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Science & Tech

Making Global Change

Dr. Jane Goodall

Lesson time 17:01 min

Dr. Jane discusses the Jane Goodall Institute’s TACARE initiative, which gives local communities in Tanzania the tools they need to manage resources for long-term growth and sustainability.

Dr. Jane Goodall
Teaches Conservation
Dr. Jane Goodall shares her insights into animal intelligence, conservation, and activism.
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I flew over Gombe National Park in 1991. It was obvious there were more people living there than the land could support, too poor to buy food from elsewhere. It's very steep, hilly country. They were desperate to grow more food to feed themselves and their families. So even on these steep slopes, they were cutting down the trees to get more land, particularly as the more suitable areas had been over-farmed and the land had become infertile. And cutting down the trees on these steep slopes led to terrible soil erosion. The streams were getting silted up. And it was very clear, the people were struggling to survive. And that's what led to the Jane Goodall Institute starting our TACARE program to improve the lives of the people. And it started in the 12 villages closest to Gombe. It didn't start in the typical arrogant way of sending in a group of white people who know best, who tell the people, this is what's going to happen. They're going to do this, this and this. This will improve their lives. No, we didn't do it that way. There was a very amazing man called George Strunden. And he'd been out in the area 15 years. And he assembled a group of local Tanzanians. There wasn't a PhD among them. But they had all worked with NGOs in agriculture, in health, and education and so forth. So there was no intimidation. This group of local people went into the villages, sat down with the leaders in the village, including the women, and asked them what they thought we could do to make their lives better. And that's where we started. And this program, TACARE, is a leader in community conservation done in the right way. And initially, George and I were criticized for trying to do everything. People said, you can't do it all. You've got to concentrate on education, or reforestation, or agroforestry or agriculture. You can't do all of it. But my time in the forest had taught me that everything is interrelated. It's no good taking one piece if you don't address the rest. It just isn't going to work. And so we were able to put together a proposal and get a small grant from the European Union. It was a three-year grant. And you know, our biggest problem was that the EU said, but you're not asking for enough money. We don't give out small grants like this. And we were saying, but we need to try this to see if it works. We can't ask for huge amounts of money that might be wasted. So in the end, they agreed. And that's how we started. And gradually, we started what they hoped we could do for them, which was growing more food. Well, that meant restoring fertility to the overused farmland but without pesticides, chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides. They wanted better health and education facilities. And this really began by working more closely with the local Tanzanian government and working closely...

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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.


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

Such an inspiration. As the CEO of a company built around animal wellbeing, now I have more awarness and tools to keep fighting for a positive change.

This was wonderful. So inspirational and thought provoking. Dr. Goodall is an amazing person and a role model for us all. I will take what I have learned to my school and share this message of activism and hope.

Thank you for teaching me so much about you, your life, your work, kindness to animals. I loved your class.

Fascinating insight from an experienced conservationsit.


Bernardo F.

I'd like to think that people are becoming aware of the need of population control, still we find that in rural zones (for example here in Mexico) even if they're poor, they continue to have children, and there are sayings such as "I'll have the kids that God wants me to" or "I have many children so they take care of me when I'm old". Education and gender inequality are also reasons, as women aren't able to decide when to have children and how many. However, I loved this lesson, all of it, how humans can work in order to create a sustainable society, and that in some places out there it's happening. Jane mentions something really important and that during university we were told many times: you can't arrive to a community and say that they must do or not do something, as they're not going to listen to you. Sure, you can have all the PhDs you want, but they are the ones living like that and you have to find a way of making their living easier at the same time that they take care of the environment.

Antonia T.

Family planning for the couples/women who desire no children or few children is really important. Crucial. But I dislike the discourse that treats population growth as a problem. Undesired pregnancies are the problem, not population growth. There is place for everybody here. That science is developing fast is good news, not bad news. The fact that in this pandemia we are facing now (Covid-19) hundreds of thousands will die in stead of 50 million people (like happened in the 1918 influenza pandemia) is something positive, not negative like the message here seems to suggest. Stop destroying the planet, stop killing animals, stop producing garbage, stop making wars, start making real laws and population growth will not be a problem.

A fellow student

Dear Masterclass, please make this masterclass free on your website. Her message is so so important...!

Gilda C.

Shes is such an incredible human being! You are amazing and have so much to teach us all. Bless you!!!

Diana H.

The JGI assembled a group of local Tanzanians who went into villages and asked them what they thought JGI could do to improve the lives of people. They are leaders in community conservation. Jane made a point to say they did not send a group of white foreign people in to tell people what to do! Well done! All those interested in education in other nations should follow this and develop respect and trust. Partners in conservation!

Diana H.

This really resonates. Early childhood development is very important and so many people never get that. It is important that we can teach without forcing our opinion. Creating free thinkers and representing the facts. Imparting the value of communication so we can continue to influence people who have differing opinions.


Her lessons are easy to follow and she is a wonderful lecturer and pleasant to listen to a few more visuals would be welcome.

Maria Lisa P.

Jane has me smiling :) Helping people by talking to them to see how they want to be helped instead of forcing help on them. Nice! And in turn, people learn from people on both sides of that equation. I like to use the term "circle of life" but I like how Jane says "web of life" to related to the interconnectedness of the world. We have much to learn from the earth.

Mary H.

Callaway Gardens is working to conserve butterflies in the wild, as well.

Mary H.

See author Susanne Fisher Staples with watering can in Kenya