Freshwater And Ocean Protection

/Freshwater And Ocean Protection


7 12, 2023

We Must Shut Down Factory Farms To Protect Clean Water And Environmental Justice

2023-12-07T17:44:57-05:00Tags: |

Gloria Reuben is the president of Waterkeeper Alliance, a global advocacy group network that protects the world’s waters. She brings attention to the impacts of factory farming on environmental justice. The way food is currently being produced is wreaking havoc on ecosystems and on people’s livelihoods. This is particularly true for animal agriculture, with concentrated animal feeding operations being the most damaging. In the United States, waste and discharge from these farms are largely unregulated, leading to pollution of both water and air. This has catastrophic downstream effects as drinking water becomes contaminated and river ecosystems and fisheries collapse, resulting in economic losses that cost billions annually to repair this damage. Additionally, pathogen-filled water and polluted air poses public health risks, predominantly in the form of respiratory disease and infection. This issue is also an example of environmental racism, as these farms are predominantly located in rural locations near communities of color, whose health will be negatively impacted the most. To combat this social and ecological issue, Reuben urges for proper enforcement of existing legislation like the Clean Water Act and passing of new legislations like the Farm Reform Act in order to transition away from these harmful practices towards sustainable food production by legitimately independent actors. Furthermore, those who can, are encouraged to avoid buying from companies that perpetuate this devastating factory farming system.  Photo Credit: Vuk Valcic/Sopa Images/Lightrocket via Getty Images 

18 05, 2023

The Many Lives of Water

2024-02-26T09:44:26-05:00Tags: |

Water holds significant cultural importance in Indigenous communities, particularly in the Pacific Northwest, Hawai‘i, and the Southwest of the United States. This article highlights the global challenge of accessing clean water, which is now threatened due to commodification. It advocates for repairing our relationship with water, valuing it as a sacred and essential element for all life. While women leaders and specific organizations are not mentioned, the text showcases how Indigenous communities protect water even in regions with limited access. It emphasizes the spiritual connection to water and encourages decentralized, safe, affordable, and accessible solutions to address water challenges. Photo Illustration Credits: Mer Young for YES! Media

23 04, 2023

Diane Wilson on Fighting Plastic Pollution, Losing Everything, and Gaining Her Soul

2024-02-26T09:30:03-05:00Tags: |

Diane Wilson, a fourth-generation shrimper from Seadrift, Texas, has been leading a three-decade-long fight against Formosa Plastics' pollution. The company's toxic polyvinyl chloride powder covered the town, leading to health issues and harm to the local fishing industry. Wilson persisted through hunger strikes, arrests, and legal action, becoming an ally to Vietnamese fishermen wrongly blamed for the pollution's impact. In 2019, her efforts paid off with a historic $50 million settlement from Formosa for plastic nurdle pollution. Wilson donated the settlement to environmental causes. Her work upholds climate justice, highlights women's resistance, and emphasizes the need for women's involvement in climate action. The fight for accountability and sustainable solutions showcases her story and dedication to environmental justice. Photo Credit: Goldman Environmental Prize

28 01, 2023

Campaigners want the North Sea to be given legal rights. How would it work?

2023-11-28T14:22:21-05:00Tags: , |

The Embassy of the North Sea in The Hague, founded in 2018, is fighting to get the legal rights of the North Sea recognized. The group’s director of communications, Christiane Bosman, states that the main purpose of the Embassy is to increase public support for the rights of nature in the North Sea and give the Dutch government ‘concrete proposals’ on how to do so, by 2030. From 1969 to 2017, the North Sea’s average surface temperature has risen by 1.3 degrees Celsius. Currently, Dutch civil law does not recognize or grant legal personhood to nature. Only humans possess the legal right to sue in environmental matters. Legal expert and UN advisor for the Rights of Nature, Laura Burgers, notes that the Embassy’s work is centered on recognizing the sea as a living being that can make decisions, and should be allowed to have a say it what is allowed and not allowed to happen to it, i.e. fishing practices or fossil fuel extraction. This case is one of hundreds all over the world, as many other places are fighting to have important ecological regions granted their rights.  Photo Credit: Paul Einerhand/Unsplash

5 01, 2023

Nature’s Tools Help Clean Up Urban Rivers

2024-02-14T10:16:22-05:00Tags: , |

This article, written by Katherine Rapin, explores the work of various organizations dedicated to restoring freshwater ecosystems through the reintroduction of bivalves (oysters and mussels) and aquatic plant species. These organisms improve water quality in numerous ways including nutrient cycling, acting as carbon sinks, and holding sediment together. Rapin highlights the work of Danielle Kreeger, the science director of the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, which oversees a freshwater mussel hatchery in the Philadelphia area. One important dimension of reintroduction work is retaining the genetic diversity of wild populations, while also not introducing any diseases. Kreeger mentions the work her team is conducting on biosecurity to ensure the safety of bivalve populations. As well, experts emphasize how reintroduction measures must be conducted in conjunction with other frameworks to decrease contaminants, especially the addition of excess nutrients in these waterways. According to Kelly Somers, the senior watershed coordinator of the EPA’s Mid-Atlantic Region, in recent years, there have been discoveries of healthy seagrass beds along the Delaware River which are signifiers of improved water quality. Through decades of aquatic plant work, scientists attribute the growth of these populations to nature’s own capabilities in self-restoration and reductions in excess nutrients.  Photo Credit: Katherine Rapin

2 12, 2022

Queensland’s Indigenous women rangers given Earthshot prize for protecting Great Barrier Reef

2023-11-28T16:51:52-05:00Tags: |

The Queensland Indigenous Women Rangers Network (QIWRN) was awarded a $1.8 million Earthshot prize for the work it has done in protecting the Great Barrier Reef. In Queensland, only about 20% of Indigenous rangers are women. Founded in 2018, the QIWRN has been able to train more than sixty women, many of whom go on to work as rangers or within conservation. Earthshot has described the work of QIWRN as ‘vital’ and explains how 60,000 years of First Nations knowledge and digital technology has given insight into one of the most critical ecosystems in the world and how to protect ecosystems like it. Photo Credit: Jeremy Tomlinson

22 11, 2022

How Floating Wetlands Are Helping to Clean Up Urban Waters

2023-12-07T17:35:07-05:00Tags: |

As urban waters continue to face increasing pollution and degradation, researchers are installing artificial floating wetlands to combat the issue. Susan Cosier, an environmental and scientific journalist, reports on how these efforts are playing out in Chicago’s rivers. Instead of the uniform steel walls that usually surround urban river edges, Urban Rivers, a Chicago-based nonprofit, is replacing them with floating wetlands to recreate a natural river system. The floating islands host a diverse selection of native flora which help to filter contaminants and capture chemicals and metals in the water. The removal of surplus agricultural nutrients prevents harmful algal blooms that block out crucial oxygen and sunlight from reaching aquatic life. One researcher found that one acre of floating wetland is able to absorb the nutrient pollution produced by 7 to 15 acres of urban development. These wetlands also provide habitat for other plants to grow and aid invertebrates like mollusks and crustaceans in repopulating in the Chicago River. These efforts are multiplying globally, with projects taking place across the United Kingdom, Brazil, Australia, and the United States. While these wetlands have incredible environmental benefits, researchers emphasize that they are just one tool that must be accompanied by other efforts to regulate and reduce pollution at the source. Photo Credit: Dave Burk/SOM

3 05, 2022

The ‘Queen of the Mantas’ Who Became a Force of Nature

2024-02-19T13:53:19-05:00Tags: |

In Mozambique's Inhambane Seascape, marine biologist Andrea Marshall emerges as a leading voice in ocean conservation. Co-founding the Marine Megafauna Foundation (MMF) in 2003, she focuses on protecting the region's diverse marine life, particularly mantas, rays, sharks, whales, dugongs, and turtles. Marshall's groundbreaking research, tag-and-track projects, and genetic libraries aim to combat declining populations caused by overfishing, habitat degradation, and climate change. Notably, she led the scientific assessment that upgraded the giant manta's status from vulnerable to endangered on the IUCN Red List. Upholding a climate justice framework, Marshall's work emphasizes women's involvement in decision-making for sustainable solutions. Her dedication to preserving ocean life inspires future generations to cherish and protect the wonders of the sea. Photo Credits: Natasha Donovan for Atlas Obscura

