Jane Goodall

Each and every single individual can make a difference;
the kind of difference we can make is up to us, because we have a choice.
By our daily actions, we can help the environment and our fellow travelers on earth,
human and non-human alike. Or we can hurt the world.
It is hard to be neutral.



The Jane Goodall Institute of Italy was set up in December 1998 as the Italian branch of the Jane Goodall Institute International (JGI) on the initiative of the President the biologist Daniela De Donno Mannini (CV). JGI Italy is a socially useful non profit making organisation, its philosophy and aims are based on those of the JGI International: acting to build a better future for people, animals and the environment.


To contribute to a mindful long-term global development, based on equal distribution of resources and environment-friendly choices.


To protect and enhance biologic and cultural diversities.


To promote respect and solidarity.

To support young people in developing greater critical conscience, individual engagement, self-confidence and hope in the future.


  • International cooperation to development in Tanzania, having particular regard to orphans because of AIDS.

  • Environmental and humanitarian education directed towards children and young people up to university through the international program Roots&Shoots.

  • Animal protection, having particular regard to chimpanzees as a symbol of those animal species that are threatened by extinction.

The projects of JGI Italy are:

- Sanganigwa Project:  for the children of an orphanage in Kigoma, Tanzania near the Gombe National Park. The Kigoma region of Tanzania is one of the poorest areas of the world. JGI Italy supports the cost of food, medicine, schooling and recreation for 59 Tanzanian children between the ages of 3 and 19 of different ethnic and religious backgrounds. In addition, their schooling is supplemented by an internal education programme which aims to facilitate children over 18 with their entry into the world of work.
To support the Sanganigwa project, JGI Italy has started up a programme of  “distance sponsorship”, the programme is directed at both institutions and private citizens.

- Environmental education: Roots & Shoots (italian version) is the environmental and humanitarian programme dedicated to young people. The aim of R&S is to teach respect for the environment, to promote knowledge and understanding of other cultures and to uphold the importance of every individual’s commitment. The young people of R&S are actively involved in projects concerning the local community, the environment and animals.

- Teaching about peace and trans-cultural training (italian version):
Teaching about peace and trans-cultural training: to promote inter-cultural knowledge and exchange, through a series of didactic initiatives, a worldwide communication network and concrete action. Respect and collaboration between citizens from different cultural backgrounds is encouraged by means of information on the origins and development of other societies. Trans-cultural education directed at both young people and adults greatly supports the process of social integration which also requires an ever greater commitment to training in many spheres, including the world of work.

- “So like us” (italian version) programme: to expose the often deplorable conditions of chimpanzees in captivity, to monitor and protect chimps in captivity and to teach greater respect for this species which is so similar to our own. Chimps should live freely in the protected forests of Africa, if, unfortunately, captivity is forced upon them then the structures in which they live should be able to guarantee their well-being and behavioural harmony. What’s more these structures have the fundamental task of increasing public awareness of this species as much as possible: that chimps too, just like people, prefer to be free and that their natural habitats are unique and in need of protection.

“How should we relate to beings who look
into mirrors and see themselves as individuals,
who mourn companions and may die of grief,
who have a consciousness of 'self’?”.


 Nando Peretti Foundation and JGI-Italy for Tchimp. Chimp. Rehab. Center (TCRC).
 JGI and Giza zoo -Cairo
 Jane Goodall Grand Officer Order of Merit of the Italian Republic
 Egypt for animal welfare. Daniela De Donno from Cairo
 At last Cozy returns to Africa...

- Nando Peretti Foundation and JGI-Italy for Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Center (TCRC).
(January 2013)

The Nando Peretti Foundation and the Jane Goodall Institute Italia together for the Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Center (TCRC), managed in Congo Brazzaville by the JGI for chimpanzees taken away from poachers and illegal commerce. For the past 20 years, the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) has worked tirelessly to ensure the well-being of orphaned chimpanzees confiscated by the Congolese authorities in their efforts to stop the illegal commercial bushmeat and pet trades. They are cared for at JGI’s Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Center (TCRC), the largest chimpanzee sanctuary in Africa. Established in 1992, the Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Center (TCRC) provides sanctuary for chimpanzee orphans, all victims of either the illegal bushmeat or live animal trade. Over the past twenty years, 192 chimpanzees have called Tchimpounga home. Today, 155 live here. The current facilities as per the Pan African Sanctuary Alliance (PASA) minimum standards are suitable for housing no more than 88 individuals. Currently, out of the 155, there are 142 individuals being housed within these facilities. The ability to expand to provide suitable facilities no longer exists at this site. Moreover, each year, Tchimpounga is under attack from grass fires that are lit by local villages near or inside the reserve. On average, the staff at Tchimpounga will fight up to 10 fires each dry season, trying to protect the forests and the sanctuary from these fires. Since 2004, the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) has been searching for a solution to the expanding orphan chimpanzee population at the old site. The government of Congo agreed to expand the Tchimpounga Nature Reserve (TNR) from 75km2 to 555km2, including three islands: Tchindzoulou, Ngombe and Tchibebe. JGI just acquired the three uninhabited islands on the Kouilou River which is adjacent to the TCRC and within the expanded Tchimpounga Natural Reserve. Il JGI sta attualmente spostando gli scimpanzé nella nuova area. With the cooperation and assistance of the Congolese Government and other partners we are now working to create an expanded and improved long-term site on these islands for the chimpanzees where they can continue to be cared for and given the chance to thrive and live happier lives in conditions reflective of natural chimpanzee habitat. JGI’s long-term vision for the expanded TCRC also includes opportunities to educate local residents on environmental issues, and to generate tourist revenue which will assist in funding ongoing TCRC operations, and boost the local economy. Together with the Tchimpounga director, Rebeca Tencia and the JGI expert JGI Debby Cox, the Jane Goodall Institute Italia and Nando Peretti Foundation (NPF) designed a supporting programme for the Tchimpounga Cnter, in this decisive moment in its history. In particular, NPF and JGI will purchase a boat, life jackets and protection panels to be put on the island, with the specific purpose to ensure security and therefore sustainability to the project.

- JGI and Giza zoo -Cairo.
(March 2012)

The collaboration between the Cairo zoo and the Jane Goodall Institute continues. After the enrichment and grouping of the chimpanzees carried out by the JGI behaviourist Hila Terez from the Phoenix zoo, the JGI-Italia took it upon itself to provide the new structure that will be hosting two orang outangs and the chimpanzees area with automatic water troughs. The water troughs, neither available nor used in Egypt, are made in Italy and they were delivered to the Giza zoo by the president of the JGI Italia on March 12. President De Donno together with Dina Zulfikar from the Egyptian Animal Welfare Federation, delivered the machines to the Egyptian zoos Director and undersecretary of State Fatma Tammam and the zoos veterinary unit manager Dr. Maha.

Photo© Maha, De Donno and Tammam

Photo© De Donno and Tammam

Photo© Zulficar, De Donno and Tammam


- Jane Goodall Grand Officer Order of Merit of the Italian Republic.
Daniela De Donno Mannini, President of the Jane Goodall Institute-Italia
Translation Maria Selene Polli (Scuola Superiore Carlo Bo)
(Milano, 21st November 2011)

