Volunteers in those villages are working with the institute because they understand that protecting the environment helps people, too, Goodall said.
"They're not just doing it for the chimps."
Goodall said getting a better understanding of chimpanzees also helps humans get a better sense of where we fit into nature.
"The chimps are so like us biologically, as well as behaviorally, that science was forced to start thinking differently, that we're part of the animal kingdom and not separated from it."
On Tuesday, Goodall and Esri President Jack Dangermond urged the public to get involved in conservation, at whatever level they can.
"I don't care whether it's gardening or working in a factory," he said. "Everyone can do something."
And it's important not to despair, Goodall said. If given help, nature can recover, and projects around the world show that this is possible.
"The press tends to pick on the doom and the gloom because it's newsworthy," Goodall said. "But I want the press to equally highlight all those amazing people and incredible projects around the world, that are making a difference, that are restoring destroyed landscapes, that are saving species on the brink of extinction."
The San Diego Zoo's decades-long and successful effort to bring the California condor back from the brink of extinction represents one of those success stories, Goodall said.
People who don't know of such successes might just give up, she said.
"If people lose hope, they become apathetic," Goodall said. "Because if there is no hope ... why bother?"
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