During her two-day visit to Belgium Dr. Jane Goodall touched the hearts and souls of thousand people at The Square Brussels on 2 December. An Evening of Hope was opened by the federal minister of environment Zakia Khattabi who, preparing for the upcoming COP15, promised to do her best to protect the global biodiversity.
The evening was filled with inspiration, admiration, laughter and hope. Jane shared her story with examples of the intelligence of animals and described the long road for them to be considered as sentient beings.
She insisted on rethinking the unsustainable lifestyles we are living.
“Most of us have so much more than we need. We are stealing young people’s future.”
This fact had given her the spark to initiate Roots & Shoots programme that has encouraged hundreds of thousands of young people all over the world to take action to save our planet.
She also described the resilience of our planet to recover if given a chance. “The window is closing. We need to take action now”, she said. The message was enforced by Roots & Shoots group of high school students from the Campus Caputsteen, Mechelen, who performed an empowering song on stage.
Jane left us with a reminder of the power of small local actions. “No one can do everything but everyone can do something”.
Jane Goodall Institute Belgium’s director Anouska Plasmeijer came to thank Jane for coming to Belgium. This was after three years of wait, as the previous visit planned for early 2020 was cancelled due to the covid situation. Anouska also highlighted the important role the volunteers play within the organisation’s work.
The unforgettable evening was moderated by the awarded environmentalist Ignace Schops and hosted in collaboration with our two partners: Humanistisch Verbond and Forest Fwd.
Images: Uli Schillebeeckx