Raising Hope: Recognizing Women Preserving the Planet
International Women's Day

Raising Hope: Recognizing Women Preserving the Planet

Photo by Sara Erasmo

Vogue Philippines celebrates International Women’s Day through “Raising Hope,” in a call for nominations of inspiring women. The following women are champions of environmentalism, advocating for innovative solutions to preserve our planet while inspiring others to do their own part for a more sustainable world. 

In initiatives involving environmental conservation, women play a crucial role. Aside from bringing unique perspectives and insights to environmental issues, these women have been instrumental in leading environmental movements and advocating for policy changes at local, national, and global levels.

Isabella Robles Go, Nominated by Isaiah Carlo 

Courtesy of Isabella Robles Go

According to nominator Isaiah Carlo, Isabella Robles Go is a visionary in the world of interior design in Iloilo City, Philippines. Central to Go’s design philosophy is her strong dedication to sustainability, recognizing the importance of sustainable design practices to help preserve the planet. 

As an interior designer, Go continuously advocates for the use of eco-friendly materials and actively collaborates with non-profit organizations and civic groups. Through these environmentally conscious partnerships, Go has spearheaded diverse projects from early childhood learning centers to women-centric spaces in both Iloilo and Manila. One of Go’s standout projects involve the restoration of a rundown commercial space in downtown Iloilo City, where her approach to design preserved the area’s cultural heritage while simultaneously fostering economic growth.  

“Her designs are not merely about aesthetics but [are also] about creating spaces that empower individuals and elevate lives through functionality and positivity.” Carlo shares.

Alicia White, Nominated by Tiffany White

Nominator Tiffany White lauds Alicia White as a beacon of hope for many through her diverse range of environmental initiatives. As the founder of Project Petals, White uplifts underprivileged communities and enhances environmental conditions by offering essential resources, educational programs, and leadership training through the organization, prioritizing Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities facing disproportionate effects of climate change. 

White’s journey as an environmentalist began with the idea of creating a non-profit organization to improve under-resourced communities, the climate, and the environment. Now, Project Petals is a multifaceted organization focused on environmental sustainability, community development, and climate resilience, collaborating with its volunteers and stakeholders to bridge the gap in marginalized communities’ access to climate education and sustainable practices. Aside from Project Petals, White is launching Climate in Color, a global movement spotlighting and connecting environmental and climate leaders. 

Inspired by her mother and late grandmother’s upbringing on a farm, White continues to instill care for the environment to others by empowering the next generation of climate activists through Project Petals’ Youth Builders Program. “The program prepares young people for careers that are needed to develop communities and make them more sustainable and environmentally sound, in addition to helping youth in her area mobilize through service to create a lasting impact,” Tiffany White shares. 

Maria Luisa D. Daya-Garcia, Nominated by Nigel Garcia

Courtesy of Maria Luisa D. Daya-Garcia

Architect Maria Luisa D. Daya-Garcia is a pioneering figure in environmentally-conscious architecture, which, according to nominator Nigel Garcia, challenges the status quo in a typically male dominated field. As the first and only national Climate-Smart Building Consultant for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Arch. Daya-Garcia has spearheaded initiatives to develop guidelines for eco-conscious design in the Philippines, setting new standards for the industry. Additionally, her role as an official reviewer for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (UN’s IPCC) underscores her expertise and influence in climate change adaptation on a global scale.

Within the United Architects of the Philippines (UAP), Arch. Daya-Garcia has held prominent positions in committees focused on green architecture, the natural environment, and climate change. Under her leadership, the organization mounted the most attended e-seminar in UAP’s history. She was also pivotal to a collaborative event by the UAP, UNDP, and Green Architecture Advocacy Philippines (GreenAP) during the 13th Global Celebration of the Climate Consciousness Week , bringing together government officials, private sector representatives and local and international organizations to engage in the environmental conversation. 

Arch. Daya-Garcia continues to promote environmental consciousness within the architectural community as the first female chairperson of GreenAP and through her firm, LDG Architects. “In a landscape where success is often defined by business partnerships, Architect Lui defied the odds by establishing LDG Architects as a powerhouse in green and sustainable architecture.” Garcia says. “Her projects transcend mere structures; they embody a people-centric approach— reflecting her unwavering commitment to holistic design principles that prioritize environmental sustainability and the needs of her clients.”

Joyce Veheary, Nominated by David Thring

Courtesy of Zoë Birbeck

Joyce Veheary is committed to bringing awareness to the Filipino diaspora through her various initiatives. “She has passionately dedicated all of her spare time to helping people with land to share to connect with people who have no space to lay down roots,” David Thring says in his nomination.

For nearly a decade, Veheary spearheaded a voluntary garden sharing initiative called Lend and Tend, which operates primarily in the UK with international volunteer signups. Aside from raising awareness to gardening and the importance of sustainable living, the initiative also addresses crucial societal issues such as elderly isolation, intergenerational friendships, and food scarcity. By providing opportunities for individuals to cultivate their own food, the project also promotes biodiversity and wildlife nurturing while creating livelihood opportunities. Additionally, Veheary also co-established Pinxy Creatives UK, a creative community that gives innovative solutions to modern problems, enriching the livelihood of creative individuals while fostering friendship and collaboration. 

“She has recently become a mother, but it would be a great time to allow her to reflect on her successes and achievements [as she] continues her journey with Lend and Tend while raising our daughter.” Thring shares. 

Visit vogue.ph everyday this month for daily features on inspiring women, as nominated by the people whose lives they’ve changed.

More From Vogue

Share now on:
FacebookXEmailCopy Link