Heroines of Mother Earth, Environmental – Winter 2016

Writing and Photography: Jennifer Palmer

Ever since I was a little girl, I always felt the nourishment and nurturing of ‘Mother Earth’. She soothes me during life’s wildest storms and protects my vulnerable heart when it has been hurt. She guides me when I feel utterly lost and lifts me when I convinced that I am shattered. She provides me with food, water and air. Because of her, I survive and thrive in the elements that challenge me each day — emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually.

Yet, until recently, I had never given much thought to the fact that the essence of ‘Mother Earth’ is traditionally referred to as a female force of nature rather than a masculine energy. All I knew was, in my eyes, she had consistently been fierce yet soft, showed strength and resilience, exuded wisdom and tenderness, exalted both power and poise. These beautiful qualities that are inherently associated with ‘Mother Earth,’ are also the exact same qualities found in the women who work tirelessly to protect her.

Featured Image by Deborah Stevenson

Yet, you have likely never heard of any of them. They are rarely in mainstream media. They have yet to be well-recognized or represented at professional conferences and symposiums. They battle for funding and to have their work promoted and supported on local, national or international platforms. In fact, according to a recent United Nations study, women are often “blocked from access to any start-up capital, credit or other technical support necessary to be able to grow their businesses”(1). Women fight for our planet, from a variety of industries, but they face barriers and are challenged to shi the gender balance.

HEROINES OF NATURE

Wildlife biologists, photographers, indigenous leaders, lmmakers, tourism operators, business owners, youth leaders, conservation scientists, artists, activists, musicians, dancers, educators, adventurers and explorers: women are creating a collective voice for conservation worldwide.

Many of these women are featured in the brand new initiative Women for Wildlife — an international movement to support, empower and unite women and girls around the world who are passionately devoted to wildlife and conservation.
Let us introduce you to just a few of these inspiring warriors who are changing the world!

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Jennifer is a conservation scientist, youth mentor and nature enthusiast. With over 15 years experience and a masters degree in international ecology and conservation, she has worked with organizations such as The WILD Foundation, Chasing Ice, Earth Vision Trust, The Women’s Wilderness Institute, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), The Ocean Foundation and many other conservation and education non-profits. As an esteemed Kinship Conservation Fellow, a World Minded Ambassador, a Nature Conservation writer for Shakti Yogi Journal and member of Pleiades Women’s Network, she strives to unite and support a global community of innovative and creative leaders, visionaries and change makers. When she is not traveling the world or exploring nature, she is enriched by dance, yoga, photography, hiking, tree hugging and rock climbing.