Biodiversity And Forest Protection

/Biodiversity And Forest Protection


27 06, 2022

Redefining Gender In The Amazon

2023-02-01T23:05:45-05:00Tags: |

This article shares the story of Uýra Sodoma, the spirit of Indigenous trans nonbinary artist and biologist Emerson Pontes (she/they). Uýra speaks through Pontes in order to highlight the importance of protecting the Brazilian Amazon. A new documentary, Uýra: The Rising Forest, shows Emerson’s journey driving collective and educational experiences that engage communities in environmental justice activism. She has faced challenges not only from the mass deforestation of the Amazon, but also from Brazil’s homophobic and transphobic government policies. However, they have continued to use performances to bridge the movements for conservation and LGBTQ+ rights. They emphasize that the concept of the gender binary is a concept imposed by colonizers, using drag to connect with nature and the queer community. Photo Credit: Uýra: The Rising Forest    

13 12, 2021

Voices From The Frontlines: Rose’s Story

2021-12-13T20:55:11-05:00Tags: |

Rose Whipple from the Santee Dakota and Ho-Chunk nations is protecting her ancestral lands from pipelines in the Twin Cities area in Minnesota. Whipple describes her recent community organizing against the Line 3 pipeline which would be the largest in North America and run through rare Wild Rice beds in Anishinaabe and Dakota territory. Inspired by the solidarity of Indigenous communities at Standing Rock, Whipple has learned to use the strength of her voice as a youth leader to stand against the corporate greed of fossil fuel companies which harms the health of people and our planet. She continues to fight for community resilience and a full transition to renewable energy. Photo credit: Jaida L. Grey Eagle

1 05, 2021

Janet Gibson, 1990 Goldman Prize Recipient, South and Central America

2022-05-14T17:04:29-04:00Tags: |

Biologist and zoologist Janet Gibson was instrumental in the creation of the Holy Chan Marine Reserve to protect Belize’s precious coral forests and marine life from development, sewage dumping, and tourism. Since the 1980s, Gibson has been campaigning for long-term sustainable management of coastal resources, helping bring coalitions of fisherfolk, businesspeople, and government officials to the table to establish Belize’s integrated Coastal Zone Management program. She currently serves as the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Belize program director. Photo credit: Goldman Environmental Prize

9 04, 2021

‘What’s At Stake Is The Life Of Every Being’: Saving The Brazilian Cerrado

2021-04-09T13:14:50-04:00Tags: |

Indigenous communities in the Cerrado region of Brazil are organizing to raise awareness of the environmental impacts of agribusiness and deforestation on their native lands. The region is even richer in biodiversity than the Amazon, playing a critical role in global carbon sequestration. Diana Aguiar, political advisor to the National Campaign in Defense of the Cerrado, describes the devastation that has been caused in recent decades due to agribusiness and cattle ranching, compromising the headwaters of major rivers and the livelihoods of Indigenous communities. Local communities and partner NGOs are working to bring greater attention to the importance of this vast savanna and to increase pressure to protect the region as a dedicated world heritage site.  Photo Credit: Elvis Marques / CPT Nacional

1 10, 2020

‘Dramatic’ Global Rise In Laws Defending Rights Of Nature

2023-02-06T00:21:26-05:00Tags: |

Carey Biron overviews the recent global spike in legislation that has ruled in favor of the rights of nature. Rights of Nature laws – which provide citizens the opportunity to sue on behalf of damaged lands and waters – have become more common over the last decade, and ecosystems and waterways have won protection under the law in at least 14 countries. These cases set an important precedent for other nations that are in the process of establishing their own legal frameworks to accommodate rights of nature principles, especially following the United Nations’ first biodiversity summit, where more than 60 leaders signed a Pledge for Nature. The UN’s goal is to protect 30 percent of the planet’s lands and waters by 2030 by cracking down on major environmental issues like pollution and deforestation.

9 09, 2020

Wildfires And Weather Extremes: It’s Not Coincidence, It’s Climate Change

2020-09-09T22:16:53-04:00Tags: |

The acceleration of forest fires in the West has made fire season 2 to 3 months longer than it was just a few decades ago. Climate change and wildfires are linked by mechanisms like higher temperatures, increased aridity, invasive species, earlier melting of snowpack etc. Climate change is not the single responsible factor for these fires and the natural ecosystem drivers of fire should be recognized.

9 09, 2020

Wildfire Smoke Threatens Air Quality Across The West

2020-09-09T22:13:58-04:00Tags: |

In this article, Bonnie Holmes-Gen, chief of the health and exposure assessment branch in the research division of the California Air Resources Board shares the links between health problems and wildfire smoke. During the COVID-19 pandemic, unhealthy air quality is a serious public health emergency. This summer, as California’s coronavirus cases continue to surge and the state struggles to implement safety measures, wildfire season is worsening air quality, complicating evacuation plans, perpetuating unjust impacts on Black, Brown, and Native communities, and further endanger those already at greatest risk of COVID-19.    

8 09, 2020

California Wildfires: Intersecting Crises & How To Respond

2020-09-09T22:23:23-04:00Tags: |

During a public health crisis centered around a respiratory disease, the last thing we need is more pollution that worsens respiratory problems and deepens already disproportionately higher risks of COVID-19 for Black, Brown, Indigenous, and low-income communities. While getting real about the root issues is urgently important, millions of Californians are being forced to deal with the immediate task of safety and survival. Greenpeace created a California Wildfire Crisis Emergency Response Guide to help communities stay safe and healthy during these uncertain times. Photo Credit: David McNew / Greenpeace

6 09, 2020

In California Wine Country, Undocumented Grape Pickers Forced To Work In Fire Evacuation Zones

2020-10-05T16:49:57-04:00Tags: |

Amid pandemic economic impact, many Latin American Indigenous immigrants have no choice but to do farm work in hazardous conditions during wildfires, increasing their vulnerability to COVID-19 due to their exposure to smoke. Movimiento Cultural de la Unión Indígena, an Indigenous workers’ group, is pushing for appropriate working regulations, in addition to providing economic and social assistance, especially to the undocumented suspicious of federal support. Photo credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.

3 09, 2020

What Should We Know About Wildfires In California

2020-09-09T22:57:12-04:00Tags: |

This Greenpeace article lists trends impacting the occurrence of both forest and wildland fires today and solutions to those trends. The climate crisis is fueling extreme weather events, including an exceptionally dry winter and record-breaking heat waves which leave more dried up wildland vegetation to kindle the fires.  Despite this, the Trump Administration and the logging industry regularly use wildfires as opportunities to make the case for more logging under the guise of fuels reduction and fire prevention. Photo Credit: 2016 Erskine Fire in Central California, © US Forest Service

30 08, 2020

Indigenous Activists Brace For Worsening Wildfires Under Climate Change

2020-11-20T17:37:27-05:00Tags: |

The Three Sisters Collective in Santa Fe, New Mexico is leading local efforts to address climate change impacts in Indigenous communities. Carrie Wood, member of the Navajo Nation, and Christina M. Castro, member of the Taos and Jemez pueblos, are two of the women who have been supporting critical local responses such as making air purifiers for elders in the Nambé, Tesuque and Pojoaque pueblos who have dealt with excessive smoke from the Medio Fire combined with other wildfires in the western US. Their support stems from long-held mutual aid traditions led by Indigenous women, stressing the importance of investing in Indigenous knowledge and tribal fire management techniques for community resilience. Photo credit: Cody Nelson/NM Political Report

24 08, 2020

Women Are More At Risk Due To The Pandemic And Climate Crisis. These Feminists Are Working To Change That.

