Our closest genetic relatives, the great apes (bonobos, chimpanzees,
orangutans, and gorillas) are disappearing rapidly from their natural
habitat in Africa and southeast Asia. Logging, human encroachment on the forests, and hunting for bushmeat have brought their populations to dangerously low numbers. There are several reputable programs in place to assist in preserving the great apes, but they desperately need funding and support. Some of the range countries in which great apes are found already have domestic legislation prohibiting the capture of apes for human consumption, but these laws are not being enforced. The time is now for the United States to provide the leadership and resources needed to protect the remaining great apes and the biodiversity of their habitat.
Senator Jim Jeffords (R-VT) introduced S. 1007, the Great Ape Conservation Act of 1999 . This bill establishes a federal fund from which grants would be made to approved projects in Africa and southeast Asia that conserve great apes in their range countries.
As of 20 October 2000 HR4320, the Great Ape Conservation Act of 2000, has passed unanimously in the House of Representatives after being introduced by Reps. George Miller and Jim Saxton and the Senate just passed it unopposed and it will now go to President Clinton to sign.
It is also hoped that there will be sufficient appropriations, at least in the region of $250,000 to 500,000 for the Act to be able to have an immediate effect.
Those supporting this can write or call their Senators and Representative, as well as the Dept. of Interior and the US Fish & Wildlife Service, thanking them for supporting the bill and urging them to ensure that GACA get $250,000 to $500,000 to start with. NOW!!
Call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121, or write to: The Honorable (your senator), U.S. Senate, Washington D.C., 20510. (Call your senator's office to obtain their fax number).
You might also call your Representative to suggest a comparable House bill. The House allows you to look up your Representative.
A few points you may wish to make:
THE BIOSYNERGY INSTITUTE
P.O. Box 488
Hermosa Beach, California 90254