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Exclusive Interview with Jane Goodall: Planting Trees for Chimpanzee Conservation

by Diana Chaplin March 18, 2022 2 min read

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In 2020, One Tree Planted launched our partnership with the Jane Goodall Institute to plant 3 million trees in Uganda as part of a wider conservation effort to restore critical chimpanzee habitat and provide biological corridors for them to safely move between forests.

Dr. Goodall has had an incredible life and career dedicated to chimpanzees, biodiversity and supporting thriving ecosystems, so there’s no one better to provide a valuable perspective on this. We had the incredible honor of sitting down with Dr. Goodall to discuss the reforestation project, and the forests of Africa.

You may have a few key questions about the project and the areas that will be directly affected. Here's more information about the state of chimpanzees in Uganda, the Albertine Rift, and our project in partnership with the Jane Goodall Institute to help restore these crucial areas:

Why chimpanzees?

Chimpanzees are endangered in Uganda and their population numbers have been shrinking across their range countries in Africa for decades. As inequity and unsustainable practices have driven human populations to degrade forests through logging, mining and other activities, more and more critical habitat is being lost. As such, protecting chimpanzee habitat through community-led approaches is core to the work of the Jane Goodall Institute, and has been for decades, with big impact.

What is the Albertine Rift?

Uganda's Albertine Rift is globally recognized as a biodiversity hotspot. It ranks first among continental Africa's 119 distinct terrestrial eco-regions for number of endemic species of birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians, and second in terms of globally threatened species. In fact, over 50% of birds, 39% of mammals, 19% of amphibians, and 14% of reptiles and plants of mainland Africa reside in this region. 

What does the project entail?

In partnership with the Jane Goodall Institute, we are planting, protecting and restoring a total of 3 million trees. As the trees grow, they'll contribute to carbon sequestration, support vital ecosystem functions, and maintain critical habitat for the highly endangered species that rely on the Albertine Rift for their survival — including endangered chimpanzee populations, through the empowerment of local communities. The trees will be split between reforesting protected areas and creating and maintaining biological corridors between protected areas.

A variety of local tree species will be planted based on the needs of specific sites. These include, among others, Maesopsis eminii, Cordia africana, Milicia excelsa, Mitrigyna stipulosa, Lovoa trichiliodes, Khaya anthotheca (an African Mahogany), and Albizia, Trichilia and Ficus (Fig) species.

We are so honored to be joining Dr. Jane Goodall in not just her mission, but her legacy to protect the habitat of endangered chimpanzees. She has moved and inspired people across the globe to make positive changes and impacts for nature. Please join us in this incredible endeavor and consider planting a tree in Uganda today!

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