Did you know that you can contribute to the safety, protection and survival of mountain gorillas by pledging to comply to the gorilla visitation rules and regulations – even if you have no immediate plans to do so yourself?
The Gorilla Friendly™ Pledge is an on-line awareness raising campaign aimed at encouraging all those planning to visit the mountain gorillas (and even those who are not!) to pledge to observe gorilla tourism rules during treks and to share their trekking experience after the visit through the Gorilla Friendly™ Pledge website https://gorillafriendly.org/pledge/.
Sharing feedback after the visit gives one the opportunity to share their opinions that help conservationists and park managers to strengthen measures that safeguard and secure the future for mountain gorillas as well as improve the tourism experience.
The Gorilla Friendly™ Pledge originates from the great ape visitation rules and regulations grounded in the International Union of Conservation for Nature’s (IUCN) Best Practice Guidelines for Great Ape Tourism – https://www.iucn.org/content/best-practice-guidelines-great-ape-tourism
It is pertinent that mountain gorillas are protected in every way possible. It has been determined that diseases are transmitted by the people that come into close proximity with the great apes in both captivity and in the wild – carers, tourists, trackers, researchers, rangers and guides.
“With mountain gorilla tourism re-opening in the region in the wake of the novel coronavirus, it is now more important than ever to observe all precautions against disease transmission,” states Anna Behm Masozera, Director of the International Gorilla Conservation Programme. “Park staff and managers need your support in their important job to ensure the health and safety of the mountain gorillas and committing to observe the gorilla visitation rules and regulations through the Gorilla FriendlyTM Pledge is the first step to do so” Anna adds.
An adult female gorilla carrying an infant – all in Kahungye Gorilla Group in Bwindi. Photo by Neil Osborne
Responsible tourism starts with you. Be Gorilla FriendlyTM, take the pledge –https://gorillafriendly.org/pledge/ and make your contribution remarkable!
The Gorilla FriendlyTM Pledge campaign was initiated in 2014, re-launched in 2020, by International Gorilla Conservation Programme (IGCP) and Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network (WFEN), endorsed by eight (and counting!) other institutions as a way of raising awareness and willing compliance of established gorilla visitation rules and regulations.
The Gorilla FriendlyTM Pledge is part of a larger initiative, including a voluntary certification process for parks and park guides, freelance drivers and guides, hotels and lodges, tour operators, travel agents, and park edge community products. For those interested in the initiative or curious about eligibility or the certification process, please contact Marissa Altman at email@example.com.