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DHL Delivers Help for the Great Apes of Tropical Africa

Some of the most ill-equipped offices in the world, are being brought into the computer age courtesy of DHL. The company has responded to an appeal by the United Nations Great Apes Survival Project (GRASP) and is making vital, free delivery of office equipment to conservation authorities in west and central Africa.

Wildlife Officers in Guinea, Mali, Congo, Sierra Leone and Senegal get Urgently Needed Computers

Nairobi/London, 26 January 2003 - Some of the most ill-equipped offices in the world, where staff are in the front line in the battle to save the great apes from extinction, are being brought into the computer age courtesy of DHL, one of the  world’s leading express and logistics company.

The company has responded to an appeal by the United Nations Great Apes Survival Project (GRASP) and is making vital, free delivery of office equipment purchased by its UK partner, The Born Free Foundation (BFF) from the United Kingdom, to conservation authorities in west and central Africa.  This gesture enlists DHL as a corporate partner of the GRASP Project.

This international collaborative effort with DHL demonstrates the crucial role that multinational corporations can play in assisting the drive to halt the extinction of humankind's closest relative - both in money and in kind.   

"DHL operates in all the far corners of the world, and we were very pleased to be able to help.” said Richard Corriette, Head of Corporate Citizenship at DHL. “Our policy in this area is to use our core competence of logistics to partner other organizations in working to improve the lives of the communities in which we work. We believe that through these partnerships we can achieve more than if we all work separately.”

Maurice Mamy, the Focal Point for GRASP in the Fauna Division of Guinea's Wildlife Department based in Conakry, said "All our thanks come to you for having sent this computer which will allow us to create a hub for addressing the questions concerning the chimpanzees of Guinea. Now we can have more efficient information access to support the global conservation planning effort and it will be put to good use".

GRASP is the first internationally co-ordinated initiative to save the great apes.  DHL, which has provided free deliveries to other UN agencies in the past, has a unique network of offices throughout Africa and is best placed to offer this assistance.   DHL also handled the transfer on behalf of GRASP, using its experience to ensure that the shipment got through in the fastest possible time.

The countries that will benefit are the Republic of Congo, Mali, Senegal, Guinea and Sierra Leone, home to threatened populations of western chimpanzee, the central chimpanzee and the western lowland gorilla.

These internet-ready machines were delivered yesterday to GRASP Focal Points - the key contacts in the wildlife departments of the great ape range States.  Currently many of these government officials, working for conservation in some of the world's poorest countries, do not have computers and can only access email at unreliable and sometimes expensive internet cafes.

The provision of this equipment will also make the job easier for GRASP and its UK-based partner the Born Free Foundation (BFF) to facilitate the work of the GRASP Technical Support Team to the great ape range States.

Robert Hepworth, Head of the GRASP Initiative Partnership, based at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in Nairobi, Kenya, said:  “This delivery will greatly help the wildlife departments in these countries and improve their capacity overall - a key GRASP objective.”

David Jay of Born Free said: “ DHL's generosity has helped us towards the goal of ensuring that every Focal Point has internet access - a priority for our work."

Born Free was careful to acquire good quality machines at a very competitive rate, but the cost of sending them - twice that of the computers themselves - would have affected their budget significantly, and would have been prohibitive.

Robert Hepworth added: "Following this critical first delivery, we are now appealing for a donation of at least 10 more - possibly reconditioned computers and 21 fax machines -  to provide the technical support required to set up the offices of the most needy wildlife departments of the African ape range states".

Photo of the Malian Focal Point  Mr Fousseyni Diarra, Direction Nationale de la Conservation de la Nature, BP 275 Bamako,  Mali …….complete with all facilities - no computer no fax no phone.

Notes to Editors
GRASP was formed by UNEP in 2001 to lift the threat of imminent extinction faced by bonoos (pygmy chimpanzees) and gorillas, and serious threats to chimpanzees and orang-utans. It is now partnered by UNESCO.  Its mission is also to conserve viable, wild populations of every kind of great ape, and to make sure that their interactions with humans are mutually positive and sustainable.

The GRASP web site can be found at www.unep.org/grasp

About DHL

DHL is the world's leading express and logistics company offering customers innovative and customized solutions from a single source. With global expertise in solutions, express, air and ocean freight and overland transport, DHL combines worldwide coverage with an in-depth understanding of local markets. DHL's harmonized international network links more than 220 countries and territories worldwide.  DHL continues to be at the forefront of technology and, with over 170,000 dedicated employees, guarantees fast and reliable services aimed at exceeding customers' expectations.   Based in Brussels, Belgium, DHL is 100% owned by Deutsche Post World Net. www.dhl.com

GRASP Focal Point Offices for contacts where the computers have already arrived are:

Senegal
 Mme Ndeye Sene Thiam, Chef de la Division de l'Amenagement et Gestion des Aires Progees, Direction des Parcs Nationaux du Senegal, Parc Forestier et zoologique de Hann Tel +221 653 4180 email ndeyesenethiam2003@yahoo.fr

Guinea

Mr. Maurice Mamy Dierction National des Eaux et Foests, Conakry Guinea, tel: +224 411 089 email dfpn@sotelqui.net.gn

Mali

Mr Fousseyni DIARRA, Direction National de la Conservation de la Nature, Bamako, Mali: TEL +223 223 36 95 email conservationature@datatech.net.ml

GRASP Corporate Sponsors

Britannia Airways
The Intercontinental Hotel Group
Dorling Kindersley
The Brigitte Bardot Foundation
Volcano Safaris
DHL

For more information please contact Eric Falt, Spokesperson/Director of UNEP’s Division of Communications and Public Information, on Tel: 254 20 623292, Mobile: 254 (0) 733 682656, E-mail: eric.falt@unep.org or Nick Nuttall, UNEP Head of Media, on Tel: 254 20 623084, Mobile: 254 (0) 733 632755, E-mail: nick.nuttall@unep.org

UNEP News Release NR 2004/5


 

Monday 26 Jan 2004
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