Gorilla Agreement

  Visit the CMS Gorilla Agreement website

The Agreement on the Conservation of Gorillas and Their Habitats, also known as the Gorilla Agreement, is a Multilateral Environmental Agreement covering all ten gorilla Range States.

Many gorilla populations are transboundary, and therefore much of the success of conservation efforts depends on transnational cooperation and coordination. With these needs in mind, the Gorilla Agreement was developed under the auspices of CMS and has been in force since the First Meeting of Parties in Rome, Italy in November 2008.

The Gorilla Agreement provides governments, IGOs, NGOs, scientists, local people and the international community at large with a legally-binding framework to maintain and restore gorilla populations and their habitats. The Agreement is administered by the CMS Secretariat on an interim basis. The Secretariat works closely with the UNEP Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP) and also benefits from partnerships with other organizations, including CITES and the Primate Specialist Group of the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC).

For a short summary of the current status of the Gorilla Agreement click here


Species covered by the Gorilla Agreement

Both species of gorilla, the Western and Eastern Gorilla, are listed under CMS, each with two subspecies: 

·         The Western Lowland gorilla, Gorilla gorilla gorilla

·         Cross River gorilla, Gorilla gorilla diehli

·         Eastern Lowland gorilla, Gorilla beringei graueri

·         Mountain gorilla, Gorilla beringei beringei



Agreement Area, Range States and Contracting Parties

The Agreement area covers all ten Range States (Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Nigeria, Rwanda and Uganda). Currently, seven countries have become a Contracting Party to the Agreement. The Gorilla Agreement allows for coordinated and concerted action to be taken by the Range States throughout the transboundary range of the four gorilla subspecies.

Structure of the Gorilla Agreement

The Agreement has two main bodies: the Meeting of the Parties (MOP), the decision-making body, and the Technical Committee (TC), responsible for providing advice to the decision-making body and the Secretariat on scientific matters and priorities for research and conservation. The UNEP/CMS Secretariat supports the Parties and services the bodies of the Agreement on an interim basis.

Action Plans

The core activities carried out under the Gorilla Agreement are described in its Action Plans, which are legally binding for all countries that have signed the Agreement.

The four gorilla subspecies vary considerably in terms of threats and conservation needs, therefore individual Action Plans are available under the Gorilla Agreement for each of them. As new Action Plans become available from the international scientific community, such as IUCN/SSC Primate Specialist Group, they will be tabled for adoption by the Parties to the Agreement. 

As per Resolution 3.1 of the Third Meeting of the Parties (MOP3) held in Entebbe, Uganda in June 2019, Parties implement the Gorilla Agreement through the four sub-species Action Plans:

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 wildlife health management
  • promotion of alternatives to forest/gorilla overexploitation as sources of income, 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

Where Parties require assistance to put into place national legislation to implement the Gorilla Agreement and to integrate activities into National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans, the Interim Secretariat stands ready to assist.


Título Estado Status date CMS Party number Region
Angola Party 2021 099 Africa
Cameroon Range State 001 Africa
Central African Republic Party 128 Africa
Congo (Brazzaville) Party 066 Africa
Democratic Republic of the Congo (Kinshasa) Party 034 Africa
Equatorial Guinea Range State 2019 114 Africa
Gabon Party 2008 109 Africa
Nigeria Party 022 Africa
Rwanda Party 090 Africa
Uganda Party 2014 068 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
PDF icon Agreement on the Conservation of Gorillas and their Habitats (Gorilla Agreement)5.99 MB
PDF icon Accord pour la conservation des gorilles et de leurs habitats (Accord Gorilla)6.45 MB

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