25 02, 2022

Indigenous knowledge ‘gives us a much richer picture’: Q&A with Māori researcher Ocean Mercier

2024-02-20T10:40:26-05:00Tags: |

In Aotearoa, commonly referred to as New Zealand, the Māori, native to the region, possess a wealth of oceanic knowledge that has historically been undervalued. Māori researcher, Ocean Mercier, is working to elevate Māori traditional knowledge, known as mātauranga, regarding oceans in both academic and community settings, with a focus on marine conservation. Despite a vast maritime environment, the ocean is a unifying force for Indigenous communities. British colonization marginalized Māori traditional knowledge, but recent efforts have been made to integrate it into scientific communities to improve conservation practices, particularly in marine ecosystems. Mercier promotes the connection between Māori language and mātauranga, demonstrating how it complements Western science and how it provides a more detailed picture of knowledge and history. She advocates for equitable recognition of diverse knowledge systems. Photo Credit: Project Matauranga

6 01, 2022

Indonesia’s Womangrove Collective Reclaims The Coast From Shrimp Farms

2023-07-02T00:09:27-04:00Tags: |

Indonesia is home to the most mangroves in the world, however mangrove ecosystems are at risk to be cleared for development, a situation exacerbated by a poor economic state. Mangroves are locally and globally significant carbon sinks that provide many ecological services to coastal communities such as land protection from erosion and big tidal waves, increased biodiversity, and aquaculture. This article highlights the many ways the Womangrove collective are influential in combating mangrove deforestation. Womangrove was founded in 2015 by women in the Tanakeke Islands of Indonesia, and originally started as a business-orientated group aiming to plant and protect mangroves for sustainable aquaculture farming. Over the years Womangrove has developed into an ecological restoration program with a focus on addressing the deforestation of mangrove trees (replanting more than 110,000 mangrove seedlings!) and improving gender equality by providing local women educational courses and skill building.  Photo credit: Wahyu Chandra/Mongabay-Indonesia

1 01, 2022

Indigenous Feminism Flows Through The Fight For Water Rights On The Rio Grande

2023-06-04T09:54:16-04:00Tags: |

Kalen Goodluck (Dine, Mandan, Hidatsa, and Tsimshian) and Christine Trudeau (Prairie Band Potawatomi) highlight the Rio Grande Pueblo Nations' extremely difficult path to quantified Rio Grande water rights. The negative impacts on the Rio Grande's water quality and quantity due to the climate crisis and non-Native interventions compound this struggle. Despite challenges, the Pueblo nations have hope and are taking action. In particular, three Indigenous women are highlighted for their work in fighting for quantified water rights to protect their communities, culture, and future generations. Notably, Julia Bernal (Sandia, Taos, and Yuchi-Creek Nations of Oklahoma), the director and co-founder of the Pueblo Action Alliance, which centers youth involvement in their advocacy for water rights; Judge Verna Teller (Isleta Pueblo), the Chief Justice of Isleta Pueblo who played a major role in having Isleta become the first tribal nation to create water-quality standards through the Clean Water Act; and Phoebe Suina (San Felipe and Cochiti Pueblos), hydrologist and owner of High Water Mark, an Indigenous and women-led environmental consulting company which specializes in water-resource engineering. 

1 12, 2021

Lax Kw’alaams Woman Crashes Trudeau LNG Press Conference

2021-12-13T21:13:22-05:00Tags: |

Prime Minister Trudeau’s administration held a press conference in which Premier Christy Clark announced the approval of the Pacific Northwest Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Project. Premier Clark was praising the project for promoting clean energy and being of low cost when Christine Smith-Martin, of the Lax Kw’alaams, interrupted the conference to ask a very pressing question: “what about our salmon?” Smith-Martin then elaborated, saying that the environmental impact of the project was not being addressed by conference speakers, nor had indigenous communities been consulted in a meaningful way prior to the decision. Minister Catherine Mckenna, in turn, said that the impact on salmon has been assessed and there should not be significant effects. Smith-Martin was not convinced, and she insisted this project must be opposed. Salmon is vital to indigenous communities, and it must be treated as such. Video credit: Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition

5 11, 2021

Female Equality Is Key to A Sustainable Future

2022-05-14T16:44:54-04:00Tags: |

Since women across Asia and Africa are often responsible for supplying their households with water, food and fuel, the path towards a sustainable world requires, in part, full gender equality. But the effects of climate change, in conjunction with natural disasters, make women’s lives that much harder. For instance, when Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines, a result was the increased sexual exploitation of women and girls. After Hurricane Katrina struck the United States, violence against women increased by a factor of four in Mississippi and remained high years later. Women are however continuing to pursue the ideal of a sustainable world. In Kenya, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Wangari Maathai initiated a massive tree-planting effort that became known as the Greenbelt Movement. More than 5,000 village women in Andra Pradesh, working with the Deccan Development Society, transitioned to organic farming, greatly reducing the carbon impact of agriculture. It is clear that empowering women is key to tackling climate change. Photo credit: Adam Jones

27 10, 2021

Cath Wallace Protects The Arctic

2022-05-14T17:05:41-04:00Tags: |

Cath Wallace is a Lecturer at Victoria University in economics and public policy. She has also chaired Environment and Conservation Organizations of New Zealand (ECO), an alliance of NGOs concerned for the environment and the impacts of climate change. She along with several other activists led a strong resistant movement against a campaign by business interests to pare down the national Resource Management Act in 1990s. She has worked extensively to protect the Antarctica and repudiation of Antarctic Mineral Convention. Lastly, she pressed the Ministry of fisheries in New Zealand to stop violating under New Zealand Fisheries Act of 1996. Photo credit: Goldman Environmental Prize

6 07, 2021

Don’t Ignore the One Group That Can Make Climate Action Happen

2021-07-06T18:30:57-04:00Tags: |

The El Niño cycle is a global climate cycle that occurs every three to seven years with varying intensity. During 2016, this cycle was especially strong and, in combination with climate change, led to widespread drought and hunger for many states in Southern Africa. Women were particularly impacted. This was because they were forced to spend more time gathering scarce water as well as eat less themselves in order to prioritize the nutritional needs of men and children. Increased sex work and child marriages were also a result. And while Southern Africa is now on its way to recovery, building future resilience to climate change means addressing the special vulnerabilities of women as well as prioritizing their leadership. Photo credit: Ish Mafundikwa/IRIN  

6 07, 2021

Small-Scale Women Seaweed Farmers Ride the Rough Tides of Climate Change

2021-07-06T15:01:13-04:00Tags: |

On the Philippine island of Palawan, traditionally, fishing has been the means of support for most inhabitants. Over the last twenty years, because of climate change and a variety of other factors, fish are no longer as abundant as they once were. Local women, who were previously largely homemakers, have responded to this difficult situation by taking up seaweed farming. The revenue offered by this endeavor has been a welcome addition to household incomes. But climate change is also already affecting the viability of seaweed farms. The women farmers are rising to the challenge by improving seaweed harvesting and drying methods, using better tools and developing early warning systems for typhoons. Photo credit: Mongabay

6 07, 2021

Women in the Water Sector: Working Together for the Future

2021-07-06T14:57:10-04:00Tags: |

Studies show that there is a lack of women working in the water sector, which includes a lack of women leaders. Specifically, less than twenty percent of water workers are women in the United States. But the water organizations that include female leadership tend to benefit—whether women are included in sustainability, community engagement or economic development roles. Keisha Brown, one such leader, has had extensive experience working in community-based partnerships to improve water quality while remaining accountable to the local communities the work is enacted in. According to her, the lens of social justice must be applied to the infrastructure industry and the impacts of infrastructure on people’s well-being should be carefully assessed. Photo Credit: Storm Water Solutions

13 04, 2021

CASA Y GAGGA – Agua, Derechos E Igualdad

2021-04-13T17:49:14-04:00Tags: |

Though South America has many water sources, many communities in the region go without sufficient clean drinking water. Lack of water puts a serious strain on women’s lives as well as their ability to farm. This is particularly true of Bolivian women living in the Chaco area, a region that is dry for many months of the year. During the dry period, communities rely on the muddy water that remains in the bed of the Rio Grande. Purifying the water with a local plant helps but it yields a product that is far from potable. The CASA Socioenvironmental Fund is an organization that runs many projects across South America with the objective of empowering local women so they can better serve their community and further environmental justice. The projects include water storage tanks for specific regions, developing farmers associations, and supporting indigenous female leaders. Video Credit: Fundo Casa Socioambiental. Caption: Video is in Spanish, but English subtitles are available.

