Meet the 16 Global Landscapes Forum Women Leaders Leading Earth Restoration

It’s International Women’s Month 2022! To mark this phenomenal month, The Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) announces its third annual list of climate leaders. Jhe Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) honors 16 women who are making a significant impact on halting runaway climate change through science, finance, policy-making, art, activism, indigenous rights, etc.

The outstanding contributions of these women, spanning more than two generations and across five continents, have led to greater engagement in international climate treaty negotiations, increased public awareness and activism, the rise of climate finance, the growing reach of science, and soil conservation and restoration across the globe.

The third year 16 Women Restoring the Earth promotes the recognition of women in a world where women are underrepresented in science and technology – and are particularly vulnerable to climate change and environmental distress.

Each of the leaders has actively participated in the work and mission of the Global Landscapes Forum over the past year. ’16 Women Restoring the Earth’ aligns with this year’s Women’s Day theme: ‘Gender equality today for a sustainable future’.

Meet some of these amazing women:

Ndidi Nwuneli – The Transformer

On the food front, Africa is burdened with the negative stereotype of being a net importer in addition to facing the challenges of famine and drought. But serial entrepreneur, Ndidi Nwuneli, sees the future differently, and quite so.

Over the past two decades, Nwuneli has co-founded two companies, Sahel Consulting Agriculture and food shaping policies and AACE Foods integrating African food products into local and international markets; founded the start-up Changing Africa’s narratives to change global perspectives on African food systems; and sits on more than 10 global powerhouse boards, from the Rockefeller Foundation to the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders to Heineken-owned Nigerian Breweries Plc.

“As a continent naturally endowed with agricultural excellence, Africa holds significant potential not only to feed itself, but also to achieve food security and become a net food exporter,” says Nwuneli, who has dedicated the major part of his career, which began in management. Council, to drive this transformation forward.

Social entrepreneur Ndidi Nwuneli has transformed the way Africa produces and consumes food in a holistic and sustainable way. She is one of World Landscapes Forum 16 women restoring the Earth.

Fatoumata Diawara – The artist

Born in Ivory Coast and raised in southern Mali, Grammy-nominated Malian singer, songwriter and actress Fatoumata Diawara left her West African home as a teenager and traveled to France alone to pursue a career. of actress. And although she has appeared and still appears in various films – 12 so far, including the one nominated for the Oscars in 2014 Timbuktu — it was her musical career as a singer-songwriter and guitarist that she developed alongside acting that thrust her into the limelight the most.

“With all my heritage, with all my background, I needed to sing,” she says of her musical development in Paris. “I needed to hear my power, to speak, to express myself.”

Diawara is now one of the rare female African music artists to perform solo. Often singing in her native language, Bambara, she integrates the Wassoulou music of her region – considered one of the main heralds of the blues – with groovy syncopations and smooth instrumentals for songs that are both universal and deeply rooted in the history, identity and place.

Musonda Mumba – The mobilizer

Even two years into a pandemic when Zoom fatigue is at its height, Musonda maintains a way to turn digital events into inspiring gatherings, weaving stories from his career as an environmentalist with new scientific discoveries and powerful human truths in his singsong Zambian accent, kicking listeners in the ass to move forward with their personal environmental goals, whatever they may be. (“Humans are emotional and relate to stories easily. Jargon is confusing and unnecessary,” she says of her public speaking secrets.)

Mumba, who is the director of the Rome Center for Sustainable Development under the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), has held positions in nearly every major conservation organization over the past two decades, from Ramsar Convention to WWF to UN Environment, where she spent over 12 years working directly on ecosystem adaptation and restoration. And in this space where absolute femininity is celebrated less than a good pair of glasses and a slew of published articles (although she certainly has both – with red cat-eye frames and a doctorate from the University College London, no less), Mumba has carved out an image of a fashionista, a mother and a proud African determined to change the course of the world.

Houria Djoudi – The Protector

Raised in the Amazigh culture of North Africa, Houria Djoudi says the power of language was instilled in her from an early age. Master poets and storytellers who pass on their skills to the next generation – known as Aheddad bbwawal, “blacksmiths of the language” – were at the top of the social ladder in his home community. Encouraged by her parents, Djoudi spends long winter nights around the fires with other children, each telling a story to perfect her handling of words.

