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Celebrate International Women’s Day: Meet Zara Bending

This week we’re celebrating just a few of the thousands of incredible woman who make up the Jane Goodall Institute Australia (JGIA) family – and beyond!

After yesterday’s starter with Roots & Shoots Tasmania Coordinator, Vineeta, today we introduce you to policy powerhouse Zara Bending.

Fighter for wildlife, award-winning lecturer, passionate animal activist, prolific published writer and volunteer Board Director of the Jane Goodall Institute Australia. Zara wears many complimentary, and connected, hats.

Born in Western Sydney, Zara is the dedicated, deeply knowledgeable lead of the Jane Institute’s global Forever Wild campaign – fighting wildlife trafficking worldwide of all species. An award-winning lecturer and associate at the Centre for Environmental Law at Macquarie University, Zara’s biggest passion is protecting wildlife. A recognised expert on illegal wildlife trade, Zara serves in criminal proceedings, parliamentary inquiries, campaigning and activism – to stop our fellow earthlings be commodified, hunted to extinction and abused.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you? And why do you think it’s still important?

International Women’s Day is an opportunity for women and our allies to acknowledge all we have achieved towards gender equality, despite near insurmountable odds and just how far we still need to push. For me it comes down to celebrating three R’s: resilience, resistance and representation.

How did you get involved with JGIA?

I joined the JGIA Board in 2015 and now also work with JGI-Global as an expert on illegal wildlife trade. What stood out for me was how strongly inclusion featured in the position advert. Once joining, one of the first things I worked on was formalising our Equal Employment Opportunity Policy with then CEO Nancy Moloney.

What qualities and attributes of Jane keep you motivated?

Jane is many things to many people, but for me it’s her work ethic, compassion for all life on Earth, intellect (I still get butterflies when I see her track changes on a document!) and ability to move people to action that keeps me on-task.

Help create hope for endangered wildlife. Donate today >>

For you, what are the most vital issues facing women – and our entire planet – today?

So many of the ills facing our planet could be solved if we promote women’s autonomy and self-determination: reproductive health and rights, equal access to education and employment, freedom from gender-based violence – including forced marriage. Women are disproportionately impacted by climate change, economic downturn and all the existential crises bearing down on our species.

What advice would you give 10-year-old you with hindsight?

If you want to be successful in anything, failing is part of the process (or, ‘first attempt’ as we say in learning). Be brave, learn from your mistakes, be kind to others and yourself, and when you fail, just try to fail forwards, not backwards.

What is your key message to other women with similar goals?

Our planet, and all the various forms of life with whom we share it, requires more from us to survive – let alone thrive. When 50% of our species are arbitrarily and systemically disenfranchised, we deny everyone the chance at a future with less suffering and greater prosperity. The fight for gender equality is a fight for our collective future. So, anytime the world taunts you to “fight like a girl”, take the invitation and show them. #ChooseToChallenge.

Empower more incredible leaders like Zara: join our donor community >>

Further Reading:

Celebrate International Women’s Day: Meet Vineeta Gupta

Our famous founder is one of many bold, brilliant, game-changing women at the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI). From the youngest Roots & Shoots members to our global CEO, we are very lucky to have countless curious, compassionate female leaders among us. All courageously committed to creating hope in their communities for the future of our interconnected earth.

Here in Australia we have some particularly inspiring local legends. As we celebrate International Women’s Day together with our global family, this week we will showcase five of them – all tirelessly working towards this year’s theme to #BreakTheBias for a more diverse, equitable and inclusive world. (We could easily have made it fifty).

From leading-edge scientists to social-justice campaigners, global law-transformers to political powerhouses, we hope you are as inspired reading about them – as we are working with them. So, let’s begin.

Vineeta Gupta: Microbiologist, Climate Leader, Campaigner & Organiser 

Vineeta, or Vini, is vital in growing our Roots & Shoots youth empowerment program across Australia.

Currently the State Coordinator for Tasmania, Vini is growing our movement down south to build a community of young, empowered change makers of hope. 100% voluntarily, she’s driven by her own deep passion for environmentalism, alongside studying Microbiology at the University of Tasmania, working as a researcher and campaigning with the Australian Youth Climate Coalition plus she’s Climate Reality Leader.

Previously Vini was part of our dynamic National Youth Leadership Council training program. Every year we recruit a collective of incredible young people to learn skills, gain confidence, build networks and develop direction as future environmental leaders. As an engaged, enterprising member she was offered the long-term oppurtunitiy to build Roots & Shoots in Tasmania.

Empower more young women like Vini: donate today >>

Vini has a keen interest in the cross-pollination of environmental advocacy with social justice, particularly the intersectional relationships between the environmental crisis and social inequality. In less than a year she helped host film festivals, co-developed the wellbeing program Return To Nature, increased the number of grants for Roots & Shoots projects and is now leading an ambitious advocacy campaign raising awareness about destructive Fast Fashion impacts – on animals, people and environment.

She believes that our environment is an integral part of our social well-being, and that we must do everything we can to conserve it. On days she hopes to inspire people in the same way as Dr Jane some day.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you? And why do you think it’s important?

Vini and a colleague carrying out research as part of her Microbiology major at University of Tasmania
Vini and a colleague carrying out research as part of her Microbiology major at University of Tasmania

International Women’s Day is a time of celebrating the women of our planet and letting them know that ‘they are enough’. You don’t have to be a CEO or martial arts black belt to be a strong, independent woman. You are all you ever need to be.

It’s a time to celebrate the achievements women have made around the world, starting with acknowledging our own. We often forget how important we are as individuals.

Yet, it is also a time to acknowledge that gender inequality is not something of the past. Regardless of where you live or what you do, whether you’re a female worker in the cotton industry or work in Parliament House, gender inequality chases women of all walks of life – even today.

Our earth needs you: give to keep Jane’s hope alive >>

International Women’s Day is a time of celebration, but also a time for us to look forward and assess what needs to be done to ensure a truly gender equal society.

This isn’t something only women should be thinking about; men need to stand in solidarity with women to create a future where gender inequality is truly something of the past.

Who are your top three female inspirations and why?

The three most important women in my life are:

Vini with her mum, while celebrating her parents' 25th wedding anniversary
Vini with her mum, while celebrating her parents’ 25th wedding anniversary

My Mum.

She was the first female role model I had. She’s compassionate, caring, holds her ground and manages work-life balance with an ease I have yet to master.

Dr Marie Curie

She inspired me to pursue STEM and reminds me everyday that women can excel in any field they persue – male dominated or not. And to never give up on our dreams.

Being the 1st person to have won the Nobel Prize twice, she proved that women can be at the forefront of accomplishments and be the first at achieving something unachievable.

Dr Jane Goodall.

Jane inspires me to be hopeful everyday in a world where hope can be difficult to find. She inspires me to get up and take action for what I believe in – whether that be social and climate justice, or creating a world that’s better for those to come – for, as she says: “the greatest danger to our future is apathy.”

Help young leaders: Join The Hope our donor community >>

What advice would you give to a 10-year-old with hindsight?