13 04, 2021

No Woman No Water: Empowering Women To Be Water And Sanitation Decision-Makers

2021-04-13T17:45:00-04:00Tags: |

Women are responsible for carrying water home, storing it, and managing household supplies but are still ignored when it comes to important water management decisions. Incorporating women’s voices into water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) issues empowers the women themselves while simultaneously leading to better results. For instance, including women in the movement to curtail open defecation in rural Bangladesh led to success because the specific needs and desires of the women were then met. Specifically, because of this input, the toilets that were to be placed in rural communities were designed with gender specific needs in mind as well as placed in locations amenable to local women. Photo Credit: Dilip Banerjee

13 04, 2021

Women Speak Out Against Criminalization Of Land Defenders, Water Protectors

2021-04-13T17:28:07-04:00Tags: |

This article highlights the issue of unjust criminalisation and disproportionate state violence against indigenous women water and land protectors. While indigenous people constitute about 4% of Canada’s population, they represent 27% of the incarcerated population in 2018. According to the Canada’s Correctional Investigator Indigenous, women constituted 37% of all women behind bars and 50% of all maximum security inmates in 2017. Mi’kmaw lawyer and academic Pam Palmater evokes the targeting and criminalisation of Indigenous women by Canadian state authorities as historically rooted in a colonising strategy, since they bear children who will carry on the culture and language of their nations. Pamela says that indigenous women’s perseverance and leadership should not be lost in the conversation and concludes that ‘even though Indigenous women have always been targeted, both in the law directly and indirectly, they continue to stand up for the land and for their children despite knowing what’s coming’. Photo Credit: Amber Bernard/APTN

2 12, 2020

Sea Change: Behind Bahama’s Plastic Ban

2024-02-19T13:30:22-05:00Tags: |

In this article, we meet Kristal Ambrose, a 30-year-old ocean pollution advocate in the Bahamas. She successfully led the efforts, along with the Bahamas Plastic Movement, to pass a ban on single-use plastics in the country. Despite this achievement, Ambrose remains committed to tackling the larger issue of plastic pollution and consumer waste in general, striving for a zero-waste future. The article also emphasizes the disproportionate impact of petrochemical plants that pump out single-use items on communities of color and the need for climate justice. Ambrose's work showcases women's resistance and resilience in environmental and social justice, while also underscoring the importance of involving young people in sustainability initiatives. Photo credits: Ahmed Areef / Getty Images

20 11, 2020

Portraying Women Leadership in Water Cooperation

2020-11-20T17:59:52-05:00Tags: |

Women For Water has compiled the audio- visuals of eight women who are conserving the water all over the world. These women Nomvula Mokonyane, Svitlana Slesarenok, Ursula Schaefer-Preuss, Rose Makunzo Mwangi, Ethne Davey, Dr. Deepthi Wickramasinghe, Patricia Wouters and Salamatu Garba. They have been bringing the best practices of women empowerment in water and sanitation projects and effective water governance at all levels.

16 11, 2020

Study: Female members of coastal fishing households lack empowerment

2024-02-26T09:19:56-05:00Tags: |

In the coastal villages of Cox's Bazar, Bhola, and Bagerhat districts in Bangladesh, female members of fishing households face significant challenges in political empowerment and economic participation. COAST Trust, a national NGO, conducted a study revealing that women involved in fish processing earn 25% less than their male counterparts, lack decision-making power in family matters, and experience violence. Despite their contributions, women's roles in the fishing sector remain unrecognized. Saleha Islam Shantona, a leader in the garment workers' sector, advocates for women's rights in the fisheries industry. The study calls for policy changes to recognize and involve women's participation in fisheries programs, ensure their inclusion in decision-making, and address discrimination. By highlighting the disproportionate impacts of climate change on women and promoting gender equality, the study aligns with climate justice principles and emphasizes the need for inclusive and sustainable solutions. Photo Credit: N/A  

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.

21 08, 2020

Meet Women Environmentalists Exploring New Ways to Protect Qiandao Lake in E China

2023-03-19T07:49:19-04:00Tags: |

Mu Quan is an environmentalist in eastern China who has devoted her work to protecting what is locally known as “the most beautiful lake in the world” or Qiandao Lake in Zhejiang province. After seeing the detrimental impacts of fertilizers and pesticides from the area’s prominent tea and farming community, she sought balanced solutions to protect the lake while also benefiting the local economy. Quan founded the Qiandao Lake Water Fund which now consists of a five member all female leadership team supporting pilot projects that promote sustainable agriculture and environmental education. Their ecological rice field pilot project has gained praise for decreasing nitrogen and phosphorus levels in the soil while also improving irrigation, tea quality, and increasing farmers’ income. Photo credit: cnr.cn/Wang Haipeng  

10 07, 2020

Water Protectors Celebrate As Dakota Access Pipeline Ordered To Shut Down

2020-10-10T19:55:28-04:00Tags: |

LaDonna Brave Bull Allard, an elder of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and founder of Sacred Stone Camp and Tara Houska, Ojibwe lawyer and founder of the Giniw Collective are interviewed by reporter Amy Goodman after the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) is ordered to shut down by August 5, 2020. LaDonna Brave Bull Allard has opened her home in North Dakota to supporters from the beginning of the resistance in order to protect sacred sites, water sources, and the health of her community members. She has joined forces with Indigenous leaders and water protectors from around the world, many of whom have faced similar harms from extractive industry. Tara Houska asserts that the shutdown of this massive pipeline sends a critical message to the fossil fuel industry that these dangerous projects will not be tolerated and that a regenerative green economy is non-negotiable. Photo credit: Democracy Now! (video screenshot)

14 04, 2020

Female-led, Island-based Solutions To Climate Change

2020-12-02T21:46:27-05:00Tags: |

Women in different Small Island Development States are taking action to prevent and tackle the impacts of climate change and the resultant vulnerability to natural disasters on their coast. Since most of them depend on the incomes from agriculture and fishery, they are leading community-based initiatives associated primarily with securing water supply and coastline protection, as well as environmental education and social support. Photo credit: Manuth Buth/UNDP Cambodia

21 12, 2018

Overfishing Threatens Malawi’s Blue Economy

2020-10-05T17:08:23-04:00Tags: |

Despite once providing bustling profits for fishing families, Lake Malawi — one of Africa’s largest lakes — suffers from overfishing and women in Malawi are feeling the brunt of this. The fishing industry employs close to 300,000 Malawi workers and fishers, but fish are no longer being found in abundance. Stiff competition from fishermen is drastically depleting fish levels. The fish that are now being found are smaller and priced higher, reducing the profitability of a market that used to flourish in the past. Women who used to buy fish cheaply and trade it for more, are then forced to buy from fishermen, who have also been pushed out of business, at increased prices. Moreover, they are no longer able to provide local fish as a cheap protein to their families because overfishing has left women under tight restraint. Thankfully successful community efforts have been rallied around creating bylaws that would close down the lake for a temporary amount of time to promote lake health. And it appears these laws put in place were working — a man was hit with a hefty fine for fishing on the lake when it was close. Photo credit: Mabvuto Banda

