Jane Goodall Awarded French Legion of Honor

Jane Goodall was honored in France as an "Officier de l'Ordre de la Légion d'Honneur." She received the award on January 17 in a private ceremony with French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin at l'Hotel Matignon, the prime minister's office in Paris.

The Légion d'Honneur, established by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802, is the most senior Order in France, and appointment to the Legion is a great honor.

Past award recipients include oceanographer and environmentalist Jacques Cousteau, anti-Holocaust and human rights activist Elie Wiesel, and deaf and blind activist Helen Keller.

This prestigious award is granted to Dr. Goodall by the French Republic in recognition of her exceptional work with primates, the many programs of the Jane Goodall Institute and her continuing endeavours to encourage people around the world to help our planet and its inhabitants.

Additionally, in 2002 UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan appointed Dr. Goodall to serve as a UN Messenger of Peace.

President Jacques Chirac's gesture in awarding Dr. Jane Goodall the Legion of Honor emphasizes the importance of those in Europe and the rest of the world who are committed to the protection of our global natural heritage. JGI-France has invited several French and foreign dignitaries to attend this event.

The Legion of Honor can only be awarded to someone on personal recommendation. It is thanks to the personal initiative and effort of David Lefranc, executive director of JGI-France, that President Chirac appointed Jane to the Order.

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