Let your imagination go crazy and know that as a woman you can also soar. No matter what you decide to do, always remember that you are enough and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

There’s no such thing as a woman’s job or a man’s job, all jobs are equal.

Remember to always do what brings you joy and instills you with hope.

What is your key message to other women with similar goals this IWD?

In a time of such uncertainty, it can be difficult to focus on our goals and aspirations, particularly justice focused aspirations.

Like myself I’m sure there are others who wake up thinking what’s the point of trying and trying again when all we face is failure to be heard and taken seriously. But always remember, if we can inspire one other person to care, then one day, we’ll have inspired the world.


Be a part of Vini’s work: join Roots & Shoots Tasmania’s Facebook Group or email

Jane’s World Wildlife Day message: “We are part of and depend on the natural world”

“We must face the shocking fact that we’re living through the sixth great extinction in the history of life on planet Earth.

“Fortunately we’re beginning to tackle the problems that we’ve created. We’re beginning to use our extraordinary intellect to put things right. People are waking up and realising that if we don’t take action to protect and restore biodiversity we’re doomed.

“It’s not too late…”

Dr. Jane Goodall shares her message for UN World Wildlife Day 2022. As we face the sixth great extinction, we not only recognise the tremendous loss of biodiversity – but also incredible individuals of these species. Dr. Goodall underscores the innate value and amazing beauty of global wildlife, as well as the urgent need to protect individuals and species, before they’re gone forever.

Help plant hope for generations to come!

Join our VIP donor community >>
Or make a one off donation >>

Statement: Dr. Jane Goodall on the Ukraine crisis

“I Jane Goodall, stand with the brave President and his people of Ukraine as they fight so courageously, and with such determination, to protect their homes, families and country from unprovoked aggression.”

~ Jane Goodall, DBE

Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute shares her thoughts on the conflict in Ukraine.

In an official statement and video, Jane underscores the importance of the indomitable human spirit and the people who are the “helpers,” creating a community spirit that ensure that we overcome the worst of times. She sends her support and reminder that the good of humanity will prevail.

“This is what makes us human. This indomitable spirit that rises above disaster, that rises above despair.”

“My heart is with those in the Ukraine.”

JGI Global stands for understanding and peaceful resolution of conflicts and all of our thoughts are with the people of Ukraine and anyone affected. We will continue to share information to share to the network as and when we receive it.

Wildlife Crime: Malawi joins Angola, Costa Rica and Gabon in calling for a new agreement

By Zara Bending, Board Director, JGIA​​​​​​

The President of the Republic of Malawi, H. E. Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera has issued a statement joining AngolaCosta Rica and Gabon in calling for an additional Protocol under the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime (UNTOC) on preventing and combating illicit wildlife trafficking:

“Malawi is determined to sustain its global reputation as a bastion and haven of flora and fauna diversity, as well as its impressive track record of tackling the illicit trade of ivory, for which it has been recognised internationally.”

“We can no longer stand by as we witness the destruction of our nation’s natural heritage. I therefore proudly support the call to action of President Ali Bongo Ondimba, President Carlos Alvarado Quesada and President Joao Lourenco and urge other countries to do the same.”

In response to the President’s statement, John Scanlon AO, Chair of The Global Initiative to End Wildlife Crime (EWC), commended Malawi’s extraordinary environmental leadership, describing the Southern African country “as a global leader in wildlife conservation and in tackling illicit wildlife trafficking”.

“The EWC Initiative offers its full support to Malawi in advancing its calls for an additional protocol.”

“Malawi continues to demonstrate strong leadership in combating wildlife trafficking. As a founding steering group member of the Global Initiative to End Wildlife Crime, the ICCF Group commends President Chakwera’s endorsement of a new international agreement” added Susan Herman Lylis, Executive Vice President of the ICCF Group.

The Jane Goodall Institute Global (JGIG) is a proud International Champion of the Global Initiative to End Wildlife Crime. JGIG representative to the Initiative, Zara Bending, underscored the following upon Malawi’s announcement:

“We and our fellow EWC International Champions know that wildlife crime is a global problem requiring global collaboration to prevent and combat its reach. That collaboration, however, needs to be coordinated within an appropriate legal framework that is fit-for-purpose. We ardently support a Protocol to UNTOC as the best path forward. If adopted, the Protocol would be the fourth to UNTOC – the others concerning human trafficking, migrant smuggling, and illegal manufacturing and trafficking in firearms.”

Despite numerous calls, transnational, organised wildlife crime is not treated as a priority in most nations – with biodiverse-rich source countries being the most seriously impacted. Angola, Costa Rica and Gabon and Malawi have invited other States to align with them in sending an unequivocal message of the devastating scale, nature and consequences of wildlife crime to communities, ecosystems and wildlife, and of the need to scale up global cooperative efforts to combat and prevent them.

To find out more about a proposed UNTOC Protocol, available in several languages, head to and be sure to listen to Jane’s Hopecast episode with EWC Chair, John Scanlon.

Image cre:

Top: A pile of tusks awaiting destruction in Kenya. The tusks – from about 8,000 elephants – would be worth more than $105 million on the black market. Conservationists worry that there is a a real threat of elephants becoming extinct in the next 50 years because of poaching bankrolled by the illegal trade in ivory. Photo: Paul Hilton

Middle: Zara Bending leads JGIG’s End Wildlife Crime campaign. She is an award-winning lecturer and internationally published researcher specialising in criminal, environmental and medical law.

New animated film by Dr. Jane Goodall: Wounda, a Story of Hope

Wounda is one of Jane Goodall Institute’s most famous success stories. Her grateful tight hug of Jane after being released into the wild, has inspired millions as the clip is shared continuously worldwide.

But, what happened to Wounda before her release? Why did she need the help of our Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre?

In a gorgeous new animated film, created by our Spanish colleagues with Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA), Jane tells this very real story from her own life – dedicated to endangered chimps for over 60 years. Wounda, a Story of Hope reminds us that all beings are connected. It invites us to imagine and work together for a more sustainable future. So that, as Jane reminds us: “We should not forget that every day, through our actions, each one of us can make a difference.”

Help more endangered chimps like Wounda. Become a Chimp Guardian today >>

Written and narrated by Jane, Wounda, a Story of Hope is the second title from a series by Aprendemos juntos original content aimed especially at captivating children and a young audience.

Help give health, happiness and freedom to more chimps like Wounda. Join our our Chimp Guardian sponsor program, and you’ll directly fund our Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation and Rescue Centre.