In the course of 2011, the Jane Goodall Institute in Italy (JGI Italia) is celebrating Jane Goodall who today, on the occasion of the “International Year of Forests”, will receive the honour of “Grand Officer Order of Merit of the Italian Republic” from the President of the Republic of Italy Giorgio Napolitano. Jane Goodall has been dedicating her life to scientific knowledge and to the protection of the environment since 1960, setting herself as an example and guide to hundreds of thousands of scientists and young people all over the world. It has now been fifty years since Jane Goodall started her scientific observations in the Gombe Forest to understand how the chimpanzee, the closest living creature to man, lives. At present, receiving messages from the other side of the world in real time has been made possible and the globalisation of markets makes us long for the greengrocer across the street with sustainable development being looked upon as pure fiction, it appears difficult for us to believe that in 1960 nothing was known about these animals. Jane discovered that they live in organised societies, they have lifelong relationships, they adopt the orphaned young, use tools for specific purposes, respond to the “call” of the sound of waterfalls with exhibitions of power and they fight to grant themselves more resources. This behaviour rings a bell, in fact man is its natural cousin.
Jane Goodall has become a living symbol who travels all over the world to explain, especially to young people, how things stand and how we can and must change, to really elevate ourselves to becoming a sensible species, to become the most notable and gifted one. During her conferences she never misses the chance to communicate the need of living responsibly and modifying our lifestyle in order to reduce environmental exploitation. According to Jane Goodall knowledge is the tool for change, because only after penetrating and taking in the world and other cultures can we reach understanding, and only after understanding can we respect, protect and learn to live with others. Many years of experience on the field hahe led Jane Goodall to associate the study of chimpanzees, which nonetheless has never been interrupted, to natural preservation. This was quite a natural step for an exceptional woman who witnessed, from a scientist’s point of view, the rapid and relentless reduction of the chimpanzees’ magnificent environment and of the communities who live on the edge of the forest which is her field of study. Far from standing there and watching things happen, understanding the urgency of matters, Jane decided to commit to the conservation of biodiversity and the fulfilment of projects dedicated to helping the local communities adopt responsible development too.
When I met Jane Goodall in Burundi back in 1992, where I was working as a volunteer in her Institute in Bujumbura, directed by the Australian veterinarian Susanne Abilgaard, what struck me most was her tenacity. The police used to bring chimpanzees and gorillas confiscated from dealers who stole the cubs from their natural destiny by killing the rest of their family so as to sell them as pets, show or laboratory animals or as bush meat. In ’92 Jane Goodall was already famous for her discoveries and already an icon of National Geographic. She teaches us that every one of the beings she has studied has a different character and capabilities which render them unique. Goodall was already in the university zoology books that inspired me so much at the time and universally recognised for having definitely erased the clear borderline which separated man from the other animals.
With these accomplishments Jane Goodall could have easily and comfortably awaited interviews and honours in the magical Park of Gombe in Tanzania or in her house in England surrounded by her birches, instead she was there with volunteers such as myself to set up divulgating exhibitions and presentations for the parks’ nearby village schools or rehabilitation centres in countries such as Tanzania, Burundi or Uganda and kept telling us just how important our awareness project was, even if we were to succeed in convincing just one student of the need to protect the environment, because that single person would have made the difference and sooner or later we would manage to stop environmental degradation for a different world that someday will have to be changed and that someone must do it and do it quickly too. In the world’s remotest museum, the Tanzanian one of Ujiji near Lake Tanganica dedicated to the encounter between Livingston and Stanley that occurred there, Jane Goodall and we volunteers by her side were preparing for an exhibition on the chimpanzees to help the local population learn what was about to disappear just a few feet away from them. It was 1993 and Jane Goodall, tenacious and tireless as she was in observing chimpanzees in the forest following them for hours on end creeping in the underbrush, had embraced the young empowerment cause, for the environmental awareness and civic responsibilities: they are the ones who are going to live in this world and are going to find it disembowelled and fetid, they are the first to grasp the message, they are the ones who can change things. It is to them that we must speak, we must patiently stir. Having had Jane Goodall as an example has been an exceptional opportunity. Example, using the words of the great German Doctor Albert Schweitzer, is not the best way to educate others, but the only one.
Jane Goodall’s battle for our future had already begun in 1977 with the foundation of the Institute “for Research, Education and Conservation”, that, as it spread, (it can now be found in 26 countries around the world) set concrete projects based on the concept that the preservation of a territory is linked to the fate of the populations who inhabit it and that the eco-systemic, integrated method is the right one to contrast the disappearance of biodiversity which is caused by man. The eco-systemic method suggests that the issues of local resource managing, exploitable or preserved as the resources may be, may be solved by completely involving those who live in that determined environment: an integrated method which includes that the preserved habitat becomes an environment which is harmonically lived in by the population who interacts with it, who because of this, must be solid, free from tyrannical vileness as each depends on the other. We must know and act responsibly.
Now that we know much more about chimpanzees and living systems and believe unquestionably that their survival depends mostly on us, we ask ourselves how to make people responsible also on behalf of those who cannot defend themselves. In the chaos of the world crisis that is dazzling Western Civilisation, but that has always been the status quo of the weakest, we can see some faint light, maybe because it is wise to think that before we can surface we need to sink to the bottom although for the weakest nothing other than the bottom has ever existed. If for some the election of Obama, President of Afro-Muslim origins, was just an excellent marketing operation, the Americans’ choice of a man attentive towards social justice represented a turning point. Moreover the rebellion of the young Arabs against dictators, Women’s protests in Saudi Arabia for their rights and the popular belief that the economic-centred system in which we live will bring about our suicide and that reducing waste is fundamental are step changes. Humanity makes us hope that one day re-surfacing will be possible for all and we’ll live in an advanced civilisation where the word progress will stand for social and environmental balance. Indeed we can’t consider civilised a world that accounts for 215 million children workers of whom 115 million work in dangerous conditions risking diseases and death everyday: these are children in Nairobi dumps, beggars in Tanzania, in Cambodian mines, sex slaves in Thailand and baby soldiers in Somalia disregarding all International laws on Human Rights. There are many of us trying to help them, but it isn’t enough. From the height of her experience Jane Goodall tells us that we do well in hoping because our brain and our untameable human spirit will make the right choices for a better world for everyone. We of the JGL Italia are committed to this hope when we work for the very poor community of Kigoma, for the orphaned children and the young with no future, when we give young Italians the tools to become confident, when we protect animals and nature. “To achieve progress” Neuroscientist Tali Sharot teaches us” we must be able to imagine alternative better realities, and believe that we can create them”. To believe that with our job we can make others’ conditions and environment better is our ideal, and ideals are what we have to contrast degradation, to bear sufferings and obstacles.


