GLOBIO’s 20th Anniversary
Since our foundation in 2001, GLOBIO has worn many hats and taken on various roles in the conservation arena, always driven by our mission to inspire a more positive relationship with the environment by connecting species, people, planet. As we celebrate our 20th anniversary, in the midst of a global pandemic and an ever-worsening climate crisis, we think back to the victories and adventure of the last two decades, while remaining focused forward to elevate GLOBIO’s impact for and around the planet.
With our decades of experience and network of conservation champions, our team may be small, but we are mighty and determined to push the needle forward for the survival of all apes – ourselves included – around the planet.
Scroll down to see photos, memories, testimonials, and more to celebrate our 20 years of impact!
The Year Ahead
To celebrate this 20-year milestone, our team has big plans for the rest of the year! From exciting program announcements to new partnerships, we aim to make 2021 even bigger and more impactful!
Right now, YOU can help us make this year amazing by making a single or monthly donation to GLOBIO. Your gift will support our program partnerships and our outreach activities to help spread the word and engage audiences throughout the globe to take action.
Donate today for a stronger tomorrow!
Scroll through our History
2004: International Biodiversity Workshop
With support from WWF, GLOBIO conducted its first International Biodiversity Workshop (IBW) in partnership with Wolong Nature Reserve in China. This workshop was attended by over 50 Chinese educators and covered a range of topics surrounding wildlife, the environment, and the necessity of conservation. Arrangements were later made to replicate the IBW in Bhutan and India, unfortunately, loss of funding meant these plans were paused.
2003: Partnership with Wolong Nature Reserve, China
GLOBIO founder Gerry spent weeks at the Wolong Nature Reserve in China, getting up close and personal with the pandas and the people! Footage from these trips was used for education and outreach around the world and included the first-ever action shot of a panda giving birth, a special moment captured by Gerry.
2015: Borneo Fires
In 2015, Gerry hopped on a plane to Borneo to witness and capture the massive fires that overtook the island, decimating its precious peat swamp forests. The carbon released in these fires makes the event perhaps the greatest man-made environmental disaster of our time and the effects of which are still evident in the landscape today. Out of this tragic loss, our Orangutan Tree Project (now our broader Canopy Reforestation Project) was born to regrow the lost forest for endangered orangutans.
2019: Spread the Light
Through his many trips to our partner organizations, Gerry saw time and time again how difficult it was for staff to work, often with limited or no electricity. Thus came our LUCI Light Project – donations of these inflatable, solar-powered lights (some with USB charging capabilities for phones and field radios). To date, GLOBIO has donated over 100 of these hardy lights to our partners in Cameroon, DRCongo, Uganda, & Zambia.
Filming Trips with Documentarian Skye Fitzgerald
A long-term friend and supporter of GLOBIO is Skye Fitzgerald, Oscar-nominated documentary film-maker. In 2012 and 2014, Skye joined Gerry on filming trips to Sumatra and DRCongo (respectively) to capture conservation footage of great apes and other critical biodiversity activities. GLOBIO is currently the fiscal sponsor for Skye’s latest documentary Hunger Ward, an Oscar-nominated look into the tragic impact of the Yemeni famine on its children.
2005: GLOSSOPEDIA Launched
One of GLOBIO’s widest-reaching environmental education tools was GLOSSOPEDIA, a kid-friendly database chock-full of units, videos, activities, and more. The database was free to access and was used by more than 1 million children, educators, and parents in homes and classrooms to help engage children in science-based learning about the environment and amazing animals.
2004: Field Trips & Panda Bread
In 2004, when visiting one of the neighboring classrooms just down the road from the Wolong Nature Reserve, Gerry was amazed to hear that only 3 of the 25 students had ever seen a panda in real life – despite their proximity to the panda refuge. After a couple of phone calls and a quick bus trip, the class was able to experience the full tour of the Wolong reserve, including, of course, panda bread – a baked treat of bamboo and apple loved by pandas (and apparently the kiddos too!)
A Look at Tomorrow
“From the moment I was introduced to GLOBIO I knew this was something special. GLOBIO, for me, is a ‘watering hole’ for that wonder-filled connection between our children and the beautiful animal life of our planet. Kids learn and feed their curiosity. And the planet benefits from GLOBIO’s work. It is a privilege to be part of this organization.”
– Doug Gastich, Board Chair
Support from our GLOBIO Family
“GLOBIO’s roots interest me, Gerry’s storytelling inspires me, but the strategic plan for Four Focal Regions engages my imagination and passion. These four areas require our urgent attention and dedication if we are to preserve habitat and resources for apes. Seeing our collaboration with Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary grow and progress tells me we are on the right track.
I can’t wait to travel to the Four Focal Regions and our partners to see the GLOBIO impact. I am honored to be a part of this outstanding organization.”
– Colburn Shindell, Board Member
“It’s impossible to put a value on this partnership – on the hours of research, planning, strategizing. No one sees that, but those of us doing it. Naturally, people only see the impact of our outreach efforts and the results of environmental education initiatives. But that makes the unseen work, the countless hours spent behind the scenes extremely worthwhile and priceless”
– Aram Kazandjian, Tacaugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary
“Working with GLOBIO was my first real taste of a job providing service to other people, making things to enrich life for other people. This experience made a mark and set me on the path to teaching and helping others. GLOBIO is like a web, there are all these connections to other people and organizations that make it so special and unique, once you’re in the web you see just how far it stretches and you can never quite leave, nor do you want to”
– Griffin Walker, former Staff
“Through my time with GLOBIO, it’s become more and more clear how integral and impactful the power of engaging imagery can be to change hearts and minds towards the environment. It is a privilege to be a part of the driving force for this change around the world, as we work with our incredible Program Partners and help protect great apes, primates, and other biodiversity a little more each day.”
– Meg Stark, Programs Director
“GLOBIO has long been a recognized leader in environmental education, and its Founder, Gerry Ellis, is internationally known for his photography, speaking, and conservation leadership. Gerry’s depth of knowledge on Great Apes is particularly impressive. As a long-time observer, supporter, and Board member, I have seen GLOBIO under Gerry’s leadership expand children’s education and conservation efforts around the work.
As GLOBIO enters its third decade, it is exciting to see Gerry’s unwavering passion and enthusiasm aligned with a focused effort for Great Ape survival and habitat preservation.”
– Todd Trczinski, Board Treasurer
“GLOBIO is one of Gerry’s efforts to formalize his lifelong work… He is a unique human being with a fantastic set of experiences, energy, and
enthusiasm to his work that are contagious. It’s exciting to see how GLOBIO has since grown legs of its own to make an impact in its twenty years. “
– Eric Caine, former Board Member
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20th Anniversary Updates
No Room For African Apes
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Travel Changes Everyday Lives
Much of this blog was drawn from a conversation with Dr. Rick Quinn on our Talking Apes podcast, and from his wonderful book, Just Like Us: A Veterinarian’s Visual Memoir of Our Vanishing Great Ape Relatives. One of my favorite quotes is from Saint Augustine, “The...
Travel with GLOBIO — Why Travel?
For someone who has spent the majority of their life traveling, the first time you hear a question like, ‘Why travel?’ it comes as such a ridiculous shock that you're stunned to articulate an answer. You stumble through an awkwardly assembled collection of descriptive...