Updated: Aug 30
Women are playing a pivotal role in combating climate change through their interventions, innovative approaches, influential leadership, and spearheading of initiatives in renewable energy, conservation, sustainable agriculture, and climate policy advocacy.
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By promoting clean technologies, implementing sustainable practices, and raising awareness, women are driving significant impacts and transformations on a local, regional, and global scale, overlooking at an optimistic tomorrow. Their inclusive and collaborative approaches foster community resilience, empowering marginalized groups to actively participate in climate action. With expertise, passion, and determination, these women shape a sustainable and resilient future for generations to come.
They are at the forefront of the sustainability movement, leading the charge against climate change. Their remarkable efforts and leadership are driving positive change and inspiring others to join the fight for a sustainable future.
Image Courtesy: Pixabay
At The Climate Project Foundation, we firmly believe in the power, enthusiasm, perseverance, and management skills that women bring in, to make things happen. We consider women to be one of our key pillars of existence, who have been our Pole Star throughout our journey.
We have wonderful and amazing women Climate Reality Leaders in our network, who have been transforming lives while treading the path of sustainability and creating inspiring milestones. We are proud to have such wonderful women with us. As a sequel to our celebrations of World Environment Day and solidarity in the fight against the climate crisis, we present to you our women’s army that we openly brag about.
Dear Women Climate Leaders,
You are special!
You always make us proud with your work and dedication towards creating a sustainable future, and a healthy Earth with all the reasons we offer it to smile back.
Team — The Climate Project Foundation
PRESENTING OUR WOMEN FORCE WHO ARE STANDING STRONG IN THE FIGHT AGAINST
Madhu Bhatnagar, an accomplished Climate Reality Leader and among the notable educators in India who made environmental education mandatory in schools. She is also credited as the first one to implement Rooftop Water Harvesting (1998) in schools and stop tiger poaching in 2005 as a part of the Moghiya Rehabilitation project around Ranthambore National Park.
2. Fawzia Tarannum, a University of Nairobi-IDRC Doctorial Research Grant recipient and a Climate Reality Leader, who has conducted 5000+ training programs on water & sustainability, climate change, participatory water governance, gender equality, and ESG. For her interventions, Fawzia is also recognized as one of the 17 SDG Women Changemakers by Sayfty and Twitter India.
3. Nita Ganguly, a Climate Leader-Mentor and National Coordinator- Waste to Wealth (TCPF), received The Indian Achievers Clubs’ 99 Women achievers of India acclaim (2020) and The Most Admired Inspiring Indian Award (2021). As a Climate Reality Leader, she believes that people should embrace a sense of responsibility & accountability to protect the environment and has reached out to both defense personnel and civil society groups, including the Rag Pickers.
4. Joshitha Sankam, a Climate Reality Leader, who is working on spreading awareness among communities & health professionals on various effects of climate change on human health. She is one of the organizers of “Health in a Changing Climate: Empowering Health Professionals”, a comprehensive training program on climate change & health, and is also a part of the “Women Leaders of Planetary Health” community.
Deeksha C Bhatia
5. Deeksha Chopra Bhatia, a Climate Reality Leader, and environmental educator, who designed various educational programs and workshops on critical topics such as water conservation, waste management, and urban environmental sustainability. She is well known for her articles on environmental sustainability which have been published by international foundations.
6. Leena Joshi, the founder of Ethereal Inc. and a Climate Reality Leader, is determined to disrupt the status quo & empower girls by mentoring them. As an environmental activist, she worked with international organizations such as United Nations, UN Climate Change, World Bank Group, and Girl Up United Nations Foundation. She was named GrasshoppHer IT Girl for founding her international organization.
7. Kavya Govindarajan, a Climate Reality Leader, addresses various environmental concerns and solutions to spread awareness about environmental protection through her write-ups. She firmly believes in the creation of resources such as blogs and research articles to enlighten people on various environmental issues and solutions.
8. Sarika, a Climate Reality Leader, has worked on a variety of interdisciplinary projects such as “Restoration by Phytoremediation “and the “Effect of Global Warming on Medicinal Plants in the High-Altitude Trans-Himalaya.” She believes in sharing her insights, and working with a broader range of audiences in order to achieve a sustainable & equitable future for all.
