TASIS England was privileged to host a visit by famed conservationist, primatologist, and UN Messenger of Peace Dr. Jane Goodall on March 2.
“Equipped with little more than a notebook, binoculars, and her fascination with wildlife, Jane Goodall braved a realm of unknowns to give the world a remarkable window into humankind’s closest living relatives. Through more than 50 years of groundbreaking work, Dr. Jane Goodall has not only shown us the urgent need to protect chimpanzees from extinction; she has also redefined species conservation to include the needs of local people and the environment. Today she travels the world, speaking about the threats facing chimpanzees and environmental crises, urging each of us to take action on behalf of all living things and planet we share.” – janegoodall.org
Dr. Jane Goodall delivered an inspiring presentation to our students, faculty, and parents yesterday in the Fleming Theatre. She talked about her personal journey, from a young inexperienced girl with a serious passion for protecting our environment and the animals that inhabit it, to become a trailblazer in the fields of conservation and primatology and a United Nations Messenger of Peace.
Dr. Goodall recounted memories of her earliest moments in Tanzania’s Gombe Forest, including her time living among chimpanzees and the special encounters she experienced there. “I was sitting in camp after weeks of studying a group of local chimps and suddenly one of the males came over to my table and took a banana. This was the first close interaction I experienced with the animals, and one that started a close bond with the chimpanzees. Needless to say, we brought a lot of bananas into camp from then onwards!”
She also talked about Roots & Shoots, the charity she established to inspire young people to be the change they want to see in our world. “Small actions can have huge ramifications for good, and the younger generations are the ambassadors the world needs after I have gone.”
To conclude her talk, Dr. Goodall discussed her current efforts and the work undertaken by her organizations. “We continue to work with local people in Africa and around the world to promote protection of the environment, and the welfare of people and animals. We find that through support and education, people just want to help us. It is truly wonderful to see.” She continues on her life’s journey, and spends up to 300 days of the year travelling far and wide, teaching and inspiring others to “be the change.”
After the presentation, students were eager to ask questions, including:
“Do you still visit the chimpanzees in Gombe?”
“Did you ever feel like giving up when faced with challenges?”
“What is your favorite memory from your initial visit to Africa?”
“Who has inspired you the most?”
About Dr. Jane Goodall:
When Jane Goodall entered the forest of Gombe in the sixties, the world knew very little about chimpanzees, and even less about their unique genetic kinship to humans. She took an unorthodox approach in her field research, immersing herself in their habitat and their lives to experience their complex society as a neighbor rather than a distant observer. She came to understand them not only as a species, but also as individuals with emotions and long-term bonds. Dr. Goodall’s discovery in 1960 that chimpanzees make and use tools is considered one of the greatest achievements of twentieth-century scholarship. Her field research at Gombe transformed our understanding of chimpanzees, and redefined the relationship between humans and animals in ways that continue to emanate around the world.
Today, Dr. Jane Goodall travels around the world, writing, speaking, and spreading hope through action, encouraging each of us to “use the gift of our life to make the world a better place.” As a conservationist, humanitarian, and crusader for the ethical treatment of animals, she is a global force for compassion and a UN Messenger of Peace.