Best of Landscape News 2019: Change-makers

Our pick of this year’s top stories

Courtesy of Taylor Rees
23 December 2019
Ming Chun Tang
23 December 2019
Ming Chun Tang

From Extinction Rebellion to September’s Global Climate Strike, the past year has seen a remarkable boom in climate activism as the reality of global warming has hit ever harder. Youth activists like Greta Thunberg have featured most prominently in a struggle that has greater implications for their generation than any other that has come before – but scientists, political leaders, artists and thinkers have also served on the front line of the battle for climate and environmental justice. Here are 11 such change-makers who brought their stories to Landscape News in 2019.

Xiuhtezcatl Martinez: “This crisis is one of the most unifying moments of human history”

The 19-year-old Indigenous American discusses the pressure of fame, the role of music in his activism, and how to maintain hope in the face of great ecological and social adversity.

Xiuhtezcatl Martinez
Courtesy of Xiuhtezcatl Martinez

Bill McKibben on new book “Falter” and the human future

Veteran activist Bill McKibben looks back on the last three decades of climate change research and warns of a future dominated by artificial intelligence.

Bill McKibben
Photo (right): Nancie Battaglia

Hardest hit by climate change, but triumphing over it

We review former Irish president Mary Robinson’s 2018 book Climate Justice, a collection of personal stories from the front lines of the climate crisis and an emotive call for action.

Bloomsbury Publishing

For explorer Taylor Rees, the most undiscovered landscapes lie within

Mountaineer and filmmaker Taylor Rees reflects on the power of human-centered storytelling about climate change in the Earth’s remotest regions.

Taylor Rees
Courtesy of Taylor Rees

Blue belles

The surfer and the scuba diver
The freediver and the kiteboarder

A two-part photo series on how young female Filipino watersports athletes are cleaning up their country’s waters.

Professional kiteboarder Paula Rosales got involved in conservation work after ocean pollution affected her health. Justin K. Davey
Photo: Justin K. Davey

Now playing: The age of enlightenment on Africa

South African creative agency I See a Different You explain how they combine art, photography and film to change public perceptions of Africa and call for climate action.

I See a Different You
Courtesy of I See a Different You

Reattaching young people to the climate crisis

Qatari activist Neeshad Shafi on the challenges of communicating the climate crisis in the world’s largest oil-producing region.

Courtesy of Neeshad Shafi

African reggae star Rocky Dawuni on music’s power to drum up climate action

We speak to Ghanaian musician and activist Rocky Dawuni on his U.N. ambassadorship, reasons for hope, and how the music industry can support climate justice.

Global Landscapes Forum

As Kiribati disappears, will the world take heed?

Filmmaker Matthieu Rytz recalls his time in the climate change-threatened Pacific island nation of Kiribati, where he filmed his documentary Anote’s Ark.

Kiribati
Matthieu Rytz

Lebanese designer leads fashion toward sustainability

Slow Factory founder Céline Semaan talks nature, consumerism and the fashion industry’s dubious track record on sustainability.

Photo: Simbarache Cha

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