Social media users are sharing posts which claim primatologist Jane Goodall advocated for reducing the world population.
The posts, which relate to a viral video clip of Dr Goodall speaking at a World Economic Forum (WEF) event, include a text overlay quoting her as saying: “We can solve all the world’s problems if we reduce the world population to where it was 500 years ago.”
Another user shared the quote alongside the caption: “By “(reducing) the world’s population,” is Jane Goodall advocating for sustainability, or global genoc1de to “solve the world’s problems”?”.
However, Dr Goodall has been misquoted. The original video reveals that she never used the word “reduce” or discussed depopulation.
The clip is taken from a panel discussion held in January 2020 at the WEF conference in Davos, Switzerland, where Dr Goodall was speaking about the future of the Amazon rainforest.
Dr Goodall responded by talking about the importance of protecting existing trees and mitigating poverty, unsustainable lifestyles, corruption and population growth.
“We cannot hide away from human population growth. Because, you know, it underlies so many of the other problems. All these other things we talk about wouldn’t be a problem if there was the size of the population that there was 500 years ago” (video mark 31 minutes 27 seconds), she says.
The claim fits a common conspiracy narrative around the WEF, its founder Klaus Scwab and the issue of depopulation.
The same clip of Dr Goodall has previously been used by spreaders of misinformation to claim it as evidence the COVID-19 pandemic was planned, as fact-checked by PolitiFact here.
Associated Press has also addressed the claim.
The claim that primatologist Jane Goodall suggested reducing the world population in a bid to solve “all the world’s problems” is false.
Dr Goodall has been misquoted. She stated that problems facing rainforests wouldn’t exist if the population was the same size as it was 500 years ago.
False – The claim is inaccurate.