Rome, 29 November - In the run-up to the
9th Meeting of the CMS Conference of the Parties in Rome,
the parties of the CMS Gorilla Agreement, other gorilla
range states, involved countries and representatives of
conservation NGOs such as WWF, IUCN and WCS came together
for the 1st Meeting of Parties to this agreement, which
aims to conserve gorillas and their habitats.
Working groups on i) a unified monitoring and reporting
format for gorilla conservation matters, ii) the composition
of the agreement’s scientific and technical committee
and iii) funding issues were formed.
The core issue of the meeting was the discussion and later
adoption of Action Plans laying out the conservation action
necessary to safeguard the long-term survival of the 4 gorilla
taxa. They range from the Western Lowland Gorilla and the
Cross River Gorilla in western Central Africa to the Eastern
Lowland and Mountain Gorilla in the East, in the border
region of the Dem. Rep. of the Congo, Rwanda and Uganda.
The Action Plans take into account local and species-specific
requirements for effective conservation measures and are
based on the 2007 Action Plans by IUCN. Some gorilla populations
regularly cross national boundaries, such as Mountain Gorillas
between Rwanda and the DRC.
The CMS Scientific Council, which preceded the Gorilla
MoP, commends that the CMS and its members give the newly
formed Gorilla Agreement all support needed to enable its
The meeting came just days before the official launch of
the Year of the Gorilla 2009, which will aim to conserve
gorillas and their habitats while at the same time bringing
livelihood opportunities and development to communities
close to the areas where gorillas live.