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They’re Calling on You campaign
You can help save gorillas in the wild simply by recycling your old phone.
One of the biggest threats to gorillas is the illegal mining of coltan, a mineral used in many mobile phones. Mining results in the clearing of essential habitat and drives the bush meat trade, further exacerbating the decline of primate populations.
Zoos Victoria, partnered with the Jane Goodall Institute, is committed to raising awareness of this connection between the demise of gorillas and increase in mobile phone production. They're Calling on You provides people with the opportunity to contribute towards the conservation of Africa's primate species simply by donating unused mobile phones.
What’s the story?
Coltan is a metallic ore that is mined both in and out of Africa and can be found within many electronic devices such as mobile phones. The mining of coltan within the Congo River Basin is contributing to forest loss and unrest in the region, and is accelerating the loss of mountain gorillas at an alarmingly fast rate. Whilst efforts are being made to tackle this issue, the majority of the worlds known coltan reserves are found within Africa, and mining within gorilla habitat continues.
Zoos Victoria’s assiduous approach to expose the link between mobile phones and primate conservation has encouraged 14 other Zoos & Aquaria across Australia to adopt the campaign. Mobile phones donated to They’re Calling on You raises much needed funds for primate conservation whilst reducing the demand for mining coltan ore in gorilla habitat.
- Raise awareness of the coltan mining crisis
- Expose the link between mobile phones and the decline of primate species in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
- Raise money to support primate conservation
- Divert phones from landfill by the refurbishment and resale of handsets and give coltan a second life
Facilitating conservation action
Zoos Victoria makes helping to save gorillas easy by supplying postage-paid recycling satchels, online postage paid labels and free courier pick up for organisations and schools collecting mobile phones.
Funds generated through the refurbishment and resale of old phones through Aussie Recycling Program support both the Jane Goodall Institute’s work protecting wild gorilla populations in the DRC and Zoos Victoria’s ex-situ conservation programs.
By January 2012 They’re Calling on You had collected more than 52,000 phones, generating more than $109,000 for primate conservation. More than 200 schools and organisations have signed up to become donors to the program. For latest results visit www.zoo.org.au/calling_on_you
They’re Calling on You funds are currently providing food rations and equipment to eco-guards who protect national parks and educate local communities in the DRC. Each phone donated through They’re Calling on You feeds an eco-guard for one day. They’re Calling on You funds have resulted in
- Increased anti-poaching work in the DRC
- The confiscation of more than 2,000 poacher traps and snares
- A noticeable reduction in the village market bush-meat trade
Jane Goodall Institute
Aussie Recycling Program