Jane Goodall’s 90th birthday wish? More time to get out the conservation message

By Thomson Reuters Mar 26, 2024 | 3:29 PM

By Alicia Powell

NEW YORK (Reuters) – British primatologist-turned-conservationist Dr. Jane Goodall will mark her 90th birthday next month with a series of talks.

Her greatest wish is for people to start thinking more about the environment, she said in an interview last week. But in the meantime, she says she would like the gift of more years “to continue getting the message out.”

“We’ve got a window of time, I believe, to start slowing down climate change, loss of biodiversity, to alleviate poverty, to bring to an end the terrible industrial farming, especially of animals,” she said.

Goodall, a United Nations Messenger of Peace and founder of the Jane Goodall Institute, rose to prominence as a pioneering female scientist in the 1960s carrying out groundbreaking research on wild chimpanzees in Gombe, Tanzania.

Her insights into the behavior of the animals, including their use of tools, have revolutionized our understanding of the relationship between humans and animals.

Her work has since expanded into environmental education and advocacy.

The upcoming talks will focus on Goodall’s reflections as she turns 90 and her view on why immediate action is crucial for the creation of a better future. The events will raise money for the Jane Goodall Institute and the Roots and Shoots youth program.

Despite challenges like climate change, loss of biodiversity and poverty, Goodall said she remained hopeful that there was time “to try and persuade the very wealthy to be a little more considerate of the future.”

“Without hope, this won’t happen. People have to have hope,” said Goodall, who will speak in the U.S. on March 30 in Seattle, Washington and on April 1 in New York.

(Reporting by Alicia Powell, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)