Science & Tech, Community & Government, Home & Lifestyle

Roots & Shoots

Dr. Jane Goodall

Lesson time 8:41 min

An introduction to the origins of the Roots & Shoots program.

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Topics include: Genesis of Roots & Shoots • Empowering Youth


It's very clear that conservation today-- conserving species, conserving environments, conserving ecosystems-- is something that's tremendously important for the future. And also it's become such a major problem that it takes an awful lot of funding to keep these projects going. So we need to conserve the environment if we want to protect the chimpanzees. If we want to conserve the environment, we have to work with the local people. Because unless they're our partners in conservation, we may as well give up. Working with the local people costs money. Working with scientists to learn more about-- to better protect the natural world takes funding. And it's a lot of hard work, too, and many, many people are involved. Isn't it a waste of time, energy, money, and all the rest of it if we are not at the same time educating new generations to look after the planet better than we have, to be better stewards? We've let the planet down. There's no question about that. And we owe it to future generations to work with them to try and heal some of the harm we've inflicted. And one of the good signs is that young people are beginning to understand. Young people are becoming more aware. It was in 1991, we were celebrating 30 years of research at Gombe, which, at that time, seemed very long. Of course, now it's more towards 60 than 30. But then, 30 years was a big landmark. And I went around secondary schools and primary schools-- we had big gatherings, and I talked to the young people about the environmental problems, about the forests, and some of them began to think about this. And soon after I'd been round all these schools and had these meetings, a group of 12 high school students asked if they could come and meet me at my house in Dar es Salaam. They came from nine different high schools, and they sat around on my veranda. We have a photo of that meeting. Amazing it's been saved. And they were concerned about so many different problems. One of them-- why isn't the government doing more about the poaching of animals-- lions, giraffe, elephants-- in our national parks? See, they're taking ownership. They're our national parks. But there were some of them who were concerned about street children who are homeless, who are sniffing glue. Some of them were worried about the homeless people in the streets who had nowhere to go and no money. Some of them were concerned about the pollution of the ocean, the destruction of the coral reefs. They were just a very thoughtful group of young people. And that led to a meeting of them and their friends from these different secondary schools. And that's where this program for young people was born. They had hoped I could solve their problems. And I said to them, well, you know, I love Tanzania, but I'm not a Tanzanian. And what about you? What do you think you could do for your country ...

About the Instructor

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.

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Dr. Jane Goodall

Dr. Jane Goodall shares her insights into animal intelligence, conservation, and activism.

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