With your generosity many more traumatised, injured and orphaned baby chimps – just like Wounda – can have the long, peaceful life they deserve >>


With many huge thanks to the creative and production teams behind this wonderful film:

Jaime Bisbal, Ana Gómez, Cristina Villarroya & Garazi Emaldi

General Direction: David Amo, Gonzalo Madrid
Executive Direction: Kike Nimo, Miguel Ángel Expósito
Creative Direction: David Amo, Coque Jaramillo & 1st Ave Machine
Pedagogical Coordination: Víctor Blanco
Social media content coordinator: Juan Luis Ocampos
Executive production: Quique Infante, Raúl Barroso
Graphic Art Direction: AXT, Txuma Campos
Production: Noël Pruzzo, Germán Picazo
Directing narration Jane Goodall: Ben Gordon, Kike Bello
Technical means: Mad Dogs TV, Pro Studio Hire
Video Post Production : David Castañón
Audio Post Production : Mr Peaks
Original Soundtrack: Jon Aguirrezabalaga
Jane Goodall’s spanish voice: Luisa Ezquerra
Digital Strategy: Ícaro Moyano
Media manager: Alejandro Giménez
Social media: Beatriz de Vera, Braulio García
Translation and subtitling: BBO

And the collaboration of the Jane Goodall Institute:
Fede Bogdanowicz, Laura Mari Barrajón, Mary Lewis & Erika Helms.

Roots & Shoots’ Kya King, 12, crowned Environment Minister’s Young Climate Champion

Minister’s Young Climate Champion of 2021, Kya King with NSW Environment Minister and Treasurer, Matt Kean, MP.

Kya King, Roots & Shoots NSW member, has won the prestigious Minister’s Young Climate Champion title for her 2020 Mini Grants project of a bushfire recovery seed bank.

Treasurer and Environment Minister, Matt Kean, presented King with her prize at a ceremony in Sydney on 9 December, as part of the inaugural NSW Sustainability Awards produced by Banksia. The Young Climate Champion program recognises the next generation of environmental champions and climate-conscious innovators under 18, taking action into their own hands. “It is so inspiring to see young people like Kya stepping up and making a difference in their local community,” said Kean.

King was one of three finalists invited to attend the Banksia Awards at the offices of EY which also recognised outstanding contributions in a range of categories including Clean Technology, Biodiversity and Future Cities.

Kya’s winning project was a seed bank established to distribute native trees to community members on the south coast of NSW, hit hard by the Black Summer Bushfires. The judges were impressed by the ingenuity and passion Kya demonstrated. Kya was nominated for the prize with the help of K-lynn Smith, Roots & Shoots NSW State Coordinator.

Kya submitted her project idea through the Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots Mini Grants program securing a small grant to kick off the project. Jane Goodall Institute Australia CEO, James Forbes said that seeing not just Kya’s project but dozens like it across Australia in the wake of the bushfires and during a pandemic, was inspiring.

“Young people are truly a force of nature when they see a problem that needs solving. We are so proud of Kya’s success in this, but also of young people all over Australia who are stepping up to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time like climate change and biodiversity loss.

About Kya and her Roots & Shoots Mini Grant winning project

Kya is a remarkable 11-year-old. She witnessed firsthand the devastating effects of the 2019-2020 bushfires on people and animals. She used to see kangaroos and birds in her yard. The bush was so thick, she couldn’t even see through it. It was a perfect habitat for the native animals. After the fires, the hills were black and there was little food or shelter for the animals. She also felt compassion for the people who lost everything, even their own vegetable gardens.

With the support of her mother Amy Fazl, Kya created a plan to help her local neighbourhood recover from the bushfires. She applied for and received a Roots and Shoots Mini Grant in 2020 to grow native shrubs and flowers, as well as vegetables, to begin to replace what was lost to the fires.

Her first step was to research native shrub and tree species for the area around Sussex Inlet, NSW where she lives. Using the Roots and Shoots funds she purchased seeds and soil in order to propagate the plants.

They grew very well and by the end of the project she had distributed over 150 plants native to people in the local neighbourhood. In addition to the native plants, she also gave away nearly 500 herbs, pollinator seeds, and vegetables plants. These were planted in community members’ gardens around Sussex Inlet and in the community run garden.

In addition to providing new food and homes for the local animals, the project helped to lift the spirits of people who had suffered so much.

Winning the Mini Grant also positively impacted Kya’s life. Kya is on the spectrum and has been diagnosed with Tourette syndrome. Her mother commented on how the grant gave Kya the opportunity to embrace her passion for helping people and for caring for the environment. Kya learned new skills and hopes to be able to do more to help her community in the future.

Congratulations on your highly deserved win Kya! You truly embody the spirit of Jane Goodall’s Roots and Shoots. It is an enormous credit to the passion and determination of young people like Kya that gives us hope for the future!

Special thanks to Joanne and William of the Une Parkinson Foundation who have made this program possible at all. As well as the JGIA family: that a Roots & Shoots project has received such a high-status award is recognition not just of Kya’s great work but also the great work done by the Roots & Shoots State Coordinators across Australia, plus the whole team, in promoting this program with schools and communities. | Back to JGIA news >>

Meet the team: Robyn Hittmann, Supporter Services Superhero!

Robyn Hittmann is an absolutely treasure for the Jane Goodall Institute Australia (JGIA), as the fantastic communicator who looks after supporter services and much more as our Admin Coordinator.

A former Executive Assistant in Oncology, Robyn has focused recent years on her deep love of wildlife. She’s volunteered in sanctuaries in Thailand, Cambodia and Laos, plus wildlife rescue in NSW. She’s studied Animal Care Biology (Zookeepers Elective) and currently working through Captive Vertebrate Management via the Charles Sturt University. As well as volunteering with JGIA, Robyn also works part time with a veterinary consultancy.

The first point of contact often at JGIA, Robyn manages your queries with polite, swift aplomb – from donors to volunteers, teachers to TV stations, complaints to glowing praise. The team are incredibly thankful for her ongoing support and professionalism, driven by her deep love for animals, so want to show our gratitude with some words about our bear champion!

What would you say to someone thinking about volunteering, but doesn’t know how to start?

“Take time to think about what you are able to offer an organisation with the skills you have. These skills could vary greatly from person to person, but all are valuable. One person may be accomplished in connecting with people. Another best at operational tasks. Also take into account the possible need of an organisation, where your skills could be used to their best advantage. Think about where your passion in life lies. If you follow your passion you will be greatly motivated to continue your volunteer work.

“Once you are clear on what you would like to do, then contact an organisation where you would like to volunteer. Put your details on their mailing list and check regularly for updates for when they may be looking for volunteers for a specific reason. The skills learnt while volunteering can also open up avenues of employment in the future.

“If accepted as a volunteer in any capacity, it is good to remember that you must be as reliable as a paid employee. Reliability to the tasks you may be allocated is important as the organisation will be relying on you to complete work requested of you.”

Image: Volunteering in Thai wildlife sanctuaries, by Robyn Hittman
Image: Volunteering in Thai wildlife sanctuaries, by Robyn Hittmann

How did you first find out about JGIA and what made you want to volunteer

“I have followed the work of Jane Goodall for many years and also received email updates on the work carried out by the Jane Goodall Institute. As my passion for many years has been working for animals, I felt I could offer my administrative skills to JGIA. With my background knowledge following previous study in the areas of captive vertebrate management and zoo-keeping, I also believed I could be of benefit. Although not working directly with animals, volunteering in a clerical capacity has allowed me to still feel I am making a difference.”

How and when do you feel most connected to nature?

“When working to improve the lives of animals in sanctuaries. These animals, through no fault of their own are not able to return to the wild – because of interference by man. We owe animals a good life – as close as possible to what would be their normal lifestyle.”

