Gorilla Doctors would like to congratulate our partner organization, the International Gorilla Conservation Programme (IGCP), who, along with the Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network (WFEN), launched the Gorilla Friendly™ Pledge, “an awareness raising campaign developed to minimize the risk of disease transmission from human to gorilla, during treks to see these magnificent great apes in the wild.
Launched to coincide with the peak gorilla trekking tourist season and Kwita Izina, the annual baby gorilla naming ceremony which takes place in Rwanda on July 1, Gorilla Friendly™ Pledge will serve to safeguard gorillas by minimizing the risk of disease transmission or behavioral change as a result of exposure to people.
‘Conscientious mountain gorilla tourism has contributed to one of the world’s true conservation success stories. By demonstrating that gorillas and their forest habitat can provide real and lasting benefits to people and economies, people living around the parks have become their guardians,’ states Anna Behm Masozera, Director of the coalition International Gorilla Conservation Programme. ‘But we cannot be complacent and now is the time to better equip tourists with the tools to become gorilla guardians as well. This Pledge aims to empower tourists visiting any of the gorilla subspecies in the wild across Africa with information as to the regulations in place for gorilla tourism to make these often once-in-a-lifetime experiences even more valuable – to their experience and to the gorillas.’
The Pledge outlines ten simple things that incoming gorilla tourists can do before, during and after their visit, including providing feedback on their experience.
The content of the Pledge originates from existing visitation rules and regulations defined by the leading experts on great apes and outlined in the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Best Practice Guidelines for Great Ape Tourism and has been endorsed by a wide range of institutions and organizations…
Identity, a corporate branding and web design firm with headquarters in Uganda, and DuPuis Group, a global design innovation firm, supported this effort by creating branding and billboards, which appear along airport exit routes in Kampala, Uganda and Kigali, Rwanda, directing incoming gorilla tourists to the online Pledge and website.
The website and Pledge is currently featured in English, but will be translated in the coming months to multiple other languages.”
For more information or to take the Gorilla Friendly™ Pledge visit http://www.gorillafriendly.org.