The Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP), established in 2001, aims to conserve the non-human great apes (chimpanzees, gorillas, bonobos, and orangutans) and their habitats — primarily forested tropical ecosystems that provide important services to humanity, through pro-poor conservation and sustainable development strategies.
GRASP is a UNEP and UNESCO-led World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) Type II Partnership bringing together all the principal institutional actors in great ape conservation — United Nations agencies, biodiversity-related multilateral environmental agreements, great ape range state and donor governments, non-governmental organizations, scientists, local communities and the private sector.
Non-human great apes are found in 21 countries in Africa (Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda) and in two countries in South East Asia (Malaysia and Indonesia).
Non-human Great ape populations are declining worldwide. The continuing destruction of habitat, in combination with the growth in the commercial bushmeat trade in Africa and increased logging activities in Indonesia, have led scientists to suggest that the majority of great ape populations may be extinct in our lifetime. Even if isolated populations were to survive, the long-term viability of these great apes is in doubt due to their limited numbers and the fragmentation of their habitat.
The endangered great apes share their habitat with millions of humans, the majority of whom live below the poverty line. The need to link the welfare of humans and wildlife is a central objective of the GRASP Partnership.