2020-09-24T19:33:05-04:00Tags: |

Women activists around the world are standing up. To challenge the ways in which the global pandemic and climate change exacerbate inequalities, five young women share their stories about the intersections of environmental and social justice. Journey with Betty Barkha (Fiji), Meera Ghani (Pakistan), Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim (Chad), Maggie H. Mapondera (Zimbabwe), and Majandra Rodriguez Acha (Peru) to learn about their work and the ways that they are engaging in their local communities.

13 08, 2020

The Women Battling Wildfires And Breaking Barriers In The American Wilderness

2020-09-09T19:33:02-04:00Tags: |

Hannah Gross is one of 10,000 female wild land firefighters in the United States. In this historically male-dominated field women often face implicit bias, sexism, and gatekeepers who didn’t make them welcome.  Various initiatives have been created to increase the number of women in fire, foster their leadership capabilities, and improve their operational confidence in the field. Thanks to some of these initiatives women are  present in every facet of the wildland fire world. Photo Credit: Alex Potter

31 07, 2020

Isabella Tree On Rewilding England & Regenerative Agriculture

2023-01-25T11:52:57-05:00Tags: |

Isabella Tree is a farmer in Britain who advocates for ‘rewilding’. Rewilding advocates believe that minimal management of green spaces kickstarts natural processes for flora and fauna to thrive and for nature to heal itself. This approach enabled the soil and forested area in her farm to heal and provided a space for endangered species to inhabit. Tree’s farm is one of Britain’s most significant areas for nature. Tree’s farm offers a model of self-sufficiency for other farmers, as she has been able to profit with an organic meat business, renting their barn for office space, and eco-tourism. Women like Tree are leading by example by providing models of farming that restores a healthier relationship with the Earth. Photo credit: Charlie Burrell/Atmos

3 05, 2020

Fierce Life: Maria do Socorro Silva

2023-01-25T11:40:52-05:00Tags: |

Maria do Socorro Silva is a descendant of enslaved Africans, and an Indigenous woman of the Amazon forest, in the region of Barcarena. Like her ancestors, Maria has resisted and rebelled against colonial, capitalist forces, who see the land and women’s bodies as property for the taking. Norst Hyrdo is a Norwegian company that extracts raw materials from Barcarena. High levels of aluminum, iron, copper, arsenic, mercury and lead have been found in the Murucupi River in Barcarena, contaminating the river that Indigenous communities depend on, leading to illness and death. Maria, herself fighting cancer caused by the contamination, also fights by sharing her story to young climate activists, explaining to them the connection between the health of Indigenous Peoples to the health of the environment. Like her ancestors, Maria resists and fights for the next generation. Photo credit: Liliana Merizalde/Atmos

18 03, 2020

‘Tip of the iceberg’: is our destruction of nature responsible for Covid-19?

2020-03-22T21:14:12-04:00Tags: |

Research suggests that humanity’s destruction of biodiversity creates the conditions for new viruses and diseases such as Covid-19, or the coronavirus, the viral disease that emerged in China in December 2019, to arise. According to disease ecologists viruses and other pathogens are also likely to be transmitted from animals to humans in the many informal meat markets that have sprung up in urban populations around the world. This article focuses on the increasingly visible connections between the wellbeing of humans, other living things and entire ecosystems. Additionally, it also argues that zoonotic diseases and viral infections are linked to environmental change caused by human behavior. Photo Credit: National Institutes of Health/AFP via Getty Images

15 11, 2019

A Force Of Nature: Protecting Mongolia’s Elusive Snow Leopards

2020-11-20T17:44:50-05:00Tags: |

Bayarjargal Agvaantseren is a Mongolian activist and conservationist who has created the first snow leopard sanctuary in the world. Raised by a family of teachers, she grew up in northern Mongolia with her own educational path shifting toward conservation as she engaged with rural herders who wanted to protect their livestock from the leopards. Her tireless efforts led to her starting the Snow Leopard Conservation Foundation with a focus on community-driven programs that protect both the herders’ livestock as well as the snow leopard population.  Agvaantseren has also held the Mongolian government accountable by successfully pressuring them to cancel 37 mining licenses of companies who have played a major role in threatening the habitat of the native snow leopard. The Tost Tosonbumba nature reserve in the south Gobi Desert encompasses 1.8 million acres that now protect the snow leopard population and is primarily managed by local communities. Photo credit: Positive.News

28 04, 2019

The Amazon is a Woman

2023-01-25T12:23:37-05:00Tags: |

In Brazil, Indigenous women are fighting against the exploitation of the Amazon rainforest in more ways than one. To protect the Amazon, women are on the frontlines of marches, publicly sharing their stories, leading public meetings, physically preventing access to the forest, relearning their language and culture, teaching children how to resist and act collectively, filing lawsuits against foreign companies exploiting the Amazon, and cultivating alliances with young European activists to jointly protect the Amazon. This does not go without risk. These women withstand threats to and attempts on their lives. These Amazonian women persist because the survival of the Earth and future generations depend upon it. Photo credit: Liliana Merizalde/Atmos

27 04, 2019

How The Tree-Hugging Movement Got Started In A Small Indian Village

2021-01-27T20:32:06-05:00Tags: |

  On March 26, 1973, a young girl spotted loggers heading towards Gopeshwar forest near the small village of Reni, in Uttarakhand. The village advisor, Gaura Devi, recruited 300 village women to hug trees in the forest and physically prevent their deforestation. As large corporations attempted to log near other rural villages, the local women hugged the trees, drawing inspiration from the events at Reni. The movement soon earned the title of the “Chipko andolan,” meaning the “stick-to movement.” Finding its roots in the 1730 Indian tree revolt, and using guiding principles from the Gandhian philosophy of self-sufficiency and self-sustenance, the woman-led Chipko Movement serves as a precursor for modern environmentalism. Photo Credit: Sanjeev Verma/Hindustan Times via Getty

16 10, 2018

Gender Equality In The Cocoa Trade: Two Female Farmers From Cote d’Ivoire Readdress The Balance

2020-10-06T23:33:28-04:00Tags: |

Aminata Bamba and Traore Awa are two women leading the charge on gender equality in the cocoa industry in Western Africa. Both with senior positions in their cocoa cooperatives, Ecookim and CAYAT cocoa cooperative respectively, and having returned from a Fairtrade Conference, they defy the traditional gender roles prevalent in their country and help lift the taboo on women leadership. In a community where unpaid labour often mean that women working throughout the production chain are often not recognised and gender expectations result in a male-dominated industry, the Fairtrade Women’s School of Leadership is working to empower women to take the lead and has trained 413 women in Awa’s community. Their program provides guidance and business support and last year’s conference tackled the future of trade and systemic issues in supply chains. Photo credit: Tony Myers.

21 07, 2018

‘A Hitman Could Come And Kill Me’: The Fight For Indigenous Land Rights In Mexico

2020-10-10T20:29:50-04:00Tags: |

Isela Gonzalez, director of Alianza Sierra Madre, uses civic activism to fight for political change as a way to confront the vested economic interests of not only big corporations, but also narco-gangs and corrupt politicians, that violate indigenous land rights. In a country that is painted in violence, with assassinations as an answer to those who have a different vision than governmental or corporate agendas, standing up for environmental and social causes come with serious risks. Often facing threats to her life, which has resulted in armed guards, panic buttons and crisis training, Gonzalez is staunch in her battle to defend the Tarahumara’s rights. The three tribes who live among the pine-oak forests of the Sierra Madre have a worldview that sees themselves as part of the land and it was this, as well as their way of life, that inspired her to refocus the direction of Alianza Sierra Madre on indigenous rights as the frontline for environmental protection. Photo credit: Thom Pierce for The Guardian.

