Conservation news

Audio: Dr. Jane Goodall on being proven right about animals having personalities, plus updates direct from COP23

On today’s episode, we speak with the legendary Jane Goodall, who truly needs no introduction, and will have a direct report from the United Nations’ climate talks happening now in Bonn, Germany.

Our first guest is the one and only Jane Goodall, whose work as a primatologist studying animal behavior for the past six decades has made her a household name. She’s written over two dozen books for both adults and children, and has been the subject of more than 40 films including one now touring the US and Canada, called Jane.

Mongabay is incredibly lucky to have Jane Goodall on our Advisory Board. Just before Mongabay founder and CEO Rhett Butler was scheduled to speak with Goodall recently, research came out that vindicated her contention, which she’s held for nearly 60 years, that chimps have personalities just like people. So we decided to record her thoughts about that for the Mongabay Newscast.

“Quite honestly I think almost everybody recognized that animals have personalities, whether they were in the wild or whether they weren’t,” Goodall tells Butler. “And it was just science saying, ‘Well we can’t prove it therefore it’s better we don’t accept it.’”

Goodall discusses what it’s like to be proven correct all these years later, as well as why she thinks the argument that trophy hunting is a valuable way to fund conservation is “rubbish,” the changes she’s seen in the conservation world over her career, and whether she’s hopeful that we can reverse some of the troubling environmental trends we see around the world.

This conversation went much deeper and into other topics, as well, such as some positive conservation news out of China; the role celebrities can play in boosting environmental causes; the Jane Goodall Institute’s youth program Roots and Shoots, which has now expanded to 100 countries; Jane’s appeal to send seeds to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico, and much more. Read the whole transcript here.

You can follow Jane Goodall on Facebook for updates on all of her work. She has also recorded a Master Class consisting of 29 lessons about animal intelligence and conservation that is available now.

Our second guest today is Mongabay contributor and Wake Forest University journalism professor Justin Catanoso, who is currently attending his fourth Congress of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP23). Just as he did last year, when the COP was held in Marrakesh, Morocco, Catanoso appears on the podcast direct from the convention center in Bonn, Germany to tell us how the COP is going, what the mood is like amongst delegates, and how the US delegation is factoring into the talks as the Trump Administration continues to pursue a pullout from the Paris Climate Agreement.

Justin Catanoso will be covering the COP for Mongabay all week, so look for more of his reporting direct from the convention center in Bonn.

Here’s this episode’s top news:

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If you haven’t already, now’s the time to subscribe to the Mongabay Newscast! You don’t want to miss the next episode, when we’ll have best-selling author Margaret Atwood on the program to discuss her conservation-minded comic book series Angel Catbird and much, much more. You can subscribe to the Mongabay Newscast on Android, Google Play, iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, or RSS.

Dr. Jane Goodall beside a waterfall in Tanzania’s Gombe National Park. Photo Credit: Jane Goodall Institute / Bill Wallauer.

Follow Mike Gaworecki on Twitter: @mikeg2001