“The global situation of great apes is critical. Action by the international community must be stepped up as quickly as possible if we are to prevent some species from disappearing foreverAudrey Azoulay insisted after completing a three-day visit to Rwanda.
In a recent statement, the Director General of UNESCO called on the international community to take concrete measures to protect great apes, which are currently in a critical situation.
Audrey Azoulay highlighted the critical situation facing great apes worldwide after completing her three-day visit to Rwanda. He stressed the need to step up the international community’s actions as quickly as possible to prevent some species from disappearing forever.
“Protecting these human cousins, from whom barely 2% of our DNA separates us, is a collective responsibility“, he emphasized. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization has highlighted that the mountain gorilla population declined dramatically in the 20th century due to activities such as deforestation, poaching and disease transmission.
The UN message on great apes
The UN agency sent an encouraging message, highlighting that the joint efforts of national and local authorities and non-governmental organizations have succeeded in changing the situation over the last four decades.
In the 1980s, the mountain gorilla population was seriously endangered; there were only 250 individuals left. However, thanks to conservation efforts, there are now more than a thousand gorillas living in the wild, spread across three countries. In Africa, Volcanoes National Parks in Rwanda, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda and Virunga in the Democratic Republic of Congo are home to more than 80% of recorded mountain gorillas. More than 30 UNESCO-recognized sites around the world are refuges for these great apes.
With information from: