Gabonese Ticks Inspire Green-think

Reporting from West Africa

Thu, September 13, 2007

Heading back from a Treks in a Wild World shoot....still plucking Gabonese ticks out of my hindquarters, but I want to float an idea…..

Five years ago Gabon’s President Bongo set aside 10 percent of the country to be protected as natural parks.  Crazy good news for the rainforest and all its creatures. The research community is ecstatic and Gabon looks forward to a time when eco-tourism—not logging—makes up a big part of its GNP (getting there will be a long rocky road, but it’s something to work toward). In Gabon, I spent a zillion hours hiding in ad hoc leaf forts waiting for hundreds of mandrills to traipse by (they did), for forest elephants to show themselves in the rare jungle clearing (they did), and for lowland silverbacks to majestically appear out of the green thick and thump their chests (they didn’t). Anyway, I ended up spending many of those long, seated hours whispering to the dedicated folks of the Wildlife Conservation Society (such as honcho Lee White, and Ruth Starkey, who heads up their Langoue outpost), and it got me to thinking….

Maybe we should do a show, and perhaps a web series, on the great green activists, wildlife champions, enviro-divas, who are all over the world fighting the good fight, often in isolation and under difficult circumstances? We hear a lot about the primatologist Jane Goodall and the controversial orangutan advocate Birute Galdikas. And here at we’ve featured folks such as Ana Paula Machado Mendes Dos Reis—but a more comprehensive look at the work and spirit of these women might be in order. Thoughts on green goddesses? Who might you recommend?

fuel the discussion — post your comments »

I love the idea of taking some time to recognize the green divas, especially with all of the attention/media/discussion on global warming issues right now. Could definitely strike an important current events chord....

Someone who immediately comes to mind is Wangari Maathai, the Kenyan professor and politician (she also won a nobel peace prize...minor details, I know). Anyways, I had the privilege of hearing her speak a few months ago and she talked at length about the Green Belt Movement, a program she founded in 1977 to galvanize rural, poor women to plant trees across Kenya.  The program has done amazing things to foster development by restoring fuel sources, stopping erosion, creating communities and jobs among the women involved, etc.  In the process, she’s become this incredible advocate for both the environment and Kenyan women.  pretty enviro-divalicious....

by Julia on Sun, September 30, 2007 at 7:24 pm PDT

Need educating about more women who are involved in the green movement.  I think the international slow food movement, growing and eating local, is another aspect of women making a difference in our environment.

by beverly on Thu, October 04, 2007 at 9:36 pm PDT

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