Jane Goodall joins call for immediate action to curb deforestation
During the Clinton Global Initiative earlier this week, Jane Goodall furthered JGI's efforts to combat climate change by signing the Forests NOW Declaration, which calls on world governments to take urgent action on deforestation.
The Declaration, which will be delivered to world leaders attending the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Bali this December, calls for incentives, assistance, and other forest protection measures to be included in any carbon market mechanisms adopted at the convention.
Deforestation is responsible for nearly 20% of greenhouse gas emissions. Tropical forests not only act as carbon sinks, absorbing and storing carbon dioxide, but they provide livelihoods for the people, animals, and plants that live within them. At the current rate of deforestation, many plant and animal species, such as chimpanzees, face extinction within our lifetime.
The Forests NOW Declaration has been endorsed by more than 200 heads of state, scientists, conservationists, NGOs, and businesses around the world.
Jane was joined at the signing ceremony by Bill Johnston, president of JGI, and Andrew Mitchell of the Global Canopy Programme, an international research network linking 38 institutions in 19 countries. It launched the Declaration earlier this month in
“This Declaration should help convince the world leaders that protecting tropical forests is not only a critical means of addressing climate change," Jane said. "It is also essential to the future of the amazing species found in tropical forests as well as the many impoverished people who live there.”
The Jane Goodall Institute works at the local level to raise living standards and thereby reduce pressure on forests. JGI's proven community-centered conservation measures include providing technical assistance to farmers, microfinance support for small sustainable businesses, health care, and education for young people, especially girls. Unlike other proposals to address climate change, which may take substantial time to develop and implement, many systems to preserve tropical forests are already in place and need only be expanded.