Grassroots efforts are our key to land preservation and are in urgent need of resources. Who are the frontline warriors driving these efforts? Women. An outpouring of research has revealed that gender equality and environmental protection go hand-in-hand. When women anchor the model, community development has the largest dollar-for-dollar traction, and community-led preservation automatically follows as a natural byproduct. Each year, Daughters for Earth selects three community-based, women-led efforts that focus on land preservation in ecologically high-risk areas. Together with our partner One Earth, we carefully choose organizations that need support, operate efficiently, and possess deep impact potential. This year, our land preservation funds target initiatives in Peru, the United States, and Zimbabwe. We are calling on women to support women. We are charging every woman with the actionable task of leading the fight against climate change by donating $10 to support one of our targeted initiatives.
Women are the ones who propel this fight on the ground. From one continent to another, women guard their lands’ Indigenous forests and wildlife. Often threatened, sometimes attacked, they don’t back down. In Brazil, the Guajajara “women warriors” pack up food and drone equipment, say goodbye to their children, and bravely set out to protect the Amazon from loggers. The rainforest they patrol absorbs and stores carbon dioxide so powerfully that it ranks as earth’s most vital natural weapon against climate change. The Guajajara’s work could not be more critical: Brazil’s deforestation rate has surged over the last decade, and forest protection has remained two-times as cost-effective as reforestation at preventing global warming.
An ocean and continent away are Zimbabwe’s ecological champions, as boundlessly committed to protecting their nation’s ecoregions as their Amazonian counterparts. They are the Akashinga, “The Brave Ones.” A community-driven unit, they recruit marginalized women from Zimbabwe’s rural regions and train them as rangers and biodiversity managers to build out the world’s first all-female, armed anti-poaching force. In the trophy-hunting hotbed of the Zambezi Valley, Akashinga has arrested hundreds of poachers, powered an 80% downturn in elephant poaching, and driven a 399% increase in wildlife sightings since its inception three years ago. But the story doesn’t stop there. The Akashinga’s regional impact realized is surpassed by its global impact potential. Theirs is a bulletproof case study proving to the world that when women take on a community’s decision-making, management, and law enforcement power positions, they connect people to preservation. In this example, the Akashinga have reduced operational costs by two-thirds while enhancing ecological and social justice.