Arcus’ Fall Grantmaking Focuses on Great Ape Conservation in Priority Landscapes

October 3, 2017

Many Arcus grantees are hard at work building on previous work and initiatives, focusing on priority landscapes and working with a wide variety of apes, including bonobos, chimpanzees, western lowland gorillas, Bornean orangutans, and small apes such as gibbons and siamangs. The Foundation’s latest portfolio of grants seeks to assist them with their initiatives.

The Center for Great Apes is working on its phased sanctuary expansion, as well as the development of its revenue diversification activities. Significant policy developments in the United States in 2015 have highlighted the need to strengthen existing accredited sanctuaries’ ability to provide safe haven to chimpanzees and other apes in need of retirement from exploitive situations. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is also using its grant to protect apes from exploitation situations, specifically in the advertising and entertainment industries.

The African Wildlife Foundation is aiding capacity building at the Lomako Yokokala Faunal Reserve in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This will support the daily management of bonobo populations and their forests, along with improving the ability of state partners to advance broader conservation goals. The Lomako landscape of the DRC covers an estimated 20 percent of the entire range of the endangered bonobo, but suffers from numerous anthropogenic threats from a growing human population. Its grant will assist with park-management costs, a need that is pivotal to the success of conservation in this landscape.

Also working on a priority landscape is the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. It is working to mitigate the impact of extractive operations on great ape populations, as well as improve benefit sharing to local and indigenous communities in the transboundary Tri National de la Sangha landscape. It will receive a second grant for the development of the Species Survival Commission Primate Specialist Group Section on Small Apes in an effort to build a stronger global network for gibbon and siamang conservation. It will continue to work on action plans in countries like Laos and Cambodia, as well as specialist learning on issues such as gibbon health, conservation journalism, and the wildlife trade.

Gorilla Doctors will provide health care to mountain gorillas and strengthen protected area authority engagement in the provision of sustainable healthcare for gorillas. Although mountain gorilla populations have continued to increase, the high rates of habituation due to tourism and research have also made them extremely vulnerable to diseases.

Nature Conservancy is helping to conserve the orangutan forests of Indonesia through strengthening private-sector engagement with logging and palm oil concessions and other entities, as well as for the monitoring and research of ape populations of the Wehea-Kelay Landscape in East Kalimantan, Borneo. Waxman Strategies will work to protect great apes and gibbons from commodity agriculture expansion, using campaigning and monitoring to strengthen sustainability criteria for oil palm development in ape habitats, as well as to draw attention to the role of cocoa and rubber on ape conservation. Cocoa cultivation has been a major driver of deforestation in West Africa and rubber plantations have impacted ape habitats in both Asia and Africa.

Other organizations receiving grants in this cycle include: Health In Harmony, Inc., In Defense of Animals, Pan African Sanctuaries Alliance, The Orangutan Conservancy, African Parks Foundation of America, Cleveland Zoological Society, Comoé Chimpanzee Conservation Project, Global Financial Integrity, International National Trusts Organisation (INTO), Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science, The Aspinall Foundation, and the University of Kent.