Jane Goodall is one of the world's most important environmental activists and a noted humanitarian, primatologist and UN messenger of peace.
Her fascination with animal behaviour began in early childhood, she spent her spare time watching birds and animals and making notes and sketches - something I also did on our roof terrace when I was 10. She dreamed of travelling to Africa and at the age of 26, Jane ventured to Tanzania from London with nothing more than a notebook and binoculars. Thus she set off to study the world of wild chimpanzees with the patience and optimism that would characterize her.
Many of her studies of chimpanzee behaviour have been successful despite the fact that she had no formal scientific education and lacked even any degree – she saw chimpanzees making a tool of tree bark to dig out termites. This was an important discovery because at the time, it was assumed only humans made tools.
She has been concerned about environmental damage and, for this reason, campaigned for many causes. These problems are so serious that she has travelled all over the world encouraging people to do what they can to create a better world.
She is a fascinating woman, the type of person I have always admired: brave, good-tempered and involved in all types of worthy causes.