Getting People Listening and Talking About Saving Great Apes
In many chimpanzee range areas, people are uninformed about the endangered state of great apes and in regard to their protections under the law. It is imperative to conservation efforts that adequate awareness initiatives are taken to help communities understand the precarious state of chimpanzee and other great ape populations, more about these species (including their similarities to us), along with value to local economies and role within ecosystems. Through various strategic outreach efforts, including radio broadcast, we are able to take the message of conservation farther, faster and for better results.
In places like the DRC, the Jane Goodall Institute has been using methods like the creation and distribution of billboards, posters, stickers, t-shirts, pamphlets, fact-sheets and more to help accomplish a delivered message of the need to protect chimps and other great apes. To take this one step further, radio spots with conservation messages and jingles provide information for the masses, which is especially helpful for remote areas with low rates of literacy. As a testament to the project’s success, some of the JGI staff have experienced hearing children in very remote villages singing one of these informative jingles about chimpanzees.
“With our activities and particularly our radio broadcasts, the plight of chimpanzees is becoming a topic of discussion among functionaries, journalists, policemen, schoolchildren, NGOs. This doesn’t mean everybody is willing to stop all destructive practices, but it does mean that people think about chimps, talk about chimps and will, more and more, take action to protect chimps!”
– Marie Claude Gauthier, former JGI staff member