Gorilla Agreement

The first dedicated agreement for conserving gorillas and their habitats across all ten range states entered into force in 2008. The Gorilla Agreement provides governments, NGOs, scientists, local people and the international community at large with a legally-binding framework to maintain and restore gorilla populations and habitats. CMS works closely with the UNEP Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP) and also benefits from other partnerships, including CITES and the Primate Specialist Group of the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC).

Many gorilla populations are transboundary and much of the success of conservation efforts depends on international cooperation. With these needs in mind the Gorilla Agreement was developed under CMS and was first available for signature in Paris in 2007.

Threats and challenges

Gorillas are the largest of the great apes and play a vital ecological role in the forests of Central Africa. Despite their considerable economic, cultural and aesthetic value to many people worldwide, the future of gorillas is far from secure. The primary threats are habitat degradation and loss due to mining, logging and agriculture, as well as poaching and diseases, most notably Ebola. These factors are further exacerbated by conflict and poor governance in many of the remaining gorilla strongholds.

Action Plans

There are two species of gorillas recognized by CMS, divided geographically by more than 1000km: the Western and Eastern Gorilla, each with two subspecies. The four subspecies vary considerably in terms of threats and conservation needs, therefore individual Action Plans have been adopted under the Gorilla Agreement for each subspecies. As new Action Plans become available from the international scientific community, such as IUCN/SSC primate Specialist Group, they will be adopted by the Agreement.

Key objectives of the Action Plans include:

  • monitoring of gorilla populations and threats
  • strengthening law enforcement and anti-poaching measures
  • improving habitat protection and corridor development
  • strengthening disease management
  • promotion of alternative sources of income to forest/gorilla overexploitation, including ecotourism
  • awareness raising and educational campaigns
  • building international collaboration between range states
  • integration of the Gorilla Agreement mandates into national legislation
  • development of national strategies for gorilla conservation


Activities under the Gorilla Agreement are being implemented by range states and other stakeholders, including a wide range of NGOs and experts. 


Titlesort descending Status Status date Party number Region
Angola Range state 99 Africa
Cameroon Range state 1 Africa
Central African Republic Party Sig
Congo (Brazzaville) Party 66
Democratic Republic of the Congo (Kinshasa) Party 34 Africa
Equatorial Guinea Signed but not ratified 114
Gabon Party 2008 109 Africa
Nigeria Party 22 Africa
Rwanda Party 90 Africa
Uganda Party 2014 68 Africa
Instrument nameAgreement on the Conservation of Gorillas and their Habitats
TypeArticle IV(3)
DepositaryCMS Secretariat
SignatureOpened for signature at Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Paris, France, until 25 April 2008 Signed by 5 Range States: Central African Republic, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Rwanda
Website URLhttp://www.cms.int/gorilla
Agreement on the Conservation of Gorillas and their Habitats (Gorilla Agreement)5.99 MB
Accord pour la conservation des gorilles et de leurs habitats (Accord Gorilla)6.45 MB

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