Celebrating Women in Environment
A colleague asked, “Caroline, who do you celebrate this international women’s day?”
My quick response was, ‘I choose to celebrate women committed to environmental conservation.’
I am one of those women who finds strength and fulfillment in nature. When I feel fatigued, I schedule a time for hikes and mountaineering or park visits. Forests trigger a sense of belonging, purity, and freedom- from the birds whistling and chirping to the sound of waterfalls. The calmness and the beauty under the forest canopies is all I long for.
Some of these natural environs have survived development and human destruction because someone somewhere spared their time, energy, resources, and knowledge to educate the community and fight for its wellbeing.
Someone somewhere is empowering and engaging the mass about the importance of planting trees; why climate change is a severe problem to the vulnerable communities and the essence of waste management.
Notable women I celebrate
This year’s International Women’s day, I celebrate the few women I have seen demonstrate a commitment to environmental conservation in their small ways. I see women with good intentions for nature for the sake of us and future generations.
late Prof. Wangari Maathai
Before that, I choose to celebrate the extensive work of the late Prof. Wangari Maathai whose resilience, dedication, and hard work opened the way for me and others who thought studying environmental science is nothing but learning about forests.
Uhuru Park, Karura forest to name but a few are iconic public spaces within the capital Nairobi courtesy of her. I don’t want to imagine how Nairobi could have been were it not for Prof. Wangari Maathai to fight for the green spaces.
Something to note is that the renowned Nobel Peace Prize winner encouraged women to plant trees in their local communities.
Dr. Paula Kahumbu
I also want to celebrate Dr. Paula Kahumbu for her courage and continued commitment to wildlife conservation. She has fought fights and continues to, through her work, we got to appreciate wild animals. Remember the #HandsOffOurElephants campaign? The Wildlife warriors?
Close to me are young women who have challenged me in so many ways concerning environmental conservation.
Emma, I celebrate your dedication to educate, inform, and inspire the youth on their involvement in ecological conservation strategies in so many ways.
Grace, your work promoting clean cooking solutions among rural households is commendable. The fact that you are recycling wastes to generate energy is worth it. Keep it up!
Alice Siantei of Naramat Olosho Environment champions group in Kajiado County is dedicated to providing conservation education, promoting planting trees and environmental sustainability to women in her county
To any girl or woman out there championing for environmental conservation, action on climate change, I celebrate you. You are a hero for this planet.