12 07, 2018

Recognising The Contributions Of Women And Local Communities Is Required To Achieve The SDGs In Nepal

2018-07-12T17:06:05-04:00Tags: |

This report uplifts the contributions, concerns, and needs of rural women’s collectives and local community groups in achieving Nepal’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which were excluded from the national activities and progress reports on the SDGs. Women’s leadership has been essential in cultivating inclusive and participatory systems for natural resource management.  Specifically, women are playing a critical role in community forest user groups—which include both on-the-land work and strategic discussions of women entrepreneurship and gender mainstreaming- to help protect forests, watersheds, wetlands, and cultural resources across rural Nepal. The report thus concludes that women’s groups play a critical role, now more than ever, in achieving the SDGs and strengthening social welfare systems. Photo Credit: FECOFUN

1 05, 2018

Where Women Lead On Climate Change

2019-01-14T18:06:24-05:00Tags: |

Most of the Guatemalan population financially depends on farming. Facing destructive landslides, strong winds and volcanic peaks, the women of Guatemala came forward to find the coping strategies for water and forest conservation. Eulia de Leon Juarez, founder of a women’s rights group in Guatemala’s western highlands, says that climate change has changed the pattern of seasons. To address these micro problems at a macro level, women’s non-profit organizations like Global Alliance for Green and Gender Action (GAGGA) are working rigorously to develop women’s leadership. Climate change has amplified the inevitable process of migration, increasing the number of female-headed households in rural areas as more men move to cities. Solange Bandiaky-Badji, Africa program director for Rights and Resources Initiative, sees this as an opportunity for more women to take greater responsibility in their communities. Therefore, women should be seen as active participant preventing and coping with climate change and not merely as victim of it. Photo Credit: Sara Schonhardt

28 04, 2018

Preserving Arizona’s Aspens: U.S. Forest Service Partners To Treat Infested Aspen Groves In Northern Arizona

2021-04-09T13:09:34-04:00Tags: |

In Williams, Arizona, the Kaibab National Forest, the USDA Forest Service Forest Health Protection, Northern Arizona University, and the Arizona Elk Society are working together to treat Aspen trees that have been infested by Oystershell scale, tiny insects that are threatening the Aspen tree species. The research on this project is primarily led by Dr. Kristen Waring, professor of silviculture at Northern Arizona University’s School of Forestry. Photo Credit: Wendy Howell/WGCN

16 04, 2018

Cooperative Agro-Forestry Empowers Indigenous Women In Honduras

2020-04-24T15:47:48-04:00Tags: |

The community of Lenca women, Indigenous to Honduras, has been practicing agroforestry for millennia as a sustainable farming method in their dry region. They are keeping this traditional knowledge alive by growing organic, fair trade crops like coffee in worker-owned cooperatives. Farmers like Eva Alvarado helped to create an all-female growers’ cooperative in 2014, as part of the Cosagual coffee growers’ organization. Their coffee is now sold around the world, and the women bring home a larger share of the profits than before. The Lenca group is known for radical work: Berta Cáceres, the famous Indigenous activist murdered in 2016, also belonged to the community. The idea of this cooperative was seeded at a gender equality workshop with the Association of NGOs. Agroforestry, which involves planting fruit and timber trees in the shade, is an effective way to combat food insecurity, erosion and acts as a carbon sink. Women in Honduras are coping with climate change using agroforestry, a method that can provide a sustainable livelihood to many communities. Photo Credit: Monica Pelliccia

14 03, 2018

Ecuador: Indigenous Women Protest Lack Of ‘Consultation,’ Environmental Damage Caused By Mineral, Oil Extraction In Amazon

2020-12-02T20:03:36-05:00Tags: |

Ecuador’s National Assembly recently passed a law intended to benefit regional development and expand social services for the most impoverished; however, dozens of Indigenous Amazonian women are protesting the law’s support for continued mining activities and oil extraction, which are responsible for environmental contamination and human displacement threatening the indigenous way of life. These activists are camping outside the presidential office until president Lenin Moreno meets with them and hears their mandate to reject extractive industries, ensure food sovereignty, and deliver intercultural education, among other concerns. Photo credit: CONFENIAE  

7 03, 2018

Guardians of the Amazon Rainforest – Women Rising Radio

2019-04-13T15:59:20-04:00Tags: |

Indigenous land and rights defenders, Gloria Ushigua of Ecuador and Aura Tegria of Colombia, share the heart moving victories and struggles of their people against mega extraction projects on their land, weaving in significant moments from their personal stories. Gloria Ushigua is President of Sapara Women’s Association in Ecuador. She was publicly mocked on television by Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa after protests in 2001 and violently persecuted after organizing significant mobilizations against oil drilling in 2015. Aura Tegria is an indigenous U’wa lawyer on the Legal Counsel to the U’wa people of Colombia. The childhood memories of her people organizing to protect their land inspired to become the U’Wa defender she is today. After intense protests, campaigns and legal action in 2014 and 2015, they successfully kicked out Occidental Petroleum followed by the successful dismantling of the large Magallanes gas well from their land. Part of the U’Wa resistance has also been against the Catholic and Evangelical church that historically promoted cultural extermination through their boarding schools for indigenous children and other oppressive practices. Both women share the history of their people’s resistance since colonization, their personal stories linked to that resistance, the recent struggles of their people and the inspiring victories.Photo Credit: Amazon Watch

5 03, 2018

More Than One Thousand Women Take Over Suzano Pulp And Paper Mill To Protest Genetically Engineered Trees And Eucalyptus Plantations

2018-07-13T17:01:17-04:00Tags: |

On March 5, 2018, over one thousand women from the Rural Landless Workers Movement (MST) took a stand against the creation and sale of genetically engineered (GE) trees from industrial eucalyptus plantations. Motivated by the negative impacts these plantations have on water – leading to the depletion of fresh water and the contamination of critical water reserves - these women strongly oppose the Brazilian government’s 2015 legalization of these plantations. Citing the precautionary recommendations given by the UN Convention on Biodiversity in 2008, the women of the MST and other social movements in Brazil stand firm on their stance to do everything in their power to expel GE trees from being planted on a large-scale in Brazil. Photo Credit: MST Communication

16 02, 2018

Environmental Defender Guadalupe Campanur Tapia Murdered In Mexico

2018-03-02T13:07:51-05:00Tags: |

Purépecha activist Guadalupe Campanur Tapia was a courageous Indigenous woman human rights and Earth defender of Cherán, Michocán, Mexico. Her bravery and leadership helped mobilize local Indigenous communities to protect regional forests against illegal logging, and to claim independence against a corrupt government. However, her activism resulted in threats of violence from organized crime groups, and she was murdered in January 2018. Campanur is among an increasing number of defenders across the globe who have been killed in recent years, especially women. This article recounts Guadalupes death in the context of the 312 defenders across 27 countries who were murdered in 2017. Photo credit: Cultural Survival

3 02, 2018

Colombian Environmentalist Murdered Amid Rising Violence

2018-02-22T20:17:06-05:00Tags: |

Yolanda Maturana dedicated her life to defending Colombia’s wildlife and forests, and was an opponent of illegal mining and water contamination in the central and north western Colombian departments of Risaralda and Choco. Because of her activism she was brutally assassinated in her home, in the village of Santa Cecilia. Across the country, violence is escalating towards environmental activists, a trend congruent with global patterns, but also influenced by Colombia’s brutal and continuing war. Photo credit: @yolandamaturana

27 12, 2017

In Rural Indonesia, Women Spearhead The Fight To Protect Nature

2018-03-02T13:11:54-05:00Tags: |

Aleta Baun, Eva Susanti Hanafi Bande, and Rusmedia Lumban Gaol are just a few of the fierce grassroots leaders fighting against Indigenous cultural and environmental destruction in Indonesia’s rural areas. In July 2017, they gathered with some 50 defenders, most of them women, to share their stories and celebrate their courageous activism in the face of a socio-ecological crisis in their homeland. Timber, mining, palm oil, and other extractive industries have exhausted the country’s natural resources and defenders like Aleta, Eva, and Rusmedia have bravely opposed their efforts in the face of violence, internal persecution, and imprisonment. Photo credit: Lusia Arumingtyas/Mongabay-Indonesia

