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Jane Goodall receives 27th Catalunya International Award for her contribution to humankind

The British primatologist Jane Goodall, whose work with chimpanzees revolutionised the understanding of animals and the definition of being a human being, has received the 27th Premi Internacional Catalunya award, which is Catalonia's most prestigious award given each year to a world leading personality for his or her contribution to humankind. The independent jury awarded Goodall the recognition for her scientific work but also for her work as an activist, protecting nature and raising awareness worldwide about the need to do so. "We have to learn to live in peace and harmony among each other and with nature", said the English primatologist in her acceptance speech during a solemn ceremony held at the Generalitat Palace in Barcelona. The award comes with a copy of a sculpture designed by Catalan artist Antoni Tàpies called 'La clau i la lletra' (The key and the letter) and an €80,000 prize, which Goodall will donate to one of her foundations.

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27 July 2015 10:13 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- The British primatologist Jane Goodall, whose work with chimpanzees revolutionised the understanding of animals and the definition of being a human being, has received the 27th Premi Internacional Catalunya award, which is Catalonia's most prestigious award given each year to a world leading personality for his or her contribution to humankind. The independent jury awarded Goodall the recognition for her scientific work but also for her work as an activist, protecting nature and raising awareness worldwide about the need to do so. "We have to learn to live in peace and harmony among each other and with nature", said the English primatologist in her acceptance speech during a solemn ceremony held at the Generalitat Palace in Barcelona. Goodall said that despite the current hazards threatening Earth, she has hope that it is not too late for the planet because of 4 main reasons: firstly, because of the solutions developed by the great human brain; secondly, on account of the resilience of nature, which can be reborn out of destruction, although perhaps not in the same way and with some changes; thirdly, because of the human spirit, which is able to adapt and create great things even in the most difficult conditions; and finally, due to the power of the current social media that can mobilise and unite people to defend a noble cause. Goodall also praised Catalans for having developed advanced legislation to protect animals and recognise that they have emotions.


Jane Goodall said it was "a great honour" to receive such an award. In the past few years, the Premi Internacional Catalunya has been awarded to former Brazilian President Lula da Silva; South African Archbishop and anti-Apartheid activist Desmond Tutu; Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai; former Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland; former US President Jimmy Carter; the Japanese writer Haruki Murakami; French anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss; Burmese activist Aung San Suu Kyi; Indian economist Amartya Sen; and the former Czech President and writer Václav Havel, among many others. The award comes with the copy of a sculpture designed by Catalan artist Antoni Tàpies called 'La clau i la lletra' (The key and the letter) and an €80,000 prize, which Goodall will donate to one of her foundations.

At the start of the ceremony, the jury's chairman, Xavier Rupert de Ventós, highlighted the reasons for granting Jane Goodall the award. Then, physicist and member of the jury Jorge Wagensberg praised the primatologist's career and explained the impact of her work, which "has changed the definition of human being".

After Goodall's speech, the President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, highlighted that the Premi Internacional Catalunya firstly aims to recognise a figure that has made a great contribution to humankind; secondly, aims to make this figure a model "to inspire" the people of Catalonia; and thirdly, aims to make a contribution from Catalonia to the international community and raise Catalonia's international profile. To conclude, Mas recalled some of the main legal steps taken in Catalonia to protect animals in the last 27 years. He also stressed that up to 30% of the Catalan territory has some sort of environmental protection, one of the highest percentages in Europe.

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  • Jane Goodall receiving the Premi Internacional Catalunya award from the Catalan President, Artur Mas (by P. Francesch)

  • Jane Goodall receiving the Premi Internacional Catalunya award from the Catalan President, Artur Mas (by P. Francesch)