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By Melanie Redman

In some ways it’s hard to imagine that fifty years have passed since GreenHero Dr. Jane Goodall, scientist, animal rights activist, and conservationist, first visited Gombe and began studying chimpanzees in the wild.

Yet, so many things have changed since her groundbreaking observation that chimpanzees make tools and hand down the knowledge of how to do this from generation to generation – formerly thought to be a uniquely human attribute.

As this year is the 50th anniversary of Dr. Goodall’s first visit to Gombe, the Jane Goodall Institute issued “Jane Goodall: 50 Years at Gombe,” (Published by Stewart, Tabori & Chang – An imprint of ABRAMS
2010) not only in celebration of the amazing achievements of Dr. Goodall’s life, but also as an update to the innovations and evolutions in thinking of Dr. Goodall’s work, and others like her.

The most striking facet of this book is the discussion of Dr. Goodall’s current work. Did you know that for the last 24 years, Dr. Goodall has spent less than three weeks in any one place? For a woman known for her patient observations of animal behaviour over hours and hours of sitting quietly in one place, this seems impossible!

However, Dr. Goodall recognized that leaving her work at Gombe in the hands of others, and taking up the torch of raising global awareness was the best thing she could do to help ensure the long-term survival of chimpanzees, and all Great Apes, in the wild (thus, defining Dr. Goodall as a true GreenHero in my book).

The book reveals the extent of Dr. Goodall’s current reach, scope, and on-going belief in humanity, despite the horrors in animal treatment she’s witnessed. Dr. Goodall identifies four reasons for hope: the human brain (a dandy device, isn’t it?), the resilience of nature (as they say, the earth will recover from our reckless disregard for nature – we just won’t be around to witness it), the determination of young people, and the indomitable human spirit.

Along these lines, Dr. Goodall’s Roots and Shoots program inspires and supports young people around the world in taking action in their communities. Youth choose projects that show care and compassion for the human community, animals, and the environment.

Dr. Goodall also came to realize that growing populations and deep-rooted human problems, such as poverty, needed to be addressed in conjunction with animal and habitat conservation.

This is where her TACARE program (pronounced “Take Care”) and innovations in technology come to play. The program works to link conservation to poverty alleviation (very different than the “prosperity comes from resource extraction” model we’ve grown so used to) by fostering “community-centered conservation activities that seek to preserve and restore the environment while helping villagers meet basic needs, such as education, health care, clean water, and arable land.”

One use of innovations in technology to help achieve ecological balance for human populations in poverty with animal populations is with geographic information systems mapping and analysis.

These tools are used to document and better understand how human communities and animals like chimpanzees compete for space:

“…scientists meet with villagers, and together they pore over satellite maps and discuss how the forest has dwindled over the decades, how wildlife and people use the land now, and what might be the best use of given areas – including conservation – in the future.”

In addition to this important work to cultivate the well-being and prosperity of human populations, Dr. Goodall is still crusading on behalf of chimpanzees and other endangered animals who are poached in the commercial bushmeat trade, locked up in cages for medical research, or sold for entertainment purposes. “Every year, poachers kill thousands of chimpanzees,” and given that there are less than 300,000 left in the wild, this has a devastating impact.

Dr. Goodall’s 50th anniversary tour recently brought her to Canada – specifically to Calgary – to share her ongoing work and rally people like you and me to act to end the devastating effects poverty has on human and animal populations around the world. After all, Dr. Goodall’s life to date is a reminder of what one person can accomplish in the struggle for animal and human rights.

So, let us move forward with faith in ourselves, in our intelligence, in our indomitable spirit. Let us develop respect for all living things. Let us try to replace violence and intolerance with understanding and compassion. And love.”

– Jane Goodall

This review also appears on www.rabble.ca<

Remember – in the battle to save the planet, youth can sprout change: Share stories of young people you know creating positive change, by entering  our contest, and you’ll be eligible to win a prize, including being featured on TV as our next GreenHero! Contest details and more information can be found here.

GreenHeroes.tv is all about saving the planet, one story at a time. Do you have a great story to tell about how you’re helping to make the world a greener place? Enter the contest to nominate a friend or yourself – you could be one of Canada’s next GreenHeroes!

Watch and learn about our celebrity GreenHeroes

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We Day
29Oct
2010

We Day is sweeping the hearts and minds of our nation’s youth. The event first hit Toronto on September 30th, then Vancouver on October 15th, leaving thousands of inspired pre-teens in its path.

Next stop is Montreal on November 12th, where thousands more young people will be spurred to act and inspired to change the world.

We were thrilled to learn about We Day for its youth-driven parallels to Jane Goodall’s Roots and Shoots campaign.

The annual event is hosted by Free the Children, a non-profit that utilizes the power and enthusiasm of youth to assist other youth through education and fundraising.

We Day calls upon renowned social activists, leaders, and performers to inspire hope in children and inspire passion to make a difference in the world. This year’s guests included Ben Mulroney, Olympian Alexandre Bilodeau, Deepak Chopra, and our own GreenHero, Wangari Maathai.

We admit that we’d have loved to attend an event like this when we were young, one where youth are not considered powerless to change; instead they are reminded that they are the greatest change makers. How fitting that Free the Children was founded back in 1995 by a 12-year-old Craig Keilberger. What started as an issue of international development has since expanded to a movement for local and global change on an assortment of issues, including the environment.


Photo Credit: Miss604 via Flickr

While politicians spend millions of dollars mulling about at meetings, these kids are spurred to immediate action, building schools, developing communities, and undertaking innovative global projects. They’ve already implemented 30 clean water projects that provide access to clean water for 60,000 people. In the three years of We Day’s existence, the youth have raised over $1.5 million for local causes, and over $3 million for global causes.

