06 Oct 2014 Press release Ecosystems

Great Apes Survival Partnership Chosen to Host Global Primate Congress at UN Headquarters in Kenya in 2018

Nairobi, 6 October 2014-The Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP) will gather over 800 of the world's leading primate experts, scientists and researchers when it hosts the XXVII International Primatological Society (IPS) Congress in 2018 at the United Nations (U.N.) headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya.

The GRASP bid - which was presented through the U.N. Environment Programme (UNEP) - marks only the second IPS Congress awarded to Africa since 1998.

The decision was announced following a vote of the IPS Council at the recent XXV IPS Congress in Vietnam.

"We believe GRASP has the necessary vision, leadership and resources to stage a successful IPS Congress in 2018," said IPS president Tetsuro Matsuzawa. "The IPS looks forward to working closely with GRASP and other United Nations agencies over the next four years to address some of the key threats to primates around the world."

The GRASP bid was built upon the theme, "Global Connectivity to Ensure the Future of Primates," and proposes to include Nairobi-based U.N. experts in areas such as climate change, deforestation, sustainable development, and civil conflict, among others, in IPS symposia, workshops, and panels.

"GRASP is proud and pleased to be able to host the IPS Congress in 2018," said GRASP coordinator Doug Cress. "The incredible diversity of primates in Kenya and across Africa makes Nairobi a compelling choice, and GRASP's goal is to provide the highest possible platform to the IPS and its priorities."

The GRASP bid included letters of support from UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner and GRASP Ambassador Richard Leakey.

"With issues such as habitat loss, illegal trade and the expansion of palm oil plantations threatening the very future of primates, I believe it is more important than ever that those most committed to the study of primates should come together to craft solutions," Leakey wrote. "I believe the 2018 IPS Congress in Kenya would offer just such an opportunity."

The IPS Congress is held every two years and draws many of the leading figures in primate research, conservation and education. The XXVI IPS Congress will be held in Chicago from August 21 to 27, 2016.

The IPS was established in 1966 and is a scientific, educational, and charitable organization focused on non-human primates. It encourages scientific research in all areas of study, facilitates international cooperation among researchers, and promotes primate conservation and education. For more information, visitwww.un-grasp.org