Jane Goodall Institute launches campaign for new solar array for chimps

This week the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI), founded by famed primatologist and conservationist Dr. Jane Goodall, UN Messenger of Peace, launched a new crowdfunding campaign titled, “Lights on Tchimpounga,” which aims to install a new solar array at the Institute’s Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Center in the Republic of Congo.

Originally constructed to meet the needs of a sanctuary housing 30 chimpanzees, the solar array at the sanctuary is not adequate for the more than 160 chimpanzees being cared for at the sanctuary today. The array no longer provides the reliable energy source the sanctuary staff needs. From medical technology, to food storage, to backup batteries for safety fencing surrounding chimpanzee enclosures, the sanctuary staff relies on the solar array to provide electricity for many essential operations. Using a solar array, which uses photovoltaic cells to capture energy from the sun, is an environmentally friendly way of collecting energy for sanctuary operations. The go-to alternative are gasoline powered generators which create greenhouse gases and are costly to operate.

Installing a new solar array at the sanctuary, will both include new more efficient technology to capture the most energy possible, and will be constructed to meet the needs of the larger population of chimpanzees in JGI’s care at the sanctuary. The array will include new solar panels and frames, new batteries, inverters and other equipment for storing the energy, and a small structure to house the equipment.

Many of the chimpanzees cared for at Tchimpounga are orphans — brought to the sanctuary due to the illegal international commercial bushmeat and pet trades. When chimpanzee mothers are shot and killed for bushmeat, poachers often sell their infants to people who keep them as pets. With education and support of public law enforcement more and more chimpanzees have been confiscated and brought to JGI for care. Every time a chimpanzee is rescued by JGI, they need a lifetime of care, and JGI is responsible for providing them with the best care possible.Between June 11 and July 9, 2014, JGI aims to raise $32,000 on Pozible.com, the Institute’s crowdfunding partner, for the construction of the new array. To learn more and to support the campaign, visit www.pozible.com/solarchimp. Share the campaign on social media using the hashtag #socialchimp.

About the Jane Goodall Institute: Founded in 1977, the Jane Goodall Institute continues Dr. Goodall’s pioneering research on chimpanzee behavior started more than 50 years ago — research that transformed scientific perceptions of the relationship between humans and animals. Today, the Institute is a global leader in the effort to protect chimpanzees and their habitats. It also is widely recognized for establishing innovative community-centered conservation and development programs in Africa, and Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots, the global environmental and humanitarian program for youth of all ages, which has groups in more than 130 countries. For more information, please visit www.janegoodall.org.


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