Ape Alliance Chairman Appointed OBE

18 June 2006 Successes

17th June 2006: Ian Redmond, founder and chairman of the Ape Alliance, has been appointed OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List. The citation reads: Chairman, Ape Alliance, Co-founder Elefriends and UK Rhino Group. For services to conservation.

From his home in Bristol, where he has just returned from a week in hospital with Falciparum Malaria (a souvenir of his recent recce to the Madiakoko Mountains of Bas-Congo, DRC, in search of Western Lowland Gorillas) he commented, "This is exciting news – who'd have thought they’d give a gong to a bloke who still prefers to wear shorts and hang out with gorillas? Seriously, though, I think it indicates how well-respected the Ape Alliance is. Conservation sometimes feels like you are just banging your head against a brick wall. And so if, after 30 years of doing that, someone taps you on the shoulder and says, 'actually, we think you are doing a good job' it is very encouraging. In fact the very idea that the Establishment considers conservation an activity deserving of such an award is encouraging in itself."

During a telephone conversation with an official in the Prime Minister's office about the award, Ian took the opportunity to ask whether they kept records of the number of items of mail received on certain issues. The answer was affirmative, so he asked how many Ape Alliance 'Staring Extinction in the Face' postcards had been received at No.10, starting with the giant one (see photo at the bottom of this page). A couple of hours later, the efficient official rang back with the answer: 11,892.

"Did this have any effect on government policy?" Ian asked. "Yes," came the answer, "a report was compiled and sent to DEFRA, and the British Government has been the most prominent supporter of GRASP, the UN Great Ape Survival Project."

"Thus," Ian added, "I'd like to thank every organization and individual in the Ape Alliance, especially those who organized and took part in The Great Ape Event in September 2000, and the nearly 12,000 individuals who helped to make the '2001 – An Ape Odyssey' campaign a success. This award is as much for you as it is for me, because without us all speaking with one LOUD voice, we may well have been ignored. Thank you."

Top photo caption: "Ian revieves the OBE from HM Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace".
Bottom photo caption: "Ape Alliance at No. 10 Downing Street with the giant postcard".

Ape Alliance at Downing Street

We use cookies to improve your experience of our website. More info.

By using you agree to our use of cookies.