21 12, 2017

How a Pioneering Botanist Broke Down Japan’s Gender Barriers

2021-01-27T20:38:26-05:00Tags: |

In this article, writer Leila McNeill offers a portrait of scientist Kono Yasui, a Japanese woman who broke grounds in academia, research and teaching. Aged 47, she was the first Japanese woman to earn a PhD in science (Tokyo Imperial University, 1927). This was an achievement in a cultural context in which women’s roles were restricted to being ‘good wives’ and ‘wise mothers’, rather than leaders of scientific inquiry. She was the first Japanese woman to publish in an academic journal, ‘Weber’s Organ of Carp Fish’ in Zoological Science; and the first to publish in a foreign (British) journal, Annals of Botany, ‘On the Life History of Salvinia Natans’ from her study of plant cells. Dedicating her life to research and committing to never marry, Yasui received ministerial funding to research abroad, in the US. In 1949, she contributed to the establishment of TWHNS, a national research university for women. Photo Credit: Ochanomizu University archive

14 12, 2017

Photos: It’s Been 20 Years Since Julia Butterfly Fought Big Logging – By Living In A Tree

2018-02-14T22:19:59-05:00Tags: |

On December 10, 1997, environmentalist Julia “Butterfly” Hill, a member of Earth First! advocacy group, climbed to the top of a 200-foot-tall redwood tree in Northern California. Hill was protesting the destruction of nearby redwood forests by the Pacific Lumber Company. She slept on a 8 x 8 ft plywood platform in the 600-year-old tree named “Luna” for 738 days, withstanding El Niño storms and cold, wet winters. While her “tree-sitting” received criticism from Humboldt and lumberjacks, her nonviolent protest grabbed the attention of the press, and she was able to save the tree while simultaneously shedding light on the work of fellow environmental activists, and inspiring a generation of new young activists. Photo credit: Yann Gamblin/Paris Match via Getty Images

7 12, 2017

Aliens In The Mist

2018-07-13T15:07:17-04:00Tags: |

This interview highlights the incredible work of Dian Fossey, a female pioneer in the fields of primatology and conservation. Fossey’s studies introduced the world to the kind nature of gorillas, and changed the public perception of them from aggressive creatures to the gentle giants they’re known as today. Fossey gave her life to save the gorillas, which remain among the world’s most endangered animals. To carry on her legacy, Tara Stoinski setup, Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International, an non-profit dedicated to the conservation, protection and study of gorillas. Today, Tara primarily works in Rwanda and Congo leading Karisoke, the world’s longest-running gorilla research center. Her holistic conservation efforts directly help people and communities, improving the health and livelihoods of people who live near the gorillas and helping to build the next generation of conservationists in Africa. Photo Credit: Robert I.M. Campbell

1 12, 2017

“Even If They Want To Kill Us, Let Them Kill Us Here. We Must Continue To Stay.” Sengwer Women Cry For Help In The Embobut Forest, Kenya

2018-07-13T15:11:33-04:00Tags: |

Since the British colonial rule, the Sengwer people of the Embobut forest in Kenya have been continuously evicted from their ancestral land in the Cherangani Hills. Now under the guise of conservation and forest preservation, the Sengwer continue to live in constant fear of evictions, a process that leads to loss of cultural vitality, peace, and food security. The effects of the evictions are especially harmful to women, as they have led to loss of ability to take care of children, loss of household property, and an increase in sexual abuse, harassment, and psychological distress. In response to these gendered pressures, the Sengwer women have decided to voice their concerns to government officials, writing a “call for help” on the Forest Peoples Programme’s website. Written by Milka Chepkorir, a Sengwer community member, this call tells of their suffering, concerns, hopes, and their ties to their ancestral land. Photo Credit: Forest Peoples Programme

13 11, 2017

Maldives Mangroves Forest To Be Converted To Airport

2017-12-13T12:52:18-05:00Tags: |

Women leaders of Uthema and Voice of Women speak out about plans to build an airport on Kulhudhuhfushi island in the northern region of the Maldives, which is made of over 1200 natural coral islands. The vital mangrove wetlands of Kulhudhuhfushi are some of the countries most important and biodiverse, and the airport development there threatens massive destruction of ecosystems which are the source of local economy, culture, traditions, food, environmental protection, and much more. The article and accompanying video note a particular impact on women who work work the wetlands for their livelihoods, and the inequities of an airport for just some people displacing a place of local support for countless. Photo credit: SixDegrees News

6 11, 2017

This Tribal Lady And Her Band Of Women Saved 50 Hectares Of Forests For 20 Years

2018-10-17T18:02:17-04:00Tags: |

Raksha Bandhan, a hindu festival celebrating the bond between brother and sister has inspired women in Muturkham, Jharkhand to protect their forests. In 1998, when Jamuna Tudu, also known as ‘Lady Tarzan’, noticed large areas of clearcut forest she began to speak out. She managed to organize Van Suraksha Samiti, a band of 25 women fortified with bows and arrows, bamboo sticks and spears to tackle the enemies of their forest. After driving out the mafia cutting down their forests, the women began tying the ‘knot of protection’, around the trees. Stemming from the Hindu festival of Raksha Bandhan, the knot symbolizes the love between brothers and sisters, where a sister ties a rakhi (holy thread) on the wrist of her brother to ward off evil and in turn, he vows to protect her until death. The rakhi around the trees symbolizes that these women will protect their trees until death. Photo Credit: YouTube

26 10, 2017

Women In Odisha Village Take Charge To Fast Track Community Forest Rights

2018-08-24T17:23:18-04:00Tags: |

In October 2017, women of Kaptapally, Nayagarh district, Odisha opened a Forest Rights Information centre to spread awareness about the Forest Rights Act (FRA). The centre will support traditional forest dwellers and aid in the process of granting Community Forest Rights (CFR) in the district. Usharani, president of the committee, explains that the centre promotes self-sufficiency, substance economies, self-rule and local governance. Women in this area have a long history of protecting forests and a similar centre has opened in Dengajhari village of the Ranpur block, where women have fought to conserve their forests for 40 years. Photo credit: Forest Rights Information centre, Kaptapally

24 10, 2017

Ugandan Women Didn’t Cause Climate Change, But They’re Adapting to It

2018-01-24T11:19:42-05:00Tags: |

Constance Okollet is among the first women of Uganda taking bold action to fight climate change impact, through the formation of the Osukuru United Women Network. Over time, the network has evolved into an education platform about climate change, mitigation and adaptation strategies. Irene Barbara Amayo, another powerful woman, is the chairperson of a group in the Network which has taken action including creating a sustainable poultry operation and a small tree nursery. Even though the Network faces multiple infrastructural challenges which constitute barriers and challenges, the women involved in the project continue to be optimistic and stand for their beliefs. This article highlights that even though these women are not the ones responsible for climate change and massive global pollution, they are nonetheless rising as heroes to build solutions.  Photo credit: Edward Echwalu

17 10, 2017

Chipko: Vandana Shiva And The Original Tree Huggers

2018-10-17T17:17:22-04:00Tags: |

In this short excerpt from, ‘The Seeds of Vandana Shiva’, a documentary produced by Becket Films about Shiva’s remarkable journey, we see a glimpse into Shiva’s introduction into environmental activism. Her journey begins as a young Himalayan woman with a strong desire to spread the word about the Chipko Movement, a forest conservation movement where Indian women clung on to trees to protect them from being cut. This is one of the first ever recorded efforts by women to protect trees; thus demonstrating the long history of women as forest protectors. The full film is set to release soon.   Photo Credit: Becket Films

