Museum, Goodall group to host wildlife carnival

CELEBRATING NATURE::The event is to feature booths from 26 elementary schools, games, arts and crafts, and music cowritten with elementary-school students

Staff writer, with CNA

Sat, Dec 07, 2019 - Page 2

National Taiwan Museum and the Jane Goodall Institute of Taiwan are to host a wildlife conservation carnival today at the 228 Peace Memorial Park (228和平紀念公園) in Taipei.

The carnival, part of the institute’s Roots and Shoots program to encourage environmental conservation and wildlife awareness with children, is to feature musical performances, arts and crafts displays, and stamp-collecting games with souvenirs as prizes, Jane Goodall Institute of Taiwan executive director Kelly Kok (郭雪貞) said.

Booths set up at the carnival by 26 elementary schools from Taipei, New Taipei City and Hsinchu City would feature information about the animals they care for, she said.

“It will be a wonderful affair where people can come together to celebrate the diversity of nature,” she said, adding that more than 1,200 people are expected to attend.

French music artist Eric Capone is to perform nine wildlife conservation-related songs he cowrote with students from nine Taiwanese elementary schools in the month since he arrived in Taiwan.

Capone on Wednesday said he was impressed by the creativity of the children who wrote the lyrics by imagining that they were animals in danger calling out for help.

“The lyrics are simple, but yet so touching,” he said. “I was surprised at how much they were involved in spreading wildlife conservation. I think the teachers do a good job teaching them about all the different animals.”

Children are also to dress up as their favorite animals in costumes made out of recycled materials, a tradition the Jane Goodall Institute of Taiwan has promoted at previous events.

“When we started 10 years ago with an animal parade, we wanted to celebrate the diversity of the natural world, where people come dressed up, pretending to be animals and speaking out on their behalf,” Kok said.

Wildlife conservation remains an important issue, as the WWF has reported that animals are becoming extinct at an alarming rate, National Taiwan Museum Director Hung Shih-yu (洪世佑) said.

The loss of species is estimated by experts to be between 1,000 and 10,000 times higher than the natural rate of extinction that would occur if humans did not exist, according to the WWF Web site.

“The rate of animal extinction is very alarming and the reason is because of the actions of humans, so it is very important to spread awareness of wildlife conservation to children when they are young to help curb future damages,” Hung said.

Roots and Shoots is a global program that guides young people in nearly 100 countries in becoming conservation activists and leaders in their daily lives, according to the Jane Goodall Institute of Taiwan’s Web site.

The group’s Taiwan office was established in 1998 to promote and coordinate the Roots and Shoots program founded by renowned British primatologist and anthropologist Jane Goodall.