Dr Jane Goodall weighs in on Australia’s State of the Environment Report, highlighting the most important solution of all.
Renowned conservationist, Dr Jane Goodall, has weighed in on the recently released State of the Environment Report. Goodall has said that the report is a sobering acknowledgement that human impacts on the environment continue to see significant declines in the condition of Australia’s unique ecosystems while species also face significant impacts.
“There is no doubt that Australia has a hill to climb in addressing the negative impacts of economic development”, she said, “But with the information contained in the report, we have the knowledge and ability to address these impacts if we start now.”
Among some of the report’s bewildering quantity and array of gloomy statistics is that more than 1,900 Australian species and ecological communities are known to be threatened or at risk of extinction.
However, Goodall remains optimistic that the situation can be turned around if we act now. In her recently published book, The Book of Hope, she cites her greatest reason for hope being the next generation of young people.
“There is an old saying that we do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. But we’re not borrowing it, we’re stealing it. Young people will have to face the planet in the condition that we have left it in, and that is not fair. That is why I have hope because I believe that young people have the drive, ingenuity and determination to find the solutions we need”, she said.
The Jane Goodall Institute in Australia (JGIA) enables the activation of young people through its youth program, Roots & Shoots. A number of specific programs give young people the tools and resources to start their journey of making a difference, including linking in with citizen science sites like the Atlas of Living Australia.
JGIA CEO, James Forbes, says that the power of young people to take action in their local community and support a critical aspect of the report which notes that ‘better data and information are needed to set clear outcomes, effectively plan and invest in a way that delivers them, and to efficiently regulate development’.
“Our ReWild Your School program provides young people with the necessary tools they need to make a difference and act as citizen scientists. If we continue to invest in programs for young people, the leaders of tomorrow, we will not only make a significant contribution to the data collection efforts, but also address the skills shortages, highlighted in the report, that currently exist”, Forbes said.
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On this day, sixty years ago, world famous animal behavior expert and conservationist, Dr. Jane Goodall, founder of the Jane Goodall & UN Messenger of Peace, first stepped foot in what is now Gombe National Park to begin her pioneering study of the wild chimpanzees. Now, six decades later, having become recognized as Guinness World Records’ longest-running study of wild chimpanzees, and one of the longest-running studies of any wild mammal, Goodall’s research with the chimpanzees of Gombe continues to bring discoveries, spark innovation and instill hope.
In 1960, a young British woman arrived on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, Tanzania, for the first time. Without realizing it, she would soon change the world forever. Then twenty-six-year-old Goodall was tasked by her mentor Dr. Louis Leakey with being the first to formally observe and better understand our closest living relatives in the animal kingdom: wild chimpanzees. Goodall’s subsequent groundbreaking discoveries revealed remarkable truths about chimpanzee behavior and humankind.
Today, on July 14, 2020, the Jane Goodall Institute marks the 60th anniversary of Goodall’s research. As a trailblazing researcher, Goodall’s discoveries in Gombe and worldwide influence inspired generations across fields, breaking barriers in science and beyond. Dr. Goodall’s example and story spurred a global movement, encouraging scientific expansion and a significant increase in the number of women in STEM fields. Goodall’s living legacy continues to influence many different areas of science for millions of individuals, institutions, organizations, and beyond.
Through groundbreaking research in Gombe spanning 60 years, Goodall, the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI), and research partners from University of Minnesota, Duke University, University of Arizona and many others have uncovered incredible insights, forever redefining our understanding of human origins and our relationship to the rest of the animal kingdom. Goodall’s recorded observation that chimpanzees make and use tools is considered one of the greatest contributions of the 20th century.
From her early discoveries observing chimpanzee communities in the 1960s to the current descendants, detailed observations of the G, F, and other family lineages have yielded an incredible wealth of knowledge, including chimpanzee mother-infant bonds, compassion, emotionality, intelligence, social hierarchies, meat consumption and hunting, and even primitive warfare,. These insights have shaped not only public understanding of our unique likeness to our closest living relatives but also their innate value as sentient, complex beings, and the need to protect them. The impact of this unique place of discovery spans primate behavior, evolution, health, and ecology with the tremendous possibility for new and important findings.
