Johannes Refisch leads the secretariat for the Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP), a unique alliance of member nations, research institutions, conservation organizations, United Nations agencies and private supporters that is based at UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) headquarters in Nairobi.
Johannes has a Diploma degree in animal ecology and has held scientific positions in Germany, Switzerland and the United States. He was co-director of the Tai Monkey Project in Cote d’Ivoire, and the results of his PhD work in 2001 resulted in a Research Conservation Award from the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the Centre Suisse de Recherches Scientifiques.
Johannes relocated to East Africa in 2005, and worked as a programme manager for the International Gorilla Conservation Programme (IGCP), then joined GRASP in 2006. He is a member of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Primate Specialist Group and the IUCN Transboundary Conservation Specialist Group. He has a wide experience in natural resource management (NRM) and assisted GTZ (German Technical Cooperation), IGCP, WWF and UNEP in designing, supervising and implementing NRM projects. Johannes is a Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED) at the University of Queensland, Australia.
Johannes has visited many great ape range states in Africa and Asia, and the GRASP great apes photo exhibition “Their Fate is Ours: the Humanity of Great Apes” features his pictures and tours around African great ape range states and European donor countries.