Dr. Jane Goodall’s Message for Earth Day 2022.

Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace shares her message for Earth Day 2022.

As we face existential crises, Jane shares her deep commitment to the power of hope and all we can do as individuals and collectively to make a difference for people, other animals, and the planet we share. Today and every day, let us rebuild our connections to the natural world – for as Jane shares – we are a part of it and have a responsibility to protect it:-

Hello, today is Earth Day. It’s a day to think about the planet, Mother Earth.

I’m sure that all of you have seen photos of planet earth shot from space. A small, green and blue globe surrounded by the cold, black immensity of space.

What is so wonderful about this little planet of ours is that during the millions of years of evolution, it supports such a rich variety of life forms.

From microscopic bacteria and algae to whale and elephants and the giant redwoods. There are some species that live in the earth, such as earthworms and naked mole-rats. Others that fly, like butterflies and beetles and birds and bats. Some spend all or almost all their time in the trees, like sloths and galagos and spider monkeys. Some move ever so slowly across the land, like tortoises, while others like cheetahs can run really fast.

Then there are all those who spend their entire lives in the water, the corals and fish and whales, whilst others like otters and penguins spend time on land but are really good swimmers. Then, think about the hundreds and thousands of plants and trees and fungi and ferns.

What an amazing tapestry of living things.

We, humans, are just one species. But oh dear, our footprint on the planet is gigantic.

This wasn’t so all those years ago when we were just hunter-gatherers, but the one difference between us and all the other creatures is that we developed an oversized brain, probably because we have no natural defences and we had to compete with fears, predators that roamed the country back then.

From that time on, we had an increasing advantage over other animals. Then came the agricultural revolution, and humans were able to settle in one place, and populations began to grow.

Next came the industrial revolution. From then on, our impact has become ever more destructive.

You all know the problems we face today. These include climate change, loss of biodiversity, and of course, the COVID pandemic.

Well, we only have ourselves to blame because, for years, humans have shown so little respect for the natural world and animals.

We’ve destroyed forests and other ecosystems. We’ve polluted land, air, and water with agricultural, industrial, and household waste, much of it full of toxic chemicals.

We’ve burned increasing amounts of fossil fuel. This has created massive amounts of the most prevalent greenhouse gas, CO2. It’s those gases that form a blanket around the globe, trapping the heat of the sun, leading to global warming.

We’ve killed wild animals for food, clothing, pets, and sport. Yes, sport. Traffic them around the world, crowded wild animals into tiny unhygienic spaces in wildlife markets, and crowded domestic animals into horrendous factory farms. All these have created conditions that make it relatively easy for a pathogen, such as a virus, to spillover from an animal to a person, where it may create a new disease, such as COVID-19.

I cannot send out this message without reference to put into war in Ukraine. The scale of human and animals suffering is horrendous and heartbreaking. Think also of the harm to the environment caused by the emissions from tanks and planes and bombs and all the rest of it.

Today, Earth Day, is a time for all of us to think about how we, as individuals, can help this precious blue and green planet. What each one of us can do to help.

Today, more people are aware how everything is interconnected, and that we need to alleviate poverty. Because the poor will destroy the environment just to create more cleared land for growing food or making money from charcoal or timber, buy the cheapest food because they can’t afford other options.

But, it’s cheap because of unfair wages or horrible cruelty to animals.

We need to reduce the unsustainable lifestyles of the rest of us and learn to recycle and reuse.

We must, through consumer pressure, persuade businesses to operate in ways that are socially and environmentally ethical, rather than carry on with business as usual.

More people are beginning to understand that long-term protection of the environment and indigenous cultures is more important than short-term profit.

We must do anything we can to encourage our governments to heal the widening gap between the haves and the have nots because this inequality leads to violence and hatred. On this day, we should think about the communities of plants and animals with whom we share or should share the planet, and all that we have done to harm them.

More importantly, let’s think about what we can do to protect and restore.

The Jane Goodall Institutes around the world are working to protect chimps and other wildlife and environments. Also, helping local disadvantaged communities to find ways of living without destroying their environment. Then giving them the tools to monitor and protect the health of the natural world around them.

