Our Spokespeople

The International Co-ordinating Council (ICC) of the Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB) has nominated ethologist and environmentalist Dr. Jane Goodall DBE, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace, as the spokesperson of the 50th anniversary of MAB. Dr Goodall was chosen by the ICC as she represents the values of the Programme, which are rooted in scientific research, respect for biodiversity and the promotion of sustainable development.

This nomination is also a tribute to her work over the years in defence of nature and the local populations that depend on it, globally and specifically in the Gombe Masito Ugalla Biosphere Reserve in Tanzania.

Dr Goodall, together with five young spokespersons from each region of the world, will be the spokespersons for the philosophy and actions of the MAB Programme and its World Network of Biosphere Reserves throughout 2021

Dr Jane Goodall

In July 1960, at the age of 26, Dr. Jane Goodall travelled from England to what is now Tanzania and ventured into the little-known world of wild chimpanzees. 

Equipped with little more than a notebook, binoculars, and her fascination with wildlife, Jane Goodall braved a realm of unknowns to give the world a remarkable window into humankind’s closest living relatives.

Through nearly 60 years of ground-breaking work, Dr Jane Goodall has not only shown us the urgent need to protect chimpanzees from extinction; she has also redefined species conservation to include the needs of local people and the environment.

Considering the importance of preparing the younger generation for today's environmental challenges, Dr Goodall initiated the Roots & Shoots programme in 1991.

Roots & Shoots brings together young people from around the world to work on the relationship between people, animals and the environment, to improve our present and future lives.

Involvement with UNESCO's MAB Programme

Today she travels the world, speaking about the threats facing chimpanzees and environmental crises, urging each of us to take action on behalf of all living things and planet we share. Her important work has included the designation of her most iconic research area where she conducted her work, the Gombe Current Research Centre, as part of the Gombe Masito Ugalla Biosphere Reserve in 2018.

The Jane Goodall Institute is also part of the Great Apes Survival Partnership, launched in 2001 to help ensure the long-term survival of gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos and orangutans and their habitat in Africa and Asia.

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MAB Youth Spokespeople

As a key player for the future of UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere Programme, one representative of each MAB Youth Network's regions have been nominated on March 2021 during the UNESCO Biodiversity Forum..

Alicia Donnellan Barraclough (EuroMAB)

Alicia is a British-Spanish dual citizen, currently living and working in Nordhordland Biosphere Reserve in Norway. She is a researcher at the UNESCO Chair University of Bergen and a grassroots organizer. She is passionate about connecting people and nature through knowledge and practice.  Alicia is committed to working across divided to generate knowledge and inform practice in a way that is inclusive and fair to people and the planet.

Rabecca Laibich (AfriMAB)

Rabecca is a 24-year-old Kenyan citizen, born and raised in Mount Elgon Biosphere Reserve. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Human Resource Management from from Moi University. She currently works with a youth led group that focuses on biodiversity conservation in Mount Elgon Biosphere Reserve. Rabecca is committed to embrace the celebration of MAB’s 50th Anniversary as she seeks to raise the voices of youth locally, regionally and globally and see humans learning to live in harmony with nature.

Amel Mechmech (ArabMAB)

Amel is a 33-year-old Tunisisan sociologist and ecologist. She dedicates her professional career to the preservation and valorization of natural and cultural heritage. She strongly believes in the values and missions of the UNESCO’s MAB Programme and she is committed to mainstreaming the work of youth around biosphere reserves.

Obed Palagot Echavarria (IberoMAB)

Obed was born and raised in Los Tuxtlas Biosphere Reserve in Mexico. He holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and dedicates his career to biodiversity conservation and environmental education. He has engaged in several volunteer initiatives and is eager to work alongside IberoMAB Youth. He currently lives and work in Los Tuxtlas Biosphere Reserve.

Xiaoge Ping (ASPACMAB)

Xiaoge is a researcher at the Institute of Zoology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. She has been studying wildlife and biodiversity conservation for the past 15 years and has conducted much of her work within Chinese Biosphere Reserves. She has a strong dedication for biodiversity conservation and throughout the years she has familiarized with the international conventions on biodiversity.

Emanuel Anthony Kilugala (Roots & Shoots)

Emanuel comes from the Gombe Masito Ugalla Biosphere Reserve in Tanzania and represents the Roots & Shoots Programme of the Jane Goodall Institute. He holds a Bachelor of Science in forestry and dedicated to biodiversity and natural resources conservation. As a spokesperson he wishes to share his experiences as much as he wishes to learn from fellow youth and expand his perspectives and knowledge on conservation and sustainable living.