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Trafficking in great apes and other animals is a global criminal enterprise that is pushing our most endangered species to the brink of extinction. The illegal trade in wildlife causes immense suffering to animals that are taken from the wild and killed or held captive in terrible conditions.
Through our global network of Chapters, the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) has launched the ForeverWild campaign to call attention to the crisis that now threatens great apes and other species. JGI works to end wildlife trafficking and you can help. Learn about the issues, share widely and support our initiatives to stop wildlife crime. Working together we can secure a future where wildlife can live safely in the wild.
At JGIA we have two main programs that we support and fund.
So many African elephants are poached for ivory they may be extinct by 2028.
Poverty, industrial & economic development, greed, corruption, and weak governance all contribute to illegal trafficking.
The Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) works actively to end the illegal wildlife trade. At our sanctuaries in Africa, JGI rescues, protects and cares for orphaned chimpanzees and other animals which are victims of trafficking. We run community-led conservation initiatives to support sustainable livelihoods for local communities, providing alternative means of income to poaching and trade.
JGI also collaborates with numerous agencies to protect great apes in the wild from the risk of trafficking through field research and the development of new technology to identify online marketing of endangered great apes.
Around the world, JGI Chapters are running local campaigns to prevent wildlife trafficking in their region. JGI Chapters use advocacy, public engagement and partnerships to encourage national anti-trafficking policies.
JGI runs the Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Center in the Republic of Congo, the largest chimpanzee sanctuary in Africa. Since Tchimpounga opened in 1992, the staff have cared for more than 190 rescued chimpanzees. The facility currently houses nearly 150 chimpanzees that live either on the mainland sanctuary or in groups on the island sanctuary sites.
Sanctuary care is just one part of our local efforts to protect endangered species from trafficking. We use a “triangle approach,” educating young people and community members on the dangers and consequences of wildlife trafficking and involving them in our work; and supporting law enforcement agencies to reduce criminal activity and reinforce reporting.
Click below to discover ways JGI is working to end wildlife trafficking around the world.
In drafting the Sustainable Development Goals, the United Nations recognized wildlife crime as a threat to sustainable development.
“I had been to Thailand years ago where I rode an elephant and bought ivory. Later, when I had learned about elephant protection, I felt very sorry, and I hope I can help with their protection.” ~ A participant in China’s Guardians of the Elephants project.
On World Elephant Day, August 12th 2018, Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots in China launched its Elephant Guardian campaign. The campaign informs school students about the new Chinese law making ivory illegal and explains why ivory is harmful and such protection is needed for elephants. Focusing on the youth in Beijing’s international schools, from affluent families who might aspire to buy ivory despite the domestic ban, the project is engaging young people to learn the truth about ivory and develop their own campaigns to spread the message and collect pledges from their families and peers not to buy ivory.
The 2018 campaign is building on successful work spreading the message in Chinese universities and in primary schools and families.
It had been found that most people in China were unaware that elephants were being brutally killed in order to remove their tusks; in fact many did not realize that ivory came from elephants. They did not know that ivory demand is thereby threatening the very survival of these majestic beings - nor that buying ivory means funding organized criminals, who shoot rangers and bribe officials, destabilizing communities.
The Guardians of the Elephants project, in collaboration with Humane Society International, engaged young people in learning and sharing these messages over several years, starting with training hundreds of university students during Elephant Awareness Month. In one year students from 26 universities participated in 10 cities and 9 provinces of China. 10,000 students were involved altogether.
Primary school educational materials were created and teachers and volunteers trained to give classes which ran in more than 40 primary schools. Coupled with public communications such as posters and events at Beijing and Lanzhou zoos, editorial in DEEP magazine, and Jane Goodall’s talks and interviews when visiting China, the project had a huge reach amongst the Chinese public and is estimated to have touched 9 million people.
“The least I can do is speak out for those who cannot speak for themselves.”
~ Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE
Around the world, the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) is working with experts, communities and governments to ensure vital action is taken to protect endangered wildlife, speaking up for those who cannot speak for themselves. Grounded in our communities, we bring informed parties together to share views and examine evidence, plan what’s necessary and take action. We work with a spirit of compassion and collaboration.
By raising awareness and making it easy for the public to show support for change, we can achieve the law and policy changes so desperately needed for conservation.
JGI New Zealand
In New Zealand, the domestic ivory and rhino horn trade remains lucrative and legal. Ivory carvings, figures, netsukes, okimonos, tusks and rhinoceros horn are sold on New Zealand’s domestic market for hundreds of dollars without any documented evidence of their age, origin or import history. Illegally poached ivory and horn can therefore be traded with ease. That is why the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) have called for all nations to close their domestic ivory markets.
