Press Releases

    Note No. 5726
    16 April 2002


    NEW YORK, 15 April (UN Headquarters) -- On Tuesday, 16 April, Secretary-General Kofi Annan will honour the renowned primatologist and environmentalist, Dr. Jane Goodall, as a United Nations Messenger of Peace.

    Dr. Goodall, a resident of the United Kingdom and the United Republic of Tanzania, is well known for her pioneering research with chimpanzees in Tanzania which began more than 42 years ago. In recognition of Dr. Goodall’s exceptional contribution to the advancement of research, education and advocacy on environmental issues, the Secretary-General appointed her a member of an advisory panel to assist in promoting the goals of the World Summit on Sustainable Development, to be held in Johannesburg in September 2002. The panel was also given the task of looking at new approaches to sustainable development.

    In 1977, Dr. Goodall established the Jane Goodall Institute, which supports the continued research on primates in the Gombe Stream Research Centre in Tanzania, as well as other environmental research, education and conservation programmes. The Gombe Stream Research Centre was founded by Dr. Goodall in 1964 to support her work on chimpanzees. It is one of the longest uninterrupted wildlife studies in existence.

    Headquartered in Silver Spring, Maryland, the Jane Goodall Institute is the centre of a network of institutes in 13 other countries, including Canada, China, Holland, Uganda and South Africa. The Institute’s programmes include: a sustainable development and conservation programme involving 33 villages around Lake Tanganyika, which provides health education, secondary school scholarships for girls, supports tree nurseries operated by local people, lends micro- enterprise support, and helps improve agricultural productivity; the Congo Basin Project, established to prevent the annihilation of chimpanzees; and the Roots and Shoots programme which encourages and supports students, from preschool through university, in projects that benefit people, animals and the environment. More than 4,000 Roots and Shoots groups exist in nearly 70 countries around the world.

    The appointment as a United Nations Messenger of Peace adds yet another dimension to Dr. Goodall’s already extensive contributions to sustainable development worldwide: "It is an honour to be appointed a United Nations Messenger of Peace by the Secretary-General", Dr. Goodall says. "I will pledge to take the new responsibility very seriously. I shall attempt to carry the appropriate message as I travel around the world."

    Dr. Goodall travels extensively, lecturing about the threats to chimpanzees, other environmental crises and her reasons for hope that humankind will solve the problems it has imposed on the earth.

    Dr. Goodall is the author of numerous publications, including: In the Shadow of Man and Through a Window -– overviews of her work at Gombe, the spiritual autobiography, Reason for Hope, two autobiographies in letters -- Africa in My Blood and Beyond Innocence, and many children’s books. The Chimpanzees of Gombe: Patterns of Behaviour is recognized as the definitive work on chimpanzees, and is the culmination of her scientific career. Dr. Goodall’s honours include the Medal of Tanzania for her environmental work, the National Geographic Hubbard Medal and Japan’s Kyoto Prize. In 2001, she received the third Gandhi/King Award for Non-violence, presented by the World Movement for Non-violence.

    Since 1997, Secretary-General Kofi Annan has appointed a number of prominent people to serve as Messengers of Peace: Muhammad Ali, Vijay Amritraj, Anna Cataldi, Michael Douglas, Enrico Macias, Wynton Marsalis, Luciano Pavarotti and Elie Weisel. They are individuals who possess widely recognized talents in the field of arts, literature, music and sports, who have agreed to help focus worldwide attention on the work of the United Nations. Dr. Goodall’s appointment adds the field of science to the range of contributions of these prominent personalities.

    Correspondents wishing to interview Dr. Goodall should contact Yvonne Acosta at (212) 963-7214. For information on press accreditation, contact Sonia Lecca at (212) 963-6934.

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