This month, we were fortunate to have three Goldman Environmental Prize winners in San Francisco taking part in the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS): Hammer Simwinga (Zambia, 2007), Feliciano dos Santos (Mozambique, 2008), and Howard Wood (Scotland, 2015). The Summit, initiated by California Governor Jerry Brown, brought together a range of environmental leaders and activists with the goal of galvanizing the global movement for climate action.
What are these three environmental champions doing in their countries to combat climate change?
“We are doing a lot of tree planting and raising plant species that are fast-growing and which can replace those that have been cut for fuel. We are encouraging farmers to make fire breaks to combat fires in the dry season. We’re also promoting water harvesting in communities and other water conservation techniques, as well as smart agriculture that incorporates farm waste as biomass or composting.”
“I am working with the government to design five or six-year community plans around climate change response—focusing on water and health issues, fighting mosquitoes and malaria; also, building schools to be more resilient against climate change. In our community, climate is related to health. We are not only designing community plans but also helping find the money to implement them.”
“I am interested in protecting oceans around the world and helping them become more resilient. Specifically, I want to protect Blue Carbon potential, based in mangroves and sea-grass. The vast majority is not protected, and some are endangered. These are amazing biodiversity habitats, as well as carbon stores—a double whammy. It is crazy to destroy them.”