20 10, 2018

The Bearded Seal My Son May Never Hunt

2020-11-07T18:07:29-05:00Tags: |

The author Laureli Ivanoff is an Inupiat, a northern indigenous population with communities from Alaska to Greenland. She reflects on the future of her people who now have to learn to live without the cold: last winter there was less ice in the Bering Sea that any winter since the 1850 when record-keeping started. The Inupiat need the northeastern Bering Sea to stay cold so that the creatures they traditionally rely on can thrive. She particularly thinks about her newly born son Inuqtaq, to whom hunting was going to be an act of intentional decolonization, a way of keeping alive a custom that’s become sacred and of staying connected to his heritage and identity. As she hurts for him and for her family, Laureli hopes the world quickly adapts and also respects the earth as they have for millennia. Photo credit: Ash Adams/The New York Times

15 10, 2018

A Water Walk In New York City

2020-10-07T00:43:14-04:00Tags: |

During the month of July, women and men, engaging in a “water walk,” walked two miles through the streets of New York City carrying empty buckets. Two miles is about the length women and girls walk in developing countries each day to obtain water, so this walk was carried out in order to symbolize their hard work. Moreover, the walk ended at the United Nations Building, so it was intended to remind policy makers about the importance of clean water as well as urge them to consider water a human right. The walk also called attention to the fact that access to water is important but if distance, cost, or other factors make that access prohibitive, then simple “access” is not enough. Photo credit: Water Aid

12 10, 2018

Across Mozambique and Tanzania, Women Show Us How To Improve Communities And Protect Our Planet

2018-10-12T17:11:52-04:00Tags: |

Women across Mozambique and Tanzania are organizing their communities to improve  local livelihood through sustainability and the protection of natural resources. This inspirational blog by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) explores  the stories of various community leaders building long lasting projects. Like the story of Alima Chereira, who formed an agricultural association that teaches women climate-resilient farming practices. Or entrepreneur Fatima Apacur,  who helped her community form a savings association that uses the ancient practice of group savings and pooling wealth to help community members invest in the future. Photo Credit: WWF/ James Morgan

16 08, 2018

IPN Students Turn Polluted Water Into Fuel

2020-04-24T15:55:14-04:00Tags: |

Two female chemical engineer students developed a prototype that converts polluted water into clean energy through a purifier and an electrolyzer. Jeimmie Gabriela Espino Ramírez and Lisset Dayanira Neri Pérez, at the National Polytechnic Institute of Mexico, are the creators of this device they named Gimfi, which in the Otomi language means “dirty water”. The students designed Gimfi to be both portable or nonportable in order to provide clean fuel for stoves and ovens in marginalized areas. The filter is made of natural elements like cotton, sand, volcanic rock, gravel, marble and charcoal. The hydrogen generated is currently produced with electricity but they plan on adapting it to solar panels, which would make Gimfi even more sustainable. Photo credit: Serg Velusceac/El Universal

13 07, 2018

“We Are Not Small Islands. We Are A Vast Oceanscape.”

2018-07-13T16:49:35-04:00Tags: |

In this interview, Maureen Penjueli of the Pacific Network on Globalization (PANG), shares the group’s efforts to protect the land and ocean sovereignty of Indigenous Peoples in the Pacific region. Free trade deals and foreign investments that open channels for seabed mining and extractive industries threaten customary land tenure systems and disregard Indigenous ways of knowing. PANG helps Pacific people achieve economic self-determination by educating them about policy levers such as the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples or Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) to fight exploitation and put pressure on government leaders. Photo credit: Rucha Chitnis

25 05, 2018

Navajo Women Struggle To Preserve Traditions As Climate Change Intensifies

2018-12-19T17:33:57-05:00Tags: |

Lorraine Herder belongs to a shepherd family: she grew up raising sheep and using its wool in a remote area on the Navajo reservation. But now, shrinking water reservoirs due to climate change are making it difficult to keep this tradition alive. Dr. Margaret Redsteer, a scientist at the US Geological Survey in Flagstaff, notes that the amount of groundwater has decreased drastically over the past century, putting a strain on the animals’ health and the Navajo way of life. The water crisis is also caused by other factors like coal mining, according to Nicole Horseherder, founder of non- profit organization “Scared Water Speaks”.  Photo Credit: Sonia Narang/PRI

21 05, 2018

Warming Waters Hurt Zanzibar’s Seaweed. But Women Farmers Have A Plan

2021-02-16T20:51:24-05:00Tags: |

Seaweed farming in Zanzibar, an archipelago off the coast of Tanzania, is largely done by local women farmers. Most of the men find the work too hard for the small pay, but the income remains significant to women. As a result of their engagement in industry, women farmers and their family have significantly benefited. However, the Western Indian Ocean’s temperature is rising, which is leading to loss of the seaweed crop. The women farmers are responding to this adversity in various ways. One solution has been to farm farther in the ocean. This solution requires the participation of at least some strong swimmers, but seeing as most women in Zanzibar do not know how to swim, many of the farmers are having to learn to swim as they go. Another solution the farmers have enacted is cooperating with local and international researchers. The hope is that fostering this dialogue will benefit both parties and that the seaweed industry will remain viable. Photo credit: Karen Coates

19 04, 2018

Delaware Riverkeeper Maya Van Rossum honored With ‘Woman Of The Delaware Watershed’ Award

2020-11-20T18:02:14-05:00Tags: |

Maya van Rossum, head of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network (DRN), has been awarded with “Woman of the Delaware Watershed” in recognition for her work protecting the environment. During her time as leader of DRN, the organization advocated for rivers and their associated communities, ensured adherence to environmental law, as well as restored particular streams. A current major goal of van Rossum is the constitutional recognition of environmental rights to the extent that other rights, such as free speech, are given constitutional recognition. To that end, van Rossum was a lead petitioner in the environmental rights case “Robinson Township, Delaware Riverkeeper Network, et al vs Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.” Photo credit: Bucks Local News

13 04, 2018

Women In Brasil Defending Our Sacred Waters- Stories From The Alternative World Water Forum (FAMA)

2018-08-02T15:16:41-04:00Tags: |

The author speaks about their experiences attending and speaking at the 2018 World Water Forum (FAMA) in Brazil. An event largely sponsored by Nestle and Coca-Cola, corporations pushing to privatize and control public water resources. Fearless indigenous women and activists used the event as platform to call-out and share their powerful stories of resistance. Their message to the world: water cannot be treated as a privately owned commodity; water is a human right and a common good of and for the people.  Photo Credit: Guilherme Cavalli/Cimi

3 04, 2018

A More Just Migration: Empowering Women On The Front Lines Of Climate Displacement

2020-09-02T21:07:22-04:00Tags: |

Migration is one way women may be forced to adapt to climate change, but this displacement also puts women at greater risk for violence, a group of women leaders explained at a Wilson Center event. Eleanor Bornstorm, Program Director for the Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO), noted that because women are often in caretaking roles, they are also expected to volunteer and shield their communities from harm. Yet structural inequalities put women disproportionately at risk to violence during climate displacement. Carrying forward the former statement, Justine Calma, Grist environmental justice reporting fellow, vocalized the violence faced by women and young girls during climate displacement. For example, during the 2013 Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, young girls were sexually exploited, sold and trafficked for food and other resources. Poor or uneducated women, women of color and migrant women are vulnerable to intersectional forms of discrimination, and their needs are often more urgent. Because of these structural inequalities, empowering women and enhancing their leadership may be the best strategy to address climate change, rather than mitigating its effects. WEDO is assessing factors impacting women during climate displacement, filling in the gaps unaddressed at the national and international level. Photo Credit: Agata Grzybowska.

