Great apes and poverty

Gorilla family in Rwanda. Photo by Roger Day.
Gorilla family in Rwanda. Photo by Roger Day.

Great apes live in some of the poorest countries in Africa and Asia. Critically endangered great apes often receive the most funding and protection from conservation initiatives, yet strictly controlled and enforced conservation areas can have negative impacts on local communities. At the same time, the economic benefits from great ape tourism are often not shared at the local level creating resentment and hostility towards conservation efforts, which can also impact on livelihood and poverty reduction initiatives. 

The Poverty and Conservation Learning Group (PGLC)’s thematic programme on great apes;

  • Supports the learning, networking and information exchange of organisations working within great ape range states, with a particular focus on Cameroon and Uganda;
  • Works to improve the integration of poverty and/or local livelihood concerns into conservation policy and programmes in great ape range states;
  • Works to improve the capacity of conservation organisations to engage with and influence private and public sector development actors.

Both our two national groups working in Cameroon and Uganda are a consortium of organisations interested in great ape conservation and its links to poverty alleviation. We are currently exploring opportunities to work with partners in other great ape range states (Rwanda and DRC, in particular).  


Linking Conservation and Poverty Alleviation: A Discussion Paper on Good and Best Practice in the Case of the Great Ape Conservation, Discussion Paper No. 11 (March 2013)

Linking Conservation and Poverty Alleviation: The case of the Great Apes (2010)

Development and Gorillas? Assessing fifteen years of integrated conservation and development in south-western Uganda (2010)



Useful Resources: 

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The Poverty and Conservation Learning Group is an international network of organisations that promotes learning on the linkages between biodiversity conservation and poverty reduction.

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IIED The Poverty and Conservation Learning Group is a project coordinated by IIED.

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This website is funded by UK aid and the Arcus Foundation. The views expressed on this site do not necessarily reflect the views of these organisations.

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