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Women in Conservation by Ayla

It has been almost 2 years since I became involved with Action for Conservation (AFC). In that time I have achieved so many things: from having the experience of a lifetime on a summer camp to co-running a wildflower campaign. And now, I’m an Ambassador!

AFC's Ambassador Programme is amazing because it has just the right balance between giving us as young people the independence to take action ourselves, while simultaneously providing support and advice. I have loved getting lots of opportunities and being able to choose the ones that fit me- which is especially important to a bunch of teenagers! For example, I applied to become an #iwill ambassador, which has allowed me to connect with other like-minded people. I also found out about the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) Youth Birding Sessions, a series of online events that have helped me expand my knowledge of birding. We're also able to share our thoughts, ideas and opinions on topics that are important to us.

So in this blog I'm going to talk about something important to me - women and our role in conservation! If I asked you now to name one leading environmental activist, you’d probably give me the usual names- Chris Packham, David Attenborough, etc. Notice something? While these people have done so much for the environmental movement, they are both men and don't represent the population as a whole.

If we dig a little deeper, recently we have seen a surge of female activists coming to the forefront of the movement - think Greta Thunberg, Birdgirl (AKA Mya-Rose Craig), Megan McCubbin or City Girl in Nature (AKA Kwesia). It is so important that we have our voices heard because women and girls are the ones disproportionately affected by the climate crisis, so we should have a say in how it gets tackled. These women are my inspirations.

Aged 13, Mya-Rose Craig set up Black2Nature, an organisation that aims at getting VME (visible minority ethnic) kids from urban areas into nature. She is also the youngest person ever to have seen half the world's birds! She has achieved such a lot at such a young age. This meant I was super excited when I got the chance to see bird ringing on camp and even release a bird myself. Because I had heard Birdgirl talk about it, bird ringing has always been something I wanted to do!

Mya-Rose Craig has also worked on educating young people about nature, something that I am passionate about as well and she has inspired me to take action. I am currently working with the organisation Trees For Cities to produce some information leaflets about how young people can protect wildlife in their area.

AFC’s Ambassador Programme has allowed me to learn about these amazing women and continue my activism, for example through WildWEB educating me on how to create a campaign and about environmental issues, such as biodiversity loss. This led to me and a group of other young people create a campaign that sent out free wildflower seeds to communities and resulted in around 86 square metres of wildflower meadow being planted across the UK!

That is why, if you can, we're asking you to please make a donation to the Ambassador Programme! You will be helping young people from different backgrounds get their voices heard and take action for people and the planet.

Ayla


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