Stella on the environmental award 2019

Dear friends of Back to Life,
thank you for your congratulations on the environmental award, I am always happy to see our community so actively sharing and commenting.
Many people who live up in the mountains of Mugu cannot read or write. Yet, they often know more about climate change than people in our educated Western society. Nepalis are directly exposed to the immediate consequences of climate change - already today. The villagers are well aware of the changes in the mountains, they observe first hand glaciers melting down and snow covers disappearing. As a result, entire mountain villages get wiped out by floods or landslides.
It is time to put an end to this and deliver meaningful climate action for our planet. It is the responsibility of every single citizen of the Earth, even at small scale, in our daily lives. Everybody can contribute something - in Germany, in Nepal, everywhere. It may just be something as little as stop using single-use plastic bags.
I'm very happy that our project work with communities in Nepal is already saving over 4,000 tons of greenhouse gas per year. Though, the environmental award motivates and inspires me to achieve much more with Back to Life.
When I went to Brittany in France, all I knew was that I would be one of three winners. The jury selected us from over 20 female candidates from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. When the winners got revealed, we were very curious. During the day I already had a lively exchange with the two other nominees, who have initiated interesting and valuable environmental projects themselves. Through our discussions we realised, no matter which continent, we are facing similar challenges, embedded in different cultures, languages, and customs.
I'm am grateful to win the first prize as we can use the prize money for more clean energy in the mountains of Mugu. My sincerest appreciation goes to the "Yves Rocher Foundation", which, over decades, has generously and purposefully supported environmental projects worldwide. Their commitment to plant 100 million trees worldwide by 2020 is nothing short of great. I love it and I am glad that already over 80 million of them have been planted. This is a real investment in the future. For you, for me, as well as for future generations.
I would also like to thank my great team in Nepal and Germany, whose dedication and enthusiasm make our success possible, even in remote and difficult to reach mountain areas.
Love and best wishes,
Photocredit: Fondation Yves Rocher Vincent Guihur
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