What's the most important thing people
should know, at this time in history?
Let's talk about your work with the
To what extent have the forces of neo-liberal
economic ideology coming via the World Trade Organisation put more
pressure on local companies and governments to deplete their forests?
Or is most of the logging done transnational by companies from outside?
Are NGOs like IUCN and WWF as effective
as they should be, or do they need to be improved?
Living in Europe, one gets the impression
that globalisation forces developing countries to sell their natural
capital - including their remaining forests - for short-term economic
survival at the most basic level. Is it possible to conserve the
forests under these conditions? Do you think the Word Trade Organisation
rules need to be changed?
Are many countries that have forests
with endangered species - particularly primates and chimps - following
that path - or are most of them chopping their forests down as fast
as they can?
Can you say a few words about your
Institute's Roots and Shoots programme?
In different civilisations at different
times in history, we humans have developed a variety of self-images
through which we perceive ourselves as fundamentally selfish or
kind, competitive or co-operative and so on. What have you learned
about human nature and the nature of life from looking at our close
relatives, the chimps?
Some palaeontologists and anthropologists
believe it was tool use and others think it was language that got
us launched into the process of hominisation. Which do you think
contributed most to our evolution?
So you're travelling 300 days a year?
What would you do if someone gave you
100 million dollars? Do you have any dreams that you would be able
In some countries, indigenous peoples
have been evicted from national parks onto lands where they can't
sustain themselves in their traditional hunting and gathering lifestyle.
Isn't this one of the things you're working on, helping the communities
on the periphery?
No, I don't think so.