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Nov 21

vEcotourism at UN CMS CoP12 in the Philippines

20171028_135159 Volunteers and Archie the Elephant introduce delegates to vEcotourism.org at CMS CoP12 in Manila, Philippines. Ian RedmondVirtual reality experiences of nature were a highlight for some delegates and volunteers at the United Nations Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species meeting in Manila recently. The 12th Conference of the Parties to the CMS, hosted by the Government of the Philippines, brought together delegates and observers from the 124 signatory countries and observers from NGOs, IGOs and countries considering whether to sign. vEcotourism.org was there to demonstrate our two published apps and give previews of new ones to come. An enthusiastic team of volunteers brought the booth to life, downloading the apps onto their smartphones and using VR headsets kindly loaned by the Ape Alliance www.4apes.com to take interested delegates on a virtual safari to see the great apes, using ApeAppVR and Gorilla Safari VR. Gorillas are already listed on the CMS appendices and protected by the Gorilla Agreement, a legally binding treaty between the 10 African countries in which they live. At this meeting, chimpanzees were – after some heated debate – also listed, and will now benefit from better cross-border protection where their habitat straddles international borders!

Team vEco would like to express gratitude to the CMS Secretariat, the Philippines International Conference Centre and all the volunteers, including: Ana Patricia Sison, Keith Deephy, Paula T. Apulinn, Jex O. Trinanes, Karyz Arboleda, Princess Lim, Frances Tenorio and Thomas Bell.

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