Mother Earth has an entourage!

To celebrate World Wildlife Day which takes place on March 3rd, 2016, #DiscovHER has identified 5 inspirational females who are devoting their time and energy to protecting our planet. These successful women overcome obstacles and pioneer world-changing ideas to improve the global environment!

Rachel Carson – the mother of modern environmentalism

Rachel Carson was an American marine biologist and conservationist. Her impactful work, which includes the bestseller, Silent Spring published in 1962, cautioned against the use of chemical pesticides and, on a broader scale, initiated the environmental movement that continues today.

As an influential writer and environmental thinker, Carson raised important questions about mankind’s impact on nature, and how it would affect the future. Her legacy continues today and has led to new policies to protect the environment.

Wangari Maathai – planting trees for future growth

Born in rural Kenya, Wangari Maathai was the first woman in East and Central Africa to earn a doctoral degree in 1971. She dedicated her life to fighting for environmental conservation and human rights, and has been recognized by numerous awards, most notably the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004.

In 1977, Maathai founded the Green Belt Movement that “empowers communities, particularly women, to conserve the environment and improve livelihoods”. Her socially innovative system encourages women to plant trees, in order to respond to local reports that their water access was in danger, and their food and firewood supplies were unstable and dwindling. Since it’s founding, the movement has touched the lives of countless women and has planted more than 20 million trees in local communities

Habiba Sarobi – first female Afghani governor

Habiba Sarobi is a haematologist and became the first female governor in Afghanistan, in 2005. She has devoted her life to women’s rights and environmental issues. Being an Afghani woman in politics is an incredible risk, but Sarobi stood proudly in the face of the Taliban and other extremists to change the political and environmental landscape in her country.

She has made environmental protection a priority as Governor of Bamiyan and works tirelessly to preserve the environment and natural resources in Afghanistan “for the future of my people”, she states. She established Afghanistan’s first national park, Band-e-Amir and was honoured in 2008 by Time Magazine on their list of Heroes of the Environment.

Albina Ruiz – sanitation for a better tomorrow

Engineer, chemist and Ashoka Fellow, Albina Ruiz is now working on a community-based solid waste management system to improve sanitation and health in the northern suburbs of Lima, Peru. Built on a network of micro-enterprises that correspond with every step of the sanitation cycle, she has initiated a public education program to accompany the project, as well as coordinated the garbage and trash removal services in the area.

With her environmental health organisation, Ciudad Saludable, Ruiz is changing the world through sanitary operations and building a better future for her community.

Sari Squad – the new park patrol

A group of Bangladeshi environmental activists, the Sari Squad, is innovating environmental protection. Together, wives, mothers and villagers have taken on a new role: guardians of the Chunati Wildlife Reserve. In their bright green dresses, they silently patrol the forest with government rangers to ward off any illicit tree fellers. Their tactics have worked so far; the 77-square kilometre sanctuary has showed encouraging signs of recovery in the past few years!

These outstanding women have made great strides in protecting the environment for years, in many different and innovative ways and we are certain they will continue to pave the way for the next generation of women environmentalists for years to come!

Are you as inspired as we are? Tell us about it at @4womeninscience

For Women in Science

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