They understand that this is not only to protect biodiversity and wildlife, but for their own future, so they become our partners in conservation. More people are understanding the One Health idea. That our human health is closely related to the health of the local environment and that of the wild and domestic animals who live there.

We all depend on the health of all.

Our Roots & Shoots members, hundreds and thousands of them of all ages, in over 60 countries, are working on projects of their choice to make the world better for this interconnected world. People, animals, and the environment.

I think there will be a lot of tree planting and programs to restore and protect forests around the world. Many people will be volunteering in shelters for homeless animals, doing projects to raise money for a whole variety of causes.

Some people are determined to move towards a plant-based diet. Some are supporting restorative agriculture, permaculture, and so on.

Around the globe, there will be prayers for the suffering of the Ukrainians and all the other suffering underprivileged people, and for the animals around the world. There’ll be volunteers rolling up their sleeves and helping where they can.

Although the overall picture seems overwhelmingly grim, that simply means we must all get together, roll up our sleeves, and each do our bit to help heal our planet. We must get together now before it’s utterly too late.

There’s one thing I want to beg of everyone who watches this. Don’t help planet earth on this one Earth Day only. It is so important to do something to help every day, even the smallest things.

Don’t forget that millions of small things cumulatively lead to major change.

Finally, do let us know what you do for Earth Day and your plans to make every day Earth Day.
So that we can share the cumulative benefits of everything that we do with our community.

Thank you all, and have a productive and wonderful Earth Day.

World Environment Day: Dr. Jane Goodall’s COVID-19 message

On World Environment Day and I want us to reflect on this day – as indeed we should be reflecting on every day – that our disrespect of the environment has led to some major problems. First of all, it’s completely crazy to think that we can have unlimited economic development on a planet with finite natural resources. Many of which already in some places are being used up more quickly than nature can replenish them.

“Our population is growing. It’s 7.2 billion roughly now. It’s predicted to be 9.4 billion in 2050 and how will the planet cope? I can’t answer that question, but we must think about it. And of course, we want everybody on the planet to have a good life, but we have to realize that there are three problems that we have to overcome.

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“We must try and alleviate poverty because if you’re really poor you’re going to cut down the last trees in your effort to grow food to feed your family. You will fish the last fish for the same reason. We have to do something to reduce our unsustainable way of life. And we have to try and do something about corruption.

“We’ve been through a very extraordinary time – we’re still going through it – because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and nature’s had a chance in some cases to come back. The amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere have been reduced as factories closed, and as country after country has put people in lockdown, so they could no longer drive and pollute the air with fossil fuels or the burning of fossil fuels. There must be hundreds of thousands of people in the big cities, maybe for the first time ever, who have been able to breathe clean air. What a luxury for them. We take it for granted so many of us. And so now we also look up at the night sky and see the brightness of the stars shining up there. These people are not going to go back to business as usual.

“It’s our disrespect for the natural world that has brought this pandemic upon us. It’s our fault. We’ve done it because of our disrespect of nature and our disrespect of animals. How so? As we destroy forests, for example, the rich biodiversity of animal life is pushed closer together, giving opportunities for viruses and bacteria to jump over from animals to other animals. Then as animals are being pushed into closer contact with us, because of reduced food supplies in their own environment, this again creates a situation where bacteria or viruses can spillover from an animal to a person. And by combining with cells in the body produce sometimes a new disease like COVID-19.”

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Statement from Dr. Jane Goodall on COVID-19: Wild animal markets and bear bile farms

STATEMENT ON COVID-19: Wild animal markets and bear bile farms

Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE

Founder – The Jane Goodall Institute & UN Messenger of Peace Issued 29th April 2020

“The world is facing unprecedented challenges. At the time of writing, the coronavirus COVID-19 has infected over 3 million people globally, and as of 29th April, 218,386 people have died. At present, people in most countries around the world are self-isolating at home (either alone or with family), keeping social distance and reducing going outdoors to a minimum. Some businesses have totally closed down, some carry on with staff working from home, some people are temporarily laid off, and thousands of people around the world have lost their jobs. Already the economic cost of all this is catastrophic.

“We all follow the news and pray that the lockdown will end in country after country as the peak infection and death rate is reached and then gradually drops. This has already happened in China, where the COVID-19 coronavirus originated, thanks to the stringent measures undertaken by the Chinese government. We hope that a vaccine will soon be developed and that we can gradually get back to normal. But we must never forget what we have been through and we must take the necessary steps to prevent another such pandemic in the future.

“The tragedy is that a pandemic of this sort has long been predicted by those studying zoonotic diseases (those that, like COVID-19, spillover from animals into humans). It is almost certain that this pandemic started with such a spillover in China’s Wuhan seafood market that also sold terrestrial wildlife for food, along with chickens and fish.”


“When wild animals are sold in such markets, often illegally, they are typically kept in small cages, crowded together, and often slaughtered on the spot. Humans, both vendors, and customers may thus be contaminated with the faecal material, urine, blood and other bodily fluids of a large variety of species – such as civets, pangolins, bats, racoon dogs and snakes. This provides a perfect environment for viruses to spill over from their animal hosts into humans.”

“Another zoonotic disease, SARS, originated in another wildlife market in Guangdong.

“Most wet markets in Asia are not dissimilar to farmers’ markets in Europe and the US. There are thousands of wet markets in Asia and around the world where fresh produce – vegetables, fruit, and sometimes also meat from domestic animals – are sold at reasonable prices. And thousands of people shop there rather than in supermarkets.

“It is not only in China that wildlife markets have provided the ideal conditions for viruses and other pathogens to cross the species barrier and transfer from animal hosts to us. There are markets of this sort in many Asian countries. In the bushmeat markets of Africa – where live and dead animals are sold for food – the hunting, slaughtering, and selling of chimpanzees for food led to two spillovers from ape to human that resulted in the HIV-AIDS pandemic. Ebola is another zoonotic disease that crosses from animal reservoirs into apes and humans in different parts of Africa.


“Another major concern is the trafficking of wild animals and their body parts around the world. Unfortunately, this has become a highly lucrative multi-billion-dollar business, often run by criminal cartels. Not only is it very cruel and definitely contributing to the terrifying extinction of species, but it may also lead to conditions suitable for the emergence of zoonotic diseases. Wild animals or their parts exported, often illegally, from one country to another take their viruses with them.

“The shocking pet trade in young wild monkeys and apes, birds, reptiles and other wild animals is another area of concern. A bite or scratch from a wild animal taken into the home could lead to something much more serious than a mild infection.

“Once COVID-19 was recognised as a new zoonotic disease, the Chinese authorities imposed a ban on the selling and eating of wild animals, the Wuhan wildlife market was closed down, and the farming of wild animals for food was forbidden.

“There are thousands of small operations throughout Asia and other parts of the world where wild animals are bred for food as a way of making a living in rural areas. Unless alternative sources of income for these people, as well as for others exploiting wildlife to make a living, can be found and they can get help from their governments during their transition to other ways of making money, it is likely that these operations will be driven underground and become even more difficult to regulate.

“Nevertheless, whatever the problems, it is clearly of great importance that the ban on trading, eating and breeding of wild animals for food should be permanent and enforced – for the sake of human health and the prevention of other pandemics in the future. Fortunately, a majority of Chinese and other Asian citizens who responded to surveys agree that wildlife should not be consumed, used in medicine, or for their fur.”


“The use of some wild animal products for traditional medicine is thus far still legal in China (though rhino horn and tiger bones are banned). And this creates a loophole that will be quickly seized on by those wanting to continue to trade in wild animals such as the highly endangered pangolin, rhinos, tigers, and the Asiatic black bear, known commonly as the Moon Bear because of the crescent-shaped white marking on its chest.

“Other Asian bears – brown bears and Sun bears – are also exploited for their bile. And so long as farming bears for their bile is legal, and a product containing their bile is promoted, this will stimulate the demand for the bile.

“It is important to consider the welfare of the animals who are unwittingly responsible for zoonotic diseases. Today we know that all the animals mentioned are sentient beings, capable of knowing fear, despair and pain. Moreover, many of them demonstrate extraordinary intelligence. Allowing the use of wildlife trading for medicinal purposes can lead to the unbelievably inhumane treatment of some of these sentient beings.

