Paris, Nov 17 (EFE).- British primatologist and ethologist Jane Goodall on Wednesday urged all parties to work with young people to confront the “twin existential threats” posed by climate change and biodiversity loss.
Saying that “We want to work with young people everywhere,” Goodall declared that both challenges are due to “our absolute disrespect of the natural world of which we are part and on which we depend,” her remarks coming by video during the events in Paris surrounding the 50th anniversary of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Program.
At an “intergenerational” roundtable, Goodall expressed the importance of “choosing the right people on our teams … (and) working with the local people and … government officials so together we can start to make more of a difference.”
The 87-year-old primatologist, who participated in the event by video, urged authorities to combine the vision of young people and the experience of adults to make progress on the issues at hand.
UNESCO’s deputy director general, Xing Qu, emphasized the work of young people in the MAB program, saying that they are “leading the way” in the climate challenges since they are “the future of our planet, but also the present.”
“UNESCO will play its part by making the defense of biodiversity not only a technical and scientific issue but also an ethical and humanistic one,” he said.
At the anniversary event, an abstract illustration prepared by contemporary Brazilian artist and UNESCO goodwill ambassador Vik Muniz was unveiled, with the artist issuing a call to mankind to reconnect with the Earth.
Muniz said that “we no longer learn from the Earth,” adding that our educational system does not provide a way to transmit knowledge and mankind must learn from people who remain connected with it.
During the event, the 2021 UNESCO Sultan-Qabus Award for Environmental Conservation was presented to Costa Rica’s University for International Cooperation and to Malaysia’s Forestry Research Institute.