What are the most valuable lessons and skills volunteering has given you?

“Volunteering opens up a whole different world to the volunteer with diverse opportunities to learn and extend yourself. The volunteer is in a position to learn from the work they are doing. The volunteer is able to meet a diverse range of people with similar or the same interests.

“It is also great to feel part of a team and feel included in a like-minded group. This is something you can miss when not in a workplace setting. It really is a privilege to be accepted into an organisation on a voluntary basis and be able to use skills built up over years of experience to further the organisation’s cause. By giving, you also receive back ten fold.”

Volunteering in wildlife sanctuaries - by Robyn Hittman

What drives you in your daily life?

“While taking time to ‘stop and smell the roses’ which is very important, I am always conscious of any animal welfare issues that arise and keep abreast of issues through membership of animal welfare organisations. I hope to stand up for animal welfare issues wherever possible. I also always hope to extend myself and continue to learn. I have worked with many high achievers and they have motivated me to never stop learning.”

How does Jane inspire you?

“Jane inspires me as she can analyse situations and work outside the square. Not only has Jane made incredible inroads with the study, rehabilitation and conservation of chimpanzees, Jane has also realised the importance of working with communities that will be impacted by the work to conserve chimp populations. By engaging the local communities this has led to a greater respect plus a completely different outlook for the environment and animals by these communities. Jane’s work has also contributed to employment of people in the local communities and assisted young women to further their education.

Volunteering in wildlife sanctuaries - by Robyn Hittman

“Jane has also opened up and guaranteed the future by starting the Roots & Shoots movement which is now a global concept. This will ensure that the younger generation will appreciate and work towards conserving nature and the environment.

“Jane, with her quiet but determined attitude, can turn a problem around and tackle it from a different direction. With great knowledge and empathy she has been able to achieve so much.”

Why did you choose to volunteer for JGIA?

“Knowing the valuable work carried out by JGI throughout the world, and being impressed by the energy and passion of the work carried out by the organisation, I looked upon being accepted as a volunteer as a privilege.”

What is your favourite animal and why?

Bears safe in sanctuary, Cambodia - by Robyn Hittman
Bears sanctuary, Cambodia, by Robyn Hittmann

“I would have to say bears having worked with bears in Asia, and seeing their resilience, strength and tenacity to survive and thrive, even under the worst circumstances. These qualities shine through – something we could all learn from! They are also very forgiving animals after being treated so badly in so many ways by man. They show great resilience and determination to survive.”

Where is your favourite place?

“One of my favourite places is a sanctuary in Thailand where I worked as a volunteer. We were awoken before dawn by the calls of the gibbons filtering through the tree tops. The volunteers were all stiff and sore from working throughout the previous days, but in darkness just before the early morning light, there was never a complaint murmured. Everyone knew their allotted tasks and quietly went about assisting the animals in their care. It made me think that these true acts of kindness, so readily given, were like pieces of gold shining through the dust of hurt and despair that had once been placed upon the animals before finding safety in the sanctuary. A wonderful, inspiring place.”

Robyn's favourite animal in Cambodia - by Robyn Hittman
Robyn’s favourite animal in Cambodia

How long have you been volunteering with JGIA.

“Just on 12 months. I commenced working in a clerical capacity around August 2019 after reading a shout out for volunteers during this time.”

What is your favourite part of volunteering?

“Learning and expanding my knowledge – and hopefully being of assistance. Volunteering with JGIA has opened a number of doors for me – not only the wonderful people I have been in contact with or e-met, but also being able to further my knowledge in so many areas by way of webinars etc.”

Why is conservation important to you?

“We have already lost many species of insects and animals due to the destruction of their habitat. We must keep areas of the environment for nature to thrive. The loss of even the smallest species of insect can reflect on nature in so many ways. Nature has evolved where one is dependent on the other for survival and we must strive to keep this balance. The environment must be kept for future generations to respect and enjoy.”

What would you like your legacy to be?

“For others to see, through me, the respect and love for all animal life. Not by what I say, but by what I do, my actions and how my day-to-day life is carried out. All forms of life should be respected – we cannot simply turn our backs when we see a wrong carried out or animals badly treated. We must have the courage to take a stand for animals that are not able to speak for themselves.

“Planting small seeds of thought in people’s minds can be very powerful and can help to change their course of thinking, way of life and beliefs.”

Jane is known for spreading her message of hope. What are you hopeful for?

“That the younger generation will appreciate the value of the environment and all nature and learn the true value of kindness.”

Are you interested in volunteering – even just an hour or two a week? JGIA always appreciate any skills you can share! For more information please tell us more about yourself and what you’d like to offer by emailing – and our wonderful Robyn will get back to you.

A deep love for nature is why Robyn volunteers - by Robyn Hittman
A deep love for nature and animals is why Robyn volunteers

Roots & Shoots is turning 30!

Join us in celebrating 30 years of Roots & Shoots by taking on the issues that matter most as part of a massive movement of compassionate changemakers, just like you! Roots & Shoots inspires young people to believe in their own voice and abilities, growing connections, and respect across all identities.

What is Roots & Shoots?

Young people are not just the future, they are the present and are shaping tomorrow, today. As we face the greatest challenges of our lifetime, disease, existential threats like the Climate Crisis, the Sixth Great Extinction, disease, prejudice and violence, young people in Roots & Shoots are not only resilient, but they are also tackling these issues head on by innovating and turning hope into action across every continent.

In 2021, we celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots, a program of the Jane Goodall Institute. Roots & Shoots inspires young people to believe in their own voice and abilities, growing connections and respect across all forms of identity and experience. As we reflect on the global impact of this extraordinary and singular youth movement, we look to the horizon and continue to empower the young people creating the roadmap of a better future for all.

Jane-with-Kids | Roots and Shoots Australia

The Story

It all began on Jane Goodall’s front porch in Tanzania, when a group of students told her they felt powerless thinking about the problems all around them. Jane encouraged them to use their voices and ideas to address the issues they saw, head on. Roots & Shoots was born. Today, Roots & Shoots is a world-wide movement of thousands of passionate young people making big impacts – and it continues to grow. Whether it’s natural disasters, homelessness, pollution or even climate change, Roots & Shoots youth are taking on challenges and creating real positive change across the globe.

Roots & Shoots youth have been changing the face of change for 30 years, by following Jane Goodall’s example of being bold, kind, and doing good every single day. Across every continent, in over 65 countries worldwide, the Roots & Shoots movement includes hundreds of thousands of individuals and world-changing projects for people, other animals, and the planet we share ranging from taking on homelessness, climate change, biodiversity loss, injustice, and pollution while changing legislation, convincing corporations to make sustainable change, and inspiring even more people to take action.

The Future

As the Roots & Shoots youth movement grows to the millions, it’s making big impact through the power of every individual to make a difference, and the collective power of individuals. Recognized by the World Health Organisation and the United Nations as an innovative and effective way of engaging youth, Roots & Shoots gives everyone a way to make a difference in their own way, every day.

