Climate Solutions: Conservation with Jane Goodall, PhD, DBE & Paula Kahumbu, PhD

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In the past four decades, we have lost nearly 70 percent of the world’s fauna. The great challenge for humans now is to figure out how to rectify this extinction storm. Experts agree that protecting wildlife on land and in the sea offers one of the most substantial solutions to the climate crisis, which remains critical to the survival of nature and humanity. Iconic conservationist Jane Goodall joins Washington Post Live to discuss opportunities aimed at restoring and protecting endangered species and combating the ongoing impacts of climate change. WildlifeDirect CEO Paula Kahumbu will talk about how her life’s work in protecting elephants from environmental change and poaching is helping to resolve this two-pronged crisis.

Check out The Washington Post Climate Solutions Sectionin partnership with Rolex, targeting the individuals working to find answers.

Click here for transcript

“I sincerely hope they agree to curb their emissions, I hope there is agreement on protecting forests and the environment, and I hope the summit will be followed by action and not just words.” (Video: Washington Post Live)
The conservationist said the pandemic is partly due to the increased closeness between animals and people. “The people who study these so-called zoonotic diseases have been warning us for years that a pandemic like this was inevitable. It’s, in part… moving into animal habitats, forcing some animals closer to humans, which gives an opportunity for a pathogen like a virus to jump over, and when that happens, it can cause a new disease.” Video: Washington Post Live)
The conservationist said governments were not meeting their emissions targets, in part because “there was nothing to oblige them”. “In the Paris Agreements, governments made commitments about how much emissions they would cut, but they didn’t keep them and there was nothing to oblige them to stick to them. So the ones that looked like they might have made it out were the companies that sent their really filthy industry overseas… so that it seemed like a lot less emissions were going into the atmosphere from their country… will have catastrophic consequences. We are already having catastrophic consequences everywhere. The effects of climate change and loss of biodiversity can be seen in all parts of the world.” (Video: Washington Post Live)
Despite young people around the world hearing that older generations have put their futures in jeopardy, Goodall remains optimistic that some of the effects of global warming can be curbed. “Everywhere I met young people who seemed to have lost hope… I started talking to them. They all said more or less the same thing: ‘We feel this way because you’ve jeopardized our future.’… We’ve jeopardized their future, stolen their future, for years and years and years… I’m convinced that there is a window of time when we can slow climate change and heal some of the damage we’ve done.” (Video: Washington Post Live)
WildlifeDirect’s CEO hopes to speak at the conference to motivate countries with high greenhouse gas emissions to curb their production. “COP26 is going to be a very important moment … I hope I can be there to speak … Kenya alone cannot do much if the cause of climate change comes from outside our country.” (Video: Washington Post Live)
“Kenya is one of the least emitters of greenhouse gases, but we are being hit in a very serious way by climate change… Climate change is by far the most important threat [to Kenya]† (Video: Washington Post Live)
WildlifeDirect’s CEO says humans are “losing a significant part of ourselves” as the plants and animals we’ve evolved along with us become extinct. “As a species… we evolved along with all these other plants and animals and landscapes. So if we let go of everything, we actually lose a significant part of ourselves… We have two more white rhinoceroses in Kenya… We are witnessing a species on the brink of extinction, these two animals will be gone in the next few years. It’s heartbreaking and we don’t even have the words or the language to express how it affects us.” (Video: Washington Post Live)

Provided by the Jane Goodall Institute.

Jane Goodall was born on April 3, 1934 in London, England. At the young age of 26, she followed her passion for animals and Africa to Gombe, Tanzania, where she began her pioneering study of chimpanzees in the wild, immersing herself in their habitat as a neighbor rather than a distant observer. Her 1960 discovery that chimpanzees make and use tools shocked the scientific world and redefined the relationship between humans and animals.

In 1977, she founded the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) to advance her work around the world and for future generations. JGI continues the field research in Gombe and builds on Dr. Goodall’s innovative approach to conservation, which recognizes the central role humans play in animal and environmental welfare. In 1991, she founded Roots & Shoots, a global program that empowers youth in nearly 60 countries and since its inception in 1991 has profoundly impacted youth in more than 100 countries to act as the informed conservation leaders of the world. needs so urgently.

Today, Dr. Goodall around the world speaking about the threats chimpanzees face, environmental crises, and her reasons for hope. In her books and speeches she emphasizes the interconnectedness of all living beings and the collective power of individual action. dr. Goodall is a United Nations Messenger of Peace and Dame Commander of the British Empire.

For more information, visit

Provided by WildlifeDirect.

Paula Kahumbu is one of Africa’s best known conservationists. She is the CEO of WildlifeDirect and the brainchild of the Hands Off Our Elephants campaign with Her Excellency Margaret Kenyatta, the First Lady of the Republic of Kenya. The campaign is widely recognized for the unique successes in advocacy and commitment of the people of Kenya to support the conservation of elephants. She is the producer and host of Africa’s first wildlife documentary series, made by Africans for Africans, called Wildlife Warriors. Paula is the winner of the Whitley Award Gold Award 2021, ROLEX National Geographic Explorer of the Year for 2021, The Whitley Award 2014, National Geographic Howard Buffet Award for Conservation Leadership in Africa in 2010 and is a National Geographic Emerging Explorer . She received a special award at the United Nations Person of the Year celebrations for her pivotal role in raising awareness and mobilizing action around the crisis facing elephants in Kenya. She is recognized as Kenya’s Ambassador for Conservation by Brand Kenya and received the Presidential Award and the title of Order of the Grand Warrior (OGW) in 2015. She is a trustee of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and the Maun Science Park Botswana. Paula received her PhD in ecology from Princeton University, where she studied elephants on the coast of Kenya

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