Business, Politics & Society

Land

Dr. Jane Goodall

Lesson time 11:37 min

The destruction of forests is especially painful to Dr. Jane because of the emotional connection she has with trees. Learn about these incredible plants and the far-reaching effects of destroying forests.

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Dr. Jane Goodall
Teaches Conservation
In 29 lessons, Dr. Jane Goodall shares her insights into animal intelligence, conservation, and activism.
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I think it was my love of trees as a child, which was amplified when I got to Gombe National Park and spent time in the forest there and began to learn about this amazing interconnectedness of life forms in the forest. That's why, for me, knowing about the destruction of the rain forests in the woodlands around the world, it actually hurts. And I feel trees as living beings. When I used to go out every day at Gombe and I was on my own, I would put my hand on a trunk and feel the sap rising. And I feel this tree as a living being in its own right. So that the destruction of the forests is not only leading to the extinction of the great apes as they lose their habitats, so many other primates, and so many other life forms. But it's also the destruction of these living beings, these trees. And it's fascinating to me that more and more scientists are beginning to talk about countries be intelligent, talking about the communication between trees. And when this was first proposed and a paper was written, the two scientists were pooh-poohed. And they went very quiet for a while until they were able to prove that what they said was true. And a certain kind of tree is attacked by caterpillars. That tree can then put out pheromones. And this will warn other trees of the same species that there is a plague of caterpillars. As a result of that, they were able to put extra toxins into their leaves, which will help them to counteract the caterpillars when they arrive. And in a forest, there's another way of communication, which is through little microfungi on the roots. And this network can stretch right across the forest floor. And there is so much to learn about communication between trees. It's completely amazing. [MUSIC PLAYING] The forests that are being destroyed, it's shocking. It's terrifying. Right across Asia, particularly Indonesia, Malaysia, and now creeping into Latin America, creeping into Africa, forests are being destroyed to grow plantations of oil nut palms, oil nut palms that produce this palm oil that's now crept into so many, many of our food products. It's used in cooking. It's used in cooking oil. It's used in cosmetics. It's used to create biofuel. In fact, a huge amount of palm oil plantations go into biofuel, which is meant to be environmentally friendly. But it's the result of destroying vast areas of primary forests, old growth forests. And so a lot of people, what can they do? Well, they can try and avoid products containing palm oil. Most cookies have palm oil in them. But it's not labeled. And I've been talking to people about sustainable palm oil plantations. And they say, it's very, very difficult for a buyer to be absolutely sure that the palm oil he's buying does indeed come from a sustainable source. And it's not labeled. Some of it is. So it's difficult. But people need to try and learn...


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There is still a window of time. Nature can win if we give her a chance. In her first ever online class, Dr. Jane Goodall teaches how you can conserve the environment. She also shares her research on the behavioral patterns of chimpanzees and what they taught her about conservation. You'll learn how to act locally and protect the planet.



Reviews

4.7
Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

Awesome - love it - inspiring stories, ideas and knowledge to apply to my local adventure company here in Quito, Ecuador :) thank-you so much :)

Thank you Dr. Jane Goodall. I find your work and message inspiring. I am thinking about making a series of lectures regarding the Colonias of Tijuana as well as asking our Nutritional Ecology teacher at the La Esperanza schools to learn/implement etc. your Roots and Shoots program.

I'm increadibly gratefull for this masterclass, this wisdom and courage I got with learning from it. Ready to make this world a better place!! Thank you so much.

Dr. Jane Goodall is inspiring and has given me the sense of feeling empowered that I too can make a change in this planet.


Comments

AMANDA G.

Jane is absolutely fascinating. Devoid of ego, and with a beautiful soul that resonates through the medium of the internet. I have always loved trees and plants as well as animals, like many here. I think all children have an innate love of trees. I remember reading' The Faraway Tree' by Enid Blyton as a child, and then Tolkien's 'Lord Of The Rings' - which was very aware of the intelligence of trees, and of man's destruction of trees. And now with Game Of Thrones GRRM sends another message about the destruction of trees. Soon Mankind will be extinct, and slowly the trees will grow back and reclaim the earth, but we will not

A fellow student

What do think of negotiating with companies who destroy rain forests for BIo Fuel, organic plants/indigenous plants and cosmetics and medicine(s) to create manmade rain forests to grow their own in a manmade greenhouse structure. Of course it will cost something however if there is enough experts: scientists, horticulturists, civil engineers putting it together like carvana's mutli level vending machine with cars who could help save the planet and they could be placed all over the world. Sound interesting huh? Please I hope you will take this seriously and help this become a reality everywhere in the world , everywhere.

Debbie L.

Seeds of Hope is a wonderful book! It was what lead me to here and ignited my interest in sustainability. Highly recommend it.

Stephanie B.

