Goodall brings message of hope

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Goodall brings message of hope

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Jane Goodall signs an autograph for a fan at the Korea National Arboretum on Wednesday, during her recent three-day visit to Korea. [YONHAP]


A record number of endangered species are disappearing from the planet. But there is a bright light in animal preservation efforts.

Jane Goodall, widely known as the foremost expert on chimpanzees, was in Korea Wednesday to promote her new book, “Hope for Animals and Their World: How Endangered Species Are Being Rescued from the Brink,” which was published in Korea last Saturday. The book carries the optimistic message that humans and animals can coexist.

Goodall is hopeful that humans can resolve the most vexing environmental problems facing the world today.

“We have an extraordinary brain, and we are beginning to understand that we’re in a right mess,” Goodall said. “So now with our backs to the wall, more and more, if we would just use all of this alternative energy and other amazing technology we’d be in a better state.”

Goodall said she draws a lot of her inspiration from young people.

“There is this energy and passion in these young people, who are prepared to roll up their sleeves and take action,” she said.

She believes it is young people who will take an active role in solving the world’s environmental problems.

“Every single day they live, they make an impact in the world,” Goodall said. “Every single one of them has a role to play in this life, and every single one of them matters.”

Goodall urged young people to become involved with Roots and Shoots, an organization that helps young people identify problems in their communities and take action, according to the Web site (www.rootsandshoots.org).

During her three-day visit, Goodall spoke at Kyunghee University and the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology.

She also met with officials at the Korea National Arboretum, which is working in tandem with the Ministry of Environment to create a public park called the Eco Plex in Seochun, South Chungcheong.

When complete in 2012, the Eco Plex will not only feature a park, but also a research facility focused on biodiversity and endangered-species preservation.

On Thursday, Goodall gave a keynote speech at the International Symposium on Cooperation for Biodiversity Conservation and Research, which is also related to the establishment of the Eco Plex.

In her speech, she urged attendees to be more conscious of their actions and how they affect the environment.

“People do things that harm the environment because of ignorance,” Goodall said. “Most people probably have purchased things they don’t really need, without thinking that the action they just took was wasteful and eventually harms the environment.”


By Lee Sun-min [summerlee@joongang.co.kr]

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