Maestra Pati, a leader in Grupo Ecológico Sierra Gordo’s conservation work, is well aware of the incredible odds climate activists must face.
“We know that we might not save the planet. Despite that, we have to keep hope and to try to fulfill this miracle of love. We hope to put enough will, love, sense of belonging, and action into the world so that maybe something better will arise from this.”
For Maestri, the key to building a better planet for future generations is simple: we all must do our part in the fight for climate conservation.
“My hope for the future, with all these bad things moving forward so fast, is to do my best until the very last minute I have here. That’s the very best I can hope for. A single person can make a difference. Do your best you can for your own land. That makes a difference.”
Michael Shafer, the founder of Warm Heart Foundation Worldwide, became a climate activist to protect the earth for future generations.
“I am not a ‘climate champion.’ I am a concerned parent. Like all parents, I want my children to have a wonderful future. For me, that means at the very least living in a world like the one I grew up in.”
This sense of responsibility goes back generations.
“My father’s father sacrificed to feed him. My father sacrificed to educate me. I can sacrifice to ensure my children a healthy earth. If not, I may have sacrificed them. I cannot allow that to be my legacy. Avoiding it does not make me a champion; it makes me human.”
Aviram Rozin, project leader for Sadhana Forest’s work in Kenya, shares that it is his deeply personal sense of ownership which drives him to be a tireless climate activist.
“It is easier for me to live without making compromises on my principles. As a leader of Sadhana Forest in Kenya, I live in a structure made from local, natural materials, eat organic food, and use only solar energy, as well as dry composting toilets. My motivation is sustained by the deep feeling that I am doing the right thing for myself, my family, people in our bioregion, humankind, all living beings, and Planet Earth.”
Ultimately, Aviram knows any sacrifice he makes is worthwhile.
“The goal is so big that any obstacle looks like a speck of dust. It can disturb us, but it cannot steer us away from our path.”
Austin Bowden-Kerby has been inspired by the beauty of coral reefs since he was a child.
“As a boy of eleven, my family moved to Saipan, just north of Guam, where I was able to snorkel on glorious coral reefs. Their sheer beauty and rich diversity awed and transformed me.”
As the reefs declined, Austin’s commitment to coral conservation grew despite numerous aquatic setbacks.
“Coral reefs are among the first ecosystems collapsing from climate change, so this is where we must now make our stand. We must save the reefs to save the planet.”
“It has been fun to be a part of saving the Blue Planet, but it has not been easy. I’ve had assorted close encounters with sharks and enterprising seagulls, suffered from coral abrasions and ear problems from too much time in the water, and had to sleep more times than I like to recount on the sandy bare ground or in dorm situations with snorers.”
However, none of these challenges have diminished Austin’s commitment.
”All these obstacles fade away in memory, but what remains is the legacy of imparting the knowledge of coral gardening. Seeing the excited faces of the younger generation as they take part in the miracle of regrowth brings me joy. These are truly ‘reefs of hope’—a ray of brilliant light in these very dark times.”
Permaculture Research Coordinator Alan Chumbe was born and raised in one of the most breathtaking parts of our planet: the Amazon Rainforest. As the years passed, shifts in the seasons reflected larger changes in global climate systems.
“As a child I looked forward to the beaches on the rivers and to harvest the fruits during the dry season. I also looked forward to the rainy weather. Both seasons always occurred the same months, each year with impressive accuracy. Over time, climate change forced farmers to get used to the new sowing and harvesting cycles, the fish were less and less abundant and smaller in size, and so many things changed for us.”
Nonetheless, Alan maintains his belief that humans can live in harmony with our planet.
“Despite all obstacles, we can still live in peace with nature, benefiting each other, if we just stop thinking about the superiority of man on Earth. She is our mother and teacher, who teaches us that the solution to this and future crises is in this new generation, is in ourselves.”
The fight against global climate change may seem daunting but together, we can protect our planet. Support local leaders making a global impact by joining our Climate Action Fund today!
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