Celebrating women in environmental conservation

Challenges and opportunities

From the likes of Jane Goodall and Wangari Maathai, to Greta Thunberg, women across the generations have inspired the world to improve environmental conservation efforts.

Their work has crossed new boundaries, led to social transformations and, in the case of Maathai — who initiated a major tree planting and women’s rights movement — led to a Nobel Peace Prize.

Jane Goodall’s compassion and activism directed at protecting species and their habitats, and Greta Thunberg’s critique of the to-date fruitless business-as-usual approach to solving the climate emergency demonstrate relentless fervor.

Many others – often unsung – carry on these efforts.

On this Earth Day, we celebrate them.

Join us in conversation with Sheherazade, co-executive Director of PROGRES, Indonesia’s Sulawesi Regional Ecological Conservation Initiative.

The organization works with local communities on Sulawesi Island in the eastern part of the archipelago to conserve many endemic species not found elsewhere. Due to its unique biodiversity, more than a century ago the island inspired British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace to write his pioneering work The Malay Archipelago and theory of natural selection, said to be the inspiration for Charles Darwin’s infamous On the Origin of the Species.

Working in the field of environmental conservation is certainly not easy for anyone, yet there are some challenges that are unique to women.

One of them is being underestimated and seen as less aware of the issues. We get “mansplained” a lot, says Sherazade

Additionally, it is highly competitive for jobs, she said.

Listen to our conversation with Sheherazade.

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