Roots & Shoots changemakers have already done incredible things over the last 30 years, already changing the world! But this year is going to be HUGE: this is your chance to be part of something extraordinary and help create the roadmap of a better future for all. Join us as we do 30,000 projects making a difference for people, animals and the environment in 2021 and beyond!

Watch Dr. Jane Goodall’s message to launch our 30th Anniversary celebrations: | #HopeActChange #RootsandShoots30


A scientist turned global activist and an internationally acclaimed rockstar walk into a podcast…This is episode 2 of the Jane Goodall Hopecast! (check out episode one here).

Dr. Jane Goodall and Dave Matthews have been friends for many years (having shared many a good talks over whiskey), and though they may seem an unlikely pair, their admiration and respect for one another is easy to hear in this lovely exchange of two phenoms. What they see in one another is a mutual conviction to use their innate abilities – storytelling and music, respectively – to connect people across identities, and inspire action on behalf of essential issues like animal welfare, the climate crisis, conservation, and human rights.

This provocative talk takes you inside this precious friendship and the story of how each of us can use our own abilities, whatever they may be, to make a positive difference every single day:

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Dave Matthews and Dr. Jane Goodall’s kindred passion for wildlife and shared dedication to the planet has forged a close friendship between the two icons. In this intimate conversation, Dave talks about his childhood split between South Africa and the U.S. and explains how his scientist father and early experiences inspired much of his appreciation for nature and wildlife. Now an internationally acclaimed musician for over two decades, Dave uses his platform to spread awareness for environmental and conservation issues and to support organisations creating powerful impact, including the Jane Goodall Institute. The vibrancy and passion of their conversation is sparked by many difficult questions including: What are some of the biggest challenges we face in saving life on Earth and what can we each do about it?

At the End of the Rainbow: Stay to the end of the episode to hear a rare archival clip of Dave Matthews playing a tribute to Jane as she sits on stage with him.


Feel hopeful and inspired to act with the Jane Goodall Hopecast by subscribing on Apple podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Google podcasts, and anywhere podcasts are found. The Jane Goodall Hopecast is produced by the Jane Goodall Institute. Our production partner is FRQNCY Media. Michelle Khouri is our executive producer, Enna Garkusha is our producer, and Matthew Ernest Filler is our editor and sound designer. Our music is composed and performed by Ruth Mendelsohn with additional violin tracks from Angie Shear. Sound design and music composition for the Conservation chorus is by Matthew Ernest Filler.


Join us Hopecasters, you are reason for hope.

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BECOME AN OFFICIAL HOPECASTER: And that’s not all – the Jane Goodall Hopecast is a movement fueled by hope and driven by the action of each and every one of you, our Hopecasters. To keep hope alive and help transform it into real change, you have the opportunity to support the Jane Goodall Hopecast today! By becoming an official Hopecaster, you’ll get access to a special Hopecaster gift, early notice of new episodes, special discounts, and other exclusive podcast opportunities. Join us as a Hopecaster, making this podcast and movement possible as we get curious, grow compassion, and take action to build a brighter tomorrow.



JANE SPLASH: My maternal grandfather, sadly, I never met him, because he died before I was born. He was a congregational minister, and he had three brothers. They came from North Wales, which is the mountainous, beautiful area. I remember my mother telling me that when they were young, they used to go with him, and he took them out into the woods, because he wanted them to learn about nature. And she said, “When we came back, we will covered in bars, we were scratched and all the rest of it — he was immaculate.” And she said, “Jane, somehow you inherited that from him, because you can go through all these terrible places, and you emerge unscathed, and everybody else is covered in ticks and scratches and, and disheveled.” So I owe a lot to my family. Good genes came from my father’s side of the family, and some kind of indomitable spirit came from my mother’s side of the family.

CONSERVATION CHOIR INTRO: There are so many ways we can save our planet. What is there without a hope? I just want people to find empathy for all the species we share this planet with. I have so much hope! Can nature of bounce back? Earth is pretty special because– Jane Goodall made me believe in my own power– She devoted her life to this. Together we can! Together we will! What are your greatest reasons for hope? I’m Jane Goodall and this is the Hopecast

INTRO: Today, I’m excited to share with you a chat I had with one of my favourite people on the planet, Dave Matthews — or David, as I call him. I’ve known David for years and years. And what many people don’t know is that apart from being an iconic musician and singer, David is an avid wildlife-lover and conservationist. He often works to support conservation organisations, as well as animal sanctuaries, and shares my firm belief that there must be more empathy in science. I hope you’ll enjoy this hopeful conversation with Dave Matthews.

INTERVIEW: David, we first met in New York, right?
We were in New York, it was one of those things that I will never forget. It was a little bit of a frustrating day for me. It was that Live 8 concert. I guess what frustrated me was, it seemed like although it was singing about the environment, and it was promoting responsibility and promoting us — to be more aware of the state of our planet, it was excessive, and people were flying in on private planes. And it felt the opposite.

And then I saw you. And when I saw you, I thought, “Well, today is worth it.” And I’m not sure how long it took me to wipe the tears from my eyes and embrace you because you are one of my heroes from a very young age, and one of my inspirations. And my father also was a mad fan and my mother — we’re all mad fans, but I feel a particular love and attraction to you and all your work and gratitude for you. And so seeing you in the flesh just made me so excited. So — but I do remember that we embraced! And then I remember that when you went in front of the crowd of 60,000 people — that giant Stadium, right — that’s where we first met — you walked out in front of all those people, and more or less said, “I’m not accustomed to speaking to so many people.

So I will just greet you as a chimpanzee would greet a stranger.” And you proceeded to greet the crowd. And I have never heard an ovation like that in my life. The goosebumps all over my body just to be near that and to be in the presence of that. So I will never ever forget the day I met you. And the day I saw you rock the house of 65,000 people, that giant stadium.

JANE: Well, you know, David, I’ll never forget it either. And it was just fantastic to see you there. And I think I spoke first. And I suppose people are now wondering how I greeted the crowd. So I better demonstrate first, which is — enthusiastic chimpanzee sounds. “Me, Jane.” Yeah, yes, like that. I don’t know if you know how terrified I was. I was absolutely terrified. And you know, all my friends around the world were waiting to watch. And I don’t know if you ever knew this, but I was bumped off the airwaves by Madonna.

I heard about it afterwards, years later, I think. It was one of the most powerful moments of my life just to see that many people have their hearts opened by you.

And since that time, we’ve been on quite a great journey together, haven’t we?

DAVE: We’ve had so many amazing experiences, like — you and I have spent time together. And you’ve — I’ve been with you and followed you to places that have changed my life and given me hope. And you always have brought hope to me, just like you bring hope to millions of people around the world. And also, you inspire us to action, because that’s what we need not only to be hopeful, but also to take action — to make our hope something that’s real. And I watch you from afar. And I also appreciate thinking of you when I, when I feel overwhelmed by the greed that seems to consume all common sense in the world.

JANE: You grew up in South Africa, right?

