Short-Docu, CH, 30 Min., HD
Jane Goodall revolutionized primate research in her early years as a researcher in the Gombe National Park of Tanzania. She was the first who documented the use of tools by chimpanzees. Dr. Jane Goodall today leads an institute carrying her name, a name which implies success not only on the research but also on the conservation front. Karl Ammann, a Swiss photographer and author of a range of book titles on great apes, takes a closer look at the definition of success in the Gombe context.
While a wide range of scientists studied the primates in the Gombe park, most of the forest habitat outside of the park was lost. The human population pressure drastically increased in the last 30 years.
Today one of Jane Goodall‘s main objectives is the reforestation of corridors linking the chimpanzees in the park with relic populations in the far off hills to try to improve the genetic pool. The overall Gombe population today is less then one hundred
Karl Ammann misses the independent auditing, as far as the effectiveness, of most conservation projects. He claims many conservation organizations are today
involved in “feel good conservation”: presenting success stories helpful with fundraising but often representing only the proverbial drop on a hot stone.
This questioning of the main stream approach to conservation issues in the third world led to Karl Ammann being named one of the “Heros of the Environment” by Time magazine and the “African Environmental Journalist of the Year” in 2007.