Business, Politics & Society

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
In 29 lessons, 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.

Jane is so inspirational and I learned a great deal about incremental ways to participate in conservation and the environment. The first few lessons about Jane's experiences with primates were fascinating and I would have preferred more lessons devoted to this subject matter.

Jane goodall is an indomitable force of human understanding, collaboration and inspiration. This is incredible!!

If some other Masterclasses are really great, this one touched me deeply ! What a person Dr Jane G. ! What a life ! Everyone should listen to her for her message is universal, powerful and compassionate !


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

Mary H.

activist & conservationist Wangari Maathai is involved in reforestation

Mary H.

Please clarify the final paragraph on this webpage, reading "When people are able to care for themselves and their families through responsible economic management, issues across a spectrum improve including education, quality of life, and a reduction in family size..." Who wrote this text?

Mary H.

topographic changes occurring in Tanzania (and globally) due to aerosol geoengineering

Kalia D.

It is interesting how she gives us examples for the reasons for hope only so late in the course. Wouldn't most do it the other way around? 'The forest has taught me so much, that all things are interconnected'. But the thing is, they became interconnected through her interventions! Now Nasa and Google and the UN and many more cooperate with farmers in dozens of villages. Her sensitivity for interconnectedness seems to create it. She wanted to save the chimpanzees. But as everything is connected, they had to improve local villages, and now, look at it, she has changed the whole planet. She could see how everything is connected, and so it became connected. Else how can you save the chimpanzees? :) The web of life...


The passion of raising awareness about facts and issues that affect our wellbeing as an interconnected “web of life” is outstanding in JG. I want to support so badly her already begun momemtum . I am still looking for the right action to complement a bit further her already super developed network. I am thinking about creating lessons and learning experiences to give children and youngsters the opportunity to understant a bit better and hopefully faster the concept or the fact of interconnectedness. If anyone has readings or authors that have tried it please advise me. I am on it !

Patrick D.

Deforestation: Julia Butterfly sat in a redwood for 2-1/2 years. I "disagree" with Jane. We are the asteroid that has already hit. The reverb continues. Homo sapien sapien? Where are the artist? I need some mello music!


The effort I'm making presently is to eat organic/chemical-free. At first I thought this would be incredibly expensive but I've been very encouraged at how many ways there are to do this! An organic farm at my gardener's market, a co-op that sources local food, and a permaculture farm that does a weekly veggie box are just some examples in my area. Don't buy the $6 bunch of Kale from the supermarket. Look Around! My health is definitely better for it and I do find I'm wasting less. I would say I'm spending a little more (but not much) but I love feeling like I'm voting for my health and the health of the environment. You can do it too!