DAVE: Sort of. I was born there. And then, America — my father was a scientist. And so, we came to the states when I was little, and then we went back to South Africa. So, I sort of — back and forth my whole life, when we were living in close-to-rural suburbs, outside New York. I mean, my dad would set up a bird hide, and he would sit in there for hours on Sunday when he wasn’t at work. And, you know, he would let us join him, but you have to be very quiet. And we will go on camping trips, and we would hike and, and, you know, I’m sure I was reluctant and whining, but my memory of it is much more beautiful than that.

And I think my love of wild places came from just being raised, raised in it. And, you know, the time we spent in South Africa — when I was young, and then when we moved back there after my father passed away when I was 12, in the middle in the late 70s — then we also continued to spend time, visiting wild places there and South Africa and Botswana, and just grew up loving being in places that weren’t too changed by human activity. But, of course, the older I got, the more I realised that many of those places were not what what they what they once had been, and, you know, not nearly to the extent that you have, but realising as I grew older, that these precious, few places that are left on the planet are under attack. And so it mobilised me in a way to make me think that whatever success I have, I should somehow devote to that side of the fight: the fight for our future and for our children. Because without a healthy, vibrant, varied, and embraced, and resilient planet, then we have no future. There’s no human being surviving a dead planet.

JANE: You know, when I first went to Africa, that was in 1957. Where were you then?

DAVE: In 1957, I was 10 years from landing on Earth.

JANE: Right? That’s right. You were 10 years pre-birth. And, you know, when I first went to Kenya, in 1957 — animals everywhere. When I got to Olduvai Gorge on the Serengeti — animals everywhere. When I first got to Gombe, where I’d studied the chimps — Gombe was part of a forest went right across to the West African coast. And there were buffaloes, and there were leopards, and, outside the park, there were lions and well — gone. All gone. And Gombe became a little island of forest surrounded by bare hills. So I’ve, I’ve lived 86 years on this planet, I’ve seen the change. When I was little, I used to set my alarm to hear the dawn chorus of the birds. But now, there’s a few species left, but mostly they’re gone. If you opened your window at night, the room was full of moths and other insects. Now I feel really excited if a moth comes in. One month! If I’m out sitting in the garden, and I get bitten by a mosquito, I’m excited, because we’ve pesticided them and fertilised them away. We’re harming this planet.

DAVE: Yeah, at such a rate. And also because we’re — our appetite is so insatiable. In just a few decades, I believe livestock, like pigs and cows mostly, are about 60% of the animal population on the planet.

JANE: And a lot of our factory farms. Many diseases arise from these horrible, cruel and unhygienic conditions.

DAVE: It’s such a deadly process that we have of raising animals because the food system that we have is all about profit. And it’s not about the quality of food. And it’s not about the health of the planet. It’s about profit. And if that’s all we think of, then we use these techniques that can drive the money very quickly into the hands of a few people, rather than spread [it]over a large amount of people that will care for the earth. These factories are exactly the opposite of life. It’s a killing machine that is unhealthy on so many levels.

What it produces for us today, for human consumption, is poisonous. It’s poisonous meat that’s grown in a poisonous environment and fed poisonous food that’s grown in a poisonous environment. And there’s this wonderful documentary about soil health — our relationship to the one thing that sustains us, which is planet Earth — and that if we behave like a cancer, we will kill it, and it will kill us by doing that. But if we behave like an organ, or like, we’re part of it, or you know, we’re a limb of it, were an example of it, if we behave that way, and we work in balance with it, and embrace the healthy planet, we can turn this all around. And that’s the part that is, that is so important, and that you’ve taught me is just, we have to work to turn this around, so that we can live and thrive on a healthy planet.

You know, when I first went to Cambridge University to get a PhD, after being with the chimpanzees two years, many of the professors told me I’d done everything wrong. I could not talk about chimpanzee personality, mind, or emotion. Those were unique to us, I was told, but I had a wonderful teacher when I was a child, I don’t know if you had such a teacher, but mine was my dog. And because of him, I knew the professor’s were wrong. We’re not the only beings on the planet with a personality, mind, and, above all, feelings of happiness, sadness, fear, despair. And so when you think of these factory farms, every single one of those animals has a personality has a right to its life, feels fear and depression. And many of them can predict the death. I mean, pigs are as intelligent as dogs.

And when we talk about the relationship between animals and emotional connections that we have with animals, but also that animals have with each other, and we and when we talk about it in a scientific way, it was your work that broke that seal. Because prior to the work you did, people said, “No, we are the only emotional animals.” You can’t talk — scientists poo-pooed anything like that. It was absurd that any condition of consciousness could be attributed to animals. And you changed the thinking of science, of the scientific world, relative to animals minds and the intelligence of animals. And I think a lot of people don’t realise that. Because, before you, that was unthinkable, and it took a little while, I think, for the scientific world to catch up to that fact. Now it’s common to have a qualified scientists speaking about the emotional relationships that animals have with each other. And, and then I wanted to talk about one experience I had recently, which I don’t think I’ve had a chance to tell you. I’ve been supporting this some small reserve in, in Kenya, this Elephant Sanctuary, where it’s really about saving these orphaned elephants that, you know, for whatever reason, are separated mostly — not from poaching, but sometimes from poaching, too, but — just human encroachment. They’ve sort of started this new, very thorough sort of orphanage where they raise these young elephants with other young elephants and sort of allow their hierarchies to happen, but also constantly give sort of emotional attention to them by being there all the time as a source of comfort, because their mother’s not there. And it sort of tried to indulge that emotional intelligence that we gain from our mother or from our parents or from our community. When I was there, I met this tiny orphaned elephant. And it was out with the other elephants, it was the newest addition. And she came up and put her sort of not-yet-super-coordinated trunk in my face. And our wonderful hosts were there and they said, “Breathe. Breathe into her into her trunk.” And they said, “In 50 years, she will still remember you if he smells you.”

JANE: That’s right.

DAVE: And I said, Well, in 50 years, I’m probably not going to be breathing a lot to let her smell my breath. But that, you know, maybe I’ll get lucky, I don’t know. But I returned a few years later, when she was much bigger. And she was drinking from a bottle being held by one of the one of the caregivers there. And and I was like, “Oh, this is the little elephant that I met so many years ago!” And she said, “Yes.” And then the little elephant with its trunk — its drinking — wrapped its trunk around this big milk bottle and pulled it away from the caregiver and then walked over and handed it to me. And let me hold it. And I just was, I sort of had tears running down my face, like, “What’s happening?” It’s just remembering, just the idea that, after those years, this little elephant that was much bigger now could still remember me and wanted, and communicated in a really sort of highly intelligent, conscious decision-making, and generosity, and kindness, and welcoming, and greeting. There’s so many things that we attribute primarily to human beings came from an animal. You know, our, our common language is only life. That’s all that we have.

