Gombe chimpanzee Fanni cradles her newborn, Fax.
Gombe National Park
Humans and apes have a common interest in protecting habitat and biodiversity, saving the forests we both depend on and slowing climate change
By Jane Goodall
The rate at which species are disappearing from Planet Earth is horrifying. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the rate is up to 1,000 times higher than the natural rate of extinction. This is largely due to human activity. The United Nations declared 2010 the International Year of Biodiversity to raise awareness of the critical role that biological diversity plays in sustaining life on Earth.
At the same time, nations are grappling with thorny questions of how to slow climate change. The United Nations’ 16th Climate Change Conference in Cancun, Mexico, has just closed. It is abundantly clear that, over the past year, a great deal of progress has been made by a wide range of organizations in thinking about how to protect forests as one means of addressing climate change. There now appears to be a strong consensus that a comprehensive approach to forest protection is needed — one that recognizes the importance of forest plants and animals and engages and assists local communities.
Ape conservation tackles all of these issues head on.