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DHL and UNEP deliver help for the great apes of tropical Africa


DHL has responded to an appeal by the United Nations Great Apes Survival Project (GRASP) and is making vital, free delivery of office equipment purchased by its UK partner, The Born Free Foundation (BFF) from the United Kingdom, to conservation authorities in west and central Africa. This gesture enlists DHL as a corporate partner of the GRASP Project. This international collaborative effort with DHL demonstrates the crucial role that multinational corporations can play in assisting the drive to halt the extinction of humankind’s closest relative – both in money and in kind.

GRASP is the first internationally co-ordinated initiative to save the great apes. DHL, which has provided free deliveries to other UN agencies in the past, has a unique network of offices throughout Africa and is best placed to offer this assistance. DHL also handled the transfer on behalf of GRASP, using its experience to ensure that the shipment got through in the fastest possible time.

The countries that will benefit are the Republic of Congo, Mali, Senegal, Guinea and Sierra Leone, home to threatened populations of western chimpanzee, the central chimpanzee and the western lowland gorilla.

These internet-ready machines were delivered yesterday to GRASP Focal Points – the key contacts in the wildlife departments of the great ape range States. Currently many of these government officials, working for conservation in some of the world’s poorest countries, do not have computers and can only access email at unreliable and sometimes expensive internet cafes.

The provision of this equipment will also make the job easier for GRASP and its UK-based partner the Born Free Foundation (BFF) to facilitate the work of the GRASP Technical Support Team to the great ape range States.

Robert Hepworth, Head of the GRASP Initiative Partnership, based at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in Nairobi, Kenya, said: “This delivery will greatly help the wildlife departments in these countries and improve their capacity overall – a key GRASP objective.”