The Portrait of an Active Global Citizen: Jane Goodall

Active global citizen is a term that is used to refer to an individual that portrays unique characteristics and actions, where they care for and influence members of a community and take interest in local and global issues. Having a maintained, organized, and functioning society is a valued aspect in the lives of active global citizens, and they are consistently aiming to promote unity and raise awareness about the interrelationship we have as a human race. This idea represents people who are conscious of the outer world and work to comprehend the different aspects of life in a society. Acknowledging the effects of actions one takes as a member of a community is an opportunity to obtain the advantage of being an active global citizen. Based on these traits, Jane Goodall is an active global citizen.

Jane Goodall is an active global citizen because she’s a determined individual that is greatly involved in global communities in countries around Africa, specifically Tanzania. At a young age, she developed a passion for learning more about humankind’s closest living relatives, chimpanzees. To begin, Jane Goodall has presented us with many facts encouraging the urgent need to protect chimpanzees from extinction and endangerment, although prior to her inquiry, the world knew very little about chimpanzees and their general behaviour. In order to activate her research and present the world with a new understanding of this species, she immersed herself in their daily routines, monitoring their habitats and lives to experience a Chimpanzee’s characteristics as their “neighbour”, rather than an observer. When taking this step, she involved herself in their lives and came to understand them as individuals with emotions and unique features to them, rather than disregarding their existence in nature. Multiple years later, she founded the Gombe Stream Research Centre, to further promote her revolutionary discoveries and research about the behaviours of chimpanzees and their ability of tool making. This project is the world’s longest-running continuous wildlife research project, constantly providing new readers and viewers with the chance to learn more about the mistreated chimpanzee species. In 1977, Goodall established another institute named the Jane Goodall Institute for Wildlife Research, Education and Conversation. This centre provides the public with information about chimpanzees, which is a step towards involving local people in the conservation and development of chimpanzees. Throughout her childhood, Jane Goodall dreamed about one day educating people around the world about her new discoveries, and this dream prompted her to incorporate profound learning programs in Africa, involving even more people around the world and changing their views about wild and captive chimpanzees. Her involvement in communities around the world verifies how she is recognized as an active global citizen.

An active global citizen is someone who seeks for a more just and sustainable society and environment and they recognize the individuals that do the same. Through mutual friends, Jane Goodall met a famous anthropologist named Louis Leakey, who motivated her to attend many workshops and programs which he believed would earn her the capability of living with the chimpanzees and learning about them. Louis Leakey, an experienced and very knowledgeable anthropologist, spent a major time in his life studying the remains of human fossils and learning about evolution, a topic that did not acquire the knowledge and attention it deserved. Leakey was determined to understand more about how his ancient ancestors lived, which meant he also had to learn about the behaviour of our ape relatives, chimpanzees. He aspired to one day complete his understanding of evolution to create a more sustainable environment for the people around him. Goodall sought to adapt the unique characteristics of Louis Leakey as he portrayed active global citizenship throughout the many projects he completed. Years ago, the chimpanzee species was declared endangered, and since then, Goodall has directed most of her focus to their conservation and to the protection of their population. She recognized how the population of chimpanzees was decreasing due to the actions humans are taking, further affecting the environment. She believed that these consistent actions were very unsustainable and would eventually lead to the extinction of other species as well. To bring awareness, she created many publications and used new technology and satellite imagery to help in the chimpanzee conservation. Humans were severely affecting the habitats of chimpanzees, although the animal population was causing no disruption to humans. Due to her passionate desire to help create a more sustainable future and society, Jane Goodall is believed to be a remarkable active global citizen.

Jane Goodall works towards changing the way her community develops over the years and aims to positively influence groups of people around the world. She also promotes the idea of unity and responsibility between animals and humans. Goodall believes that humans are intertwined with the nature surrounding them and should be more aware of that and respectful towards other living things. She disagrees with the concept many humans have interpreted, where people think they are above and separate from the world, while it should be the exact opposite. Humans should recognize that they share their land with animals as well, and they should have a connected relationship. To further encourage unity, Goodall came to the conclusion that she would have to begin with improving the citizens’ lives. She soon created an organization named Roots and Shoots for youth in Tanzania where she focused the concern on the environment, animals, and human communities. This program has now become a movement across the entire world, with one-hundred countries supporting it. At the Global Citizen Festival, she pointed out that global warming causes humans to make bad decisions towards the environment. This point is made because she remains hopeful that change will be made and people in global and local communities will learn from the experiences Goodall lived through. Her constant effort to positively develop communities and advance the idea of unity and responsibility makes her an active global citizen.

Having great involvement in local and global communities, seeking for a more just and sustainable society and environment, recognizing the individuals that encourage change and development, and influencing people around the world in different communities are all reasons why Jane Goodall is an active global citizen. Jane Goodall strives to improve the lives of people around the world and works to raise awareness about important topics that affect many people, the environment, and the future of our planet. The consideration of one’s actions and how they impact all neighbours around the world is another skill that active global citizens have. Although taking actions and steps that make you an active global citizen are not always easy, the future of our planet and society and will be more sustainable, equal, and just.  

01 August 2022
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