Jane Goodall will be visiting Edinburgh to give a talk entitled “Reasons for Hope” at the University’s New College on 1 May 2014. This is an exciting opportunity for those of you in the local area (I will definitely be going!). The Edinburgh Zoo provides the following description of the event:
“Jane will speak from the heart about the world of the Gombe chimpanzees, drawing on a lifetime of challenges and unique experiences she has encountered in the field. She will also outline the work of the Jane Goodall Institute, dedicated to continuing her pioneering research and to spearheading projects to protect chimpanzees and their habitats. The Institute is also widely recognised for establishing innovative community-centred conservation and development programmes in Africa, and Jane Goodall’s Roots and Shoots, a global environmental and humanitarian youth programme.
Jane will share her thoughts on the future of chimps in the wild, as well as touching upon illegal trade in ivory and rhino horn, an issue very close to her heart. Finally, she will offer her vision for the future of conservation, guidance in navigating the current threats facing the planet, and her reasons for hope in these troubled times.”
For more information, please click on the zoo link provided above or see the University of Edinburgh event page.
Susana Costa (Technical University of Lisbon) highlights the need for engagement with local people when crafting conservation programmes on the ground in her editorial article on primate conservation for the Journal of Primatology. Community-based conservation that fails to consider attitudes towards primates and conservation will not succeed. This may seem like common sense or obvious, but emphases in community involvement by Jane Goodall and like-minded conservationists show that it is not a given. In this article and others (see previous post on Local Perceptions…), conservation appears to be an imposition, with concerned primatologists/conservationists from outwith local areas arriving to attempt to protect a species from the local populations (this could become adversarial). Of course there are locally-led conservation programmes in African and Latin American countries, but even so, this point is well taken and shows the importance of anthrozoological research, which maps out human-animal interactions. How do local people relate to local animals, how might this be different to the relationship between the conservation biologist and these same animals? How do cultures affect perceptions of animals, and how will culturally-derived attitudes align with (or not) conservation efforts? These are only a few questions that an anthrozoologist might ask, and they are extremely important if, for instance, primate conservation is to achieve its aims, and in fact engagement may shift the means to achieving conservation goals to something more achievable (while not diluted). See Costa’s short article in the Journal of Primatology (it is not without spelling and other errors, but worth a quick read, and particularly note the references for further information).