I-SITE CEO, Ian Cross recently traveled to UNESCO headquarters in Paris to present at the second ever meeting of the Great Apes Survival Partnership [GRASP] Council. Founded in 2005, the The GRASP Council is comprised of over 80 nations, conservation organizations, United Nations agencies, research institutions and private supporters committed to the long-term survival of great apes in Africa and Asia. Wild populations of chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans and bonobos are in sharp decline and their habitat is under severe threat.
Ian presented on an upcoming project to develop a platform for GRASP partners to share their field projects with the public through smartphones. Up to now sharing timely stories from the great ape habitats in Africa and Asia has been difficult because of limited data coverage, low bandwidth and poor connectivity. In fact the award-winning iGorilla app I-SITE developed for Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo is one of few that features up-to-date videos, photos and blog posts from a team in the field.
ApeAPP will promote multiple projects from many organizations and will feature video summaries and the ability for the public to make donations to conservation projects they are passionate about. Initial partners on the project include Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International, African Wildlife Foundation, Kutai Orangutan Project and the Goualougo Triangle Ape Project.
The I-SITE team is planning to have v1.0 in the App Store in the Spring so stay tuned. In the meantime find out more about GRASP and the great work they and their partners are doing for our closest cousins the great apes.