12 10, 2017

These Badass Women Are Taking On Poachers, And Winning

2018-01-12T15:10:16-05:00Tags: |

Shadu Hlangwana, Felicia Mogahan and Carol Khosa , three women in their twenties, are the world’s first all female anti-poaching unit, ‘the Black Mambas’ working in the world famous Kruger National Park. There are total of 30 women in this unit, who are saving endangered rhinos and elephants. The Mamba’s do not use any weapons - instead, every trainee undergoes at least four years of trainings to sharpens their skills and teamwork. Photo Credit: Mujahid Safodien, AFP/Getty Images

10 10, 2017

Mother Nature’s Daughter

2020-12-15T21:52:39-05:00Tags: |

Authored by Erin Peterson, this article introduces us to St Olaf’s alumni Anne Christianson, a Minnesota native, feminist and environmental scientist. In 2016, along with 75 STEM women from around the world, Anne was selected to partake in the Homeward Bound leadership initiative, a 3-week expedition to Antarctica. For Anne, such an experience in an isolated and wild environment was both an impactful and powerful opportunity to build a significant network of allies, as it promoted collaboration, connection and support amongst the participants in meaningful ways. Interested in the intersection between politics and the environment, this expedition gave Anne a chance to consider new ways of bringing awareness to the troubling effects of climate change on women. The expedition provided these women scientists and leaders with coaching support for career and leadership strategies within their science and technology fields; and strategies for improved science communication and effective research disseminate world-wide. Photo Credit: Unknown

26 09, 2017

Indigenous Women’s Struggles To Oppose State-Sponsored Deforestation In Chhattisgarh, India

2017-12-26T16:23:45-05:00Tags: |

Koriya District situated in North West corner of Chhattisgarh, India is a historically densely forested area where the Indigenous population has always depended on the forest ecosystems to earn their livelihoods. Over the past decade, the natural forests have been replaced with teak plantations, and in response, AAS, an organization of local Indigenous women, has taken action to challenge the state to revoke policies of transforming natural forest into commercially cultivated forests, and to try and secure forest rights and justice for the Indigenous communities of the region. Photo Credit: Oxfam

15 09, 2017

In Riau, Indonesia, Women Organise For Environmental Justice

2018-02-15T12:16:42-05:00Tags: |

Women in Sungai Berbari, a village in Riau, Indonesia, have been organizing for representation in land use planning. Ever since the Indonesian government began opening local forests for agricultural operations, women without equal access to planning processes have been disproportionately impacted by the resulting environmental impacts. When companies burn carbon-rich peatland to develop plantations, for example, the resulting crisis-level haze becomes particularly burdensome for the women tasked with domestic duties and caring for their families. Women Research Institute has provided local women with access to forest change data and training on public speaking in order to develop advocacy strategies. Photo credit: Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR)

15 08, 2017

Protecting The Forest Before It’s Too Late

2018-07-13T17:14:55-04:00Tags: |

Growing up in the Ratanakiri province of northern Cambodia, Veit Phumi spent her childhood living amongst the lush forests and biodiversity native to her region. However, the dispersal of Economic Land Concessions (ELCs) to rubber tree and palm oil companies by the Cambodian government has threatened the vitality of these old-growth forests, in which 95% of local people depend upon. In response to the unequitable reallocation of 80,000 hectares of Phumni’s hometown’s land, Phumni and other community members have founded the O’Koki Community Protected Area. Now a Community Protected Area (CPA), the area has now been recognized with a decree from the Cambodian Ministry of Environment and operates as a community-led protection agency. Photo Credit: Savann Oeurm/Oxfam

1 08, 2017

Feminism, Forests And Food Security

2017-11-01T03:20:28-04:00Tags: |

At the forty-fourth Session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS-44), the Swedish Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation organized a side event to address the links between "Feminism, Forests and Food Security." Gender equality is a crucial component of sustainable forest management and food security, a point elegantly made by Marlène Elias, Gender Research Coordinator of the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry, and Gender Specialist at Biodiversity International. The event also addressed the critical role rural women play in conserving biodiversity and natural resources, despite the unique challenges they face, such as lack of access to technology and credit. Photo credit: Juan Carlos Huayllapuma/CIFOR

31 07, 2017

Snapshots From Kenya: Women Climate Defenders

2017-10-31T19:12:36-04:00Tags: |

Masaai women from the Enooretet community in Transmara, Kenya and the Naramam community of West Pokot, Kenya are combating deforestation and sustainably managing natural resources by growing tree nurseries and using energy-efficient stoves. MADRE and the Indigenous Information Network (IIN) brought the communities together to share knowledge and best practices of responding to climate change at a training with Lucy Mulenke (IIN) and Natalia Caruso (MADRE) in the summer of 2017. The women built skills in women's and human rights while building friendships and business smarts. Photo credit: MADRE

19 07, 2017

Mothers vs. Loggers: The Destruction Of Białowieża Forest Splits Poland

2018-12-19T17:29:01-05:00Tags: |

Matki Polki na wyrębie (“Polish Mothers at the Felling” in Polish) is a grassroots group of mothers who protested against the rampant logging practices near Warsaw. Logging tripled in 2016, especially in the region of the Białowieża forest. Jan Szyszko, the  Polish environmental minister of Białowieża, claimed that logging would save the trees from beetles. However, the authorities failed to consider the historical and environmental importance of the trees. Most of the animals are dependent on the lichens, mosses, and fungi and other parts of the Białowieża ecosystem for their survival. Thus, mothers are coming forward to save their great heritage. Photo credit: Tomasz Wiech.

2 07, 2017

Marlinja Activist Eleanor Dixon Is Against Fracking In The Northern Territory

2017-10-10T21:09:49-04:00Tags: |

Eleanor Dixon, a Marlinja woman and leader in the Stand up for Country Indigenous anti-fracking movement, discusses the impacts of fracking on her ancestral lands. Dixon criticizes the Australian government for attempting to turn this site into a gas field without consulting the Aboriginal people. She emphasizes the interconnected nature of the water system, land, people, food systems and cultural identity in her homeland, and argues for keeping all that is sacred beneath the ground. Photo credit: Eleanor Dixon/Facebook

27 06, 2017

Women Of The Cloud Forest Take On Mining Giants

2017-10-27T01:09:17-04:00Tags: |

The Intag cloud forest has been a hotspot for mining corporations for decades. A group of strong-willed women are taking a stance against these companies to protect the area’s biodiversity. Headed by Silvia Betancourt, The Coordination of Women, an umbrella group of 13 collectives, is fighting mining companies and ecological contamination. Marcia Ramirez, the leader of an anti-mining group, wants to prove that women too are capable of leading. She believes women dedicate more time to taking care of nature and are thus vulnerable to slight changes in the environment due to the nature of their daily errands. Photo credit: Naomi Renee Cohen

27 06, 2017

Gunmen Threaten Guatemalan Land And Territory Defender Aura Lolita Chávez

2017-11-01T23:26:16-04:00Tags: |

Members of the Council of Ki’che’ Peoples (CPK), including Aura Lolita Chávez Ixcaquic, identify unauthorized clear cutters in the protected forest area and take matters into their hand. They are confronted by a group of armed men who directly threaten Lolita and other members of the CPK, including children, causing them to flee in search of refuge. Photo credit: IM-Defensoras

15 06, 2017

This Is My Land: The Indigenous Women Chiefs Protecting The Amazon

2017-10-14T16:34:20-04:00Tags: |

The Kayapo tribe in Brazil is shifting traditional gender roles with the emergence of three new female chiefs across its many communities within the Amazon rainforest. Tuire, one of the first female chiefs of the Kapran-krere village, is using her position to unite the fractured communities against outside threats. Recent legislation has reassigned land rights from the Indigenous peoples of the Amazon rainforest to the Ministry of Justice, suspected to allow for private interests to use the land for logging, mining, and cattle ranching. Tuire and other female chiefs are working to regain the rights to own and conserve their ancestral land. Photo credit: Pinar Yolacan

