Herbert Girardet is a campaigner, writer and film maker concerned with human impact on the earth. His particular concern has been the survival of bio-cultural diversity in the face of rainforest destruction. Girardet has researched and produced 18 environmental TV documentaries filmed in 16 countries on five continents. In these films, as well as in his books, he has balanced thorough analysis of environmental problems and their causes with messages of hope for the future. In 1992 he published Earthrise: "How we can heal our injured planet". In 1993 he will publishThe Gaia Atlas Of Cities: "New directions for sustainable urban living".
Perin Savakshaw Fitter
Perin Fitter, a British teacher and environmentalist working for the Environment Conservation Volunteers Project, has helped foster environmental awareness by introducing Kenyan youth to different environmental management methods used by countries abroad.
Working in close consultation with the Presidential Commission and Ministries of Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources, she has carried out projects, conducted seminars and organized exchange programmes in various districts. By extending the mobile film unit programme to rural schools, she has succeeded in spreading the message of soil conservation to an average of 600 students per day.
Ranjen Lalith Fernando
Dr. Lalith, an NGO lobbyist, is currently President of the Wildlife and Nature Protection Society of Sri Lanka. He successfully led a national and international campaign protesting against a World Bank-funded Forestry Master Plan for Sri Lanka. Co-editing a 75-page critical review of the plan, Fernando secured a UNEP/lUCN sponsored ecological reassessment of the Plan and effected major changes to it. As Co-Chairman of a National Committee of NG0s, he highlighted the environmental hazards of a proposed Coal-Powered Thermal Power Plant, deterring the ADB from funding it.
Fernando is also organising, lecturing and participating in educational and public awareness programmes on national television and in secondary schools, where protection of endangered wildlife and conservation of natural resources is being emphasised.
Salwa Osman Ebeid
Salwa Ebeid was the first woman to be employed by the United Nations Sudano- Sahelian office that aided the communities along the Nile River in Sudan through afforestation and reafforestation projects. This project at the outset was hindered by the traditional obstacle of not allowing male project staff to work with women. Through Ebeid's work, this isolation of women was overcome and women's communities were established in all villages. Women are now actively involved in reafforestation projects resulting in the reduction of sand-drifting and the increase of environmental awareness.Salwa Osman Ebeid
"Earthwatch Radio" is a series of two-minute radio features on the environment, produced and distributed free by the Institute of Environmental Studies and the Sea Grant Institute at the University of Wisconsin.
The programme has prompted several spin-off projects, including an environmental newspaper feature series, environmental education supplements on special topics, and three paperback collections of "Earthwatch Radio" scripts, aimed at schools and libraries. The programme is aired on approximately 140 radio stations in the United States, Canada, and internationally.
Francesco di Castri
As early as 1965, Francesco di Castri was involved in the study of ecological sciences. He is the Coordinator for the Environment in UNESCO, Paris and has written 12 important scientific volumes and some 300 papers on theoretical and applied ecology.
Di Castri began his career in 1958 when he obtained his PhD in animal studies, and specialised in ecology in Pavdova University. After lecturing at the Universities of Chile and Austria, he joined UNESCO in 1971 as secretary of the MAP Intergovernmental Council.
Tuenjai Dectes has been working with Thai hill people since 1970.
In 1986, she, with a group of field workers, academics and government officials, started the Hill Area Development Foundation (HADF) to promote sustainable development in a number of hilltribe villages in North Thailand. Due to population pressure, inadequate government policies and lack of land tenure, the environment (soil, water, forest) has been rapidly deteriorating. HADF's education and extension activities have led to the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices such as contour farming and terracing for wet rice cultivation.
Recently four villages have come together in a network to define appropriate land management systems for the fragile watershed area. The HADF programme provides a model for participatory community development, sustainable agriculture and watershed management, and is proof of the viability of the concept that people and forests can live together.
Rose Cotta, founder member of the Soroptimist Club of Barcelona, acquired a four-hectare area of agricultural land in Catalunya Province in Spain, which had been farmed for 12 years using chemical pesticides and fertilizers.
The aim was to convert the use of conventional non-organic techniques to organic methods. As a result, natural balance returned, with soil life improving and wild plants, insects, birds and mammals coming back to the area, and it has become a success in environmentally-sound and sustainable agricultural development.
In 1987, the Committee for the Defense and Development of the Flora and Fauna of the gulf of Fonseca (CODDEFFAGOLF) worked to prevent the conversion of EI Jicarito, a 1000-hectare lagoon along the southern coast of Honduras, into a shrimp farm that would have threatened wildlife birds, marine life and dislocated 2000 families.
CODDEFFAGOLF, through legal means and the media, successfully helped organize the 20 different communities surrounding the lagoon into a united group to halt the project. Due to their efforts, the group is once again able to farm. The Ministry of Natural Resources has designated El Jicarto Lagoonas a "reserve area for wildlife and artisanal fishery".
Maria V. Cherkasova
Maria Cherkasova, a Russian biologist and journalist, successfully coordinated a grassroots campaign to halt construction of a hydro-electric dam on the River Kantun in the former Soviet Union's mountainous Altai region. The dam threatened to pollute drinking water, destroy wildlife, flood and erode land.
The Socio Ecological Union, an umbrella organization for 200 Soviet environmental groups, served as the campaign's base of operations. Due to these efforts, independent scientists associated with the environmental NG0s participated in official expert commissions organized in 1987, 1988 and 1989. The movement raised environmental consciousness and led to some of the nation's first environmental conferences.