As the recent pandemic has demonstrated in no uncertain terms, the need for conservation, and preservation of nature, has never been greater than right now. Achieving sustainability and reversing the trajectory of environmental degradation requires massive community-led initiatives and individual efforts. Taking this very thought forward, WeNaturalists commemorated 1st October as ‘World People of Nature Day’. The day also marks the foundation of WeNaturalists, a digital ecosystem connecting people of nature, everywhere.
Themed after the concept of ‘Green Childhood’, the first edition of World People of Nature Day brought together eminent personalities virtually to discuss the importance of inculcating values of nature and its preservation, right from childhood. The panel featured esteemed speakers Tabi Joda, an award-winning indigenous agro-forester, author, eco-entrepreneur, he is also leading the ‘One Billion Trees For Africa’ initiative, T. Addison Brown a Hollywood-based writer, documentary filmmaker and podcaster, Nina Hamilton, who leads the North American Association for Environmental Education ie NAAEE's global youth leadership initiatives, Radhika Suri, Director for Environment Education, WWF-India and Erfan Firouzi, a 17-year old Conservationist, Environmentalist and Naturalist.
Green Childhood is an integral part of WeNaturalists’ initiative to achieve its larger goal ie to create awareness, promote adoption of nature-based initiatives and empower the individuals who are leading from the front.
Celebrated for the first time, the initiative honoured eight global eco-warriors who have been relentlessly and selflessly working to conserve nature and create a habitable planet for our future generations. Giving long-overdue honour to environment champions, the People of Nature awards recognized:
- Kaluki Paul Mutuku with Climate Change Voice Award
Kaluki is a Kenyan climate activist and environmental defender fighting to improve youth participation in decision-making around climate justice.
- Rafiqul Islam Montu with Storyteller with A Purpose Award
Rafiqul incepted ‘Coastal Journalism Network’ in Bangladesh.
- Ritesh Sarothiya with Nature Conservation Award
Ritesh is the Officer-In-Charge of the Special Task Force & State Tiger Strike Force in the state of Madhya Pradesh in India.
- Donna Goodman with Special Contribution to Green Childhood
Donna is a globally respected and widely published expert on issues related to the environment and children.
- Anuar Abdullah with Nature Positive Innovation Award
Anuar works towards restoring the world’s oceans through Ocean Quest