On 28th and 29th November 2017, over 400 primatologists gathered at the Royal Geographical Society in London to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Primate Society of Great Britain (PSGB).
The opening talk was given by Jane Goodall, reflecting on her 50+ years of working for chimpanzee conservation around the world. Immediately following Jane was BNF co-director, Dr Susan Cheyne talking about how BNF is studying and protecting primates in peat-swamp forests. We were treated to a series of talks about primate conservation throughout the first day, followed by further reflections by Jane Goodall and past PSGB president, Robert Martin over drinks.
The second day was the turn of the past presidents to reflect on the last 50 years and their personal interests. We were treated to a great talk about gibbons by Dr David Chivers: past president and trustee of BNF’s UK charity, the Borneo Nature Trust.
The RGS is a fantastic venue in which to speak and it was also of historic importance for BNF as it was the RGS who awarded us our first ever grant to study orangutans in the swamp forests in the late 1990’s. What a privilege to be back and to speak about the work BNF is doing and how much has changed. Several BNF alumni were present at the meeting, people who gained skills and training with BNF and are now working for conservation or pursuing higher degrees.
What is clear from this meeting is that there is a lot of work to do to help protect primates, but what was also clear is that there are a lot of dedicated people around the world who are devoting their lives to make a difference and BNF is very proud to be part of this.
|Dr Susan Cheyne: BNF co-director||Dr David Chivers: past president and trustee of BNF’s UK charity,
the Borneo Nature Trust