6 06, 2017

Blackfeet Researcher Leads Her Tribe Back To Traditional Foods

2017-09-22T22:22:13-04:00Tags: |

Researcher Abaki Beck  published a report entitled “Ahwahsiin: Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Contemporary Food Sovereignty on the Blackfeet Reservation” (ahwahsiin translates to “the land where we get our food”), featuring oral history interviews with nine Blackfeet elders who discussed the nation’s traditional foods and the health issues connected to a modern American diet. Beck partnered with Saokio Heritage, a community-based and volunteer-run organization on Blackfeet. The report was funded by a $10,000 grant from the First Nations Development Institute and is available on the organization’s website. Photo credit: Yes! Magazine  

31 05, 2017

Alice Hinman And Natural Beekeeping At Apiopolis

2017-10-31T22:42:55-04:00Tags: |

Alice Hinman is the founder of a bee sanctuary and sustainable honey company in Raleigh, North Carolina. A natural beekeeper, she see the decline in pollinator and honeybee population worldwide as an opportunity to tackle a global challenge, to which she is responding by producing honey for Raleigh's network of local restaurants. She is passionate about supporting local food and creating green jobs rooted in sustainability and community. Photo credit: Johnny Gillette

30 05, 2017

To Save The World’s Forests, Protect Women’s Land Rights

2018-10-17T18:10:13-04:00Tags: |

Solange Bandiaky-Badji, the head of Gender Justice and Africa Programs at the Rights and Resources Initiative, comments on how Indigenous and rural women from low-to-middle income countries suffer from weak enforcement of land tenure security - and how this fails to meet international standards for fighting climate change and women’s rights. Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, special rapporteur for Indigenous rights for the United Nations, states how land rights are essential for women’s security, well-being and presence at decision-making processes for resistance, resilience and development of their communities. Photo Credit: Joel Redman 

26 05, 2017

Unlocking The Power And Potential Of Indigenous And Rural Women

2017-10-26T22:39:37-04:00Tags: |

Indigenous and rural women make up more than half of the 2.5 billion people who use their lands, but they are still absent from discussions of women’s property rights. Only when women have equal rights and opportunities, their communities and Lands can benefit. This new report provides an unprecedented assessment of multiple legal frameworks regulating Indigenous and rural women’s community forest rights. Photo credit: If Not Us Then Who?

25 05, 2017

A Voice From The Forest In The Corporate Boardroom

2020-12-02T19:53:25-05:00Tags: |

Tribal attorney and Native advisor to Bernie Sanders, Tara Houska of Couchiching First Nation Anishinaabe recounts her work of drawing attention to Indigenous rights issues in corporate boardrooms. She speaks specifically about the Indigenous-led resistances against large international financial corporations investing in fossil fuels. For Houska, the Paris Agreement and “sustainable action” plans do not hold corporations accountable for the environmental and social harm that they have caused. Now, Indiegnous resistance groups are rising up against these institutions, posing threats to Big Oil and its investors. Photo Credit: Tara Houska

16 05, 2017

Defending The Forests From Above With Ruddy Turnstone

2020-12-15T21:57:21-05:00Tags: |

The second installment of the Dogwood Alliance Forest Defender Series focuses on Ruddy Turnstone, an activist with the Global Justice Ecology Project and Everglades Earth First. Based in the Everglades, Ruddy describes her experiences climbing and living in trees during direct action campaigns against deforestation. Ruddy also trains fellow activists in these direct action strategies. Ruddy emphasises her individual connection with nature and the powerful bonds between humans and the nature surrounding them. Photo Credit: Global Justice Ecology Project

15 05, 2017

Women And The Right To Land: A Case Study Of Brazil

2020-09-02T22:37:55-04:00Tags: |

Ana Célia, Edite Rodrigues, and Odete Mendes are among many rural Brazilian women who are struggling to make a living off of sugarcane farming but face unhealthy working conditions and unfair wages—conditions being exacerbated by land monopolies and market speculation. In the case of women like Maria Souza and Lusiane dos Santos, these stories have repeated themselves throughout multiple generations, with mothers and daughters being forced to work in the fields to sustain their families. Despite small farmers being most responsible for food production and job creation in the countryside, they occupy less agricultural land and receive less state support than large landowners and corporations, causing food insecurity and displacement in rural communities and subjecting women workers with limited alternatives to degrading conditions. That is why leaders like Carlita da Costa, president of the Cosmópolis Rural Workers Union, is fighting for labor rights by organizing rural women and focusing on structural changes to ensure secure markets for women farmers, public resources and social services, accessible education in the countryside, and basic rights to land and food. Photo credit: Feminist Alliance for Rights

2 05, 2017

Female Eco-Activists Live in ‘Constant State of Fear’ in Latin America

2021-01-27T20:47:45-05:00Tags: |

This article addresses the issue of violence against female eco-activists in Latin America (intimidation, threats, illegal detention). We read about the scale of the issue, with Honduran activist Berta Cáceres, assassinated in March 2016 for campaigning against plans to build hydroelectric dam on the Gualcarque River (in which the Honduran government was implicated). And 41-y.o. Evani Lisboa, coordinator of the Biological Reserve of Gurupi (Brazil), responsible for protecting the area from illegal logging or wildlife poaching, and constantly threatened by criminal organisations attempting to exploit the reserve’s resources. And Valeria Brabata, Global Fund for Women’s program director for Sexual and Reproductive Health & Rights, who tries to help through financing, advocacy and networking for grassroots organisations. A note of hope with young activist Itandehury Castaneda (30), who co-produced a documentary with Carolina Corral La Battaa de la Cacerolas to tell the stories of Mexican women taking a stand for nature. Photo Credit: ATP Orlando Sierra

1 05, 2017

Anne Lambert’s Fight To Protect Brazilian Rainforest Biodiversity

2017-10-31T21:54:50-04:00Tags: |

Anne Lambert, founding director of the International Conservation Fund of Canada, began her passionate work for the conservation of Brazil’s tropical rain forest after several trips to the country and her encounters with Brazil’s Kayapo people. In this compelling interview, Lambert explains how the severity of the loss of biodiversity in Brazil or any region in the world ultimately affects all nations on the Earth. Photo credit: Herald News/Anne Lambert

27 04, 2017

In Indonesia, Women Farmers Crushing Cement Mining and Production Factories

2017-10-27T01:15:37-04:00Tags: |

The Samin women of Indonesia are taking the lead to save Kendeng Karst mountains in Central Java from environmental destruction as cement companies consider expanding mining and production. The courageous Nine Kartinis of Kendeng from the Samin Community use non-violent resistance by planting their feet in cement to take a concrete stand against cement plants. Photo credit: Yes To Life No To Mining

26 04, 2017

Northbrook Activists Working To Save Monarch Butterflies In Northern Illinois

2017-10-26T13:35:24-04:00Tags: |

Sierra Club volunteers Dale Duda and Cindy Blue are making Northbrook, Illinois the “way station” for the resurgence of the monarch butterfly. They are encouraging the planting of milkweed, a food source for the butterflies by engaging with local residents, while working towards passing a bill that would revoke the “noxious weed” status given to the milkweed in many towns. The focus for Duda and Blue is on schools, students, staff, and parent organizations in spreading the good word on the plant and encouraging the revival of the monarch butterfly, through garden clubs, farmers markets, and various civilian and municipality-aided green initiatives. Photo credit: The Chicago Tribune

