMP)

Mamadou Saidou Deba Barry, from Guinea, West Africa, who investigates the illegal trade in Great Apes and other endangered wildlife as part of the Guinée-Application de la Loi Faunique (GALF) programme, which operates as part of the EAGLE Network

Edwin Sabuhoro, from Rwanda, Central Africa, who promotes community-based conservation and alternative livelihoods in and around the Volcanoes National Park through Iby'Iwacu Cultural Village

Jamartin Sihite, from Indonesia, South East Asia, who has successfully reintroduced 167 orangutans into the wild and protected rainforests since 2012 through the Bornean Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSF).

Born Free Foundation President, Will Travers OBE, said:

“There are many unsung heroes working on the conservation frontline, trying to bring greater attention to the protection and conservation to great apes in Africa and Asia. The GRASP Ian Redmond Conservation Awards are an important way of recognising the vital contribution made by these dedicated individuals and provide useful funding support for their efforts. Along with other partners, Born Free is delighted to be able to sponsor the Awards and this year’s outstanding winners.”

GRASP coordinator, Doug Cress, added:

“GRASP is pleased to be able to support the work of these dedicated Africans and Asians. They represent the future of Great Ape conservation, and they give us hope.”

The winners were announced at the GRASP Regional Meeting – Southeast Asia, which was held recently in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia.

GRASP is a unique alliance of 100 member nations, research institutions, conservation organisations, United Nations agencies and private supporters committed to the long-term survival of great apes. Winners of the inaugural GRASP Ian Redmond Conservation Awards in 2012 came from Nigeria, Cameroon and Indonesia, reflecting the vast scope of GRASP’s work.

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