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Jane Goodall: Time is Running Out for World's Great Apes


The world is precariously close to the day when there will be no more great apes in the wild, said Jane Goodall, commenting on a Nov. 26-28 meeting of UN agencies and NGOs to address the crisis.

“It’s quite possible that today’s teenagers will raise their children in a world with no wild chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans and bonobos,” she said while on a lecture tour in Germany. “It’s a tragic prospect, but there is still time to act – though scant little of it. I hope all of us, especially our young people, will do everything they can to save the great apes, who are so like us in so many ways.”

Save usDr. Jane is asking everyone, especially young people to do what they can to help save the world's threatened great apes.

This chimpanzee, Nani, lives in JGI's Ngamba Island sanctuary; her mother was killed by poachers

Photo: JGI Uganda/CSWCT & Sandra Thorén

Chimpanzee Guardian, learn more.

Dr. Goodall left Gombe National Park, site of her groundbreaking chimpanzee research, in the late 1980s to travel the world and speak out on behalf of the world’s threatened chimpanzees. Since that time JGI has launched conservation and development projects in Africa that address human needs while promoting conservation and reforestation.

The Institute’s global program for youth, Roots & Shoots, promotes care and concern for people, animals and the environment. R&S is now active in more than 87 countries.

Research and preservation efforts also are ongoing in and around Gombe.

Dr. Goodall and the Institute also are participating with media partner Discovery Communications to raise awareness of the plight of chimpanzees. Forthcoming films on Discovery’s widely distributed Animal Planet channel include a documentary about Dr. Goodall and the Gombe chimps, Return to Gombe, and a documentary that speaks specifically to the endangerment of great apes, The State of the Great Apes.

Dr. Goodall is a special envoy for the Great Apes Survival Project, a United Nations Environment Programme and UNESCO project that sponsored a Nov. 26-28 meeting in Paris of intergovernmental agencies, governments and NGOs to develop an emergency conservation strategy. Delegates to the meeting said that at least $25 million was needed to lift the threat of imminent extinction from our closest living relatives. That amount is the bare minimum required, “the equivalent to providing a dying man with bread and water,” said Klaus Toepfer, executive director of the UNEP.

Threats to great apes in the wild are many: forest destruction through logging, mining and other resource exploitation; poaching; diseases such as Ebola; habitat loss caused by human encroachment upon forest; and civil and other wars that present an obstacle to effective and ongoing conservation work.

Dr. Jane encourages all children to become involved on behalf of great apes. Through Roots & Shoots, young people can combine efforts to help raise awareness, support conservation and other organizations and learn more about wildlife. “Young people if they band together can make a real difference. As I travel the world and meet determined young people everywhere who are doing amazing things to make the world a better place, I feel great hope for the future. Together we can save the great apes, but we really must not waste any time.”

For information about Roots & Shoots please click here.

To join R&S, please click here.

For information about GRASP, please click here.


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