During the recent International Year of the Gorilla Symposium, Ian Redmond – Ambassador for the UN Year of the Gorilla – and Princess Odette Maniema Krempin – UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador – signed special editions of Daniel Taylor‘s Mountain gorilla and Cross River gorilla art works.

The unique autographed gorilla prints will be auctioned at events that will be organised in 2009 and funds raised from this will be going to gorilla conservation in East and Central Africa.

The International Year of the Gorilla Symposium took place from 9-11 June 2009 and was held in Frankfurt, Germany. Under the title “Gentle Giants in need”, 160 government officials, experts, corporate representatives and conservationists from 20 countries attended the conference to mark the Year of the Gorilla.

Ian Redmond and Princess Odette sign Cross River Gorilla print

The attendees collectively produced the Frankfurt Declaration on Gorilla Conservation – an appeal to governments, the international community and industrial companies to enhance activities to reduce threats to the remaining gorilla populations in the wild.

Princess Odette Maniema Krempin was born to the royal family of Maniema Nilemba Boniface Mulopwe in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. She gave a moving speech at the event describing her childhood experiences with gorillas.

Ian Redmond is Chief Consultant for GRASP, the UNEP/UNESCO Great Ape Survival Partnership, and has been working with Mountain Gorillas in the past 30 years, through research, filming, tourism and conservation work. In 1976 he Ian Redmond and Princess Odette at the International Year of the Gorilla Symposium, Frankfurt, Germany.joined Dian Fossey, studying and protecting the mountain gorillas of Rwanda and Zaire.

The Year of the Gorilla (YoG) is a joint initiative of the UNEP-CMS, the UNEP/UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s Great Ape Survival Partnership (GRASP) and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA). For more information about the Year of the Gorilla please visit their website: http://yog2009.org

For more information about the Year of the Gorilla special edition prints, please visit http://wildartafrica.org or the Year of the Gorilla website.

Photos kindly provided by Daniel Karr and Veronika Lenarz.