India: 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 i.e. to create awareness, promote adoption of nature-based initiatives and empower the individuals who are leading from the front.
Celebrated for the first time ever, the initiative honored 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 honor 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
– Joe Grabowski with Environmental Educator Award
Joe is a science communicator, working towards inspiring the next generation of scientists and explorers
The Young Achiever Category felicitated
– Erfan Firouzi with Storyteller with a Purpose Award
Erfan is a UAE based 17-year young Environmentalist, Researcher and Video content creator.
– Dyson Chee with Climate Change Voice Award
Dyson is a US-based 19-year young Climate Advocate and founder of Project Ocean Hawaii
– Anusha Vaish with Nature Conservation Award
Anusha is an 11-year young entomophile from New York, who is a strong advocate for the benefits and the integral role in the environment, played by insects
On the occasion of World People of Nature Day, Mr. Amit Banka, Founder and CEO, WeNaturalists said, “We are thrilled and grateful after the successful first edition of ‘World People Of Nature Day’. While we celebrate nature all year round, we don’t have a day dedicated to the people tirelessly working to protect it. It’s these people and nature heroes who have come together to bring the change. And our trophy is a testament to the People of Nature. It converges three critical elements of our story that defines WeNaturalists – People, Planet and Nature”
WeNaturalists is a convergence of people and technology with an endeavour to provide a safe space for everyone associated with nature to learn, share and grow.