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GAFI Endorsements

Eric Blencowe, Head, Zoos and International Species Conservation, DEFRA, UK Government

“I was most impressed both by the concept behind this proposal, and with the way in which it was pursued to best conservation and business effect. Using top-quality wildlife films on great apes for circulation to those who most need to see them: local communities, land-owners; industry and governments of range states, together with obtaining the right to show these films free of further charge by their producers, was in effect a novel and ground-breaking initiative.

The UK Government, through the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, considered the request for funding last year from GAFI, and reviewed the objectives carefully. I consider that the outcomes of the first stage of this project have exceeded expectations, and the comprehensive report the project’s progress thus far bears witness to this. The next stages of the project, at this point in particular extending the circulation to actual and potential palm-oil communities in South-east Asia, promises to be potentially even more effective in educating millions of people in indigenous communities of the value of their biodiversity and the need for its conservation, while ensuring they have alternatives for livelihood security. . We would encourage other potential donors, including donor Governments and NGOs, to recognise the value of GAFI and provide further support, all of which would be used to extend more widely the scope of the project to people who would otherwise be much more difficult to engage on these issues.”

Ian Redmond OBE, Chief Consultant, Great Apes, United Nations Environmental Project

“I have personally delivered many of the tapes produced by GAFI to ape range states and the reports produced by GAFI cannot convey the level of excitement with which they are received. The donation of transmission rights are considered a momentous gift. Preliminary audience figures of 31.5 million in parts of Africa really show the power of the GAFI concept, but there is so much more to achieve and it is vital that this unique project is able to continue its success into Indonesia and Malaysia.

Those who are in a position to watch television are likely to include decision-makers, purchasers of illegal pet trade or may even be employees of illegal logging companies or oil palm workers who have so far not recognised the value of keeping orangutans alive. Hence, even in the sort-term GAFI has the potential to have a significant conservation impact. And as for the long-term; who knows if one of the kids watching these programmes will be inspired to become an Indonesian Jane Goodall or David Attenborough.”

Richard Brock: World Atlas of Great Apes and their Conservation

“One way forward is to take film production into communities, making relevant films for local audiences that would help them to explore and value their own wildlife, and make a tangible impact on attitudes on the ground. Important progress was made in early 2005 when the first batch of 11 award-winning programmes on the great apes, donated to Great Apes Film Initiative by BBC Worldwide and Granada International, were taken to Congo Brazzaville for local showings there and in Cameroon”.

Broadcaster: Brian Leith , Head of Granada Wild

“Granada Wild and Granada International are thrilled to be part of this bold initiative. If our programmes about the great apes can be shown in the countries where they were filmed – and if this builds support for conservation locally, where it matters most – then our filmmaking will have been especially worthwhile. It’s good for films to entertain and inform – but even better if they can actively help to protect precious places and species.”

Neil Nightingale, Head of Natural History BBC:

“Wildlife television programmes have the power to inspire people about wonders of the natural world and their value to humanity. They have had a major impact worldwide in raising awareness of the issues that face nature. However, local communities in developing nations, who often live alongside some of the most endangered habitats and species, do not have easy access to such programmes about the wildlife that surrounds them. GAFI is addressing this issue with effective and trusted distribution of wildlife programmes to such communities through local NGOs, broadcasters and other organisations. I am confident this will create broader awareness of the nature of the great apes, their value and the need for their conservation in the countries they live in. The BBC Natural History Unit and BBC Worldwide are delighted to be a part of this important initiative and look forward to working with GAFI in the future to achieve an even broader distribution of these programmes to local communities in the great ape range states.”

Dr. Ankara, Congo Government Focal Point, GRASP

“Je peux que vous remercier de votre don de films faite à la television nationale du congo et je vous dit que ses films sont beaucoup suivis par les auditeurs congolais et ses films ont été projecter lors du sommet des chefs d’Etats . Je peux que vous remercier encore et nous attendons d’autres films de ce genres sur les grands singes .Je vous souhaite bonne santé et bon travail”