28 03, 2018

Women Occupied Coca-Cola & Nestlé Factories

2018-07-13T15:50:14-04:00Tags: |

Over 600 Brazilian women activists are protesting the privatization of water by corporate entities and the federal government by occupying local Coca-Cola and Nestlé factories. As part of the Rural Landless Movement (MST), these women hope that disrupting operations will convey that “water is a right, not a claim.” Photo credit: TeleSUR English

23 03, 2018

Meet The Women Growing The California Seaweed Economy

2020-10-10T20:11:50-04:00Tags: |

Salt Point Seaweed is an all-female Bay Area company that is leading the way for global food insecurity solutions. Tessa Emmer, Catherine O’Hare and Avery Resor are harvesting wild seaweed from an open-water farm off the coast of Mendocino County. Having drawn inspiration from East African communities, particularly female aqua-farming in Zanzibar, this company hopes to popularize local varieties of seaweed (such as Gracilaria) in Northern California’s avant-garde, health-centered culinary scene. Seaweed’s ability to de-acidify waters coupled with virtually zero inputs required for growth, it’s numerous health benefits and budding potential to substitute for fossil fuels, as well as massive potential in contributing to increasing the world’s food supply mean that it is a global solution in the fight against climate change, ocean acidification, and unsustainable food systems. Photo credit: Salt Point Seaweed.

3 03, 2018

This Badass Woman Explores The Deep Sea To Help Us Save It

2018-07-13T17:30:19-04:00Tags: |

Dr. Samantha Joye is a marine biologist at the University of Georgia dedicated to exploring and protecting the deep sea ecosystem. After witnessing the environmental damage of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, she is working on Our Blue Planet initiative with BBC Earth and OceanX Media to inspire social media engagement and increased understanding of the ocean environment. Dr. Joye’s work is especially urgent as federal proposals for offshore drilling risk additional oil spills and negative ocean population impacts. Photo credit: OceanX Media

13 02, 2018

Cord Blood, Blood And Hair Tests Show Mercury Exposure In Grassy Narrows

2020-10-05T20:34:41-04:00Tags: |

Decades after a paper mill in Northern Ontario dumped 10 ton of mercury into an Ontario river, residents of Grassy Narrows First Nation and Wabaseemoong (Whitedog) First Nation are only beginning to get answers. From 1970 to 1992, Health Canada collected umbilical blood and hair samples from the communities that were potentially exposed to the harmful substance. The results, however, have remained closed in boxes until only recently. Now, residents such as Chrissy Swain and Alana Pahpasy are finally getting the results, only to find out that they’ve been living with dangerously high mercury levels for years. Despite the fact that a Mercury Disability Board was set up, it has been criticized as inadequate and has turned the majority of applicants away. It is suspected that the high levels are now impacting the next generation of these communities. The health impacts of mercury poisoning include heart problems, learning disabilities, and motor skills deficits. Women and other members of the community are speaking out against the government, outraged at this wrongful neglect. Photo credit: David Sone/Earthroots

20 01, 2018

Climate Change Eroding Women’s Status in Zanzibar

2018-03-02T20:05:14-05:00Tags: |

Women seaweed farms on Zanzibar’s coast are at the frontlines of climate change, as warming sea temperatures are causing massive die offs, and rural women are losing their main source of income. While most other jobs in this community are male dominated, seaweed farming is predominately female, with more than 80 percent of seaweed farmers being women. With the production of the major seaweed species Cottonnii down by nearly 94%, the financial independence and social status seaweed farming has provided women has been threatened. To defy these odds, Dr. Flower Msuya has, with the help of local women farmers, pioneered a new technology to adapt the shallow farming technique to deeper waters. Photo credit: Haley Joelle Ott

17 01, 2018

Can Poetry Turn The Tide On Climate Change?

2020-10-10T19:15:39-04:00Tags: |

Marshallese poet and activist Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner uses the power of poetry to humanize the climate crisis faced by Pacific nations and demand swift global action. Her spoken word performance of Dear Matafele Peinem at the 2014 United Nations Climate Summit was an impassioned call to action to ensure a safe, vibrant earth and rich cultural heritage for future generations. Her poem was met with acclaim and helped to convey the threat of rising sea levels and more frequent flooding to her home nation. She continues to advocate through her art as well as her work with Jo-Jikum, a nonprofit educating and empowering Marshallese youth on climate change. Photo Credit: The Adelaide Review

12 01, 2018

Protecting The Waterways Of The Navajo Nation

2018-02-06T15:13:09-05:00Tags: |

The video series ‘Breakthrough: Portraits of Women in Science’, profiles Karletta Chief, Chief Hydrologist with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and Indigenous woman of the Diné (Navajo) Bitter Water Clan. For many years, Karletta has been leading out work to study the quality and properties of water on the Navajo Nation, an arid region which is home to over 250,000 resident spread across sections of Utah, New Mexico and Arizona. The land has been desecrated for decades by coal and uranium mining, as well as the oil and gas industry. In August 2015, the Gold King Mine spill dumped millions of tons of toxic waste water into local river systems, contaminating the Animas River which is a vital source of life and livelihoods across the region. Karletta is working ceaselessly with the community to address the many issues faced due to this latest toxic water threat. Photo credit: Science Friday

17 11, 2017

Four Reasons Water And Sanitation Are A Gender Issue

2018-07-13T15:44:39-04:00Tags: |

Globally, women and girls are disproportionately impacted by poor access to safe clean water and adequate sanitary conditions. They are often responsible for collecting water for their household daily and at far distances, which significantly limits their productivity and time for schooling. Even when they do have time to attend school or work, a lack of private washrooms and clean water make it difficult to maintain hygiene during menstruation, meaning they instead stay home or drop out. Women and girls are also at increased risk of violence during their long travels for water and when using open toilets. Because they are likely tasked with cleaning children and household toilets, they are more exposed to wastewater and potential pathogens. Because of this intersection with gender, women and girls must lead and be engaged in strategies for improving water and sanitation. Photo credit: Asian Development Bank

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

26 10, 2017

This 13-Year-Old Indigenous Girl Has Been Nominated For A Global Peace Prize

2017-10-26T22:36:54-04:00Tags: |

Autumn Peltier, a 13-year-old Anishinaabe girl who has been advocating for clean drinking water, is a nominee for the International Children’s Peace Prize. The International Children's Peace Prize is awarded to a child who has worked to improve children’s lives. Peltier has been recognized internationally for her work and is already considered as a water protector. Photo credit: Twitter@PerryBellegarde‏

28 09, 2017

Michelle Bender: We Need Rights Of Nature Legislation Now To Protect Our Planet

2017-10-28T23:15:59-04:00Tags: |

Michelle Bender, Ocean Rights Manager at the Earth Law Center writes on the importance of the oceans - which cover over seventy percent of our planet, regulates climate and provides food and jobs for hundreds of millions of people. Current changes to its systems have generated concerns for the future. Despite international laws and agreements designed for its protection, the health of our oceans is at risk. This is because current ocean law and policy largely focus on the impacts to humans, rather than the impacts on natural ecosystems. Implementing Rights of Nature legislation allows for such a basis, by recognizing that rights originate from existence and that humans are a part of the Earth, not above it. By adopting the Rights of Nature, and in this case the ocean, we ensure that our activities do not violate the oceans’ rights to life, to health, to be free of pollution and to continue its vital cycles. It is a vital step to not only ensure that we restore the health of the ocean, but protect our future. Photo credit: The Ecologist

26 09, 2017

Native Youth “Paddle to Protect” Minnesota’s Water from Another Enbridge Pipeline

