The International NGO founded by Dr. Jane Goodall has launched a campaign to raise awareness around the urgency to protect species from trafficking.
With the imminent publication of Horizon Scan, a ground-breaking report that, for the first time, identifies and prioritizes the most urgent issues fueling wildlife trafficking, and as delegates gather for the Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference in London, UK, the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) has announced the launch of the ForeverWild campaign to help end trafficking of endangered species, many on the brink of extinction.
“Without a concerted global effort to stop trafficking, primates and other wildlife will be gone for good,” says Dr. Goodall, a world-renowned primatologist and ethologist. “My hope is that we can work together and end one of the most dangerous threats to the survival of chimpanzees, elephants, rhinos, and many other animals for whom, like us, this planet is their only home.”
JGI’s Zara Bending, a legal expert in wildlife trafficking, is a contributor to both Horizon Scan and JGI Australia’s campaign to end the domestic trade in ivory and rhino horn. “Wildlife trafficking is a global problem that demands a global response,” she says. “There are actions everyone can take to turn the tide and put an end to the illegal wildlife trade. It starts with becoming informed and advocating for better law enforcement while eliminating demand for trafficked animals and animal parts.”
According to the most up-to-date analysis, as reported in Horizon Scan, emerging issues to watch closely range from rapid growth in urbanization in many African countries to increasingly active trading in endangered species through online platforms.
The ongoing migration of rural populations to urban centers has caused demand for bushmeat (wild animals including endangered chimpanzees sold as meat) to spike. At the same time, monitoring the global online sales of exotic pets and animal parts poses new challenges which must be addressed.
JGI is pushing back against wildlife crime on several fronts and has contributed to the development of new facial recognition software to counter online marketing of great apes. The institute also operates one of Africa’s largest chimpanzee sanctuaries where 138 rescued chimpanzees are protected and cared for under conditions that most closely mimic a natural life in the wild.
Providing sanctuary for chimpanzees that have been victims of trafficking is pivotal to ending the practice. Enforcement agencies can only be effective if there is a safe place to bring confiscated animals. Simultaneously, JGI is actively collaborating with local communities to educate people on how and why to protect great apes from the threat of illegal trade.
Through the ForeverWild (#4EverWild) campaign, the Jane Goodall Institute aims to raise awareness of the urgency with which we must end wildlife crime. In addition to JGI’s multiple approaches to stopping trafficking of chimpanzees, local JGI chapters around the world are engaged in efforts to save region-specific wildlife by reducing demand for exotic pets and animal parts, changing government policies, and public engagement activities.
Patrick van Veen, Chair of JGI Global, says: “The Jane Goodall Institute is in a unique position in that we can use our world-wide network to fight illegal trade of great apes and other wildlife in many places and in many ways whether it’s reducing demand or supporting sustainable alternatives for income generation. If we come together we can still secure a future where wild animals can live safely in the wild.”