Determined to make 2013 a brighter year for the world's remaining gorillas in the wild, the Gorilla Organization has launched a new appeal aimed at halting the destruction of the great apes' precious natural habitat.
There are no quick fixes to the main threats facing gorillas today, among them poaching, war and the relentless destruction of the forests of central Africa. But making a difference in the illegal trade in charcoal, which is, quite literally, obliterating the gorilla habitat, is a different matter. Here, something as cheap and simple as a fuel-efficient stove can make a real difference.
Fuel-efficient stoves can reduce the average Congolese family's charcoal consumption by as much as 75%. If each of the homes situated within walking distance of the Virunga National Park had such a stove, the trade in illegal charcoal would be decimated. This is a trade which has led to the loss of more than 14,000 square miles of forest since 2000 and which was directly responsible for the gruesome massacre of seven critically-endangered mountain gorillas in 2007. So, while the Gorilla Organization made and distributed in excess of 2,000 fuel-efficient stoves in 2012 alone, much more can still be done to tackle one of the gravest threats facing gorillas right now.
"At the Gorilla Organization we will go to whatever lengths it takes to save mountain gorillas and, sometimes, it's the more imaginative solutions that work in practice," says executive director Jillian Miller. "This one addresses the root of the problem - why deforestation happens - and stops it."
You can help resolve to save gorillas this New Year by helping a family burn less charcoal.
- £15 could help provide a household with a fuel-efficient stove which could cut their consumption of charcoal by 75%.
- £25 could help provide rations and waterproof clothing for rangers when they go on dangerous anti-charcoal patrols in the forest.
- £50 could help plant a tree nursery which will help protect and replenish the precious gorilla habitat.
- £200 could help run four workshops that raise awareness among local people to highlight the benefits of fuel-efficient stoves.