“This is most certainly the case, for example, with bears farmed for their bile in Asia. They may be kept for up to thirty years in extremely small cages – sometimes they cannot even stand up or turn around. The tiny cages prohibit all-natural behaviour for these intelligent and sentient animals, who endure a life of fear and suffering.

“The bile is usually extracted, once or even twice a day, by inserting a catheter, pipe or syringe into the gallbladder, – a highly intrusive and painful procedure. The bears suffer from dehydration, starvation and a variety of infections and diseases. They develop liver cancer (caused by the bile extraction), tumours, ulcers, blindness, peritonitis, arthritis and other ailments. Their teeth are worn down or missing from continually, in desperation, gnawing at the bars that imprison them.

“Not only is farming bears in this way extremely cruel, but it is also of concern for public health reasons. Poor hygienic conditions, the permanent open wounds of the bears, contamination of bile with faeces, bacteria, blood, and other bodily fluids are reasons for serious concern. Finally, many of the bears are continuously given antibiotics to keep them alive and this contributes to antibiotic resistance and the emergence of superbugs, resistant to most known antibiotics. The same is true with the raising of domestic animals in factory farms. These superbugs have led to the death of many patients in hospitals around the world.

“Unfortunately, Tan Re Qing, a product that contains bile taken from Asiatic black bears and said to be helpful in alleviating symptoms linked to respiratory infections, is being recommended as a treatment for patients infected with COVID-19. And this will encourage the continued practice of bear bile farming.

“To end on a note of hope, the active component of bear bile, ursodeoxycholic acid or UDCA, has been available as a synthetic variant for many years and is a fraction of the cost of bile inhumanely harvested from bears. Unfortunately, many people consider bile from wild bears to be more valuable. Traditional Chinese Medicine has great value but, even if the bile from wild bears was a valuable drug, given the cruelty and the risk involved it should no longer be used – especially as the synthetic product has the same properties. In fact, a survey conducted by Animals Asia in 2011 indicated that 87% of Chinese respondents were in favour of banning bear bile farming, and hundreds of Chinese pharmacies have pledged never to sell bear bile products.

“It would be wonderful if all bear bile farms across Asia could be closed and the bears released into those sanctuaries which have been created in China, Vietnam, Malaysia and Laos. There they would be able to walk on grass, climb, bathe in ponds and enjoy the sunshine and the company of other rescued bears. And a decrease in the demand for pangolin scales and rhino horns in many Asian countries for their supposed medicinal value would give a chance for these highly endangered animals to survive into the future. As would a ban on the farming of wild animals for their fur.”


“It is not only from wild animals that zoonotic diseases have originated. The inhumane conditions of the great factory farms, where large numbers of domestic animals are crowded together, has also provided conditions conducive to viruses spilling over into humans. The diseases commonly known as ‘bird flu’ and ‘swine flu’ resulted from handling poultry and pigs. And domestic animals are also sentient beings who experience fear and pain. MERS originated from contact with domestic dromedary camels in the Middle East, perhaps from consuming products from infected camels such as undercooked meat or milk.”


“Scientists warn that if we continue to ignore the causes of these zoonotic diseases, we may be infected with viruses that cause pandemics even more disruptive than COVID-19. Many people believe that we have come to a turning point in our relationship with the natural world. We need to halt deforestation and the destruction of natural habitats around the globe. We need to make use of existing nature-friendly, organic alternatives, and develop new ones, to feed ourselves and to maintain our health. We need to eliminate poverty so that people can find alternative ways to make a living other than by hunting and selling wild animals and destroying the environment. We need to assure that local people, whose lives directly depend on and are impacted by the health of the environment, own and drive good conservation decisions in their own communities as they work to improve their lives. Finally, we need to connect our brains with our hearts and appropriately use our indigenous knowledge, science and innovative technologies to make wiser decisions about people, animals and our shared environment.”

“While there is a justified focus on bringing COVID-19 under control, we must not forget the crisis with potentially long-term catastrophic effects on the planet and future generations – the climate crisis. The movement calling for industry and governments to impose restrictions on the emission of greenhouse gases, to protect forests, and clean up the oceans, has been growing.

