Great Apes Summit Seeks Coordinated Response to Protect Great Apes
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The inaugural Great Apes Summit has issued a statement underscoring the dangers posed to great apes by the rapid expansion of palm oil plantations and outlines six action points to protect priority forests and their associated great apes.

GRASPOctober 2013: The inaugural Great Apes Summit has issued a statement, which underscores the dangers posed to great apes by the rapid expansion of palm oil plantations and outlines six action points to protect priority forests and their associated great apes.

To promote the use of sustainably sourced palm oil, delegates at the Summit called on governments to: suspend developing palm oil concessions until areas of High Conservation Value (HCV) and High Carbon Stock (HCS) are identified; cease expanding plantations into existing protected areas; commit to expanding the size of protected areas and the connectivity of forests; and develop rules for palm oil concessions.

They also urged that: purchasers, processors, traders, and retailers investigate and publicize current supply chains and halt sourcing from companies that, inter alia, are involved in current deforestation or new peatland development; the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) monitor existing principles and criteria and strengthen them where necessary; and that consumers and financiers, inter alia, shift to sustainably sourced palm oil and palm oil products and commit to a zero deforestation policy with clear targets and timelines.

The first Great Apes Summit took place from 21-24 September 2013 in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. It was co-hosted by the Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP), the Arcus Foundation, and the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival. The Summit brought stakeholders together to discuss issues and identify solutions for the conservation of great apes. [GRASP Press Release] [Great Apes Summit Website] [GRASP Website]

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