The UNEP Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), the UNEP/UNESCO Great Ape Survival Project (GRASP) and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) joined forces to declare 2009 the Year of the Gorilla (YoG). This global campaign raised awareness and educated the public about gorillas and their threatened status, while at the same time raising funds for tangible on-the-ground conservation work.
The Year of the Gorilla 2009 also supported the decision by the gorilla range states to give the gorillas better protection through a legally binding agreement concluded under CMS. Swift and effective implementation of this instrument was needed, and the Year of the Gorilla was a first big step in this direction. The YoG campaign worked for the implementation of the CMS Gorilla Agreement by supporting conservation action in gorilla habitat. Other aspects were the funding and training of rangers, support for scientific research, development of alternative sources of income, e.g. ecotourism, as well as education and awareness raising.