The Jane Goodall Institute New Zealand’s campaign raises awareness about illegal wildlife trafficking and demands ‘No Domestic Trade’ of elephant ivory and rhino horn - The prime aim of the campaign is to close New Zealand's elephant ivory and rhino horn market. JGINZ has been working on this campaign since 2014 and members of the team on the policy and advocacy on the issue for more than six years and have provided submissions to the New Zealand government and also to Australia’s Parliamentary Joint Committee on Law Enforcement Inquiry into Trade in elephant ivory and rhinoceros horn, in regards to the Australian domestic market.
On October 4th 2108, World Animal Day, JGI New Zealand presented an open letter to government ministers pressing for the closure of the domestic market for ivory and rhino horn. The campaign brought together 40 prominent national and international organizations, alongside Jane Goodall and JGINZ Patron, Rt. Hon. Helen Clark, the Former Prime Minister of New Zealand and UNDP Administrator.
At the International Wildlife Trade conference in London in October 2018, Helen Clark joined a new 'Ivory Alliance 2024' alongside political leaders, conservationists and celebrities dedicated to end illegal trade in ivory. JGINZ will be pressing hard to close the New Zealand domestic market via public outreach and pressure and providing policy documentation and support to the New Zealand government in regards to a market closure.
Everyone can help stop the poaching of elephants and rhinos by joining the call for a domestic ban here [http://www.janegoodall.org.nz/jgi-nz-campaigns/1-click-campaigns/no-domestic-trade-1-click/]
JGI Hong Kong
Hong Kong has been one of the world’s major transit hubs for elephant ivory. The Jane Goodall Institute in Hong Kong joined forces with the Elephant Society to stop this trade because it enables traffickers to sell their illegally poached ivory, leading to the cruel slaughter of thousands of vulnerable elephants for their tusks. Believing there could not be effective advocacy for elephants without directly engaging the people most affected by proposed changes, JGI HK and the Elephant Society started a dialogue with ivory traders, culminating in constructive meetings between the organisations, the Government and the traders.
JGI HK also sought to inform the public to garner public support for a ban, explaining the ivory trade’s link with transnational organized crime. The Hong Kong government agreed on a ban on ivory trading early in 2018.
With the ivory trading ban now announced, JGI HK continues to lobby government to recognize the links in Hong Kong between wildlife trafficking and organized crime in the form of triads. Though seizures of smuggled endangered species are increasing, successful prosecutions for trafficking are still far too few. The United Nations Office on Drugs & Crime advises that applying strict organized crime laws to punish traffickers is warranted and acts as a strong deterrent and this is what JGI HK is now collaborating with other conservationists to achieve by asking government to apply and develop existing triad laws.
The Jane Goodall Institute Australia is seeking the closure of domestic markets for ivory and rhino horn. Following a strong Roots & Shoots presence at the Melbourne Ivory and Rhino Horn Crush in March, in July 2018, JGI Australia Board Director, Zara Bending, and members of the Roots & Shoots Australia National Youth Leadership Council, appeared before Australia’s Parliamentary Joint Committee on Law Enforcement Inquiry into Trade in elephant ivory and rhinoceros horn. As a law lecturer and illegal wildlife trade researcher, specializing in rhino horn, Zara Bending gave expert evidence for JGI Australia, supporting the closing of domestic markets.
The inquiry examined whether Australia’s current legal domestic market is contributing to poaching or illegal trade in ivory and rhino horn, whether law enforcement agencies have the ability to correctly assess the age and origins of items imported into Australia and whether legal domestic markets should be reformed or closed.
Following the inquiry, on September 19, 2018, the Joint Committee on Law Enforcement recommended bans on the domestic trade in elephant ivory and rhinoceros horn. The proposed legislative changes draw on the UK's Ivory Bill, allowing only for specific ivory exemptions.
JGI Australia will continue to work towards seeing a ban on domestic trade established and enforced.
More information about JGI New Zealand’s #NoDomesticTrade campaign: http://www.janegoodall.org.nz/jgi-nz-campaigns/janes-traffic-stop/
Informing the public about the need for a ban: http://news.rthk.hk/rthk/en/component/k2/1320664-20170322.htm
Appeal to use triad legislation to fight wildlife trafficking https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/health-environment/article/2160319/hong-kong-green-groups-call-endangered-species
Read the Australian Parliamentary Joint Committee's full report here, featuring testimony from JGIA Board Director and ForeverWild Technical Expert Zara Bending.
