KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 30, 2015:

In a bid to empower more youths to drive for environmental change of the world, Dr Jane Goodall, wellknown for her vast research on chimpanzees, made her inaugural visit to Malaysia recently.

She was in town to raise environmental awareness and officiate her recently-launched youth programme, “Roots and Shoots Malaysia”.

“Roots is all about young people talking about what they care about. It’s not about telling them what to do.

“Because “Roots and Shoots” is about animals, environment, people and peace, there are lots of different avenues they can pursue,” Goodall told reporters after the officiating ceremony at Berjaya Hotel here.

The programme empowers youth by promoting volunteerism and allowing youth to choose their own projects.

“But, it all comes back to what the real problems are here which affect the different parts of Malaysia.”

Goodall added the programme’s main message was that every individual made some sort of impact on the planet through the way they lived their lives.

“We can choose what sort of difference we’re going to make from the consequences of our behaviour. Hence youth can choose how to help people.”

Speaking on the opportunities to change people and the environment for the better, Goodall told thousands present at the Berjaya Times Square Hotel here about the need to take action immediately.

“I’m sure we have a window of opportunity for change. If we carry on the way we are, destroying the environment, a time will come when we reach a point of no return, but we’re not there yet.

“I’m talking about the destruction of the rainforests, particularly about the tropical rainforests,” she said, explaining that it has created global warming that many don’t take seriously.

“The globe is warming up and for a long time people didn’t believe that. Human activity has hastened it in an unprecedented way.

“The best way to slow down climate change is to preserve and restore our tropical forests.”

In guiding youth to take on this and a vast array of other issues that affect Malaysia, “Roots and Shoots” collaborated with Berjaya Youth, a platform by Berjaya Corporation Berhad.

The programme also received a donation of RM500,000 by the corporation, while it hopes to work on more collaborations in the future.

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