conservation

100 Water Heroes: Rich Gilmore

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The Nature Conservancy’s Australia Program Director

Rich is the Director of The Nature Conservancy’s Australia Program, where he leads the team in their mission to combat climate change and protect the Australian environment. From restoring Southern Australia’s shellfish reefs, to establishing sustainable cities throughout the country, Rich is leading a dynamic and effective team of environmentalists.

Prior to his involvement in conservation, Rich was a stockbroker at the Sydney Future Exchange. In 2005, he career path shifted and he was awarded an Earthwatch fellowship that landed him in Kenya and opened his eyes to the positive environmental impact he could have on the world. Reflecting on this expedition, Rich stated:

“Going to Kenya was literally a life-changing experience for me. I was struck by these capable, intelligent and articulate people. They could have done anything they wanted to do anywhere in the world but here they were in East Africa spending their time in the mud, solving problems for other people.”

Rich continued on to obtain a degree in Environmental Management and later became the Director of Operations and Programs for Earthwatch Australia, eventually being promoted to CEO. During his time at Earthwatch Australia, Rich was awarded the Prime Minister’s Award for Australian Environmentalist of the Year.

Rich is one of our #100WaterHeroes for his impactful career in conservation, and for committing himself to creating an environmentally sustainable future.

Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/richgilmore

100 Water Heroes: Kelsey Leonard

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Shinnecock Tribal Co-Lead on the Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Body of the U.S. National Ocean Council

Kelsey Leonard currently serves as the Shinnecock Indian Nation’s Tribal Co-Lead on the Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Body of the U.S. National Ocean Council. In conjunction with tribal, federal and state entities, Kelsey aids in the protection and conservation of American oceans.

In 2012, Kelsey became the first Native American woman to have receive a degree from the University of Oxford, where she obtained an MSc in Water Science. Kelsey seeks to advocate for the conservation of Indigenous waters and “has been instrumental in protecting the interests of Tribes with the development of the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Action Plan.”

Kelsey is also a successful academic, and is busy doing her PhD in Comparative Public Policy at McMaster University. Her research focus is on Indigenous water security and its climatic, territorial, and governance underpinnings. At McMaster University, Kelsey is a Trillium Scholar in Water Policy, as well as a Research Assistant for the Water Economics, Policy and Governance Network (WEPGN).

Kelsey is a scholar who uses her academic expertise to advocate for Indigenous communities affected by climate change and the global water crisis. This makes her one of our #100WaterHeroes.

Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/kelsey-leonard-0454765

Twitter: @KelseyTLeonard 

100 Water Heroes: Stuart Orr

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Practice Lead, Water at WWF

Stuart Orr works with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the world’s biggest independent conservation organisation. Stuart leads the WWF Freshwater Practice, where he heads major freshwater conservation initiatives.

Stuart is widely considered a global thought leader on water stewardship, and has spent over a decade at WWF “engaging business and finance, and focussing on emerging themes such as the water-food-energy nexus, economic incentives and water-related risk.” In addition to his work his WWF, Stuart has written an an array of both scientific and popular publications.

Prior to Stuart’s involvement with WWF, he obtained an MSc in Environment and Development. He continued on to research agricultural rice systems in West Africa and also gained experience during his time in the private sector.

Stuart has served on a range of prominent advisory panels and boards, including the World Economic Forum’s Water Security Council. He is also on the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) Infrastructure & Natural Resources Advisory Steering Committee

Stuart is one of our #100WaterHeroes for his innovative approaches to solving the global water crisis, and for leading WWF’s Freshwater Practice.

Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/stuart-orr-83175712

Twitter: @Stuart_Orr 

100 Water Heroes: Queen Rania Al Abdullah

Queen Rania Al Abdullah is the queen consort of Jordan and is known for her humanitarian focus and for using her platform to advocate for women’s right and issues of sustainability. In 1995, she founded the Jordan River Foundation, which seeks to “boost employment and conservation through eco-tourism projects.”

One of her most significant contributions to environmental sustainability in Jordan was the creation of the Arab Sustainability Leadership Group. The results of their first serious project were released in 2009 in the Responsible Competitiveness in the Arab World report, highlighting what companies can do to secure financial success, as well as operating in transparent, environmentally sustainable ways. In the introduction of the report, Queen Rania stated:

"A new architecture for a sustainable global economy must be designed now; it must guide new business practices today"

In addition to her work with the Arab Sustainability Leadership Group, Queen Rania has supported local farmers and encouraged organic farming practices, hoping to “provide health, environmental, and economic benefits while also helping to address the serious water shortages in the region” (Hattam, 2009).

Queen Rania is one of our #100WaterHeroes for her humanitarian and environmental initiatives, and for using her platform to uplift and empower the local community.

Twitter: @QueenRania

Facebook: @QueenRania

Instagram: @queenrania

100 Water Heroes: Lisa Genasci

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Founder and CEO of ADM Capital Foundation

Lisa Genasci is the Founder and CEO of ADM Capital Foundation (ADMCF) that “provides support to some of Asia’s most marginalised children and works to combat intransigent environmental challenges.” ADMCF works with 28 NGO partners across 8 Asian countries, providing strategic funding and various other means of support. Their core focus is to further environmental conservation initiatives throughout Asia “in a manner that is sustainable and sensitive to local cultures.”

