Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

You are here

Jane Goodall's work: from forest conservation to sustainable development

Anne Dalke's picture

Read a very striking story of the coming together of environmental and social justice (which evolved from a "distant" view), in Jane Goodall is Still Wild @ Heart:
" the early 1990s, Goodall flew in a small plane directly over Gombe. It offered a new perspective on her tiny sliver of virgin forest, which was now surrounded on three sides by 52 rapidly expanding villages full of desperately poor people. In her comings and goings along the lake over the years, she noted some deforestation along the park’s borders, but that had not prepared her for the mile after mile of bare hills she could see from above. Gombe’s chimps needed to cross into suitable habitat outside the park to connect with other chimpanzee populations and maintain genetic diversity, but there would be no such habitat if poverty continued to force a growing human population to chop down trees for farmland and firewood. The flight convinced her that the chimps’ lot could not improve until that of the people living near them did. Goodall now spends about 300 days a year on the road advocating for forest conservation and sustainable development....It’s not always clear which is her priority today, chimps or humans. Though she sees the work on behalf of each as mutually reinforcing, on balance, the results seem to favor people."