JANE: When I went to Cambridge, I was taught, there’s a difference of kind, not degree, but kind. And you, you credited me with changing scientific attitude to animals, which in a way is right. But it was because because of the amazing good fortune I had to be with the chimpanzees, our closest living relatives. And so when the scientists were confronted by the biological similarity, like 98.6%, of DNA of chimps and us is the same, and the immune system and anatomy of the brain. That, plus the behavioural observations, plus Hugo von Lawick, the photographer, plus his film, what could they do, but say, “Oh, boy?” But I was actually taught and told that to be a good scientist, you cannot have empathy with the animal you’re studying. You’ve got to be cold and objective, and that is rubbish. You know, they say you can’t be objective, if you have empathy. And that’s — sorry — bullshit. I think it really is. You know, there’s no other sort of word that you can use for something as stupid as that. You can be watching an animal that you love — and I use the word love — and you can be really distressed by like this little two-year-old infant who’d got a broken arm and a new mother who didn’t understand. So every time the baby cried, the mother cuddled her close, which made the baby baby cry louder, because it hurt the arm. And, as this baby had been named “Little Jane–” especially that, you know, I had tears running down my face. But if you look at my notes, it’s absolutely precise, minute-by-minute, what was going on. So it’s not true. And if you don’t have empathy, you, you don’t get those moments of, “Ah, I think I understand this behaviour.” Because, because I think I understand how the animal’s feeling. And then you can put on the scientific hat and stand back and say, “Well, now, let’s see if I was right.”

DAVE: I think that if we can’t use empathy in how we approach and relate to the planet, because we’re part of it, if we can’t use that, then it’s almost like we’re tying our arms behind our back and tying our legs together. Because I think it’s, it’s empathy that will allow us to understand the possibility of turning the trajectory of the planet around. It’s, it has to be our ability to, say, empathise not only with the individual, but also sort of the communal mind of the planet. When you look at the rain forest, or you look at the devastation of our forests, or the devastation of our soil, or the devastation of our oceans — if you can’t look at that and see it almost like a starving friend or a starving family member, and you can’t say, “That feels to me like a catastrophe, like a tragedy; that’s going to inspire me to understand how we can turn that around.” I think that is central to turning the tide.

JANE: You need to open your heart. You need to move away from this materialistic way of living that is destroying the planet because of our greed, wanting more of natural resources than the planet can continue to provide us for. And we need to be able to hear the desperate cry for help that’s coming from Mother Earth. And it is a desperate cry for help. And you see it when you go into a destroyed forest. You see it when you go into a factory farm. You– I see it all over the place, and it keeps you going. So one question, David: how does your skill, your talent as a musician — how, how are you using that to change minds? Because you are.

DAVE: I like to involve my audience in the opportunity of, sort of, investing in the environment. We like to, as the band tours, we like to, you know, say, “Well, a certain percentage of all your, all the ticket sales are going to go to different organisations,” whether it’s the, you know, major Conservancy or the Wilderness Society. I like any efforts that I, that I’m interested in, I like to somehow include the the fans, but it’s a way of promoting what they’re doing. So, if you come to see us, I like to say that “You know, what we’re going to do with this money — a certain percentage of this — is put it towards conservation,” because it also makes people curious.

I like to inspire people to give as well, and to be generous, because it changes the way you feel. I’ve been so insanely fortunate, I think, with this voice, this megaphone that I have I, I have the opportunity to talk about things that I care about. And when I write songs, I don’t necessarily write songs that are inspired by personal things, or my view of the world, I try and write songs that at least, reflect somewhat the way I view the planet as well. There’s a song called “Satellite” that I wrote that is sort of about how things change for good or for bad. And the song called “One Sweet World” essentially, is saying, “We can either live with this planet, or we can die with it.” I wrote a song recently called “The Ocean and the Butterfly.” You know, when I first started writing it, I was just letting these images come out of the words. But then when I look at the song now, it kind of talks about the first animals coming on to from the ocean to the land. And then there’s a one about a plastic bag, sort of, in the wind. And that for me is like, “How long is the damage that we’re doing to the planet going to last?” And it ends with this sort of hopeful idea that if we just allow the planet to be alive, its evolutionary ability to thrive will come back if we just let it. And so I think my songs sometimes, sometimes they’re gonna reflect my feeling about my relationship with this place that’s my home.

JANE: About 10 years ago, you promised to write a song for me. Still haven’t,

DAVE: I got to write a song for you. And I always — but then every song I write, I’m trying to write something for someone, but…

JANE: But you promised me a long time ago. And when you are talking to these huge audiences about places to put their money, don’t forget the Jane Goodall Institute, and our Roots and Shoots, which involved your children at one time. So that all the young people choose projects that they work on, and they take action, and they’re making the world a better place. And they feel very, they feel very empowered, when they see the difference they can make in cleaning a stream, or clearing up litter, or writing letters to politicians. David, where we’re saving the forests around Gombe that had gone. They’ve come back.

DAVE: That is so exciting. And that’s, that’s one of the things that I’ve loved about your story. And you maybe you’ve told him many times, and maybe people have heard it. But when you were thinking that you were going to go back to Gombe after a great tragedy in your life, and that you were going to stay there forever. And and then you flew over, and just saw that Gombe was this tiny island of healthy forest in a landscape of emptiness, and that that, that informed the — what what you’ve become. This great environmentalist, vocal proponent for the planet. And I just always felt like that was a powerful moment for all of us because of what you saw that day.
Well, it certainly was for me, and it just hit me like a bombshell that if we can’t help these people find ways of making a living without destroying the environment — I mean, certainly, destroying the environment to try and live to feed their families. If we can’t help them to find another way of making a living, then we can’t protect anything, we can’t try and save forests or chimpanzees, or pangolins, or anything else.

DAVE: It’s not science, or it’s not lacking the technology or the knowledge of what we need to do to make our relationship with the planet a healthy one and to make the planet a healthy, vibrant place. The enemy of all of us and of the planet is greed. It is the excess. The relentless hunger, a very, very small percentage of the population pushes on all of us an illusion of wealth, when really what it’s costing us is our future.

JANE: Yes, our children’s future. You know, as Mahatma Gandhi, he said, “The planet can provide for human need, but not human greed.” We have to bring people together to discuss the problems that we sometimes solve one and create another. Democracy is kind of crumbling in different parts of the world, autocratic leaders are taking over. “Swings to the far right.” It’s very scary.

DAVE: Then there’s also the forces that are trying to keep ignorance alive so that people don’t become citizens of the world. But rather they become only consumers. I like the idea that citizens, by being consumers, can redirect big corporations and wasteful industries in a direction that’s better by the way that they spend their dollars. Now, I feel as though it’s almost as if people refer to themselves as consumers, or politicians refer to people as consumers more often than they refer to them as citizens. And I know it’s just words, but I do like the idea of thinking of myself as a citizen rather than a vacuum.

JANE: I was asked a question just this morning, saying, “What do you think about the idea that people are going to put billions of dollars into trying to build a bubble on Mars and try and colonise that planet.” I said, “Okay, we will finish this one off, then we’ll go to Mars and try and colonise that and finish that one off, we will end up in outer space we’ll be very lost and lonely by the time we get there.”

