About JGI

Our Mission
Founded by renowned primatologist Jane Goodall, the Jane Goodall Institute is a global nonprofit that empowers people to make a difference for all living things. Our work builds on Dr. Goodall’s scientific work and her humanitarian vision. Specifically, we seek to:

  • Improve global understanding and treatment of great apes through research, public education and advocacy
  • Contribute to the preservation of great apes and their habitats by combining conservation with education and promotion of sustainable livelihoods in local communities
  • Create a worldwide network of young people who have learned to care deeply for their human community, for all animals and for the environment, and who will take responsible action to care for them

Our Core Values
There are several core values that inform everything we do:

  • We strive to respect, nourish and protect all living things; people, animals and the environment are all interconnected
  • We believe that knowledge leads to understanding, and that understanding will encourage us to take action
  • We believe that every individual has the ability to make a positive difference
  • We believe that flexibility and open-mindedness are essential to enable us to respond to a changing world
  • We require integrity and compassion in all that we do and say

Our History
Although Jane Goodall founded the Jane Goodall Institute in 1977, its birth can be traced to the moment Jane stepped out of a game warden’s boat onto a pebbly beach at what was then the Gombe Stream Game Reserve in Tanzania.

Chimpanzees: Jane had a daunting assignment – find and get close to wild chimpanzees, documenting their behavior to shed light on our own evolutionary past. She rose to the occasion, very quickly making the first observations of any wild animals making and using tools. Jane also observed chimps hunting bushpigs and other animals, disproving the widely held belief that chimpanzees were primarily vegetarians.

Through subsequent years, Jane opened the world’s eyes to the complexity and richness of chimpanzee communities, writing of close family bonds, dominance struggles among males, human-like communications such as pats on the back and hugs, and much more.

Today the Gombe chimps are perhaps the world’s best-known, and the Gombe research program represents the world’s longest continuous wildlife study. JGI’s Gombe Stream Research Center is a hub of scientific inquiry for researchers from all over the world.

In the 1980s, rampant deforestation and its effects on the chimpanzees in Africa compelled Jane to shift her focus from research to conservation. She began traveling the world speaking about the amazing beings she’d come to know so well. Here and there, she learned of individual chimpanzees in need, many orphaned by poachers and being sold on the black market or kept chained in backyards as “pets.” As a result, the Institute’s sanctuary program was born.

Conservation and Communities: The harsh realities facing villagers in the Kigoma region outside Gombe shaped the Jane Goodall Institute’s evolution further. On a flyover of Gombe one day in the 1990s, Jane saw hillsides denuded in every direction, right up to the park boundary. Thus she cemented a broad vision for species conservation: to be effective, it had to address the needs of the human populations surrounding habitat. Jane started the TACARE (Take Care) program in Kigoma in 1994. This community-centered conservation and development program partners with communities to create sustainable livelihoods while promoting conservation goals.
 
JGI’s TACARE is succeeding in changing lives because its projects are driven – and embraced – by local communities. It has been recognized by the US Agency for International Development and others as a model worth emulating. In recent years we’ve replicated TACARE in central and western parts of Africa.
 
Youth: Jane’s life story and mission have special appeal for young people. They respond not only to her passion for and curiosity about animals, but to her courage and steadfast hope for a better world. Reaching out to young people is a high priority for Jane, and conservation education is a critical part of JGI’s work. We help create the leaders of tomorrow through our global youth program, Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots. Roots & Shoots nurtures values of civic responsibility, environmental stewardship, and peace.

 

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JGI News and Highlights

Featured Video

Wounda's Journey

Watch her enjoy her new home at the Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Center in the Republic of Congo.

Featured Video

Featured Video

Saving Chimps From Snares (Graphic Images)!

This is the story of Mugu Moja, a young juvenile chimpanzee.