What better way to celebrate International Women’s Day than highlighting those women that have inspired ZuBlu in recent years - those that are leading the way to a more sustainable future through conservation, awareness and education.
Read on and learn more about these role models and the work they are doing in Indonesia, Hong Kong and across the globe.
1. Melati and Isabel Wijsen
Melati and Isabel Wijsen started Bye Bye Plastic Bags at the ages of 12 and 10, after being inspired by a lesson in school about significant people, like Nelson Mandela, Lady Diana, and Mahatma Ghandi.
The sisters returned home that day and asked themselves, ‘What can we do as children living in Bali, NOW, to make a difference?’ Bye Bye Plastic Bags was born in 2013 and has now grown into a well known international movement of inspiration, youth empowerment, and of course, saying NO to plastic bags. Their work has led to a recent ban of plastic bags in Bali and the sisters continue to inspire others campaigners around the world.
- Learn more about Bye Bye Plastic Bags
2. Delphine Robbe
Delphine Robbe is the coordinator of the Gili Eco Trust, a local NGO that has been responsible for many environmental projects on the Gili Islands and is leading the way to a more sustainable tourism industry. Delphine has developed a Biorock reef restoration project, helped to set up mooring buoys, run cat and horse clinics, promoted renewable energy development, and been responsible for the education and socialisation of the local community about the importance of caring for their environment for a sustainable future.
Over the last few years the Gili Eco Trust has focused on waste and has started a new system of waste management and an education campaign promoting zero waste on the islands, with the aim of ensuring jobs and money for locals and a clean island free of plastic and rubbish.
- Learn more about the Gili Eco Trust
3. Kathy Xu
Kathy Xu is the founder of The Dorsal Effect, an eco-tourism project that aims to reduce shark fishing by targeting the supply side of the problem - the fishermen that make a living by catching sharks.
After an intense experience while swimming alongside a whale shark in Australia 2011, Kathy decided she wanted to do something so that future generations could still have the opportunity to experience what she had just done. After learning about shark fishing and the demand for shark fin soup, she decided that more should be done on the supply side, and soon found herself in Lombok talking to shark fishermen. Today, The Dorsal Effect runs snorkelling trips led by ex-shark fishermen providing a valuable alternative means of income other than fishing.
- Learn more about The Dorsal Effect
4. Chloe Harvey
Chloë has led the international development of The Reef-World Foundation’s Green Fins initiative since 2008 and has been responsible for driving forward the Green Fins management and training systems towards the practical approach it is today. She has helped to establish the initiative in both the governments of and private sectors in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Maldives and Vietnam.
Chloë believes that education is her most powerful tool to save coral reefs and that by providing people with the knowledge to inspire change, then matching this with simple tools and guidance to practical solutions, we can guide people towards taking meaningful and lasting action for environmental protection.
- Learn more about The Reef-World Foundation
5. Sarah Lewis
Sarah Lewis is the founder of the Indonesian Manta Project and has spent the last 10 years working to significantly increase the scale and effectiveness of front-line conservation efforts across the Indonesian archipelago, by developing and empowering a network of up-and-coming Indonesian marine conservationists - those who will drive local projects to conserve critical marine species and habitats.
More recently she co-founded Indonesian Ocean Pride, a movement to show the world why Indonesia’s oceans are so special; a platform for people to share their ocean stories, inspiring Indonesian people to take pride in their ocean treasures; and a campaign to drive actions that help save our oceans for the future of Indonesia and the world.
- Learn more about Indonesian Ocean Pride
6. Nila Tanzil
Nila Tanzil is the founder of Taman Bacaan Pelangi, a non-profit organization that builds children's libraries and promotes literacy in remote areas of eastern Indonesia. She opened the first Taman Bacaan Pelangi children's library in Roe Village, Flores, East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia in 2009 and has since opened over 100 libraries across the country.
The organisation aims to encourage and nurture children’s interest in reading by providing access to good books - helping them to broaden their horizons and opportunities. In the future, these children will be able to give positive contribution to the local community, be the agent of change and source of inspiration for others. And they will be the ones who help break the cycle of poverty and change lives.
- Learn more about Taman Bacaan Pelangi
7. Stepahine Dickson and Paula Miquelis
Stephanie and Paula are the masterminds behind Green Is The New Black - the ultimate guide to discovering the most conscious brands, events, experiences and people around Asia.
The pair are on a mission to make conscious living the new norm and for Green Is The New Black to become the number one place for sustainable brands in Asia. Together they want to wake people up and empower them to make positive action - helping them to change the world one #littelgreenstep at a time, and understanding how our choices not only impact us, but our surroundings and the environment.
- Learn more about Green Is The New Black