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Dr. Jane Goodall visited Iceland a couple of weeks ago and I had the privilege to be on the organizing and welcoming comittee for her visit.  Meeting such an inspirational woman who I look up to as a wonderful example of what one person can achieve for the betterment of animals and the planet, was to say the least, a dream come true.

My ten year old daughter, among other kids that attended the Univeristy of Young People, held by the University of Iceland, got the chance to meet Jane.  I think it was such a wonderful opportunity for young people to meet and listen to a woman of her cailbre, a scientist and UN Ambassador of peace and take her wisdom along with them into their future.


Dr Goodall's work revolves around inspiring action on behalf of endangered species, particularly chimpanzees. She encourages people to do their part to make the world a better place for people, animals, and the environment we all share. To this end she started the Jane Goodall Institute, a global non-profit organisation. The Institute is widely recognized for innovative, community-centered conservation and development programs in Africa.

The day of the lecture, it felt more like there was a popstar people were eagerly waiting to see! When the doors opened, the lecture hall completely filled up with one thousand people.  Half an hour before the event we had to close the doors and some three hundred people watched the tv screens from the hallway.  Afterwards, people stood in line for couple of hours, while Jane patiently gave autographs and had photos taken with hundreds of people.  Such a great sport she is.

Jane travels 300 days a year, which for most people would be a challenge especially when you are 83 years old like she is. When I asked her if she planned on slowing down on her travels anyday soon, she looked me in the eye and said, "Linda, I must get my message out in the world to the young people.  There is no time to slow down".


Ms. Vigdis Finnbogadottir, another inspiring lady gave the opening speech for Dr. Goodal.  Vigdis is our former President  -  the first ever, democratically elected female president in the world and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador.

 

I highly recommend you sitting down with a cup of tea and watching the lecture, which is now online and can be watched here. 

 

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Dr. Jane Goodall's visit was a collaboration between the Institute of International Affairs, Institute of Life and Environmental Sciences, The Institute for Sustainable Studies, Environment and Natural Resources – an interdisciplinary graduate programme; all within University of Iceland, UNU-LRT – United Nations University – Land Restoration Training Programme, Icelandic Environment Association, Biologia in Iceland, Vakandi and Santuarie Mapache as well as animal welfare activists.


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