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Jane Goodall declared 2009 Year of the Gorilla Patron

"Renowned primatologist Jane Goodall, founder of Jane Goodall Institute (JGI), has been named to serve as the official patron of the 2009 Year of the Gorilla (YoG), a twelve month campaign aimed at improving conservation of humankind’s closest relatives and their habitats by bettering the livelihoods and incomes of local people."

HNF Desk : December 9, 2008

Jane Goodall

Renowned primatologist Jane Goodall, founder of Jane Goodall Institute (JGI), has been declared the official patron of the 2009 Year of the Gorilla (YoG), a twelve month campaign aimed at improving conservation of humankind’s closest relatives and their habitats by bettering the livelihoods and incomes of local people. The YoG initiative has been launched by Prince Albert II of Monaco on December 1 at the opening of a United Nations wildlife conference in Rome, Italy.

YoG is a joint initiative of the United Nations Environment Program’s Convention on Migratory Species (UNEP-CMS), the UNEP-United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Great Ape Survival Partnership (GRASP) and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA).

Gorilla

The YoG campaign also aims to improve the management of national and cross-border primate population, as well as those living in national parks, by strengthening cooperation between range states and providing improved support for rangers and other key personnel.

As Dr. Goodall, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) and a UN Messenger of Peace, was in Asia at the time of the YoG launch, her statement was read in her absence wherein she emphasized upon the impact of human poverty on the great apes.

“People living in and around the last forested areas are struggling to survive," said Dr. Goodall. “If we can’t help these people find ways of living that do not involve continual destruction of the forest, we shall fail in our efforts to protect these wonderful great apes—our closest living relatives."

Dr. Goodall also underlined the importance of community-centered conservation efforts like those detailed in the YoG action plan and those currently managed by JGI in Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). JGI’s TACARE program, which is active in 24 Tanzanian villages around Gombe National Park, involves health care projects, forestry protection, training in sustainable farming methods, forest regeneration, water and sanitation projects, women’s initiatives, micro-credit programs and education. As a result of the program, local people have partnered with JGI to put aside land for forest restoration and to protect the remaining forest, which is home to many species including endangered chimpanzees.

As to Dr. Goodall, “these initiatives benefit more than the great apes. They help prevent the spread of contagious disease. They reduce poverty and protect forests. And they help slow global climate change. Finally, in areas where there is competition for diminishing natural resources with potential for violence, programs of this kind add to the security of the region." 

Dr. Goodall’s pioneering research of chimpanzee behavior has transformed scientific perceptions of the man-animal relationship. Her JGI has made itself the global leader in the efforts to protect chimpanzees and their habitats. It's also widely recognized for establishing innovative community-centered conservation and development programs in Africa, and the Roots & Shoots global environmental and humanitarian youth program that has a presence through its groups in almost 100 countries.

 

 

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