9. Garima Verma, a Climate Reality Leader, whose focus is majorly on health and wellness and is specialized in Reiki level 2 healing, sound therapy, yogic teachings, Taichi, and meditation. She is also the brand owner of ‘Urban Yogini’, where she curates & makes organic, natural, and chemical-free beauty products.
Dr. Ketna A Matkar
10. Dr. Ketna Atul Matkar, a Climate Reality Leader and the Founder & Managing Director of Cipher Environmental Solutions LLP, Thane has delivered training on capacity building of Municipal officials on two of the five components of CSCAF (Climate Smart City Action Framework) - “Proportion of Green Cover” and “Climate Smart City Action Plan” and capacity building for Solid Waste Management under the SBM program. She has also worked on a research project for understanding the local governance perspective in building Climate Resilience in the cities, providing key insights and suggested policy requirements.
She is also involved with the capacity building of faculties and staff for creating and maintaining a green campus at college, also advocating sustainable lifestyle changes and best practices. She engages with various colleges and institutes for advocating best practices for disaster risk reduction, adapting and mitigating climate change, and climate literacy.
Dr. Vidhi Vora
11. Dr. Vidhi Vora, a Climate Reality Leader and a renowned International Public Speaker, who conducted training and awareness programs for multiple topics such as Women’s health & safety, Eco-tourism, etc. She believes in the concept of ‘Sustainability begins at home,’ therefore, she set up Green Phoenix Circular Solutions, with a vision to develop a human society that has circularity and safety maintaining environmental health.
12. Varsha Rajkhowa, a Climate Reality Leader, is the first Indian to win the International crown of Miss Scuba International in 2016 and also is the National Director of Miss Scuba India and Founder Director of Oceanic Divas. She is awarded the FICCI FLO Women Achievers Award of excellence for recognition of her contribution towards ocean conservation and environmental protection.
13. Ms. Sandhya Kakkar, Vice Principal of Bal Bharati Public School in Dwarka, New Delhi, has been a proactive Climate Reality Leader, driving community outreach and social development initiatives. Under her guidance, the school has received numerous accolades, including the Rex Karamveer Global Education Change Champion Award and the Green Campus Program Award in 2019 by The Climate Project Foundation for promoting volunteering, sustainable practices, and combating global warming.
Ms. Kakkar has successfully led various programs such as digital literacy camps, relief efforts for the underprivileged, and the establishment of a library for disadvantaged children. The school has also undertaken various campaigns to promote literacy, education for school dropouts, conducting awareness campaigns, noise pollution control, and more.
The school has won several accolades like “Microsoft Tech for Good Challenge 2021” for demonstrating the effective use of technology to achieve Sustainable Development goals; “Parayavarna Mitra Earthian Award” for School for taking green initiatives taken to save the environment; and NDTV Greenathon Award for successfully demonstrating the inclusive practices in school, among many.
Through her path-breaking work, Ms. Kakkar has inspired students to selflessly engage in community service, fostering a unique approach where each student contributes to social good through dedicated volunteering efforts.
14. Manisha Balani, a Climate Reality Leader, working towards providing urban design consultancy both in the public & private sectors (such as TOD Zones & Godrej Properties) as she strongly believes that sustainable urbanism can potentially turn around climate change. She also introduced a platform, Conscious Gurugram, to provide research and advocacy on designing liveable & environment-friendly cities.
15. Swayamprabha Das, National Coordinator – Marine Ecosystems, The Climate Project Foundation, holds a Ph.D. degree in International Relations from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. She was trained as a Climate Reality Leader (trained in 2015). She is also a Hubert Humphrey fellow (2007). With a focus on gender and climate change, she has dedicated over 24 years to the field of environment and development.
She possesses expertise in program management, policy advocacy, and knowledge management. Her diverse experience includes collaborations with the government, international organizations, NGOs, and the private sector. Apart from her professional pursuits, she has a profound passion for traveling and engaging in discussions regarding oceans and marine conservation.
16. Sheetal Antil, National Coordinator for Green Jobs at The Climate Project Foundation, is an experienced professional focusing on nature-based solutions and climate change education. She currently works as a Manager for Nature-Based Solutions at the South Pole, sourcing projects for conservation and restoration in South Asia and the Middle East. As a Climate Reality Leader, Sheetal has organized campaigns and educational programs on climate action. She has also worked with organizations like IUCN and Capgemini Invent, gaining expertise in conservation and sustainability. Sheetal's commitment as a Green Jobs National Coordinator lies in empowering youth to make environmentally conscious choices.
