Jane Goodall Says More Federal Conservation Funds Critical For All
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Claire Gwatkin Jones
Phone: (703) 682-9220
March 11, 2008 --- Jane Goodall, PhD, DBE, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI), addressed members and staff of the United States Congress on Tuesday and urged them to increase funding for critical species and habitats around the world. During Tuesday’s release of the International Conservation Budget, an annual publication that highlights America’s role in conserving the world’s natural resources, Dr. Goodall spoke about the need to integrate funding of species conservation and human development projects.
“How can we even try to protect animals in developing countries, such as the famous chimpanzees of Tanzania, when the people are living in dire conditions? When you are living in such circumstances, you have no options but to cut down the trees and use the environment in unsustainable ways,” said Dr. Goodall.
Bill Johnston, president of the Jane Goodall Institute, noted that conservation takes more than just monitoring and enforcement of protected areas. Highlighting JGI’s partnerships with other conservation organizations, he touched on the breadth of assistance provided to local populations. “The key is changing minds,” said Johnston, referring to the attitudes of populations living near critical species and habitats.
Dr. Goodall further emphasized that, because health, education and other development-related assistance is essential to the success of conservation goals, conservation contributes significantly to global issues of concern to U.S. lawmakers such as global security and infectious disease transmission. She also noted that saving tropical forests is critical to addressing climate change.
“I think it’s fairly clear that it’s important that we work together, pull our resources together to save these places.”
U.S. Congressman John Tanner (D-TN) was also present at the briefing and expressed his support for conservation funding, referring to our moral obligation to take care of every species, every animal and every plant on earth.
Each year, the International Conservation Budget, which includes the input of smaller conservation organizations, is published by Conservation International, The Nature Conservancy, World Wildlife Fund and Wildlife Conservation Society. The budget’s launch is held during the onset of the annual appropriations process, when members of Congress consider how much money to provide for the vast array of programs authorized by the federal government and listed in the federal budget. This year’s International Conservation Budget is requesting that funding levels for biodiversity protection and species conservation at the Department of State and the Department of Interior be increased for the 2009 fiscal year.
Founded in 1977, the Jane Goodall Institute continues Dr. Goodall’s pioneering research into chimpanzee behavior – research that transformed scientific perceptions of the relationship between humans and animals. Today, the Institute is widely recognized for establishing innovative community-centered conservation and development programs (TACARE) in Africa and the Roots & Shoots education program, which has groups in almost 100 countries.