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Dr. Jane Goodall and the Institute do not endorse handling or interfering with wild chimpanzees. The chimpanzee in this photo is orphaned and lives at a sanctuary. © The Jane Goodall Institute


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Interview by Inga Yandell Dr. Jane Goodall Meaningful Message


Seeds of Survival


Inspiring Future Wildlife Custodians The Jane Goodall Institute represents a lifetime devoted to nature and a legacy of conservation to bequest future custodians of the wild!


Dr. Jane Goodall has over 50 years experience studying chimpanzees and accumulating information to expand our understanding and appreciation for our creature cousins and their environments - making her a woman with much wild wisdom to share….


Encompassing community, creatures and the living environment Dr. Goodall’s ‘Roots & Shoots’ program values the next generation of voices on an international scale. Giving youth a platform to grow their knowledge of nature and explore their ideas through actions that make a positive difference in this world.


What sparked your deep connect with nature and inspired a lifetime’s dedication to conservation? Quite honestly, the answer is very simple - I was born that way. I am told, that before I could talk, before I could walk, I was always watching whatever I could. Whether, it was a cat or insects, it was always animals, animals, animals! This naturally lead to going out in nature and looking at the animals, that is how it began.


How is this reflected in the youth of today? It is reflected in our Roots & Shoots program which helps young people to get back out and reconnect with nature.


Where do you see potential to cultivate greater awareness and support? When people realize that Roots & Shoots is actually changing lives, that it is involving young people in an altruistic vision. Understanding that animals, people and nature are all interconnected and that if we destroy nature, we destroy our own future. And, once people begin to understand this they are more likely to support our program, because they actually see the difference. I think the reason the ‘young-people’ are so inspired is because it is a youth driven program, they get to choose their projects and they understand that we are listening to them. Especially because they are connected around the world, they understand that they are really making a difference!


How has modern technology shaped conservation initiatives? I am not sure that it is shaping it enough. Some of the modern technology is enabling the youth to be in-touch with each other around the world and that’s very empowering for them because they realize they are not alone - that there are young people who care about exactly what they care about in all these different countries. So, that’s great, that gives a sense of unity. Unfortunately, I think a lot of conservation programs are rather narrow and they are kind of within a box and they don’t understand the interrelatedness of everything which is what our program does. Although, we do a lot of stuff on the internet, linking people, sharing ideas, and so forth, the core basic commitment of Roots & Shoots members is ‘going out and rolling up their sleeves and doing something!’ Sometimes it’s a community service, like you want to help the old people or the aboriginals, the homeless or whatever it happens to be. It maybe you want to help animals, whether it is animals in a shelter or trying to protect some environment because the animals jolly-well deserve to have it protected, so they can go on living their lives. Or it’s the environment, which is the easiest one in a way, because it involves hands on projects - recycling, clearing-out garbage, cleaning-out trash from a river, moving invasive species and all of them involve understanding how to lobby, how to write letters to legislators and how to fight for your cause without being overly aggressive - understanding that the world is not black and white!


INSPIRATION


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