Motivating youths to contribute in the environment protection and humanitarian issues by protecting chimpanzees were among the extraordinary objectives during her three-day visit in Burundi.-By Diane Uwimana
In her 80’s, she seems to be 20 referring to her determination towards the environmental issues. Living in Tanzania for more than 50 years, Dr Jane Goodall knows very much about chimpanzees’ life. “I began to be interested in Chimpanzees in 1960 when I realized that they needed so much protection like the environment,” says Jane Goodall during her visit at the Public Garden this Monday, 20th January. In general, her visit at the Public Garden of Bujumbura aims at alerting public opinion to the danger that faces the planet and changing individual behaviour for a greater awareness of the environment. “If we continue to fight each other while looking for other interests without protecting water and climate change resilience, all of this is nonsense. Therefore, cities need good spaces to breathe”, she points out. Libère Niyobampama, the Chairman of Green Belt Environment Action ‘ACVE’ is encouraged by that visit. He indicates that their Association has many projects to protect the space. “As our association always cares for the environmental and natural issues, we intend to lighten this place, build a solid enclosure and fight against erosion,” explains Niyobampama.
“Roots and Shoots Project will be revived very soon”
The other purpose of her visit is to revive the Roots and Shoots Project which it initiated in Burundi in 1993 before the crisis: “we implemented this project, but it didn’t work because of the war.” According to Dr. Jane Goodall, this project is a humanitarian and environmental educational program for and by young people. It will enable the youths and students to take initiatives and work together to improve the environment, animal protection and social assistance. She asserts that the project is a message of hope: “The youth can improve the fate of the world. They are able to care for the climate change and pollution which can be the worst threats to our World. And each of us has a role to play,” she highlights. The Chairman of ACVE also mentions that their association has a program to protect Kibira Park from those people who come to violate and destroy it by either cutting wood or looking for woodfire. “We are going to protect it by determining the park boundaries”, adds Niyobampama.
Carmen Nibigira, the Managing Director of Burundi Tourism Office welcomes the visit of Dr. Jane Goodall: “It is a great honour for us to host a personality who has struggled for many years for the protection of the environment. Her presence will contribute very significantly. We are going to work with her to boost the sector especially protecting chimpanzees in Kibira Park.”
Who’s Dr Jane Goodall?
Born on April 3rd, 1934 in London, Dr. Jane Goodall is a British anthropologist, ethologist and primatologist. She is the first to have noticed and reported that chimpanzees use tools to feed themselves. Her work deeply transformed the human-animal relationship. Kofi Annan, the UN General Secretary, rewarded her in April 2002 as the Messenger of Peace of the United Nations. She is best known for her 45-year study of social and family interactions of wild chimpanzees in Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania. She is the founder of Jane Goodall Institute and the Roots and Shoots Program and has worked extensively on conservation and animal welfare issues. She has served on the board of the Non-human Rights Projects since its founding in 1996. Roots and Shoots aims at bringing together the youths from preschool to university age to work on environmental, conservation and humanitarian issues. The organization has local branches in more than 132 countries and with over than 8000 local groups worldwide that involve nearly 100,000 youths.