- Egypt for animal welfare. Daniela De Donno from Cairo.
(May 2011)

In these days of milestone changes and dreams to fulfil, public protest is a way to plant a flag in the name of a just cause. There is a host of political, social and economic causes to stand up for. But there has been a protest, hidden under the others in support of the human community well being and growth, which deserves special attention as well, since it refers to the principle of respect for all living beings. The protest has turned out to be a historic moment in the Egyptian animal rights advocacy and a howl of hope eventually proclaimed in the name of whom us, human beings, the most intelligent on earth, have to care for; a call for responsibility. The protest was on April 16th, in front of the Giza zoo. All historical Egyptian organizations fighting for the defence of animal rights where there, all together: ESAF (Egyptian Society for Animal Friends) with whom my Organization works to promote environmental education and the welfare of primates, AWAR (Animal Welfare Awareness Research), ESMA (Egyptian Society for Mercy of Animals), SPARE (Society for the Protection of Animals), Donkey Sanctuary, Animal Abuse in Egypt (Group Hurghada), and a number of foreigners, including myself who was representing the Jane Goodall Institute and felt honoured to be part. No religion and no political faith could have divided the coalition.
The main reason for the protest was to request better living conditions for animals in the Egyptian zoos, the separation of Cites from the zoo administration and management, a support to urban animal conditions, for dogs and cats, as well as donkeys and horses. The impulse to the protest was the death of one of the three Orang-utans that had recently arrived, and the pointless isolation of two chimpanzees, separated for display reasons regardless of their natural need for socializing with other chimpanzees. In fact, the situation at Giza zoo has not changed since my last survey, one year ago, except for the presence of two Orangos that I didn't see last time. I found the compound a little cleaner.
For some of the animals conditions are particularly hard. The two elephants are on a 80 centimeters chain all day, they cannot turn to scratch their back if they need; this tells you everything. Other animals are in poor condition, including the bears, the lions, the apes while several monkeys are kept alone. Most activities seem to aim at obtaining tips from visitors by encouraging them to feed the animals or taking pictures to immortalize the visitor with an animal.
When Dina Zulficar, responsible for the ESAF wildlife unit, told me about their intention to organize a protest I was skeptical, I thought it would have gone unnoticed among the many other events. I was wrong. It was time to move, they had already tried all possible ways in the past. The persons who were asking for an improvement of the living conditions of the animals were those who feed dogs and cats everyday in the streets, who take stray animals to good hearted veterinaries curing for free, who lighten donkeys’ loads, who fight violent capture of dolphins and stop their exhausting performances for the entertainment business. They try to create awareness among the large majority, who approach animals only in a utilitarian way.
As a non-Egyptian I was fascinated by the peacefulness of the protesters during the 25th January revolution. What the Egyptian society wanted was simply to believe that an honest world is possible, that equal distribution and social justice are possible. And even on 16 April in front of the zoo, among these children, men and women of all ages protesting also in the name those who cannot talk and ask, let alone fight, I read words of wisdom: a young women was carrying a sign “a nation can be judged by the way it treats its animals. Ghandi”.
We have to believe our action can make a difference.