2017-10-31T15:24:47-04:00Tags: |

Young women such as Rose Whipple and Valyncia Sparvier are on the forefront of action by Indigenous youth in the Great Lakes region to oppose the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline through a 250 mile “Paddle to Protect” action held over Summer 2017. The proposed project threatens water quality, Indigenous rights, and vital ancestral food producing regions - prompting the youth to take to their local waterways to draw public attention to the dangers of the project on the land, water and their future. Honor the Earth, a Minnesota-based Indigenous rights group directed by Ojibwe woman leader, Winona LaDuke, had been central to support of the youth involved in the paddle and continued advocacy. Photo credit: John Collins

30 08, 2017

In Thailand, Unmet Transparency Laws Impede Poor Communities’ Struggle For Environmental Justice

2017-10-18T11:13:43-04:00Tags: |

In Map Ta Phut, Thailand, residents Nangsao Witlawan and Kanis Phonnawin are fighting pollution from over 140 industrial facilities, which have resulted in toxic water and severe health risks, including blood cancer and birth defects, often leading to death. Witlawan has been acutely affected as a former worker at a local oil refinery and suffers from stage four cervical cancer. Both women are pushing for access to information on the region’s water and government response to these serious health and environmental impacts. Photo credit: Laura Villadiego

30 08, 2017

Maria Nailevu, Pacific Climate Justice Activist

2017-10-30T02:51:11-04:00Tags: |

Growing up with recurrent natural disasters, sea level rise and flooding, Maria Nailevu experienced the impacts of climate change from a very early age. Today, she is working with Diverse Voices and Action (DIVA) for Equality to promote social, economic and ecological justice woman to advocate for women human rights and climate action at the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties conferences. Nailevu is also working to free her home of plastics with the Pacific Urgent Action Hub for Climate Justice and creating safe spaces where women can come together to share knowledge, stories and strategies for a gender-just society. Photo credit: DIVA4Equality

26 08, 2017

Nigeria: Using Gender Mainstreaming Processes To Help Protect Drinking Water Sources Of The Obudu Plateau Communities In Northern Cross River State

2017-08-26T14:18:03-04:00Tags: |

This case study focuses on the Obudu Plateau, one of the two main mountain ecosystems of Nigeria and is primarily home to the Becheve agricultural communities and the Fulani pastoralists. In the last two decades the area has witnessed increased commercial development mostly in tourism has seen increased deforestation and a deterioration of the water situation. In order to begin to remedy the situation, a multi-stakeholder management committee was constituted to deal with the issues with participatory processes being put in place to systematically involve women in the work as well as carefully analyze the specific ways in which destruction of the ecosystem was affecting women.

26 08, 2017

Commentary: Dams Are A Women’s Issue

2017-10-31T15:23:47-04:00Tags: |

Monti Aguirre, the Latin America Program Coordinator at International Rivers and a tireless supporter of people impacted by the Chixoy Dam in Guatemala, shares stories about the inspirational women she has met during her career fighting against mega-dams. For example, Nicolasa Quintreman, a Pehuenche Indigenous woman from Chile, fought for years against the Ralco Dam (backed by energy giant Endesa) and still stands strong even after being forced to relocate. Lupita Lara led her community’s resistance to the Arcediano Dam near Guadalajara City, Mexico with steadfast resolve. Due to women’s integral role as community leaders, organizations like Asprocig, the organization of downstream communities affected by the Urra Dam in Colombia, have found that elevating women in post-relocation trauma recovery programs has far-reaching impacts.

26 08, 2017

Equality In Dissent

2017-08-26T12:53:11-04:00Tags: |

When the state government of Uttarakhand proposed construction of the Desvari dam, a 252-megawatt hydropower project on the Pinder River, residents of Chepdu village were worried: blasting through rock in an already flood-prone seismic zone would put the lives and livelihoods of 20,000 people at risk. While some men in the community obtained contract work from the construction company, making them partisan to the project, women like Bilma Joshi stood strong, organizing their community to demand their statutory rights and oppose a project that would all but destroy the Pinder River. Photo Credit: Matu Jan Sanghathan

26 08, 2017

Where Are Women’s Voices In Uganda’s Dam Planning?

2017-08-26T12:26:43-04:00Tags: |

Betty Obbo of the National Association of Professional Environmentalists writes about how top-down hydroelectric dam projects, such as the Bujagali dam in Uganda, displace vulnerable communities and create more problems than they solve for local women. One such woman is Rukia Kauma, now living in Naminya resettlement village, who explains how the lack of basic amenities, roads, schools and fertile soil in her new home impact her daily life as her family’s principal breadwinner. She now walks hours a day to fetch water and firewood in the forest, which often exposes her to the risk of sexual violence. The Ugandan government, African Development Bank and the World Bank did not adequately consult women when designing the dam project, further reinforcing patriarchal relations around their access and control over land and water sources, and the continued lack of social services provision to displaced people is staggering. The National Association of Professional Environmentalists is teaming up with community members to fight these and other dams. Photo credit: World Bank

26 08, 2017

Mainstreaming Gender In Water Resource Management

2017-08-26T11:18:30-04:00Tags: |

Joke Muylwijk, executive director of the Gender and Water Alliance, explains the importance of mainstreaming gender in all levels of water resource management, from international policy-making to local governance. The Gender and Water Alliance brings member networks together to bridge the gap between decision-makers and water users so that the deep knowledge and experiences of women, Indigenous people, small-holder farmers and fisherfolk are centered in policy solutions. Water is life! is a slogan found in many communities the world over, and water remains one of the most important sites of ‘material contestation’ worldwide. Photo Credit: Gender and Water Alliance

25 08, 2017

Las Mujeres Somos Agua (Women Are Water)

2017-10-25T22:43:23-04:00Tags: |

In Latin America, where 37 million people suffer from water insecurity, grassroots women are taking initiative against government inaction and industrial pollution to gain access to clean drinking water. In Pirané, Argentina, Nelly Alcaraz, Candida Fernández, and Analía Alcaraz of Equipo de Mujeres del Movimiento Campesino de Formosa are fighting water quality issues and toxic health impacts from agrochemical spraying. In Yacuíba, Bolivia, Julia Suárez, Modesta Medina Romero, and Aquilina Pereyra of Asamblea del Pueblo Guaraní de Yaku-Igua represent the Guarani people against the environmental destruction caused by the Gran Chaco Liquid Segregation Plant. Lina López of Organización de Mujeres Mismo Indígena and Enriqueta Chávez of Organización de Mujeres Guaraní de Macharety support a coalition of over 400 women across Presidente Hayes and Boquerón in Paraguay, where severe droughts and flooding have led to crop loss, tuberculosis, and poor standards of living. Photo credit: Fondo de Mujeres Del Sur

17 08, 2017

Photo Essay: Inside The Munduruku Occupation Of Sao Manoel Dam

2017-08-26T12:48:25-04:00Tags: |

Munduruku women warriors led 200 representatives of their Indigenous nation to occupy the main work camp of the Sao Manoel hydroelectric dam, under construction on the Teles Pires River in the Brazilian Amazon. This occupation paralyzed the project as the Munduruku people demanded a complete stop to the project, their right to be consulted and for the respect of their culture, spirituality and ecosystems. This beautiful, gripping photo essay of the occupation captures the powerful women warriors of Munduruku defiantly leading their community to protect the sacred. Photo credit: Caio Mota/Centro Popular do Audiovisual/Forum Teles Pires.