Beyond its immediate impacts, we learned that We Day has a year-long commitment requirement for those schools lucky enough to attend the day-long event. We Schools in Action program lends students the practical tools to convert their newfound inspiration into measurable action, for long after the day has ended.

So what’s their goal for the next year, and what you can do to help them? It literally takes the click of a mouse – their donors will donate $1 for every ‘like’ We Day gets on Facebook. Their goal is to reach 1 million by the end of the year, but we think they’ve set the bar too low. It hasn’t been a month yet, and they’ve already hit 250,000 likes!

Tune in for a recap of the 2010 We Day Toronto event on CTV, on October 30 at 7 pm.

Remember – in the battle to save the planet, youth can sprout change: Share stories of young people you know creating positive change, by entering  our contest, and you’ll be eligible to win a prize, including being featured on TV as our next GreenHero! Contest details and more information can be found here.

GreenHeroes.tv is all about saving the planet, one story at a time. Do you have a great story to tell about how you’re helping to make the world a greener place? Enter the contest to nominate a friend or yourself – you could be one of Canada’s next GreenHeroes!

Watch and learn about our celebrity GreenHeroes

Read our blog to keep up-to-date on GreenHeroes Campaigns

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On Sunday night, October 24th, in Calgary, Alberta, GreenHero Dr. Jane Goodall gave a presentation called, “50 Years of Chimps and Change” to a varied and inspired audience at the University of Calgary.

Dr. Goodall reflected on the meaning of the past five decades, the amazing amount of change the world has seen since 1960, as well as the impacts these changes have had on animals, people, and the environment of which we are all a part.

Dr. Goodall’s living legacy is a huge part of the University of Calgary’s anthropology department. The U of C program is the only anthropology program in Canada to offer a concentration in primatology. Dr. Goodall spoke to this legacy, as well as the role we must imagine ourselves playing over the next half century in order to secure a positive future for those who come behind us.

While in Calgary, as part of the 50th anniversary year of her research into the behaviour of chimpanzees, Dr. Goodall acted as the guest editor for the Calgary Herald’s Sunday Edition. While meeting with the editorial board earlier in the week, Goodall had this to share about her important work to date:

I’m learning more and more about this and all the harm we’ve inflicted on the planet and the pollution and the climate change and shrinking water supplies. And meeting young people who seem to have lost hope and they were depressed, angry, or apathetic, and these are all around the world. North America and South America and Europe and Asia and, of course, Africa. And (they were) feeling this way because they felt we’d compromised their future and there’s nothing we could do about it.

We have compromised their future, there’s no question about it, but it is not true there is nothing that can be done about it.

That led to our Roots & Shoots program. And that is involving young people of all ages now. It began with 12 high-school students, nearly 20 years ago, and now it involves young people from preschool all the way through university, with an increasing number of adults becoming involved. And the main message: every single one of us makes a difference every single day.”

So, read the original article here, and don’t forget to visit our Sprouting Change campaign page to learn more about Dr. Goodall’s work and how you can get involved!

Remember – in the battle to save the planet, youth can sprout change: Share stories of young people you know creating positive change, by entering  our contest, and you’ll be eligible to win a prize, including being featured on TV as our next GreenHero! Contest details and more information can be found here.

GreenHeroes.tv is all about saving the planet, one story at a time. Do you have a great story to tell about how you’re helping to make the world a greener place? Enter the contest to nominate a friend or yourself – you could be one of Canada’s next GreenHeroes!

Watch and learn about our celebrity GreenHeroes

Read our blog to keep up-to-date on GreenHeroes Campaigns

Sign up for our newsletter

Follow us on Twitter

Become our fan on Facebook

It’s been 50 years since she started her chimpanzee research, but for famous primatologist and conservationist Dr. Jane Goodall, animals have always been an important part of her life. Her love affair with animals began before she could even walk, which explains her fervent passion for sparking hope and activism in youth.

Dr. Goodall’s Jane Goodall Institute continues the fight to conserve chimpanzee and endangered species’ habitats that she embarked upon 50 years ago in Gombe, Tanzania.

Her chimpanzee observations – that chimps make and use tools, much like humans – have changed the way we understand the species and humanity, and have helped us answer questions on issues ranging from development to the environment.

Gombe is also the home of Roots and Shoots, an organization which Dr. Goodall uses to ignite environmental activism in youth by fostering compassion and respect for all of Earth’s creatures.

Through active learning and caring for animals, she instills confidence in them and hope for a healthier future.

Her belief is that every individual matters, every individual has a role to play, and every individual can make a difference, regardless of age; the sum of individual actions can make the world a brighter place. Her hope and our children’s hope for the future is what we need to sprout change.

“One of my hopes is that more and more young people….become involved in Roots and Shoots and that somehow I can reach enough hearts for people to have hope, because if people don’t have hope, we may as well give up.”

– Jane Goodall

Remember – in the battle to save the planet, youth can sprout change: Share stories of young people you know creating positive change, by entering  our contest, and you’ll be eligible to win a prize, including being featured on TV as our next GreenHero! Contest details and more information can be found here.

GreenHeroes.tv is all about saving the planet, one story at a time. Do you have a great story to tell about how you’re helping to make the world a greener place? Enter the contest to nominate a friend or yourself – you could be one of Canada’s next GreenHeroes!

Watch and learn about our celebrity GreenHeroes

Read our blog to keep up-to-date on GreenHeroes Campaigns

Sign up for our newsletter

Follow us on Twitter

Become our fan on Facebook

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