“There are so many issues facing our world-from environmental to personal health-and it is important that each of us pledge to do all in our power to live responsibly and considerably. We have a responsibility to future generations to take care of this planet.”

Empowering & Uplifting Through Family Planning

Maureen Greenwood with the UN Foundation, Carol Larson, President of the Packard Foundation, Tamara Kreinin, Director of Population and Reproductive Health at the Packard Foundation at the Africa Union awaiting Melinda Gates speech and panel discussion.

Last month over 3,000 attendees came together for the Gates Institute’s third International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The conference addressed the right of women to take control of their bodies, their lives and the lives of their families for better health outcomes, better quality of life and a better future, by advocating for access to reproductive health care and options for contraception for all who want it. By empowering women with these critical resources they can make decisions about spacing, timing and the number of children they will have. The Gates hosted the International Conference on Family Planning in the UK,  July, 2012 and invested 1 billion dollars, encouraging other donations totaling about 4 billion dollars. Their mission is to raise enough money to fund the unmet contraception and family planning need of 120 million women before the year 2020. Their plan is called FP2020 and you can visit the website to see updates and their incredible progress. Melinda Gates is such an inspiration to me, she is very dedicated to supplying family planning and voluntary contraception which will save millions of lives. (more…)

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The World We Made Luncheon With Jonathon Porritt

Last week, I had the honor of co-hosting Sir Jonathon Porritt at Georgia Tech to speak about his new book The World We Made. Jonathon is a pioneer in sustainability development and an advisor to The Prince of Wales, he has been closely involved in developing sustainability strategies for companies. He is also a former director of Friends of the Earth, founder and director of Forum for the Future, an eminent commentator, author and broadcaster.

I first met Jonathon at The Global Summit for the Travel and Tourism Council in Abu Dhabi earlier this year where we were both speakers. However, I first became familiar with him when my father published his book Save The Earth in 1991 and have long since been an admirer. He has been a major global influence in sustainability, technology and politics. (more…)

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The Next Frontier In The Pursuit of Peace and Prosperity: Celebrating 50 Years of MLK’s I Have A Dream

Fifty years ago this past Wednesday one of the most important, iconic and ultimately largest moments of change in the 21st century U.S. took place. A man born in my hometown of Atlanta, GA in 1929 changed the face of social and racial equality in the United States. This man was shot at, beaten, stabbed, imprisoned and had his home dynamited while he was inside with his wife and children. Yet, he persevered in the face of all this to become a leader of millions, a symbol of non-violent courage and bravery. On August, 28 1963 Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his ‘I Have A Dream’ speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. (more…)

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Why Are Wolves So Important & What Should You Do About It?

There is currently a proposal by the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service to delist wolves across the lower 48 states from the Endangered Species Act protections they currently receive. Defenders of Wildlife created a two minute video illustrating the history of America’s wolves and the challenges they could face if the proposal is passed.

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Why The Travel And Tourism Industry Is So Important For Protecting Our Environment

I was invited to speak and participate on a panel discussion at the World Travel and Tourism Council’s annual Global Summit which was held in Abu Dhabi this year. The conference had a large focus on bringing more sustainable practices to the Tourism industry. My session was entitled “Meeting the Challenges of Growth”. The panel included actress and activist Daryl Hannah, adventurer and environmentalist David de Rothschild , BBC reporter Tanya Beckett and myself. (more…)

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Claim Your Citizenship To The High Seas

Did you know that 45% of our planet belongs to no specific nation or group of peoples? This 45% is the high seas, the international waters shared by all the world’s nations. By belonging to no one, they belong to all of us, but who is looking after them? Less than 2% of our planet’s oceans are protected and only 36% fall under national jurisdiction. The Terramar Project is attempting to create the world’s largest protectorate of the high seas.

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RIO +20 With Severn Suzuki, Rajendra Pachauri, Bill McKibben And Others!

I recently recapped some of the larger challenges and accomplishments from Rio +20 here, but today I wanted to share some pictures and a video from my trip. My last day in Rio was truly amazing.

I had the opportunity to spend time with Severn Suzuki in an important advisory session with the French Ambassador for the environment. (more…)

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Challenges & Accomplishments – Summary of Rio+20

I’ve just returned from Rio+20, and what an experience it was! Rio+20, was arguably, a once-in-a-lifetime chance to be among so many passionate, progressive and inspiring thinkers! There is so much I have come away with, friends made and dreams to accomplish. I wanted to share part of a recap with you, prepared by the UN Foundation, which gives a short summary of some of the challenges and accomplishments from the event. (more…)

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Rio +20 – The Future We Want

Rio +20

I left yesterday to attend the Rio +20 Conference on Sustainable Development. The theme of the event is “The Future We Want,” and the aim of the conference is to produce a focused political document detailing how this future will be achieved. Attendees will work to develop strategies that solve today’s issues without compromising the needs and abilities of future generations. The conference will address how a green economy will aid in sustainability and enhance developments towards the eradication of poverty. I am so excited to be here among thousands of participants including governments, NGOs and other stakeholders from all over the world, each working to provide a healthy and sustainable world for our children. (more…)

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Don’t Miss “Foul Water Fiery Serpent” On PBS This Month!

“Foul Water Fiery Serpent,” a documentary feature film that follows dedicated health workers — including  Carter Center staff and national health partners, as well as former U.S. President Jimmy Carter — engaged in a final battle to eradicate Guinea worm disease in Africa, will air on American Public Television stations nationwide beginning April 1. This film can be painful to watch in some parts but it chronicles a vital program that is near and dear to President Carter and has made huge strides towards eradication. (more…)

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