Pedal-powering Hope for Apes

We had a great meeting yesterday with the lovely people at the Ape Alliance. Their chair, Ian Redmond OBE, is an internationally-renowned conservation advocate, so it‘s really exciting that we’re going to extend our partnership with them this year by supporting the Hope for Apes conference in November 2012.

We’ve been lucky enough to see great apes in the wild when we first prototyped our pedal-powered field cinema when we accompanied GAFI to a number of schools at the edge of the Mgahinga national park in Uganda last year. Pedal-powered cinema has it’s practical uses and as Ian Redmond put it, “all the effort put into protecting Gorillas and other species against the traditional threats are absolutely no good if it stops raining. You can have the best anti-poaching team in the world protecting the best protected nation park, but if the rain stops falling the trees will die. So you need to educate the children to understand why the forest is important”. This is where our pedal-powered field cinema comes into it’s own by supporting education efforts in otherwise isolated rural communities, in some of the poorest countries where even getting hold of diesel to run generators is problematic and expensive.

So this November, the Hope for Apes conference will be pedal powered! We plan to build ten field cinemas each one will be sponsored by a company or individual and donated to a conservation group. All ten of them will be on display at the conference so that delegates can have a go, before they are whisked off to the far reaches of the planet to support conservation efforts.

We also plan to power the main presentation that all of the delegates will see during the conference. Hmmm so how many watts does a conference projector require?

What we don’t yet know is whether we’ll be able to persuade Sir David Attenborough to get in the saddle at the conference!

Watch this space.