Five environmental histories that change the world


Get to know the history of some of the champions of the land designated by the United Nations Program for the Environment


Mexico.- In the middle of the sanitary contingency, it seems difficult to find stories engaging, inspiring in relation to the environment, but it is enough to remember the champions of the land designated by the United Nations Program for Environment (Unep), to realize that there are real heroes among us.

Katharine Hayhoe was recognized in 2019 by the United Nations Program for Environment (Unep), as Champion of the Earth in the category of Science and Innovation, and when no one writes articles or teaches classes for graduate, raises his voice as an advocate for the remote communication and can be found in the social networks, creating web seminars, giving lectures and participating in online discussions.

Contributed to the first two seasons of Planet in Peril, which aired on the National Geographic channel in 2016, and your last episode of Global Weirding analyzes the climate change in the context of the virus COVID-19, a topic that also twitters regularly.

Argues that the urgent problem to which it refers is the climate change, and their exact skills include the ability to take technical information of great scope at local level for people to be able to implement it in their lives and use it to make informed decisions.

“Because almost nobody speaks about this topic. And if we do not speak of that, why we would care? And if we don’t care, why would we act and why we would demand others to act, too?” explains.

I know part of the solution

Yvon Chouinard is an american climber, environmentalist, and entrepreneur billionaire in the industry of outdoor activities. His company, Patagonia, is known for its environmental approach.

“We are in the business of saving the planet,” is the battle cry of Patagonia, the clothing brand for outdoor founded by Chouinard almost 50 years ago, to see the extent to which the nature had been destroyed, so it was determined that your company should adhere to the principle of not to cause damage.

This has meant creating products of high quality, designed to have a long duration, because “one of the most effective that you can do for the climate is to preserve your clothes for longer,” explained Lisa Pike Sheehy, vice president of environmental activism in Patagonia.

Beyond its commitment to the neutrality of its footprint, the company is proactive in the search for solutions to environmental challenges. In the 1980s, began to implement its own tax on their income to fund organizations that work on environmental issues.

The company is in contact with its customers to repair, reuse or recycle their old clothes; and allows employees to leave their job for up to two months, with their salary covered, to work with non-profit organizations on an environmental topic of interest to you.

The company continues to provide the 1 percent of each sale and, to date, has donated more than $ 100 million to non-governmental organizations.

In 2019, the Unep recognized Patagonia as the winner of the Champions of the Earth award in the category of Entrepreneurial Vision.

Create communities

The project Aliplay Ant Forest is a digital application that turns normal people into a community of heroes of sustainability.

Users of the app are encouraged to undertake activities to low-carbon in their everyday life, such as walking, biking or using public transportation instead of driving, to obtain virtual credits that are then used to engage non-governmental organizations, and fund the planting of trees.

The name of the application, Ant Forest (Forest ants), is an accurate reflection of its value: the ants are very small in comparison with the forests, as well as the power of individuals is limited, but it is capable of achieving great things through collaboration, such as creating forests.

To date, Ant Forest has brought together 500 million people, has planted over 120 million trees, and has mitigated the impact of more than 7 million tons of carbon emissions. In 2019, the Unep recognized Ant Forest as Champion of the Earth in the category of Inspiration and Action.

Become the leader that you would like to see

“Nowhere have I found someone in power who dares to say things as they are,” says Greta Thunberg, teen Swedish 17-year-old began to draw the world’s attention when he was only 15.

Frustrated by the lack of action on climate change, sat down in front of the Swedish parliament every school day for three weeks and shared his personal protest in social networks and the media.

In September of 2018 announced that it would continue to protest every Friday until the policies in sweden provide a plan in line with the goal of keeping the global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

When you do this, Thunberg inspired young people all over the world, who continue to strike as part of the movement Fridays for the Future.

One of the members explains: “Our future is at risk and the politicians probably will not be alive when we are adults, are the same that are not doing anything now”.

Fridays for the Future is recognized for inspiring some of the strikes weather largest in the history of the world and the movement continues to inspire activists of all ages. “People ask me what I’m going to be when they grow up. And I wonder, why do I have to grow to be someone?”, questioned one of the young people.

In 2019, the Unep acknowledged to Fridays for the Future as Champions of the Land in the category of Inspiration and Action.

Dream big

“One may think that Costa Rica is so small that what you do will have no impact on global emissions, but what is done in Costa Rica shows that it is possible,” says president Carlos Alvarado Quesada.

Costa Rica moves towards carbon neutrality faster than many other nations and has committed itself to achieving zero net emissions by 2050. Fifty years ago, he made conservation a priority, and today, more than half of its territory is under some degree of protection.

Since the 1980s, Costa Rica has reversed the effects of deforestation and has reached a canopy cover of more than 53 per cent. Eco-tourism has provided a source of economic growth and more than 98 percent of the energy used comes from clean and renewable sources.

Considering that many of these initiatives began decades ago, the president Alvarado recognizes that “it is a great responsibility to be consistent with this legacy and move forward, but do not do more of the same… We have to do more.”

In 2019, the Unep recognized Costa Rica as a Champion of the Earth for Political Leadership.