16 03, 2017

Helping China Rethink Its Approach To Conservation

2017-10-04T21:44:01-04:00Tags: |

Gretchen Daily, a Stanford University ecologist, is at the forefront of a joint effort with her Chinese colleagues to remap, rethink, and ameliorate China’s current protected areas, where biodiversity and natural resources are threatened. She used advanced mapping software to plan a major expansion of biodiversity havens and restore ecosystems to provide key services such as sandstorm prevention and flood control, and is actively working to develop a conservation strategy that centers community members as China prepares to implement its first national parks system. Photo credit: Stanford University

10 03, 2017

Grandmother Of The Jungle: Kerala Tribal Woman Can Prepare 500 Medicines From Memory

2017-10-05T17:39:02-04:00Tags: |

Lakshmikutty, “grandmother” of the Kallar jungle from Thiruvananthapuram district of Kerala, is a well-known healer, poet and teacher at the Kerala Folklore Academy. She has a vast knowledge of around 500 herbal and natural treatments which is now being recorded by the Kerala Forest Department in the form of a book. She has been awarded the Nattu Vaidya Rathna, an award for naturopathy in 1995 and from the Indian Biodiversity Congress 2016. Photo credit: Sreekesh Raveendran Nair

8 03, 2017

Seventy-Six Women On A Glacier Are Changing The World

2017-10-05T17:44:21-04:00Tags: |

Seventy-six women scientists focusing on climate change made their way to Antarctica for a year-long women’s leadership program called Homeward Bound in 2017.  The program’s aim is to groom future women leaders in STEM who will also be able to lead public policy. Heidi Steltzer, a polar ecologist, and Katharine Hayhoe, director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University, concur that women’s participation in high levels of science research and policy could be improved. After seeing the melting of Antarctica, the women returned to their jobs with a renewed desire to advocate for swift action on climate change. Photo credit: Anne Christianson

1 03, 2017

Challenging Corporate Power With Lindsey Allen

2017-11-01T03:27:38-04:00Tags: |

In this interview, Lindsey Allen, Executive Director of the Rainforest Action Network and woman climate leader, discusses the importance of corporate campaigning in fighting against the destructive extraction of palm oil. Millions of people in Indonesia, Congo and the Amazon, and countless species, are harmed by logging and deforestation in the pursuit of palm oil. She urges us to use our power, as consumers and activists, to support the preservation of Earth's rainforests. Photo credit: Well.org

26 02, 2017

Women for Forests Democratic Republic Of Congo – Winter 2017 Update

2017-10-26T13:31:28-04:00Tags: |

The Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network and SAFECO are working with women leaders to develop tree nurseries supporting reforestation efforts in the areas of Marunde, Rushasha, and Malanda of the Democratic Republic of Congo, impacting 1,500 people. The project’s focus is on rejuvenating the natural resources, protect the traditional life and knowledge of the Indigenous Pygmy people in the Itombwe Region, and collaboration with women leaders, such as Neema Namadamu, to work on climate change mitigation and women’s empowerment. Photo credit: Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network

13 02, 2017

Biodiversity Here And Now

2018-10-19T19:02:03-04:00Tags: |

Gabrielle, an aspiring biologist and environmental scientist, is educating her community about the Central Cebu Protected Landscape (CCPL). The Central Cebu Protected Landscape, home to various endemic and critically endangered species, is a forest reserve located in the mountains and drainage basins of central Cebu in the Philippines. After working for a local NGO, Gabrielle learned about the forest “dead zones”, areas where invasive species like Mahogany have taken over and inhibited native species from growing. Now her main objective is to educate the public and protect the CCPL’s unique biodiversity and water supply.  Photo Credit: Commundos

27 01, 2017

Stewards Of Culture And Biodiversity: Women’s Voices From The Northeast

2017-10-27T00:05:14-04:00Tags: |

The northeast region of India is wealthy when it comes to biodiversity. Women from the area are leading the way in the preservation of their agro-biodiverse lands. Seno Tsuhah, a project team leader who encourages environmental protection and human rights, and Mary Beth Sanate, an Indigenous woman who works on matters of gender, food, livelihood and customary rights, and other incredible women are doing their part for environmental justice. Photo credit: Rucha Chitnis

27 01, 2017

Malnad Mela, A Biodiversity Festival Founded By Women

2017-10-27T00:03:38-04:00Tags: |

Malnad Mela, an Indian biodiversity festival, started when Kamala, a farmer from the Malnad region, donated seeds to a seed exchange. The initiative started a community of women farmers called Vanastree, Kanada for “forest women.” A few years after that, their action grows into what became the biodiversity fair, where women exchange experiences and advice about seed conservation, biodiversity and sustainable farming. Photo credit: The Economic Times

1 01, 2017

Meet Mariamah Achmad, Indonesia

2017-10-25T23:05:11-04:00Tags: |

Mariamah Achmad, a native of the West Kalimantan, Indonesia, is a forest management graduate, a leader of Sekolah Lahan Gambut, or the Peatlands School, and the Palung Foundation’s Coordinator for Environment Awareness Education. She is working to end the exploitation of forest resources by multinational logging and palm oil companies who cut mangrove trees to make charcoal, overfish shrimp, burn forestlands and drain peat swamps to construct plantations. As a result of the indiscriminate exploitation of the forest resources, rural people have been affected by health issues such as asthma, bronchitis, heart disease and lung cancer. With Sekolah Lahan Gambut, Achmad focuses on creating awareness among rural people about these challenges. The organization focuses on the importance of forests, biodiversity, mangrove swamps, and wildlife through arts, communication, and education. Photo credit: Nobel Women’s Initiative

1 01, 2017

Meet The Saik’uz Women, Canada

2017-10-25T23:02:05-04:00Tags: |

Chief Jackie of the Saik’uz First Nation turned away Enbridge after a thorough research on scientific and social impacts of the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline with the help of the law in 2006. However, aware of the persistence of the company on carrying out the construction of the pipeline, Jackie and her cousin Geraldine created the Yinka Dene Alliance, an alliance of First Nations in the British Columbia region. The Alliance worked on several fronts with 160 First Nations representatives to publish the first Save the Fraser Declaration that banned tar sand pipelines through Fraser River watershed. The women also lobbied to gain support from other financial institutions, interacted with UN and EU officials, and spearheaded the civil disobedience action. Photo credit: Nobel Women’s Initiative

1 12, 2016

“Our Forest Is Shedding Tears” — A Munduruku Woman Fights For Indigenous Rights

2017-11-01T03:32:14-04:00Tags: |

Vânia Alves is an Indigenous Munduruku leader from Brazil who is fighting the construction of mega-dams. With Greenpeace Brazil, Alves traveled from her home in the Amazon rainforest to Brasília to advocate to the Brazilian government for official recognition of the Sawré Muybu Indigenous Land on the Tapajós River. The proposed dams would flood portions of the rainforest and threaten Alves' people's way of life. Photo credit: Otávio Almeda/Greenpeace

27 11, 2016

An Open Letter To And From Female Scientists

2017-10-27T02:58:40-04:00Tags: |

Following the recent 2016 United States presidential election, women scientists from around the country united to express their diversity, unity and unwavering commitment to strengthening their collective work for just and innovative solutions to the climate crisis and all manner of challenges faced by the global community. Photo credit: Sarah K. Wagner

29 10, 2016

National Ecosystems And Biodiversity Loss: A Gender Perspective

2017-10-31T13:34:15-04:00Tags: |

In response to the Sustainable Development Goals and the worrying loss of biodiversity and natural ecosystems, the Global Forest Coalition has launched the “Women 2030” initiative to integrate women in forests and biodiversity. Partnering with local organization BIOM, the Global Forest Coalition is working in southern Kyrgyzstan to support women’s leadership in forest preservation. For example, in the communities in question, women are central to bird breeding as well as soil conservation and the collection of traditional medicinal herbs, activities which promote biodiversity while simultaneously fighting poverty. Photo Credit: UN Women/Flickr