7 08, 2017

Rising Seas Are Flooding Bangladeshi Farms With Salt Water

2017-09-03T21:05:29-04:00Tags: |

Island farmers in the Bay of Bengal, particularly women, such as Shondha Rnai and Rokya Begum, express concerns over their farmlands. Their farms are threatened by rising sea levels, lack of freshwater, and saltwater intrusion from neighboring shrimp farms. The water crisis is resulting in loss of agricultural productivity, conversion of rice paddies to shrimp farms and most importantly, forced migration. Photo credit: Eduardo Garcia Gil

4 08, 2017

Running The Salmon Home: Lifeways And Waters Of The Winnemem Wintu

2017-09-03T21:03:41-04:00Tags: |

The Winnemen Wintu, also known as the Middle Water People, can be found along the McCloud River in Northern California. Winnimen Wintu legend has it that their ancestors gained the ability to speak from Salmon, in exchange for eternal protection from external threats. Chief Caleen Sisk is organizing a Run4Salmon, to generate public awareness for the need to replenish the Chinook Salmon stock, which is endangered by climate change and the construction of dams. Photo credit: Toby McLeod

3 08, 2017

The Connection Between Women And Water

2017-09-03T21:07:29-04:00Tags: |

This article conveys the inspirational story of how one project, Water Bearers, initiated and led by women, is connecting both men and women around the same element that is the source of life for us all: water. Water Bearers strives to motivate women fortunate enough to have access to clean water to train the less fortunate, such as the Kichwa people of Yasuni National Park. Photo credit: Uplift

3 08, 2017

Saluting Women Water Warriors

2017-08-26T12:38:38-04:00Tags: |

When it comes to decision-making around water resources, women are seldom at the table - but Latha Anantha (India), Betty Obbo (Uganda) and Pai Detees (Thailand) are working to change that. Anantha leads the River Research Center, mapping ecosystems and educating children to protect biodiversity in regions like the Western Ghats. Obbo of the National Association of Professional Environmentalists succeeded in delaying the construction of the Bujagali Dam for 18 years, and is researching how to help impacted communities file grievances when their rights are violated. Pai Detees, of International Rivers, helped pioneer community research methodologies at the South East Asia Rivers Network, amplifying the voices of women water users into national and international policy. These three stories weave together the beauty and possibilities of women’s advocacy, resistance and leadership for water justice. Photo credit: Glenn Switkes

1 08, 2017

Native American Women Begin Walk Along The Missouri River

2017-09-03T21:01:43-04:00Tags: |

Women from different natives tribes are gathering at Three Forks, Montana to begin their month and a half walking journey along the Missouri River. Among the walkers are Lori Watos of the Dakota and Ojibwe tribes in Minnesota, Roxanne Ornelas, a Geography professor at the University of Miami, Ohio, and Sharon Day, executive director of the Indigenous People’s Task Force and leader of the walk. The walk is scheduled as a tribute to our most precious natural resource, water, which is under various threats from oil and gas production to agricultural run-offs. The aim is to understand and nurture human connection with water. Photo credit: Bob Wick/Bureau of Land Management

21 07, 2017

Water Walk For Life

2017-09-03T20:48:02-04:00Tags: |

Jun Yasuda, a Buddhist Nun and internationally renowned environmental activist, walked 170 miles in the “Water Walk for Life” to protest the Parallel Pilgrims pipeline. The pipeline is expected to cross 235 regulated streams in New York and two drinking water aquifers in New Jersey. If constructed, the pipeline would disrupt and destroy wildlife habitats and imperil clean water sources for about 100,000 residents. Photo credit: wamc.org

10 07, 2017

Struggle For Water And Sovereignty

2017-09-03T20:50:39-04:00Tags: |

In this emotional video, Temryss Xeli'tia Lane of the Golden Eagle Clan, Lummi Nation, speaks about protecting her people’s waters, the main source of their livelihood, from TransCanada’s pipeline projects and other threats. She speaks about how the water is their land, and without fishing, her culture and ancestry are endangered. Photo credit: Desk Gram

8 07, 2017

Waste Water Is A She

2017-09-21T16:22:07-04:00Tags: |

Key players in the global climate change debate often reduce water to a gender-neutral status. However, if one digs deeper one finds that there is an intrinsic link between women and daily water management, and it is women that are most impacted by lack of wastewater treatment. UNESCO’s World Water Assessment Program (WWAP) and the gender task force propose indicators disaggregated by sex to analyze the wastewater treatment gender gap.

20 06, 2017

Mom Detective: Here’s An Innovative Solution To Microfiber Pollution

2017-10-16T18:34:00-04:00Tags: |

Rachael Miller founded the Rosalie Project, an initiative which has designed the Cora Ball to collect harmful microfibers from clothes washers before they enter our waterways. Miller speaks about how her ocean nonprofit is working to clean up marine debris and tackle the problem at its source, designing a 100% recycled soft plastic device that was inspired by the natural filtering functions of coral. Photo credit: Moms Clean Air Force

16 06, 2017

Bringing Clean Water To Kids In Uganda

2017-09-03T20:55:15-04:00Tags: |

When the lack of access to clean drinking water was adversely impacting the health of children in the village of Gomba, two women came to the rescue. Godliver Businge and Comfort Harja, of the Uganda Women’s Water Initiative, started a project that installed water purification systems in schools and trained local women to build their own biosand filters, which in return increased school attendance rates and decreased medical expenses. The project has also helped women, such as Betty Birungi, build their confidence and run for offices. Photo credit: Joel Lukhovi/Survival Media Agency

8 06, 2017

Women Ocean Leaders Of Samoa: Anama Solofa

2017-08-26T15:48:32-04:00Tags: |

Anama Solofa represents the growing number of Pacific Island women making waves in both our oceans and in policy spaces dedicated to championing the sustainable and equitable use of this precious natural resource under threat. A Fulbright Foreign Student Scholarship program recipient, Anama is studying for her Master’s degree in Marine Policy. Having worked at Samoa’s Ministry of Fisheries in and at the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (S.P.R.E.P.), she is a fierce advocate for ocean conservation. Solofa also knows first-hand the difficulties in working in policy, a male-dominated field, in addition to the inter-generational issues that young women working in the field face. Photo credit: Samoa Observer

6 06, 2017

Women Ocean Leaders Of Samoa: Tuifuisa’a Amosa

2017-08-26T15:51:57-04:00Tags: |

Dr. Tuifasa’a Aimosa is an oceanographer and Dean of the Faculty of Science at the National University of Samoa. Her academic research primarily explores ocean acidification and its impacts on marine life. She credits her interest in science to excellent teachers, even as she often found herself in her post-grad years as the only female student from the Pacific Islands studying marine science and oceanography. Dr. Tuifuisa’a is cognizant of the fact that hers is a male-dominated field, using her role as Dean to mentor young female students in the field, and hopes for more support networks for female scientists.Photo credit: Samoa Observer

5 06, 2017

In Photos: Women Of Seychelles Lead Efforts Towards Healthy Oceans

2017-10-17T19:49:01-04:00Tags: |

Women are leading the charge for the conservation and sustainable use of ocean resources in the Indian Ocean Rim region. Sylvanna Antat, Marine Research Officer with the Seychelles National Parks Authority, is leading the charge to map coral reefs around Mahe Island, organisms that promote biodiversity and help mitigate coastal erosion. Michelle Martin, Executive Director of Sustainability for Seychelles, and Karine Rassool, Senior Economist for the Seychelles Fishing Authority, fought for a ban on plastic bags and Styrofoam containers. Their efforts were supported by long-time resident and fruit seller Mana Celestine, who hasn’t used plastic bags in 15 years, to preserve the health of her home. In science, Senior Laboratory Technician Julie Matatiken analyzes the health of tuna for the Port of Victoria, while in education, Christel Jacques educates young people about environmental conservation through the Wildlife Club. Women’s leadership is crucial to preserving and protecting marine ecosystems and the people that depend upon ocean resources. Photo credit: UN Women

5 06, 2017

Women Ocean Leaders: Captain Fealofani

2017-08-26T15:54:48-04:00Tags: |

Fealofani Bruun is making history as captain of a Gaualofa, a traditional Samoan double-hull voyaging canoe. She trains crew members and steers the canoe, whose voyages have not been seen in Samoa for over 100 years. For Samoans, the traditional voyaging canoe holds a lot of knowledge about not only navigation, the ocean and the stars, but also traditional Samoan culture and values. For Fealofani, this cultural revival has opened her up to the ways in which equality and equity are embedded within the ‘canoe culture’, as well as how to use traditional Samoan knowledge to protect the oceans in the face of climate change. She calls for the recruitment of more young girls and women to the fight. Photo credit: Charles Netzler

31 05, 2017

[H2opeful Women] GWWI East Africa Training Team Take On The World!