Dr. Nandini Deshmukh
17. Dr. Nandini Deshmukh, National Coordinator – Climate Education, The Climate Project Foundation has served as an academician for more than 30 years and guided many young minds under her aegis. Throughout she has motivated and sensitized the students about environmental conservation. After being trained as a Climate Reality Leader in Istanbul (2013), she has been consistently working in the western parts of Maharashtra and covered many colleges and educational institutes in her agenda of combating climate crises.
Recently, she was conferred with the Lifetime Achievement Award by Mumbai Tarun Bharat at the Species & Habitats Warriors Awards 2023 in recognition of her remarkable contribution to environmental projects in Maharashtra, preserving species and habitats. She is one of the torchbearers of climate education. Her unwavering commitment inspires others in the field.
Dr. Bharti Chhibber
18. Dr. Bharti Chhibber, National Coordinator for Sustainability Education at The Climate Project Foundation is a highly respected academic, author, socio-political analyst, and environmentalist. With over seventeen years of teaching experience at the University of Delhi, India, she has made significant contributions to fields such as international relations, foreign diplomacy, Sustainable Development Goals, gender issues, health concerns, climate change, climate justice, refugees, environmental education, renewable energy, international environmental laws, waste management, and biodiversity conservation.
Dr. Chhibber actively collaborates with various organizations to raise awareness and empower individuals in areas related to the environment, education, and gender. Her contributions extend to initiatives like sapling plantation drives, wastepaper recycling, herbal garden projects, and waste-to-compost endeavors. Additionally, she combines art with climate change communication through her written and directed plays focusing on environmental conservation and women's rights, performed by college students.
With a remarkable body of work, Dr. Chhibber has published over 150 books, research papers, and articles in national and international journals, as well as through mass media platforms. Her expertise has earned her prestigious international and national awards, fellowships, and invitations as a subject expert for interviews and discussions in electronic and print media. Dr. Chhibber's outstanding contributions have established her as a distinguished figure in the fields of education, environmental conservation, and sustainable development.
19. Elsie Gabriel, National Coordinator – Oceans, The Climate Project Foundation was awarded the prestigious UNESCO Green Citizen-Ocean Literacy prize. She is also the Founder-President of the Young Environmentalists Programme. She has made significant contributions to youth climate and ocean education programs, particularly in the Lakshadweep Islands and Mumbai. She focuses on researching about fisherwomen, indigenous women, surfers, and divers as agents of change in ocean education. Her diving adventures have taken her to various locations worldwide.
Elsie contributed to C20 working committee for G20 Global Summit on Environment and Disasters, Gender Equality & Disability Working Group Summit. She is also an Ambassador for India Ocean Quest, Co-Founder of Ocean School, and holds positions at Poseidon Handicap Scuba. She was invited to speak at the UN Ocean Conference in Portugal, emphasizing the importance of ocean literacy for conservation and climate mitigation. She has authored the book "Get Out Get Going Outdoors" to promote wilderness education and digital detox. Elsie also mentors young adults in Assam, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Sri Lanka, RAWA Malaysia, and Maldives.
In acknowledgment of her commitment to sustainable tourism, Elsie was conferred with the Golden Award from the Maldives Tourism Ministry. She was also honoured with the Mayor's Award in Mumbai for her exceptional work in lake conservation and recycling water hyacinths into Eco bricks. Recently, she was recognized as “L'Oréal Women Climate Champion”.
20. Priya Talwar, the Founder of TalVer Ventures is a Climate Reality Leader. She provides consultancy for CSR projects, recruitment solutions, ESL coaching for underprivileged individuals, and supports traditional art among underprivileged youth and artists with livelihood opportunities. As a Climate Reality Leader, she has been integral in promoting Youth For Earth 2023, on SDG 13 - Climate Action, fostering youth participation from India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Maldives.
She has conducted capacity-building workshops on Water and Climate Change Resilient Youth Champions & Communities, focusing on Saharanpur, Baghpat, and Ghaziabad villages near Hindon River Basin, utilizing climate reality presentations.
With over 20 years of experience, Priya excels in project management, partnerships, networking, marketing, content development, and documentation.
Her leadership extends to organizing workshops, competitions, panel discussions, fellowships, media briefings, film festivals, grants, campaigns, and research projects on diverse topics like environment, climate change, water security, livelihood, wildlife, social change, etc.