It is possible to see some images of the demonstration at the following link:


- At last Cozy returns to Africa: his life has seen only neglect and exploitation but now Cozy the chimpanzee is being moved to a Jane Goodall Institute oasis in South Africa.
(August 2006)

In collaboration with the CITES Service of the Italian State Forestry Corps the Jane Goodall Institute in Italy (JGI Italia) has rescued a nine-year-old male chimp that was being kept in a caravan in the Province of Ancona, Italy and has arranged for his transfer to the sanctuary “JGI Chimpanzee Eden” in South Africa directed by Eugene Coussons. Taken away from his mother at the age of one Cozy, as he is called, was legally sold by American traders to an Israeli juggler who trained him for small travelling shows. Cozy performed on tour in Europe until in 2003 his owner fell ill and died in an Italian hospital. While waiting to see what would become of him, he was kept in a cage inside a camper van for three years without once seeing daylight. His only consolation was the care of the one-time partner of the juggler, who looked after him although not without considerable difficulty.
(Fig1: "Chimpanzee Eden" - Photo © Eugene Coussons/JGI - South Africa.)
The CITES Service immediately did all they could to find a suitable place for the chimp to live. As has been the case in the past, collaboration with the Jane Goodall Institute was crucial, this international no-profit organisation has been dedicated to the conservation of chimpanzees and their natural environment for years, as well as to environmental education and to cooperation in favour of development. The “JGI Chimpanzee Eden”, a wildlife sanctuary within the Umhloti Nature Reserve in Mpumalanga, in the heart of South Africa, is the largest of all the African reserves, both in terms of its geographical extension and its infrastructure. The Jane Goodall Institute sanctuary is the perfect solution for Cozy as it will allow for his rehabilitation and partial return to nature.

The Jane Goodall Institute has always been opposed to the use of primates for entertainment and advertising, as well as being in profound contrast with their normal life and habits, the apes are also subjected to physical and psychological violence. After this they take their places in the queue of chimpanzees who are over 6-8 years old and as such are no longer of use in the entertainment business; while waiting to be relocated they are kept in squalid zoos or put down by euthanasia.
fig2: "Quarantine Area" - Photo © Eugene Coussons/JGI - South Africa.)
It is clear that “Operation Cozy” has required considerable effort, both from the Forestry Corps and the Jane Goodall Institute. There are high expectations for the success of the initiative thanks to the presence of the specialists from the CITES Service, vets from the ASUR and experts from the Jane Goodall Institute in Italy and in South Africa.

Photographic material is available on request to: .




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