More information about Australia’s expected ban: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/sep/19/bipartisan-inquiry-recommends-australia-ban-domestic-ivory-trade
Hear Zara Bending explain why Australia needs to ban ivory and rhino horn trading: https://2ser.com/spotlight-on-australian-trade-in-elephant-ivory-and-rhino-horn/
Wild Animals are not Pets! Campaigning in Argentina
In many countries around the world, demand for exotic pets is a key driver behind the illegal trade in wildlife. Such is the case in Argentina where purchasing native, and often endangered, wildlife is increasingly popular. Not only are at-risk species trafficked domestically, they are sold to other countries as well, pushing more than 50 species of mammals and birds to the brink of extinction, not to mention the steady loss in biodiversity.
However, though wild animal populations are dwindling, many people are unaware of the issue. In response JGI Argentina launched a campaign in 2017 to end the local exotic pet trade. Through their efforts, the Argentina office has worked closely with teachers, community members and students, to raise awareness about the important difference between domesticated animals that are suitable as pets and wild animals that are not.
Educators have supported the campaign, extending the message to their students. Young people, in turn, have spread the message even further. Hundreds of students enthusiastically joined the “Animal Parade” in Buenos Aires as a celebration of biodiversity and to draw attention to the problem of poaching wildlife for the pet trade. Buenos Aires is the centre of illegal wildlife trading and four of the most trafficked, and very special, local species were showcased as ambassadors for the campaign: the tortoise, toucan, howler monkey and yellow cardinal. Children from local schools and Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots groups made costumes with recycled materials and dressed up as one of the four animals.
Jane Goodall was on hand to join the parade, encouraging everyone to share her vision for a world where we can live more harmoniously with nature.
And local celebrities also got involved, making a video to capture people’s attention and spread awareness. [https://youtu.be/hKom2_an_iA]
JGI Argentina’s campaign is still going strong. This year, children have been making posters and videos about the threats that jaguars face from poaching. [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEfo4hvv80k]
To date, 15 schools and nearly 700 youth were involved in JGI Argentina’s campaign and helped spread the message to their family, friends and the public. With many of the young people having once owned wild animals as pets, this campaign hit home with immediate impact.
Learn more: https://youtu.be/QnnrHtBbmSU
Wild Helping the Unintended Victims of Bushmeat Hunting - Snare Removal JGI Uganda
In Uganda, although it is illegal, hunters set forest snares to trap wildlife for so-called ‘bushmeat’. The poachers are usually hoping to catch animals such as antelopes and wild pigs, but sadly chimpanzees also become victims of the illegal traps. The snares are usually made from strong wire and as chimpanzees walk on the forest floor, their hands and feet become trapped. When the trapped animal struggles to escape, the snare tightens further and causes greater injury and suffering.
The victims are often juvenile females. Mugu Moja (‘One Leg’ in Swahili) was just such a case. The Jane Goodall Institute Uganda was called by local villagers who had seen her caught by the leg in a metal trap. Her leg had been crushed by the trap which weighed 14kg – two thirds of her own body weight - and she could not get free. Although it would be a risky procedure, Mugu Moja’s life was already in danger and so it was decided to remove the trap and send her to the Wildlife Education Centre at Entebbe where her leg had was safely amputated. Once she had recovered, she was immediately returned to the forest where she was able to join her small social group. Though restricted by her injury, she could climb and disappeared straight into the trees. As a young female, ready to reproduce, she would have been a sorry loss for her community without JGI’s intervention.
In Uganda it is estimated that 25% of chimpanzees are suffering from injuries inflicted by hunters’ snares. Injured chimpanzees lose dexterity and control when processing important foods such as figs. And while chimps with injuries fortunately often show remarkable adaptation, their social behavior is affected and their inability to fully compete for food may affect their long-term survival. In severe cases, the injuries chimpanzees sustain from traps and snares are so severe they lead directly to death.
As well as rescuing trapped chimpanzees - so far over 40 chimpanzees have been saved from snares and snare-related injuries - JGI removes snares from the forest, for example working with the snare removal team in Kibale National Park. The team, who are all re-trained previous hunters, spend days in the forest, following hunters. They find and remove the snares that are set, deterring and arresting poachers. It is a dangerous undertaking, but also a vital one to protect Uganda’s wild chimpanzees. Over two decades JGI has supported the removal of more than 10,000 snares in 4 forests.
Removing snares addresses the immediate threat to chimpanzees, but for the long term we must change attitudes and practices to stop illegal hunting.
Therefore the snare removal team also helps to teach local communities about chimpanzees, bushmeat, human-wildlife conflict, the local ecosystem, and the importance of conservation.
JGI in Uganda works through a framework that unifies a national partnership among researchers, private sector, NGOs and government agencies to collaborate in the long term monitoring of the health status of the great ape populations, and where necessary, intervening to ameliorate suffering and pain.