WOMEN OF THE FOREST: GISELE BUNDCHEN, TRUDIE STYLER, DARYL HANNAH, JANINE LICARE
Author : Nicole Landers
Gisele Bundchen born in Brazil is a supermodel, actress, mom, an active environmentalist, is now also an animated eco superhero.
Along with AOL and A Squared Entertainment, Gisele launched a web series on AOLkids.com, “Gisele & The Green Team”. The web series and interactive site is a creative destination that is educational and entertaining, showing Gisele and a group of teenage supermodels with super eco powers. Gisele firmly believes if one respects themselves they will respect the world around them too. In a recent press release, Gisele states, “There’s a vital connection between empowering our youth and protecting our planet. We hope to not only teach young girls about important environmental issues, but support them in building self-confidence and discovering their inner potential.”
She is the Goodwill Ambassador for the U.N. Environment Programme and for the past five years, has donated a percentage of the profits from her line of sandals, Ipanema Gisele Bündchen, to protect the Atlantic Rainforest in Brazil. Gisele’s beauty is undeniable and she recently launched a line of skincare, Sejaa Pure Skin Care. Sejaa is all natural and produced with as little impact on the environment as possible.
Another one of Gisele’s causes has been a family affair; The Agua Limpa (Clean Water) Project applies sustainable environmental management and promotes the recovery of riparian vegetation and the micro basins of Horizontina and Tucunduva (State of Rio Grande do Sul, Southern Brazil), which is the region where the top model was born. She also has a blog where she shares her projects and passion with the world. Truly beautiful from the inside out, her insight and love of the earth are what makes her a true eco-heroine.**
Janine Licare’s journey in environmental activism and founding Kids Saving the Rainforest is truly remarkable. At the young age of four, she and her mother left the US and settled in Costa Rica. Growing up with nine other children in her graduating class, she was the first to go to college in the US, and was accepted into the prestigious Stanford University.
Kids Saving the Rainforest (KSRF) is a non-profit founded in 1999 when Janine was only 91/2 years old and she saw first-hand something needed to change. With her mother, she created the KSRF store in Costa Rica where 100% of the proceeds from locally produced items are sold to tourists to raise awareness and funds. The monies raised contribute to preserving the local rainforest land, rehabilitating baby and injured animals, supporting a wildlife sanctuary, and to insure the survival of the endangered Titi monkeys.
The next phase for Janine and KSRF is to grow the Animal Rehabilitation & Educational Center in Costa Rica to study and create proper living environments for some of the rarest species of monkeys left on our planet, including the Titi and Spider monkey.**
Trudie Styler is a force to be reckoned with. A renowned film producer, founder of Xingu Films, an actress, mother, organic farmer, activist, environmentalist, married to Sting and has 20 years of work in preserving rainforests around the world under her belt, she founded Rainforest Foundation International in 1989 along with her husband. They both saw first hand what was happening in Brazil and focused on taking action with the indigenous people, later funding programs in other countries such as Latin America, Asia and Africa. In 1999, Rainforest Foundation FUND replaced Rainforest Foundation International and today the mission is to protect and support indigenous peoples, and traditional populations of the rainforest in an effort to protect their environment and fulfill their rights.
The Foundation turned 21 years old in 2010, and to date, Trudie has raised more than $23 million for the cause. On one of her many visits to Ecuador she witnessed first hand the environmental damages caused by oil exploitation in the rainforest.
“I met mothers in Ecuador who have to make an appalling decision: either to give their children no water or contaminated water, knowing that it will make them sick,” recalled Trudie. There are over 30,000 people and half are children that were exposed to oil contamination through air, water and land in the provinces of Sucumbíos and Orellana. The contamination led to wide spread cancer, miscarriages, skin disorders and respiratory illnesses. After meeting the families first hand, Trudie enrolled The Rainforest Fund, UNICEF and the Frente de la Defensa de la Amazonia, a pilot project that brings clean water to areas with high levels of contamination, severe health needs, poverty and minimal access to basic services.
Specially-designed filtered water barrels that cost no more than $500 to build enable families, health centers and schools to have clean water, even in the most toxic areas.
Working with the local community and tradesmen, the water barrels were installed in rural houses and shelters. If maintained, these filtered water barrels will last up to 50 years.
“Once you see and meet the families that are so in need of clean water you realize how lucky you are just to be able to bring up your children in a safe place with a supply of clean water,” said Trudie.
Winning many accolades over the years for her work in the environment, in 2010 Trudie launched an organic food brand in the UK called, Lake House Table. She is truly unstoppable.**
Daryl Hannah, a high profile actress best known for films such as Kill Bill, Blade Runner and Splash, is also known for her activism in preserving Planet Earth. Through her website, she focuses on stories about human rights, environmental preservation, and the welfare and protection of other species.
A subject dear to her heart, Daryl works with Amazonwatch.org, a non-profit that protects the rainforest and advances the rights of indigenous peoples in the Amazon Basin. Most recently Daryl aided Amazon Watch with the Peruvian Amazon Achuar Indigenous Leaders and demanded during a stakeholders meeting in Los Angeles that Occidental Petroleum (Oxy), clean up their pollution in the rainforest.
Between 1971 and 2000, Oxy drilled more than 150 wells and built nearly 300 miles of roads in the formerly intact Amazon rainforest homeland of the Achuar indigenous people. For every barrel of oil Oxy produced in Peru, they dumped eight barrels of toxic wastewater into the Amazon. The Achuar ask that Oxy take full responsibility for cleaning up the environmental disaster it left behind when it departed after 30 years.
From this tireless effort from Daryl and Amazon Watch, this indigenous tribe won an appeal in December for this human rights and environmental lawsuit. This is major victory for the indigenous people of Peru and the preservation of their rainforest.
Daryl’s work has not gone unnoticed; she is truly an eco warrior of the highest good.**