2017-10-31T22:51:26-04:00Tags: |

Godliver Businge, Comfort Mukasa and Rose Wamalwa are leaders in the Global Women's Water Initiative's training program. Because of their work implementing clean water systems in their communities, they have been crucial mentors to newer participants in the program and have shared their experience around the world. For example, Businge has spoken to audiences at Stanford University and the African Food and Peace Foundation about her pioneering work in renewable sanitation technology implementation in her community. Photo credit: Global Women's Water Initiative

31 05, 2017

Inuit Mother Jailed After Protesting Dam At Muskrat Falls

2017-09-03T20:39:00-04:00Tags: |

Beatrice Hunter is many things at once: mother, grandmother and unapologetic land protector from the Indigenous Inuit community of Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Canada. Last fall, Hunter joined dozens of local land protectors in occupying the construction site of a highly controversial dam on Muskrat Falls, which holds immense cultural, economic and spiritual value for her people. Hunter now faces one criminal charge and two civil charges, and has defiantly refused to stay away from the Falls despite law enforcement's demands. In speaking out about the series of events, Hunter emphasizes that her people’s identities and livelihoods are deeply interconnected with the Falls, as well as the injustice of continued exploitation by settler-colonialism. Photo credit: Facebook

17 05, 2017

Jordan’s Water Wise Women

2017-10-25T22:38:42-04:00Tags: |

In Jordan, women are taking center stage in combating the country’s severe drought crisis through plumbing skills training and water conservation education. Plumbers Isra Ababneh and Safaa Sukkariah are among the 3,000 women empowered by the Water Wise Women Initiative, which teaches water-saving techniques to fix faulty pipes and improve water management. UNICEF/ACTED representative Eshraq Mashaqbeh also encourages water security by teaching Syrian refugees in Jordan how to save water. Photo credit: Aljazeera

11 05, 2017

In Vietnam, Women Are Leading Disaster Prevention And Response

2017-08-26T13:45:09-04:00Tags: |

When the Kien Giang river flooded, the damage to the community of My Thuy was minimal due to women’s leadership. The Viet Nam Women’s Union and UN Women are supporting women like Huong Duong, a local shopkeeper, to be disaster preparedness “communicators” in their towns, monitoring for floods and preparing their neighbors for the worst to reduce the risk of severe damage, injuries and even death. While women are disproportionately vulnerable to climate change and natural disasters, their work on mitigating the impacts of these risks often goes unacknowledged. Photo credit: UN Women Viet Nam/Hoang Hiep

7 05, 2017

In 70 Days, 700 People Brought A Dead River Back To Life

2017-10-31T20:35:35-04:00Tags: |

The Kuttemperoor River in South Kerala’s Alappuzha district, formerly a vibrant and healthy ecosystem, was slowly destroyed over the years by illegal sand mining and the dumping of raw sewage. Recently, 700 local people, mostly women, took it upon themselves to restore the river by spending 70 days cleaning out the toxic waste of weeds, plastic and other pollutants. Bolstered by frequent drought that had put a huge strain on the available water sources and the slow action from the government, this group of earth defenders successfully revived their river. Photo credit: Vivek Nair

7 05, 2017

The Women Of Inga: A Portrait Of Resilience

2017-08-26T12:16:37-04:00Tags: |

The women of Inga grow nearly everything their community consumes, from the avocados, oranges and cassava that nourish their families to the medicinal herbs that heal their sick. However, the women have been living without access to electricity, schools, roads or hospitals for many years, despite the construction of hydroelectric dams on the nearby Inga Falls of the Congo River that ironically send power to people far away while bypassing those who care for the local river and forest. The women are now challenging the idea of top-down economic development based on massive infrastructure projects that evict local people and destroy local ecosystems, while plunging governments into debt. They are standing up and refusing to be disposable: their story shows the power of African women’s collective solidarity. Photo Credit: Ange Asanzi/International Rivers

4 05, 2017

Winnemen Wintu Chief: California WaterFix Fixes Nothing

2017-08-26T15:57:27-04:00Tags: |

California Governor Jerry Brown’s “Legacy Project,” the Delta Tunnels, promised to restore water security to a state plagued by drought and renew local ecosystems. However, Caleen Sisk, Chief and Spiritual leader of the Winnemen Wintu tribe, is speaking out against this project, which she and many others in the community maintain will destroy the sensitive nursery for salmon, other fish species and all aquatic life. Chief Caleen’s resistance to this project is rooted in the traditional ecological knowledge of her people and centuries of resistance against destructive development projects. Photo credit: Dan Bacher

1 05, 2017

Kandi Mossett: Women Shouldn’t Die Protecting Water

2017-09-03T20:53:08-04:00Tags: |

Kandi Mossett, an indigenous activist and organizer with the Indigenous Environmental Network and a member of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nations spoke out about climate justice and access to water during the 2017 People’s Climate March. She and leader Tom Goldtooth are marching not only for her brothers and sisters in the north and the south, including Berta Cáceres, but also to defend the sacred from toxic fossil fuel projects like the Dakota Access Pipeline and threats to traditional ways of life. Photo credit: Democracy Now

25 04, 2017

Bangladesh’s Water Crisis: A Story Of Gender

2017-08-26T13:52:56-04:00Tags: |

In the last 35 years, Bangladesh has witnessed an increase in groundwater salinity by about 26%. Most activities related to water use and fetching are women’s work Bangladesh, and with water sources either drying up or becoming saline due to climate change, the already back-breaking work of looking for water by women continues to increase. Women and children on Bangladesh’s coast are increasingly contracting water-borne diseases, in addition to suffering from pregnancy-related conditions such as preeclampsia and hypertension, resulting from higher levels of salty water intake. Khadija Rahman, who lives on Bangladesh’s southwest coast, tells her story. Photo credit: Neha Thirani Bagri

17 04, 2017

Kristal Ambrose Recruits Kids To Purge Plastics In The Bahamas

2017-09-21T16:41:16-04:00Tags: |

An expedition to the Marshall Islands with the 5 Gyres Institute to free the oceans of marine plastics served as sparkplug for 27-year-old scientist Kristal Ambrose of the island of Eluethera in the Bahamas. Upon her return, she began hiring local students for beach cleanups, and thus the Bahamas Plastic Movement was born. She now successfully runs a 5-day youth summer camp, training and educating the younger generation on plastic pollution and trawling for plastic waste on the island. Photo credit: Elyse Butler

28 03, 2017

Report: No Longer A Life Worth Living

2017-09-21T18:01:04-04:00Tags: |

A team of ten women researchers from the drought-stricken and mining-impacted communities of Somkhele and Fuleni launched the No Longer a Life Worth Living report as part of the Women Building Power initiative. The report emphasizes the impact of drought and subsequent water scarcity, as well as the impact on families and communities of Tendele Mine’s activities related to water access and water pollution. The researchers highlight the failures of the local municipality to address the water challenges faced by these communities and call on the government to revoke water licensing for coal mines in the area. Photo credit: WoMin

22 03, 2017

Fetching Water Is A Woman’s Responsibility In This Arid Rajasthan Village

2017-09-03T20:59:35-04:00Tags: |

Women from the hamlet of Khadero ki Dhani in Rajasthan’s Thar Desert travel up to a kilometer several times a day to draw water from the only water-yielding “beri,” or traditional well in the village. The long dry seasons and water scarcity has trained these women to manage the water sustainably. The women of the region are taking action every day to ensure their precious resource is not abused, such as not taking showers for periods or feeding less water to the animals. Photo credit: Raj Kumar Singh