Through critical work in Gombe and the larger Greater Gombe Ecosystem, Dr. Goodall and the Jane Goodall Institute have not only highlighted the urgent need to protect chimpanzees from extinction, they have also redefined “species conservation” to put human communities at the center. JGI’s innovative community-driven conservation approach, Tacare, utilized around Gombe, and across the chimpanzee range in Africa, is one of the world’s most significant examples of collaboration with local people for species conservation. Through this collaboration, the protection of vital great apes and habitats happens through local ownership of land-use and conservation planning, promoting community development that takes nature into consideration. Honoring 60 years of discovery, JGI is proud to showcase the revolutionary scientific discoveries, community-driven conservation, trailblazing legacy, and exciting future of our work in Gombe.
“It is so hard to believe we have reached this milestone,” said Goodall. “I am so deeply appreciative of all of the students, colleagues, other researchers, local communities, TANAPA, TAWIRI, and the Government of Tanzania and, most importantly, the chimpanzees of Gombe themselves, for helping us get here. Though the pandemic prevents us from marking the anniversary in person together, I look forward to joining with all 23 chapters of the Jane Goodall Institute and our friends over the next year in celebrating virtually, and hopefully one day again in person.”
“Every individual matters. Every individual has a role to play. Every individual makes a difference.”
— Dr. Jane Goodall
TO INSPIRE HOPE AND EMPOWER VIEWERS WORLDWIDE, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC COMMEMORATES THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF EARTH DAY WITH THE WORLD PREMIERE OF JANE GOODALL: THE HOPE
The Next Chapter of Dr. Jane Goodall’s Life’s Work Unfolds In JANE GOODALL: THE HOPE, Premiering Wednesday 22nd April, at 6.30pm on Nat Geo commercial free
In April 1970, millions of people around the world mobilised to demand protection of the planet we call home. That historic day gave birth to the modern environmental movement known as Earth Day, and 50 years later it’s become the planet’s largest civic event, with more than a billion people participating each year. On this momentous occasion, people worldwide would normally step outside to help clean up our planet, plant trees and restore the beauty of Earth. But this is not a normal year; this year is different — very different. While most of the world is stuck indoors, National Geographic is bringing the natural world inside to inspire hope and awe for the planet.
At a time when people around our interconnected world needs hope more than ever, National Geographic commemorates Earth Day with three global,emotionally evocative specials that inspire hope for our dynamic planet, love for its animal inhabitants and actions of stewardship for this generation and those to come.
Beginning at 6.30pm Wednesday April 22 on National Geographic, the two-hour documentary special JANE GOODALL: THE HOPE takes viewers through chapters of Dr. Goodall’s journey, highlighting how she inspires future generations.
Also premiering in Earth Week, join National Geographic Photographer Joel Sartore on his quest to photograph some of the animals in the world in PHOTO ARK: RAREST CREATURES (Tuesday April 22, 6.30pm).
Then following at 7.30pm (Tuesday April 22, AEST), peer behind the camera to see what it takes to capture wildlife in their natural habitat with National Geographic Explorers-in-Residence Beverly and Dereck Joubert in OKAVANGO: RIVER OF DREAMS – Divine Journeys.
“The need to protect our planet has never been more urgent, and we’re using Earth Day 50th as an opportunity to inspire viewers through the wonders of our planet and its incredible species for viewers around the world,” said Courteney Monroe, president, National Geographic Global Television Networks. “With the Earth Day takeover across all of our networks and platforms, we are able to reach the largest audience possible to celebrate this momentous day and ensure that viewers fall in love with our planet and act to protect it.”
National Geographic’s Earth Day event also features the very best of natural-history programming, including recent feature documentaries such as JANE and BEFORE THE FLOOD;and the spectacular Save this Rhino and Sea of Shadows.
