World premiere of a high-realist painting of the Cross River gorilla
The first ever painting of a Cross River gorilla, Africa's most endangered primate, has been created by Canadian artist Daniel Taylor, who traveled with ACF to the jungle of south-west Cameroon's Lebialem Highlands to save this unique great ape species.
(Media-Newswire.com) - Vancouver, BC, Canada ( October 21, 2008 ) – The first ever painting of a Cross River gorilla, Africa’s most endangered primate, has been unveiled to the public on 19 October 2008, at the Mountain View Conservation and Breeding Centre, in Langley, BC, Canada.
The author of this unique portrait is Canadian artist Daniel Taylor, who travelled along with his wife Ginette to the jungle of south-western Cameroon’s Lebialem Highlands, to save this critically endangered species – with only 250 to 300 individuals left in the wild.
In 2007, an Artists for Conservation Flag Expedition was organized through a partnership with the African Conservation Foundation ( ACF ), whose overall goal is to change the use of natural resources to one in which the needs of human development in the region are reconciled with biodiversity conservation.
Besides the unveiling of the painting the event at the Mountain View Conservation and Breeding Centre a short film was featured about this unique expedition, which also included awareness raising activities with local communities, including art workshops with local artists and children.
A multifaceted conservation project The funds raised with the prints sales will be used to create protected areas for the Cross River gorilla and help the local communities set up alternative income generating activities by providing microcredit to villagers.
Hunters and former poachers will be paid to use their thorough knowledge of the area to become field workers, eco-tourism guides and rangers. The community will be encouraged to breed cane rats and porcupines for food, thus reducing the demand for bush meat.
“Tree planting, ecotourism and cultivating plants for medicine, nutrition and fuel are also part of the strategy to reconcile local community needs and great apes conservation”, said Arend de Haas, Conservation Director of the African Conservation Foundation.
Environmental education is a pivotal aspect of the whole project and it is directed both towards children – who will be part of the solution in the immediate future – and towards other community members. As a result, local fons ( kings ), chiefs and government officials show a great interest in making a positive change.
For more information, please contact: Arend de Haas, Email: email@example.com
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