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Dr. Jane Goodall gazes at the shoreline of Lake Tanganyika on her way to Gombe National Park. © The Jane Goodall Institute


What are the thoughts and values you carry with you each day? What I try to remember each day is what I tell people who ask “Jane, what can I actually do in the world with so many problems - I’m just me and I understand the global situation and I feel helpless?” I tell them: Think about the consequences of the different choices you make in each day. What do you buy? What do you wear? How do you treat people? How do you treat animals? How do you treat the environment? If people begin to make ecologically sound choices, and humanitarian sound choices, then we move towards the kind of world we want to leave to our great grandchildren.


Of all the wisdoms garnered from the wild what is the one that resonates greatest for you? I would say the deepest is although, when I went to Cambridge University having been with the chimpanzees for a year - I was told that I couldn’t talk about animals having personalities, minds capable of rational thought and emotions like happiness, sadness and fear. I had already been taught by my dog Rusty, that I had as a child - this was not true.


So, I think the most important thing is the true nature of animals and that we are not separated from the rest of the animals by a sharp line but we are part of an amazing animal kingdom - all of us together!


Can you tell us about ‘Roots & Shoots’ current projects? Every Roots & Shoots program has it’s own projects, it’s own choices. It is now in 131 countries, sometimes just a couple of groups but a beginning. Once it begins, I know from experience it works because kids go from one school to another and they say “we have to have Roots & Shoots”.


Through this initiative what opportunities do youth have for a a career working with wildlife? Well I think there is because, they get to interact with others who feel as passionately as they do. They learn about other Roots & Shoots youth who have actually started a career in wildlife They learn to keep their minds open and their ears alert, and they spend a lot of time looking on the website to see where there is something that really appeals to them.


Finally, do you have any parting sentiments for ‘future wildlife custodians’? Everyday we live, we impact the world around us and we have a choice, that if we don’t get together and find ways to live in a slightly different way with a slightly different economy - it is going to be too late.


But, it’s not yet too late!


Help make a positive difference in this world. Join Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots Youth Action Program


www.janegoodall.org.au


Roots & Shoots has continued to grow in Australia since Dr Goodall's visit in 2006. We currently have registered members across schools, universities, communities and families.


‘Hands On’ Conservation © The Jane Goodall Institute


INSPIRATION


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