“This pandemic has forced industry to temporarily shut down in many parts of the world. As a result, many people have for the first time experienced the pleasure of breathing clean air and seeing the stars in the night sky.

“My hope is that an understanding of how the world should be, along with the realisation that it is our disrespect of the natural world that has led to the current pandemic, will encourage businesses and governments to put more resources into developing clean, renewable energy, alleviating poverty and helping people to find alternative ways of making a living that do not involve the exploitation of nature and animals.

“Let us realise we are part of, and depend upon, the natural world for food, water and clean air. Let us recognise that the health of people, animals and the environment are connected. Let us show respect for each other, for the other sentient animals, and for Mother Nature. For the sake of the wellbeing of our children and theirs, and for the health of this beautiful planet Earth, our only home.”

Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE

Founder – the Jane Goodall Institute

& UN Messenger of Peace 29th April 2020.


Coronavirus: Dr Jane Goodall’s Message of Hope in the Face of COVID-19


Dr. Jane Goodall shares her thoughts in this time of hardship, sharing hope, information and an update about her life at home in UK:

“Hello, this is Jane Goodall.

I want to share my shock and sadness as I track the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus around the world. This pandemic is affecting people everywhere.”

“I’m thinking of those who are sick, and their family and friends, of the doctors and health care practitioners, who are working selflessly to care for their patients. And of the scientists around the world working desperately to find a vaccine or cure. Then there are those who have been laid off work, as the financial crisis deepens and the effect this pandemic is having, on so many industries, especially the transport sector and tourism sector. The sheer scale of all this is terrifying.

“Right now the best way to slow down the spread of the virus is what is called social distancing. I chose to follow the advice of my doctor and friends and remain grounded at home in the uk, just events on my North America were being cancelled. It is frustrating, but i must stay healthy: I have so much more to do before I die!

“Moreover this social distancing is a way not only to protect myself, but others. You might feel fine yourself, but you could be infected without showing the symptoms, and then you could infect others. Especially those who are vulnerable. So if you possibly can, do join me in keeping away from public places. Try not to get close to others, and if you do meet a friend, don’t shake hands, although an elbow bump is permissible. And don’t forget to wash your hands.”

There is one silver lining to this dark cloud. This pandemic has reopened the discussion about the hunting, eating and trafficking of wild animals. COVID-19 is one of those viruses that have crossed the species barrier and jumped from animals to humans. Evidence suggests that the host in this case was a bat, or possible a pangolin, for sale in the wet market of the Chinese city of Wuhan, where live animals are sold for food.

“The SARS pandemic originated in the wet market in Guangdong. The terrible AIDS pandemic came from viruses that jumped from monkeys and chimpanzees sold for meat in Central Africa. Chimpanzees and humans are closely related, we share 98.6% of our DNA, so avoiding contact with them protects them from human infectious diseases, as well as us from theirs. So we must act: not only to protect ourselves, but also the great apes and other species as well.

Thankfully the Chinese government has reacted swiftly and imposed a ban on the trafficking, breeding and selling of wild animals for food, right across the country. We must hope that this ban is permanent and subsequently must include wild animals used in China for other purposes, especially traditional medicine.

“This would set an example to all countries where wild animals are exploited for food, research, medicine, for their skins or for trophies hunted by the wealthy, such as rhinos for their horns, elephants for horns, and others for heads stuffed and hung on the wall. in other words: countries all around the world. This would at least eliminate one cause of future pandemics.

“At times like this we see the worst and best in human nature. Since the coronavirus began the spread around the world, there have been hundreds of reports of hate crimes against the Chinese and other people of asian origin. And there are reports of people who have stolen masks and hand sanitisers from hospitals.

“But, there are far more stories of people caring for the sick, donating masks where they are needed, ensuring the housebound have sufficient food, reaching out (without touching) to those who are discriminated against.

“So many people during these dark days, are showing the best of human qualities: compassion and altruism. Let’s all use the gift of our lives to make this world a better place, especially at this time.

“Together we shall get through this really difficult time, and we shall have learnt what is truly important in life: family, friendship, love and, above all, our health. “

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