6 Woman Environmentalists You Should Know

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All over the world, fearless women are bringing nature back to life. Whether it be planting forests, protecting the Amazon, or countering desertification.  Meet 6 of the most inspiring women of all time. 

Wangari Maathai

1. Wangari Maathai

Wangari Maathai was the founder of the Green Belt movement. With the movement she convinced the UN and world leaders to plant over 7 billion trees. Maathai received as first black woman a Nobel Peace Prize for her work.  She was honored for her efforts to improve women’s rights, peace, sustainable development and nature conservation. Her legacy is incredibly impressive. It includes the Trillion Tree Campaign, the Great Green Wall, and 7 billion trees (& still counting).

2. Jane Goodall

Dr. Jane Goodall transformed the way humans see animals. Her research on primates would change the relationships between humans and animals for good. Goodall founded the Jane Goodall Institute, a global conservation organisation in 1977 (the same year Maathai founded the Green Belt Movement).  She also empowers youth to affect positive change in their communities with her Roots and Shoots movement.

Jane Goodall
Jane Goodall

2. Jane Goodall

Dr. Jane Goodall transformed the way humans see animals. Her research on primates would change the relationships between humans and animals for good. Goodall founded the Jane Goodall Institute, a global conservation organisation in 1977 (the same year Maathai founded the Green Belt Movement).  She also empowers youth to affect positive change in their communities with her Roots and Shoots movement.

3. Marina Silva

Marina Silva led demonstrations in the 1980s to protect the rainforest from government control. She ran for Brazilian president in 2010, 2014 and 2018 and served as Minister of the Environment from 2003 and 2008. Marina Silva was elected Women of the Year by the Financial Times. She is currently the spokeswoman for the Sustainability Party (REDE).

This article is part of our mission to Empower people to plant forests

This article is part of our mission to Empower people to plant forests

4. Suzanne Simard

Dr. Suzanne Simard (professor of forest ecology) has become one of the strongest advocates for protecting forests and spreading the love for nature. Simard was the first to discover that trees communicate with each other. At first, fellow scientists ridiculed her for the idea. But, Simard persisted and proved them wrong. She also demonstrates this in a very popular Ted talk. Dr. Simard and her work became one of the protagonists in Richard Powers’ Pulitzer Price winning novel The Overstory.

doughnut economy amsterdam
doughnut economy amsterdam

4. Suzanne Simard

Dr. Suzanne Simard (professor of forest ecology) has become one of the strongest advocates for protecting forests and spreading the love for nature. Simard was the first to discover that trees communicate with each other. At first, fellow scientists ridiculed her for the idea. But, Simard persisted and proved them wrong. She also demonstrates this in a very popular Ted talk. Dr. Simard and her work became one of the protagonists in Richard Powers’ Pulitzer Price winning novel The Overstory.

5. Julia ‘Butterfly’ Hill

Julia Hill has the world record tree sitting. On December 10, 1997, Hill climbed a redwood tree in California to protect it from logging. She stayed there until December 23, 1999.

6. May Boeve

May Boeve is co-founder and executive director of 350.org, one of the most influential climate mitigation organisation. She has become the leading voice for the global divestment movement. With 350.org she organised one of the greatest climate demonstrations in history.   Time Magazine recognized her, as a “Next Generation Leader.”

May Boeve

6. May Boeve

May Boeve is co-founder and executive director of 350.org, one of the most influential climate mitigation organisation. She has become the leading voice for the global divestment movement. With 350.org she organised one of the greatest climate demonstrations in history.   Time Magazine recognized her, as a “Next Generation Leader.”

May Boeve

“It’s the little things citizens do. That’s what will make the difference. My little thing is planting trees.” – Wangari Maathai

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Watch our video of Wangari Maathai