The top women environmentalists in the world

That women have long been a pivotal voice in the environmental movement is well known. From Rachel Carlson — the author of Silent Spring, which explored the ugly truth about pesticides and launched the modern environmental movement — to Greta Thunberg, when it comes to today’s conscience in the fight against climate change, women have been and remain at the forefront of caring for our planet.

While activists like Thunberg are bringing needed attention to the big picture, addressing climate change is a multi-faceted effort that also involves hard work on the ground — fighting for clean water, saving species, preserving forests, and the like. In fact, tackling pollution and preserving biodiversity aren’t just ends on their own but part of the solution to a healthier, more climate-stable planet.

And everywhere you look around the world, women are doing the hard work of protecting forests, conserving wildlife, and fighting pollution. Some have been awarded for their efforts, and others have paid dearly. But each of them is an inspiration. Here are nine women environmental activists from the past and present that we admire.

1. Wangari Maathai

Photo: 360b/Shutterstock

No list of women environmental activists fighting for the environment