Nairobi, March 22 – Earth Optimism — a global movement promoting a positive outlook towards tackling problems related to environmental degradation and climate change — will in 2021 be celebrated against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic that has upended life across the world. Are there reasons for optimism amid such grief?

With the messaging and information around conservation always focusing on the negative and with a picture of doom and gloom always painted, it is easy to despair. However, amidst the loss and challenges, there are a number of inspiring stories of restoration and conservation.

Stories of everyday citizens, individuals, communities taking a stand and engaging in activities that are invaluable to the environment, species, land, habitats, health and livelihoods.

This year, Earth Optimism Nairobi will have a virtual event that will take place from 29th March to 4th April under the overarching theme of restoration. One of the key activities will be to showcase Stories of Hope; and to demonstrate that there are great reasons for optimism.

The stories of hope cut across the thematic areas of environmental conservation — species and habitats, climate action, adaptation, mitigation, innovation, sustainable agriculture, food security and nutrition, communities, research and capacity-building.

These stories greatly focus on every day citizens and communities that are taking positive action with respect to the environment and conservation. They are stories that will inspire positivity and spark action among citizens in the field of agriculture, environment and conservation.

The most fascinating bit of all of these is seeing the drive among citizens to make their communities, towns and the country as a whole better places despite the challenges and using limited resources to achieve goals.

What can you expect? From the story of a youth-led initiative changing the narrative of Rungiri Dam as a place of fear to a safe place. What does it takes to grow an indigenous forest — the story of Brackenhurt’s 25-year-old indigenous forest. How Ngare Dare Forest Trust has succeeded in being a model Community Forest Association. Mangrove conservation by Gazi and Makongeni communities on the Kenyan coast, among others.

How can you take part? Share #YourStory through our website and tell us what you are doing for the environment in your own way. Interact with us through #EarthOptimismVoices and @earthnairobi and www.earthoptimismnairobi.org.

  • Nyawira Gitaka