The fight against climate change and to protect the environment is everyone's task, but today, International Women’s day, we are focusing on the ladies that have made it their mission to leave a better planet for the next generations. Whether it's exploring the world’s oceans or protecting the Amazon, fearless women all over the globe are leading the charge and fighting for environmental justice. Here are a few of the most inspiring women:
Sheila Watt-Cloutier (1953-)
Watt-Cloutier is a Canadian Inuit activist who defends the right of her people to live in the cold. Sea ice, which is part of the life of Inuits, a common name for the various peoples living in the Arctic regions of North America, is melting away, hence her fight against global warming, which earned her a Nobel Peace Prize nomination in 2007.
"For the first time in history, my community has had to use air conditioners. Imaging that, air conditioners in the Arctic"
Vandana Shiva (1952-)
One of the greatest champions of ecofeminism today. The Indian physicist and philosopher understands the earth as an entity that is part of the individual and calls for a transformation that will put an end to climate change, inequality, injustice, wars and hunger. She was one of the founders of the Women's Environment & Development Organization (WEDO).
"The liberations of the earth, the liberation of women, the liberation of all humanity in the next step of freedom we need to work for, and its the next step of peace that we need to create"
Wangari Maathai (1940-2011)
In 2004, this Kenyan biologist, also known as the Woman of the Trees, received the Nobel Peace Prize for her contribution to sustainable development. This award, the first for an African woman, was the culmination of a career that began in 1977 when she founded the Green Belt Movement, which aimed to combat desertification, deforestation, the water crisis and rural hunger.
"We cannot tire or give up. We owe it to the present and future generations of all species to rise up and walk!"
Jane Goodall (1934-)
The English primatologist has been revolutionising science since 1960 with her innovative methods and fascinating discoveries about the behaviour of wild chimpanzees in Gombe (Tanzania). At 86 years old, Dr. Goodall continues to work hard on protecting ecosystems and biodiversity, environmental education and sustainability.
"Only if we understand, can we care. Only if we care, we will help. Only if we help, we shall be saved"
Rachel Carson (1907-1964)
In 1962, Carson, an American biologist and conservationist, published Silent Spring, a book that addressed the devastating consequences of pesticide use on wildlife and helped raise environmental awareness. Thanks to her, Earth Day also began to be celebrated and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was created.
"The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction"