I tend to tout my status as a JGI Canada newby. I’m proud to be a part of it! In my short time here, I’ve learned so much. I don’t just mean stuff like policies and programming – I’ve had this realization that the people I get to work with aren’t here just because they’re incredibly intelligent. They’re also here because they have a deep passion for something really important. I get to experience that passion and help convey it through this blog. How lucky am I?
If you’ve spent any time here on the blog, you can sense the enthusiasm and compassion. Something I was struck by the moment I started to receive entries to feature, was the compassion that JGI bloggers have for chimpanzees. It’s definitely not a secret that JGI and chimpanzees are two peas in a pod. But how? How do the peas and the pod go together? My assumption was always that they raised money to build chimp sanctuaries. While that’s definitely true, I’ve learned a few, much more specific (and exciting!), things.
For example, I never knew that the Jane Goodall Institute does so much valuable community centred work to help keep chimpanzees safe in their natural habitats. Working with communities to help remove dangerous snares, for example, is one way that JGI helps alleviate the problems chimpanzees face. JGI is a huge advocate for African communities and for their involvement in cultivating solutions. Consider my mind blown!
I was also so impressed to learn that not only does JGI do this type of work in local communities in Africa, it places a strong emphasis on the consumer decisions we make here at home. What we consume has a surprisingly significant impact on the African rainforest. Chimpanzee habitats, believe it or not, are greatly affected by our demand for forestry based products. The more demand for this type of commodity, the more roads are created to satisfy it. This continuous expansion of road networks through rainforests allows easier access to bushmeat – an industry that is a huge threat to chimpanzee survival. This chain reaction is complex and requires action from everywhere, not just where chimpanzees live.
I could go on and on about all of the great stuff JGI does to help chimpanzees – and I will, so stay tuned! If you want to be a part of what JGI does, you’re always welcome to visit us on our Facebook Page and our Twitter Feed!