ABOUT JANE GOODALL: THE HOPE (1×120)
Continuing the optimism of Earth Day is the two-hour documentary JANE GOODALL: THE HOPE, premiering at 6.30pm April 22 on National Geographic. The sweeping film highlights Dr. Goodall’s vast legacy of four decades, having transformed environmentalism, nonhuman animal welfare and conservation through her innovative approaches, and becoming a worldwide icon. This special depicts the formation of the Jane Goodall Institute’s (JGI’s) “Tacare” community centred conservation approach and Roots & Shoots youth-empowerment program; her remarkable advocacy and leadership on behalf of chimpanzees and humanity; and the next chapter for generations to come. This singular story is of one remarkable woman who not only hoped for a better world — she achieved it!
“Being out in the forest of Gombe, I had a great sense of spiritual awareness; I began to realise that everything is interconnected,” said Goodall. “Since then, every day, it’s become clearer that climate change is an existential threat to our natural world, and if we destroy this world, we destroy our own future. Each day, every single person has the chance to make an impact through small, thoughtful choices, and when billions of people make the right choices, we start to transform the world. Don’t give up; there’s always a way forward.”
Picking up where National Geographic Documentary Films’ 2017 award-winning JANE left off, the two-hour special follows Goodall throughout her constant travels, capturing her relentless commitment and determination to spread a message of hope. The film offers an intimate perspective of Goodall’s pivotal transformation from scientist to inspirational activist and leader in holistic conservation. Featuring an extensive collection of photographs and footage that spans more than seven decades, the documentary illustrates how her passion for wildlife and unshakable drive has persevered, making her one of the most important figures in wildlife conservation and someone who has galvanized future generations to create lasting change.
Expanding upon Goodall’s past and highlighting the ways in which she has changed the world, the film features The Duke of Sussex, Prince Harry, who has been a leader in conservation and global environmental issues, and presents exclusive interviews with James Baker, former U.S. secretary of state, who received the first JGI International Conservation Award for his work with chimpanzees. It also features interviews with Dr. Richard Wrangham, a professor of biological anthropology at Harvard University, who founded the Kibale Chimpanzee Project; Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), who championed for the retirement of all government research chimpanzees from the NIH after speaking with Goodall; world-famous Dr. Robert Gallo, co-founder and director of the Institute of Human Virology, who co-discovered HIV, the cause of AIDS, in 1984; and many others.
JANE GOODALL: THE HOPE is produced by Lucky 8 for National Geographic in partnership with Dr. Jane Goodall and the staff of JGI. For Lucky 8, executive producers are Kim Woodard, Greg Henry, George Kralovansky and Isaac Holub. The special is produced and directed by Kim Woodard and Elizabeth Leiter. For National Geographic, executive producer is Tracy Rudolph Jackson, senior vice president of development and production is Janet Han Vissering, and executive vice president of global unscripted entertainment is Geoff Daniels.
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About Dr. Jane Goodall and the Jane Goodall Institute
Full Title: Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, U.N. Messenger of Peace and Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute
From earliest childhood, Jane Goodall was fascinated by wildlife and Africa, inspired by the tales of Tarzan and Dr. Doolittle. In 1957, she pursued her dream and traveled to the Kenyan farm of a friend’s parents and met the famed anthropologist and palaeontologist Dr. Louis Leakey. In 1960, at his invitation, she began her landmark study of chimpanzee behaviour in what is now Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania. At age 26, her discovery that chimpanzees make and use tools shook the foundations of modern science, revolutionised the world of primatology and redefined the relationship between humans and the rest of the animal kingdom.
For over 40 years, she has been committed to using her voice to create positive change for people, other animals and the environment we share. As founder of the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) global conservation nonprofit and Roots & Shoots youth-empowerment program, author, advocate and public speaker, she travels an average 300 days per year sharing her reasons for hope and message that we can each make a difference to create a better world for all, every single day.
In 1977, she founded JGI to inspire hope through action around the world and for generations to come. JGI is a global community centred conservation organisation that advances Goodall’s vision and work. By protecting chimpanzees and other great apes through collaboration with local communities and the innovative use of science and technology, we improve the lives of people, other animals and the natural world we all share. JGI inspires hope through collective action and is growing the next generation of compassionate environmental stewards through its Roots & Shoots youth program, now active in 50 countries around the world.