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The Rio + 10 interviews

Jane Goodall
Reasons for hope


What's the most important thing people should know, at this time in history?

Let's talk about your work with the chimpanzees.

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 to...

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.