24 10, 2016

Brutal Attack Stiffens Cambodian Woman’s Resolve To Protect Forest

2018-02-22T20:25:23-05:00Tags: |

Phorn Sopheak is an environmental activist and member of Northern Rural Development (NRD) and Prey Lang Community Network (PLCN), a grassroot movement to protect Prey Lang Forest in Cambodia.  Sopheak started working with her parents in the field at very young age and observed the illegal deforestation and logging in her area, as well as the chemical factories which dumped waste into the river and killed many species of fishes. After raising her voice against illegal loggers, she was brutally slashed in the foot with ax in an act of intimidation. Following the attack, Phorn Sopheak declared that the attack only made her stronger to fight for environment. She was awarded with UN Equator Prize at the Paris Climate Summit in 2015 for her efforts to protect her regions ecosystems, and spread knowledge via the Women On Air radio program. Photo Credit: Savann Oeurm / Oxfam America

29 09, 2016

Gloria Ushigua Works To Defend Indigenous Territory In The Ecuadorian Amazon

2017-10-09T21:19:09-04:00Tags: |

Gloria Ushigua, President of the Sápara Women's Association of Ecuador (Ashiñwaka) is actively working against state and privately-run oil companies’ efforts to develop the Pastaza Province of the Ecuadorian Amazon. Despite increased harassment, intimidation, and persistent threat of violence, Ushigua has persevered in her defense of Sápara land and right to a traditional way of life in the Amazon. Photo credit: Land is Life

27 09, 2016

Using Other People’s Water

2018-10-17T18:14:39-04:00Tags: |

In this 41-minute podcast of BBC's The Forum, Esther De Jong, who specializes in tropical engineering and gender in agriculture, discusses the use of water and its relation to women, specifically in developing countries. Esther is the Deputy Director of the Gender and Water Alliance. She highlights the struggles of women in poor countries who are mostly responsible for procuring and managing household water, and all of the safety concerns that come with this task. According to Esther, the role of women in getting the water is often forgotten due to the unequal way men and women are treated in the society. Photo Credit: BBC

4 08, 2016

Report Celebrates African Rural Women As The Custodians Of Seeds

2017-08-19T12:41:24-04:00Tags: |

In a new collaborative report, Liz Hosken and Theo Sowa highlight the vital role that rural African women play in enhancing the development of seeds and protecting biodiversity. Rural African women hold a wealth of knowledge about crops, wild foods, nutrition, medicinal plants and biodiversity that is on the verge of being lost, as seed monopoly laws and climate change restrict their ability to practice traditional agriculture. This report shares stories of resistance from the African women’s movement for food sovereignty. Photo credit: Seeds of Freedom

11 07, 2016

Unpacking Migration And Gender In Nepal’s Community Forests

2017-10-04T21:58:34-04:00Tags: |

Bimbika Sijapati Basnett, a research scientist for the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), has unveiled some potentially harmful outcomes for rural women as the Nepalese government refuses to recognize the role of migration in its national forestry policies. In rural communities of Nepal, nearly 94% of men migrate abroad in search of work, leaving care of the community forests to the women left behind. This transfer of responsibility has been found to either empower or burden women, depending on other sociological pressures such as caste and age. By recognizing the role of migration in its forestry policy, Sijapati hopes that federal policies can be shaped to better the livelihoods of women across Nepal considering their differing economic and social backgrounds. Photo credit: Stephen Bugno

14 06, 2016

Breakthrough: Karyn Rode, Polar Bear Witness

2018-02-14T22:16:36-05:00Tags: |

Karyn Rode is a wildlife biologist for the United States Geological Survey who works in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas in order to determine the effects of sea ice loss in the Arctic on polar bears. Rode flies helicopters over vast areas of arctic ice, finding bears and tranquilizing them in order to check vitals, collect fat biopsies and blood samples, as well as check if the bears have already been previously tagged. She uses this information to determine population trends and the overall health of bears in the areas. She is also able to ascertain how much time bears spend on land and what kinds of habitats are most conducive to survival. Rode has found that bears in the Beaufort Sea, which is experiencing ongoing sea ice loss, show declining body conditions, declining populations, and lower levels of cub survival. When there is less sea ice, she says, the bears have less access to hunting grounds and seals. Photo credit: Science Friday

5 06, 2016

Grassroots Communities’ Conservation Practices In Kenya Receive Award On World Environment Day

2017-09-13T11:05:40-04:00Tags: |

For the 2016 World Environmental Day, the Global Forest Coalition and the Indigenous Environment Network recognized Indigenous women's groups and primary schools in Nairobi, Kenya, for their work on the conservation of biodiversity and climate change adaptation. Among the awardees was the Engongu Entim women's group and two primary schools from Kenya, Narosura and Ereteti. Both institutions worked on planting different species of trees in Narok County, Kenya, where the famous Maasai Mara National Park is located. The work of the primary schools and the Engongu Entim women's group goes beyond local conservation, tackling the issue of environmental education and awareness for young people, with future plans to engage more female organizations in their efforts.  Photo credit: Isis Alvarez

1 06, 2016

Ecologist Suzanne Simard On How Trees Talk to Each Other

2023-03-19T08:12:12-04:00Tags: |

In this video, ecologist Suzanne Simard discusses the complex yet resilient systems that make up Earth’s diverse forests. Simard grew up in the forests of British Columbia, Canada, where she became enthralled with the old-growth trees which led her to become a forestry scientist. She soon realized her work in forestry was benefitting the unsustainable forest harvesting industry in Canada and conflicted with her values. She returned to school and authored groundbreaking research that proved there is a below-ground communications network between different species of trees that strengthens resilience to climate change and other disturbances. This network is a cooperative language shared between the trees rather than a competitive force as some scientists previously stated. Simard aims to spread this knowledge far and wide in order to change the unsustainable forestry practices in Canada and across the globe by advocating for protection of old-growth forests, diversity of species, and local-led forest protection. 

27 04, 2016

Women’s Rights In Protected Areas: Championing Gender Equality In Biodiversity Policy

2017-10-27T02:34:56-04:00Tags: |

The livelihoods of many women around the world depend on the conservation of protected areas. Pham Thi Kim Phuong, for example, bikes every morning to harvest clams and snails from mudflats in a protected areas. However, as Lorena Aguilar, Global Senior Gender Adviser at the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), explains that the promotion of gender equality in protected area conservation is often overlooked. A study by the IUCN’s Environment and Gender Information (EGI) platform demonstrated that gender equality is rarely written into policy: only nine gender keywords were mentioned out of the 1,290 World Heritage Convention State of Conservation Reports analyzed. Aguilar notes the missed opportunities here, as protected areas should be engines not just for conservation, but also gender equality, and calls for gender mainstreaming in protected areas management. Photo credit: Peter Howard/IUCN

30 03, 2016

Women Seek More Influence To Protect Cambodia’s Community Forests

2017-07-11T17:09:15-04:00Tags: |

Men tend to dominate membership in community forest stewardship meetings in the Kratie Province of Cambodia - but women are slowly challenging the traditional social order. Ms. Khuon Doeurn has supported women in her community to join forest stewardship committees and engage in community decision-making processes. More and more women are using their Indigenous knowledge and skills to protect community forests. Photo credit: RECOFTC-Cambodia

25 03, 2016

Bengali Women March To Save Asia’s Largest Mangrove Forest

2017-07-11T18:06:58-04:00Tags: |

In Bangladesh, the Rampal Coal plant was slated to extend over almost 2000 acres of fertile farming land, fish ponds, and the fragile Sundarban mangrove forest, which protects this low-lying nation from rapid sea level rise. Umma Habiba Benojir, a student leader at Dhaka University, and hundreds of other people, many women, marched hundreds of kilometers to protest the coal plant. Photo credit: Mowdud Rahman