Major African and Asian Conservation Projects are Focus of Arcus Fall 2016 Grants

October 12, 2016
The Arcus Foundation’s Great Apes Program grant portfolio for the fall 2016 cycle emphasizes long-term partners that reflect the foundation’s focus on investing not only in priority landscapes and species but in relationships with outstanding partners that have the capacity to achieve significant conservation goals. Funding to the Wildlife Conservation Society will support the group’s work with the population and government of the Sarawak province of Malaysian Borneo—an effort that has already led to the discovery of an unreported population of orangutans and the creation of new protected areas. The current grant will support Program Director Melvin Gumal, winner of the Whitley Award for Conservation in Ape Habitats, in his work with the government to identify and consolidate land protected for orangutans by 20 percent as well as engage the human population of Sarawak in defending these areas. The Nature Conservancy will use funding to design a forest carbon project in the Mahale region of western Tanzania that could generate long-term revenue to fund forest conservation in chimpanzee habitats. Arcus’ investment in this landscape, with its partners the Frankfurt Zoological Society, Jane Goodall Institute, and others, has led to a significantly increased level of protection and return of forest and chimpanzees to landscape that was previously profoundly degraded. A grant to the Global Eye Trust will support the second phase of Project Corvus, an investigative program to stem the illegal trade in apes from Africa to the Middle East and Southeast Asia. The project will particularly work to identify traffic routes and individuals engaged in the illegal trade, leading to prosecutions. The Center for Orangutan and Chimpanzee Conservation, which cares for nearly 50 apes in Wauchula, Florida, received a grant to continue the management and development of its sanctuary, the Center for Great Apes. Among U.S. sanctuaries, the center is well positioned to care for special-needs apes, including those who have experienced extensive exploitation as pets or in the entertainment industry. Grants were also awarded to Conservation International Foundation, Fauna & Flora International,, Nature Conservancy, RESOLVE, Inc., and the Wara Conservation Project.