© SUEZ / William Daniels

The resource revolution needs women

Preserving ecosystems and protecting biodiversity is second nature to Raisa, Lizzie and Dulcinea

 

# As an environmental activist, Raisa has promoted the city's environmental policy, integrating to environmental conservation the reduction of plastic and the reuse of waste

 

Raisa Banfield - Deputy Mayor of Panama City (Panama)

"Women know more than anyone how to use resources efficiently."
 

When and how did you start your commitment towards better resource management?

I am an architect by profession. Until my 30 years old I did not have any background in the field of sustainable development. Then, I move out with my family in a place surrounded by mangroves and discovered that many projects aimed to destroyed them. From this time, I became an environmental activist and started fighting against these building projects. Moreover, as an architect I had to restore the old houses of the city colonial area: I called it "Arquitectural Recycling". Years by years I started to design concepts using less and less energy and promised myself that I work always promoting the need to be eco-friendly. 

 

Can you give one or two examples of your contributions to the circular economy?

As Deputy Mayor of Panama City, we implemented in September 2018 a new agreement that aims to establish eco-Friendly alternatives for plastic use. The City Hall now have to choose suppliers committed to use recycled materials with a small environmental impact.
Personally and as an activist, with my Foundation "Panamá Sostenible, I launched the "Green Gala" (2013, 2014): this event was the first in Panama that had the purpose to celebrate environmental practices and initiatives promoting a new economic model from a community, business, artistic and fashion perspective. More than five years ago, the debate about environment was more about fighting what was right or wrong to do, or a matter of "Green washing":  this event was intended to be neutral and to promote a different approach of the issue.

 

And what would be your message to other women to act?

Women have to understand that the environment is one of our main interest. They should not be afraid to dare or to propose initiatives to promote a sustainable world. We are housewives, mothers and working-women, we know more than anyone how to use resources efficiently.

 

 

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# Lizzie is a strong advocate for the environment and she educates her community on ways to fight plastic pollution in the ocean.

 

Lizzie Welborn - Professional surf iron woman from Sydney (Australia).

© Julia Wheeler
"I want girls to know there is nothing wrong with committing to a cause and speaking up for it."

 

When and how did you start your commitment towards better resource management?

My passion for protecting our oceans only really came to life a couple of years ago. Being a surf iron woman, I am training down at the beach almost every afternoon throughout the year. The beach is my happy place, the ocean gives me everything, and I cannot bear the thought of the generations after me not being able to experience it in the same way I have. 

 

Can you give one or two examples of your contributions to the circular economy?

The difference I am trying to make about this issue is a small one, but small differences can help make the biggest impacts. I have been trying to use my position as an athlete to inspire the next generation to understand the fragility of our oceans and massive effects our actions are having on it. I have spoken and taught at many local schools, making people aware of what is actually happening in our oceans and things we can do to help it.

 

And what would be your message to other women to act?

The more people that become aware of the urgent need to take action on this environmental issues, the more likely we will be able to make bigger changes. I want girls to know there is nothing wrong with committing to a cause and speaking up for it. In the future I want to be able to help make a big impact on our ability to protect our oceans before it’s too late. It is a massive ambition, but I am not afraid to dream big. 

 

 

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# Dulcinea contributes to the preservation of ecosystems and the creation of ecological awareness

 

Dulcinea Meijide - Director of Sustainable Development and Equity SUEZ (SPAIN)

"There is an historical link between women and Earth."
 

When and how did you start your commitment towards better resource management?

I think that my commitment is the result of a number of interacting factors: my own evolution and maturity, my profession (being devoted to the water sector was fundamental), being a mother, living close to the sea, enjoying mountain escapes, etc. I imagine that all of this helped my commitment to improving the natural environment to become more and more tangible and strong. 

 

Can you give one or two examples of your contributions to the circular economy?

I have been involved on the Sustainable Development Road Map of SUEZ, working, among other things, for the transformation of our waste water treatment plant into biofactories, factories which generate resources. I also created a new line of work on Biodiversity, helping to preserve the natural ecosystems and to create ecological awareness because a high-quality environment provides high-quality natural ecosystems.

 

And what would be your message to other women to act?

We call the planet Mother Earth, and we also talk about The Fertility of the Earth. There is a historical link between women and the Earth. This link may be a stimulus for women to act, for all of us to improve and thus to preserve our natural environment, which is necessary for our own existence. 

 


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