After witnessing mass forest loss in her beloved Tanzania, Dr. Jane Goodall had to act. In 1994 The Jane Goodall Institute launched the Tacare programme, collaborating with locals to create a community-conservation approach to self educate, empower and protect their local environment.
In Tanzania alone Tacare is now active in 72 villages, throughout the chimp habitat, plus another six African countries. By marrying science (research, data and tech), relationships (via local communities and partners) storytelling and policy, positive community conservation programs are created, leading to a sustainable future for animals, people and environment.
The approach is holistic, with particular focus on gender equity programs include increasing girls’ education access and scholarships family planning and health facilities to microcredits.
Reliance on local ecosystems is reduced through programs to improve water management, soil fertility and reforestation, plus enabling sustainable livelihoods like agroforestry, bee-keeping and sustainable coffee.
JGI also works with local communities on land planning, so that protected forest reserves and agricultural areas can successfully co-exist.Training, education and resources are also provided, so alternative, more sustainable and more profitable livelihoods emerge, reducing the need for humans to log, enter or depend on the forest – and for rewilding to begin.
Science underpins all programmes. Technology like mobile data-driven GIS and community mapping combined with forest management, enables locals to manage natural resources while JGI identifies key chimp habitats. Combining community knowledge and data-driven solutions allows people and animals to thrive together – and communities to benefit economically, socially and environmentally.
“The villagers have become our partners in conservation,” says Goodall. “They know that protecting the environment benefits them as well as wildlife.”