His education allowed him to open his eyes and sharpen his understanding as a scientist of different perspectives during his research: “There is my own culture full of imagination, symbolic meanings and spiritual connection to nature , and the dry and expected – but non-existent – ​​objectivity that a scientist is supposed to have,” she says.

By combining the two, she has developed a successful scientific career for herself, having published more than 30 peer-reviewed articles and conducted research in more than 10 countries, mainly on the three topics that are most important to her: climate, trees and gender. She admits that her own bias as a woman plays into her worldview, but nonetheless, Djoudi struggles to understand why gender and social inclusion are only now receiving more attention in research and negotiations on gender. climate, while women produce the majority of the world’s food and yet have limited access to land or other assets and, on average, experience the challenges of climate change more severely than men.

Mariem Dkhil – The Financial

The importance of the role of the financial sector in agriculture cannot be overstated, especially as agriculture is increasingly uprooted by the effects of climate change and land degradation. These impacts are particularly felt in Africa, where drought, desertification and soil salinization are disrupting the lives of smallholder farmers who lack the resources to adapt.

“The bank itself makes it possible to reach all sections of the population in order to improve their incomes and their way of life. Access to finance is a prerequisite if we want farmers to adopt sustainable farming practices,” says Mariem Dkhil. An agronomist by training, Dkhil is a specialist in sustainable finance at Crédit Agricole du Maroc (CAM), a Moroccan bank that has championed agricultural financing since 1961. During her stay there, she contributed to the creation of CAM’s subsidiary, Tamwil El Fellah, which provides unsecured loans to smallholder farmers, giving them the opportunity to invest in medium and long-term projects. She also improved the bank’s environmental and sustainability standards and developed new products and services for climate-smart agriculture and responsible agricultural supply chains.

Today, she is committed to sharing the bank’s expertise with African financial institutions and mobilizing investments for the climate adaptation of African agriculture.

She also strives to consider the sustainability and social impacts of projects, such as creating an environment that gives women entrepreneurs access to financial services – a sign that inclusivity and sustainability are indeed investments. profitable. “I want other women to follow their lead and seize opportunities to have a positive impact,” Dkhil said when speaking about sustainable finance at GLF Luxembourg in 2019.

Other women leading the restoration of the land are:

Analí Bustos – the steward

“I find it absolutely heartening that we women are beginning to put ourselves at the forefront of restoration projects.” Biologist Analí Bustos is part of World Landscapes Forum 16 women restoring the Earth.

Galina Angarova – The defender

Galina Angarova highlighting the role of indigenous leaders around the world in preserving our planet’s ecosystems.

Gisele Bündchen – The model

Author, philanthropist, model and from UNEP Global Goodwill Ambassador Gisele Bündchen uses her powerful voice to advocate for a healthier, more sustainable future.

Katharine Hayhoe – The Believer

“What is climate change, at its core, other than a failure to love?” Climate scientist and activist Katharine Hayhoe believes in a just future for all.

Ko Barrett – The Connector

Koh Barrett, @IPCC_CHThe Vice President of connects people and science by sharing the global climate story, advocating for greater diversity and inclusion in climate science.

Luciana Gatti – The Guardian

“We have to put all our knowledge on the table and think about how to build a better future.” Harnessing science to save the Amazon is at the heart of Luciana Gatti‘s work.

Marguerite Kim – The accelerator

Margaret Kim is the CEO of Gold standarda foundation that enables entities to maximize their impact on climate finance and the SDGs.

Nonette Royo – The Lawyer

Filipino lawyer and land rights activist Nonette Royo continues the fight for indigenous peoples’ rights to their forests and lands.

Ridhima Pandey – The Activist

At 9, Ridhima Pandey sued the Indian government for failing to take action on climate change. Now 13 years old, she continues the fight for the future of our young people.

Ottilie Bälz – The philanthropist

As Bosch Foundation Senior Vice President, Ottilie Bälz understands the role local communities play in restoration activities that benefit climate goals, the ecosystem and provide sustainable livelihoods.

Samantha Power- The idealist

Pulitzer Prize-winning author and former US Ambassador to the UN, Samantha J Power, is one of the leading female foreign policy makers.

To visit World Landscape Forum to see their complete profiles.

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