I can wait to finish my vision as a conservatory at my family farm in Vermont

Molly

Palm oil is very frustrating because it is in so many products, including soap, baked goods, almond milk, etc. Palm oil is considered a sustainable resource and vegan, yet it destroys rainforests. I recently discovered a couple brands of almond milk that do not have palm oil: https://www.selvabeat.com/home/guide-palm-oil-free-milks So, the next concern is that California is the biggest producer of almonds, yet there are drought conditions there. How much water do almond trees there use? Is this sustainable? The salmon streams are possibly at risk. As another option, the 2nd largest producer of almonds is Spain. A single tree can absorb CO2 at a rate of 48 lb. per year. http://www.arborenvironmentalalliance.com/carbon-tree-facts.asp With so much movement of products from all over, every tree in a forest is necessary to soak up the CO2, because we couldn't possibly grow everything locally could we? I hope that vertical gardening can help solve some of these problems. Here is an example from a zoo that had had to cut costs on expensive food importations: https://youtu.be/EURY89IHOoY

Mia S.

"Every single chapter was about an animal or plant that wouldn't be around if it wasn't for these scientists and activists who said, 'No, we're going to protect them.' I wrote a whole section for that book on endangered plants and the publisher said, 'Sorry, it's too long,' and they cut that whole section. The botanist that I spoke with had been really excited, and now, I had to disappoint them. I thought, 'All right, I'll pick up this section, perhaps elaborate a little bit, and maybe it can be a book that can be sold in botanic gardens. At least I can do something. I learned more and more of the marvels of the plant kingdom. Partly, it was about the forests and biodiversity in the forest, and the fact that each tree, each plant, has its own role to play - and that even when a tree falls, it becomes a nurse tree and gradually gives life to other plants growing up around it. One of the most magic things about plants is -I call it 'magic in a seed.' How incredible is it that the seeds of an ancient date palm, now extinct, that once grew all over the Middle East - 2,000 years, a seed was lying around in one of King Herod's old fortresses - can grow, can produce a date palm? A fertile date palm? Now, there's hope that... we will be able to recreate a tree that's been extinct for over 1,000 years? Magic."

Mia S.

"All of the great apes are endangered now. Probably the orangutan is faring the worst, because these huge areas of forest being destroyed for palm oil plantations and because people are setting fire in the forests. It's now, in many places, illegal to clear old-growth forest. But if it happens to burn in a forest fire - the land will be available. That's happening, and the orangutans are literally facing imminent extinction because of people's greed. I knew there was deforestation outside the park - I was not prepared for these totally bare hills. But when we began working with the people, suggesting alternative ways of making their living without cutting down the forests, encouraging sustainable growth of shade-grown coffee, which brings the forest back. And in every village, there is a tree nursery, which provides employment to people who nurture these little seedlings and then sell them to people to bring trees back to their bare land. We found we didn't need to do nearly as much tree planting as we expected, because in this overused soil, there were seeds that had lain dormant. Given the chance, given time, given a couple of rainy seasons, those seeds will once again come to life. Unless the soil has been completely destroyed, and there's been terrible erosion - which means it's unlikely for hundreds of years that it can be revived - but as long as not too long has lapsed, the forest has this amazing resilience, and once again can provide a habitat for so many different animal and plant species. We're actually in the sixth great extinction. Many animals are facing extinction, and there are certain groups of people who are very passionate about certain animals, and through captive breeding or protection in the wild, they have managed to give certain species another chance."

Mia S.

"This amazing interconnectedness of life forms in the forest... for me, knowing about the destruction of the rainforests and the woodlands around the world, it actually hurts. I feel trees as living beings. The destruction of the forests is not only leading to the extinction of the great apes as they lose their habitats - so many other primates, so many other life forms - but it's also the destruction of these living beings, these trees. It's fascinating to me that more and more scientists are starting to talk about, 'Can trees be intelligent?' The communication between trees. When this was first proposed, the two scientists were pooh-poohed, and they went very quiet for awhile until they were able to prove that what they said was true. A certain kinds of tree is attacked by caterpillars - that tree can then put out pheromones, and this will warn other trees of the same species that there is a plague of caterpillars. As a result of that, they were able to put out extra toxins into their leaves, which will help them to counteract the caterpillars when they arrive. In a forest, there's another way of communication, which is through little microfungi on the roots. This network can stretch right across the forest floor. Right across Asia - particularly Indonesia, Malaysia, and now creeping into Latin America, Africa, forests being destroyed to grow plantations of oil nut palms that produce this palm oil that's now crept into so many of our food products. It's used in cooking, cosmetics, to create biofuel, which is meant to be environmentally-friendly. But it's the result of destroying vast areas of primary forests, old-growth forests. A lot of people - what can they do? They can try and avoid products containing palm oil. Most cookies have palm oil in them - but it's not labeled. Sustainable palm oil plantations - it's very difficult for a buyer to be absolutely sure that the palm oil does indeed come from a sustainable source. But people need to try and learn more about it. If it is labeled, certainly, please don't buy a product with palm oil, unless it's certified to come from a sustainable plantation. We don't know that it's totally sustainable, but at least that's one step in the right direction."

Carola S.

I have loved plants since I was a child like Dr Jane. I try to teach my kids and neighbors how to protect our nature.

Juleen D.

The EU just banned neonicotinoid pesticides. Are the declines in bee populations due to neonicotinoid pesticides a problem through out the world wide. If so how does this affect areas where forests are being cut down to produce agriculture?