An introduction to Dr Jane.

Founder. Activist. Icon

In July 1960, at the age of 26, Jane Goodall journeyed from England to what is now Tanzania, embarking on an exploration of the little-known realm of wild chimpanzees

Armed with little more than a notebook, binoculars, and her fascination with wildlife, Jane Goodall courageously delved into a world of unknowns, providing the world with a remarkable insight into humankind’s closest living relatives. Through over 60 years of pioneering work, Dr. Jane Goodall has not only emphasised the critical need to protect chimpanzees from extinction but has also redefined species conservation to encompass the needs of local communities and the environment. Today, she traverses the globe, addressing the threats facing chimpanzees and environmental crises, urging each of us to take action on behalf of all living things and the planet we share.

When Jane Goodall entered the Gombe forest, the world possessed scant knowledge about chimpanzees, and even less about their unique genetic connection to humans. Employing an unconventional approach to field research, she immersed herself in their habitat, experiencing their intricate society as a neighbour rather than a distant observer. Understanding them not merely as a species but as individuals with emotions and enduring bonds, Dr. Jane Goodall’s groundbreaking discovery in 1960 that chimpanzees make and use tools is regarded as one of the greatest achievements of twentieth-century scholarship. Her field research at Gombe revolutionized our comprehension of chimpanzees and reshaped the relationship between humans and animals, leaving a lasting impact worldwide.

On the journey to becoming the world’s foremost ethologist and environmentalist, Dr. Jane Goodall played a pivotal role in redefining conservation. In 1977, she established the Jane Goodall Institute to support Gombe’s research and expand efforts to safeguard chimpanzees and their habitats. By the late 1980s, it became evident that Gombe was just a part of the solution to a broader, rapidly escalating issue of deforestation and diminishing chimpanzee populations across Africa.

Recognising the crucial role of local communities in chimpanzee protection, she advocated for a conservation approach that acknowledges the central role people play in animal and habitat well-being. In 1991, upon hearing the concerns of a group of young people, she invited them to co-found Roots & Shoots, a program now engaging some 1.5 million youth in over 60 countries to nurture an informed generation of conservation leaders urgently needed in our world.

Today, Dr. Jane Goodall travels globally, writing, speaking, and inspiring 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 advocate for the ethical treatment of animals, she stands as a global force for compassion and serves as a UN Messenger of Peace.

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