Google Earth: New Tool for Conservationists
In the year 2000, Jane Goodall, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute, and Lilian Pintea explored Tanzania with Google Earth for the first time. They were shocked how Google Earth showed just how severe the deforestation was in the Gombe Forest, home of the chimpanzees Goodall had so famously studied in the 1960s. Chimpanzees had retreated to other areas because of the lack of food, water, and shelter due to the massive deforestation. If not quickly stopped, the chimps habitat would be completely destroyed.
Soon after, Google Earth Outreach was born- a charity program Google uses to donate and assist non-profit organizations. The Jane Goodall Institute and Google Earth collaborated to create a wildlife saving campaign, focused on conserving and protecting the forest. Google Earth played a crucial role, the gathered geospatial information was shared with the Gombe area locals- promoting unity in protecting their environment and thus protecting the local forest and animal habitats. Google Earth also allowed them to map out where chimpanzees were sighted, so those areas could become the focus of the conservation efforts.
Google Earth provides information regarding the number of trees in an area, the number of wildlife animals in an area and more. For example; one local asked ‘how many acres is my farm,’ and Pintea was able to provide that information with Google Earth. The local then replied, ‘okay, this is useful; now what did you want to talk about chimpanzees?’ Google earth was able to provide that connection and encourage Gombe Forest locals to participate in replanting trees, get water to sustain the wildlife, and assist in protection areas from poachers.
The Jane Goodall Institute is definitely a cause worth supporting. It takes a tremendous amount of resources to make an impact, and any donation will help. Show your support today and make a difference!
Support Jane Goodall here: http://www.janegoodall.org.hk/