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
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.