5 Environmental Defenders Who Give Us Hope

Here at Global Greengrants Fund, we believe solutions to environmental harm and social injustice come from people whose lives are most impacted. Every day, our global network of people on the frontlines and donors comes together to support communities to protect their ways of life and our planet. Because when local people have a say in the health of their food, water, and resources, they are forces for change.

Meet five inspiring individuals and Global Greengrants Fund grantees working around the world to drive change on a daily basis, giving us hope for a brighter future.

Xiuhtezcatl Martinez 

17-year-old indigenous environmental activist, hip-hop artist, and Youth Director of Earth Guardians, Xiuhtezcatl is an inspiring youth climate leader. Xiuhtezcatl is a notable voice in the lawsuit Juliana v. U.S., a case in which a group of youth are suing the U.S. government for violating the youngest generation’s constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property, as well as failing to protect essential public trust resources. Learn more about Xiuhtezcatl. 

Rudi Putra

The Leuser Ecosystem is one of the most biodiverse places on the planet, and also the site of the world’s highest rate of deforestation. Working with local village chiefs, government officials, nonprofits, and a grant from Global Greengrants Fund, conservation biologist Rudi Putra is organizing community members to dismantle illegal palm oil plantations that threaten the fertile rainforest and the people who live there. Learn more about Rudi’s efforts here.

Majandra Rodriguez Acha

A former grantee, Majandra Rodriguez Acha, native to Peru, is now one of six experts working with Global Greengrants to award grants to youth groups taking action on climate change worldwide. Majandra is a board member at FRIDA, and active member of TierraActiva Peru. She believes strongly in including women’s voices in the climate change conversation. Learn more about Majandra.

Ekai Nabenyo

For centuries Turkana communities have thrived in northern Kenya, living off the land. But droughts, oil exploration, and development threaten the pastoralists’ survival and ways of life. Ekai Nabenyo founded the Lorengelup Community Development initiative to teach local people about climate change and the link to oil development. Learn more about Ekai.

Pacific Climate Warriors

The Pacific Climate Warriors are a segment of the global climate change movement, 350.org. Active in fifteen islands throughout the Pacific, this group of youth is challenging the fossil fuel industry by focusing on climate solutions led by under-resourced groups including women, indigenous people, and youth. Learn more about the Pacific Climate Warriors.

Photos: Goldman Environmental Prize, Project Survival Media/Joe Lukhovi

Global Greengrants Fund

Global Greengrants Fund

Global Greengrants Fund believes solutions to environmental harm and social injustice come from people whose lives are most impacted. Every day, our global network of people on the frontlines and donors comes together to support communities to protect their ways of life and our planet. Because when local people have a say in the health of their food, water, and resources, they are forces for change.