Prior to launching ADMFC, Lisa worked at the Associated Press for 10 years and, during her time there, served 3 years as a correspondent in Rio de Janeiro, 3 years on the AP foreign desk in New York and 4 years as a financial reporter. In addition to obtaining her BA degree, she also completed an LLM in Human Rights Law.

When reflecting on ADMCF’s vision, Lisa stated:

"Our goal is to enhance what exists, be impact-driven. We want to provide not just finance but strategic engagement, housing, whatever is necessary … we start always with the need."

In all of their work, ADMCF seeks to combat environmental degradation by supporting initiatives related to marine ecology, water security, air quality, wildlife trade and forestry conservation finance.

Through her work with ADMCF, Lisa has committed herself to combating climate change and environmental degradation throughout Asia. This makes her one of our #100WaterHeroes.

Twitter: @genascihk

Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/lisa-genasci-35ab7640

Blog: genascihk.wordpress.com  

100 Water Heroes: Prof. Priyanand Agale

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Founder and President of Eco Needs Foundation

Professor Priyanand Agale is the Founder and President of the Eco Needs Foundation, “an organisation of young people striving for environmental conservation and an Eco Revolution.” Under Priyanand’s leadership, they were able to transform Dhanora Village into India’s first smart village.

The Eco Needs Foundation has identified five specific facets of development that are necessary for the creation of a smart village:

  • Redevelopment: Changing the layout of the village it’s built environment with new planning and infrastructure.

  • Retrofitting: Improving the overall aesthetic by adding colour to existing structures and modifying the elevation of buildings.

  • Greenfield: Following sustainable development practices

  • e-Pan: The application of smart solutions to improve existing infrastructure; using technology and data to improve infrastructure and services

  • Livelihood: Improving overall living standards by creating employment opportunities through these endeavours.

In conjunction with his work at the Eco Needs Foundation, Priyanand has also pioneered a series of Eco Revolution conferences throughout Asia, many of which have resulted in important environmental commitments by conference participants. For instance, the 2011 India Eco Revolution Conference resulted in the Aurangabad Declaration for River Conservation.

Priyanand is one of our #100WaterHeroes for working towards environmental sustainability and leading the development of India’s first smart village.

Twitter: @AgaleProf

Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/priyanand-agale-13434717

100 Water Heroes: Jyoti Sharma

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Founder and President of the Forum for Organised Resource Conservation and Enhancement

Jyoti Sharma is Founder and President of the Forum For Organised Resource Conservation and Enhancement (FORCE), an NGO that “involves stakeholders from the community, hydrology experts, business leaders, and local politicians in a process that enables communities to create local pockets of water security.” Jyoti’s vision and work with FORCE is to empower local communities to make decisions surrounding water management and conservation, fostering sustainability and self-sufficiency.

After working for over 9 years in corporate and academic fields, Jyoti collaborated with like-minded individuals to launch FORCE in 2004. She is a member of numerous water security groups in India, and has been described as “losing a generational gap in water resource management knowledge by developing a citizen-based water management system run by a competent, decentralised local authority.”

Jyoti has been recognised for her impactful social innovation and entrepreneurship by being named an Ashoka Fellow, a network of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs. She is also a Swearer Fellow under Brown University.

Jyoti is one of our #100WaterHeroes because of her focus on empowering communities to make decisions and take responsibility for local water management and conservation

Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/jyotisharmaforce

Website: force.org.in


100 Water Heroes: Dr. Rajendra Singh

Founder and Chairman of Tarun Bharat Sangh

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Widely known as the Waterman of India, Dr. Rajendra Singh is a respected water conservationist and environmentalist from Rajasthan, India. In 1975, Rajendra founded Tarun Bharat Sangh (TBS), an NGO that focuses on ecological research and land development, aiming to provide fresh, clean water to local inhabitants. Using johad, rainwater storage tanks, check dams, and both traditional and modern techniques, TBS has transformed water access in over 1000 villages, and revived five rivers in Rajasthan, Arvari, Ruparel, Sarsa, Bhagani and Jahaj Wali.

In 2009, Rajendra was awarded the prestigious Stockholm Water Prize for his life’s work of “building social capacity to solve local water problems through participatory action, empowerment of women, linking indigenous know-how with modern scientific and technical approaches and upending traditional patterns of development, resource use, and social norms” (Cele, 2015).  

Rajendra is an Ayurvedic medicine graduate, with a postgraduate degree in Hindi literature. He currently serves as Chairman of TBS and is actively involved in a wide range of water-related NGOs and initiatives throughout the world.

Rajendra is one of our #100WaterHeroes for his prolific work in water conservation and environmentalism, and for being the Waterman of India.

Twitter: @watermanofindia

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/waterman.of.india/


Introducing 100 Water Heroes

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Hi, I’m Mina Guli. I’m running 100 marathons in 100 days to show that we can all do extraordinary things when we are inspired by a bigger purpose. For me, that purpose is Water. The world is in a water crisis, and more people need to know about it so we can change our ways.

When I was in my early 20’s I had an accident and doctors told me I’d never run again. But last year, I ran 40 marathons along 6 major rivers around the world.  I saw for myself the devastation of industrial water use, pollution, poor water management, and climate change. I also saw how good policy and public action could restore a once-dead river, like the Thames. With determination we can improve our lives and the world.

I want to use my runs this year to highlight people who are committed to saving water and ending the water crisis. That’s why I’m going to be highlighting a water hero every day for the coming 100 days.

Please follow my journey @minaguli #runningdry, and nominate and celebrate a water hero you know using the #100waterheroes hashtag.