DAVE: I do think that it’s funny that we have this living planet, it’s in a desperate, desperate, desperate need of our help just to let it survive, so that we can survive. The notion that we would think what we need to do is go to this dead planet, and try and make it alive, rather than try and take care of the planet that we have that is alive, that is saying, “I can thrive if you just stop behaving like a cancer and start behaving like you’re part of this.” It is sort of hard to swallow. And we now have the information. And we can look and see what it is. And we still allow people to come to power that will blatantly disregard the future for our children. Just greedy, horrific people that will not allow us to look after the future of the planet.

I say that this force of evil in the world today [is]this swing to the far right, this destruction of the here and now for the sake of greed with no concern for the future.

What concerns me is this willing ignorance that believes that somehow against every bit of good sense that we have, wealth will give you enough power to survive. When everything’s gone, only then will human beings realise that you can’t eat money.

JANE: David, what is your greatest hope for the future?

DAVE: I just think that our obligation is to educate young people to open their eyes as much as possible to the many, many ways that we can turn the tide through simple changes, if we all embrace the future, rather than the past and some sort of fairy tale version of whatever the past has been. The only real way to face the past is to face the future. That’s where you know, the tire meets the road, or whatever the term is, is what tomorrow holds. And what a year from now holds and what 20 years from now holds, because we have a window here. And and that window may be closing. But it’s a great big window! The cheapest way to create food and the cheapest way to exploit the planet is not the way. It may make somebody a lot of money. But it is not the way, as human beings, to be relating to the possibility of survival, because it is a dead end. That is a dead end.

JANE: Now, when making decisions, how does this affect me now? me and my family now? the next shareholders meeting? the next political campaign? Those are the kind of questions we ask, instead of saying, “The choice I make: what are the consequences for future generations?” It’s just what you’ve said. But you say the windows huge, I don’t think it’s that big, David. I think it’s quite small and closing.

DAVE: And the reason I use the term huge, is because if we take the opportunity, the possibilities are real. And I do think it’s closing fast. And maybe I misspoke by saying that, but i mean that it is a real hope. It’s not like there’s no hope that all the windows so small, I mean to say that their is a real reason to hope if we can change,

JANE: We need to get together and take action. Right?
DAVE: We must, must, must.

JANE: You know, I tell you, you must know this music festival because it’s the second biggest in Europe, in Hungary. I’ve forgotten its name. And I was invited to give a 10-12 minute talk amongst all these bands from all over. And I was following a very popular British band, I don’t know what it was, because I don’t follow those things, as you know. And they said, “well, we’ll give 10 minutes, because after this British band, most people will leave, you know, because who’s Jane Goodall?” Well, guess what? They didn’t. I mean, of course, some did. But basically, all of these 16,000 people stayed where they were. And after my little 12-minute, passionate talk — like what we talked about tonight, in a nutshell — I said to them, you know, “When we bring our Roots and Shoots groups together in Tanzania to share ideas and share their projects and things, I found last year that they were saying, at the end of such a gathering, all together, they were saying, ‘Together, we can,’ meaning we can save the world.” And I said, “Yeah, we can, but will we?” So now, at the end, they say, “Together we can! Together we will!” So I ended up my 12-minute talk at this music festival. And I said, “Could you join that? So there was 16,000 people standing up and yelling, “Together we can! Together we will.” It’s very empowering and exciting. So carrying on with your musical skills and talents, and the way that you can try and get your audiences to support various groups that are trying to save the planet. What can other musicians do? What can somebody who goes around with his guitar, and plays to small groups and small places? What can music do? What do you think?

DAVE: What I would say to other performers, I would just try and convince them in the same way that I convince my audience that every one of us has the power. I can reach my audience and some of my audience will embrace the things I say like supporting the Wilderness Society or, or supporting JGI, Jane Goodall Institute, or being inspired to support Roots & Shoots or start it in your community. It seems there’s a lot more socially conscious music coming out in all genres. And I think it’s probably because of the state of the planet. It’s probably because of the state of the society. It’s probably because of the imbalance of power and the gaps between those who have and those who don’t have. It’s not only, sort of, an opportunity, but I think it’s a responsibility that we have to try and inspire hope in and action in young people. And I think every artist in you know, whether it’s hip-hop or country music, there’s an opportunity that we can really make a difference in the world if we use our platforms to inspire people to live and act in a more sustainable way.

JANE: And, you know, there’s something else that I notice in many bands. They’re so often mixed. You get people of different cultures, different religions, and they all mix together, because they come together for music. And so you’re breaking down some of this discrimination because the audience sees you, you’re all on the same platform, and you’re all singing the same songs, and you’re all together, you all care about each other in a kind of brotherhood. Maybe the bands around the planet are helping to end this terrible discrimination that is so divisive and so painful.

DAVE: I think that, like birdsongs, music has been part of human culture longer than words have. I think we were probably singing long before we were saying, “Pass the mustard.” And, in fact, I was in Botswana with some indigenous people. And they were singing these incredible songs. And, you know, as the days went on, there was some time that people went into trances. It was [a]magical, magical experience. But one of the things that they said when I asked them, “What’s this song about?” And then they would say, “This is about, you know, the coming winter.” And, “What is this song about this?” “Oh, this is when the herds the big herds arrive,” you know? And then I said, “What are the words?” And they said, “Oh, no, no, none of our songs have words. Because these are ancient songs.” They said, “all of our songs come from before there were words.” And they just they could, they could actually just say that. And so I think music has an ability to connect us in a way that a lot of things don’t because it’s a communal experience. It’s but maybe those sort of collaborations can be more and more about the ideas of sustainability and the ideas of a healthy future and a healthy planet and maybe inspire young people, or all sorts of people, to more action.

JANE: You know, David, I’ve talked to many people recently about this pandemic that we basically brought upon ourselves by our disrespect of nature. And I think one thing it’s done is to cause people to think. And many people have said to me, you know, as we move out of this pandemic — which, God willing, we shall at some point — then we truly, desperately need to get together and create some kind of new relationship with the natural world. And with animals, we need to get together to create a new and sustainable green economy; an economy that doesn’t value wealth above all else; an economy where people have what they need, they can live a really good life, they can support their families, they can enjoy nature, they can go to concerts, they can listen to music. But a new definition of success is not just achieving wealth, and materials, stuff, and power. And I think if we can create that together, then the future will be much, much better for our children. And I truly believe that it’s the young people who will help us to make the changes that we must make to move into a brave new world.
We can have all these things, but we also have the wisdom of a healthy planet to inform us on how to move forward. There’s one direction that is good. And there’s one direction that is evil.

DAVE: Absolutely.

I am so grateful for your wisdom and everything that you’ve given to all of us. I hope we can be part of what guides the ship into a future that exists.
Yes. And I wait for the pandemic to be over so that we can once again greet each other as we did on that very first occasion with a big hug.

Dave: I love the idea.
JANE: Okay, thank you, David.
DAVE: Thank you, Jane. Cheers.

FROM THE ARCHIVES: One thing that happened was when Jane walked out on the stage with no instruments and nothing fancy, and said, “Hello,” as a chimp would say. The place exploded. It was so beautiful how the crowd responded to Jane.
FROM THE ARCHIVES: [sings the first verse of his song “Mercy”]