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Koko: The Voice of Nature at COP21 ( )

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Posted On: December 6, 2015
Date Taken: December 01, 2015


Videographer: Ron Cohn

Koko was invited to represent the “Voice of Nature” at the COP21 Climate Conference in Paris, Dec. 1–11, 2015, by NOE Conservation, a non-profit organization based in France, whose main focus is preserving biodiversity.

Because of her unique ability to communicate with humans in sign language, Koko is a natural ambassador for endangered species, and thus we agreed to co-produce a short video PSA (Public Service Announcement) contingent on Koko’s willingness to participate.

Turns out Koko was very interested in the subject, which we briefed her on via a recent issue of National Geographic titled “Cool It!” We also presented her with a script drafted by NOE (as any celebrity ambassador asked to do a PSA would expect) and allowed her to improvise during s series of brief daily video discussion sessions, in which Koko also had to learn a few new signs, such as “Protect” and “Nature.”

The resulting PSA (above) was edited from a number of separate takes, for brevity and continuity. However, Koko was clear about the main message: Man is harming the Earth and its many animal and plant species and needs to “hurry” and fix the problem.
There is a petition at the end of the video, which asks the participants at COP21 to include the preservation of biodiversity in the Paris Agreement. Please click and sign it (you may have to click the green button twice). This is a “win-win” petition that can help both endangered species and humans (who are arguably endangering themselves as well).

Play the above video in FULL SCREEN mode and let Koko’s “voice” inspire you to “Protect the Earth” and all of its inhabitants.
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A Special Message from NOE Conservation about COP21:

Regularly, the leaders of all countries gather to find solutions for tackling the global warming issue. Unfortunately, they have not yet come to a decision that will deliver concrete results. The situation is so urgent that this COP21 conference is our last chance to make real change before it is too late. During previous summits, Nature has always been kept away from the talks. It was as if its only role was playing the helpless victim of Man's destructive impact. However, biodiversity protection is one of the major solutions to fight global warming. The Gorilla Foundation and Noé  have decided to lend a voice to nature during the COP21 conference to help it be heard — thanks to Koko !
 

Lesson: Koko reminds us that we are all connected and interdependent and that this awareness may be the only thing that sustains us.

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Our mission is to learn about gorillas by communicating with them, and apply our knowledge to advance great ape conservation, education, care and empathy.

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