Twenty one-year-old Tracy Kimathi is a student of Environmental Science and founder of Tree_Sea.Mals, a web-based organization for environmental awareness from Kenya. In line with the global theme of promoting young voices leading the way on sustainability advocacy, we caught up with Tracy and are please to have her as this week’s Susty Person.
You are a young environmentalist with an impressive platform, how did you start off in this journey?
I honestly just genuinely fell in love with nature. She was my muse. I could sit around amongst the wild for hours and just get lost in it. I enjoy reading the science that makes up the web of life, how every detailed process is directly chained to another with such perfection. And I love writing about it even more. My passion is simply driven, by the love of the environment.
What are your thoughts on the Paris Agreement coming into force?
The COP21 agreement was a significant leap as it aimed to achieve legally binding climate resolutions. The results were surely successful as the 195 countries who pledged to adopt this deal have made significant changes to the rate of emissions within their states. I see more progression to the international climate if the states enforce strict implementation measures on the agreed upon targets.
What is it like being a young, female environmentalist in Kenya?
Youths around the country aren’t offered much opportunities due to the assumption of inexperience. Being a female youth even further narrows down the probability of success. Environmental sustainability is an area that isn’t really appreciated in Africa just yet. With the need of economic prosperity more than ecological sustainability, the society will immediately favour economic ventures and projects more than environmental based ones.
What are your favorite SDGs?
I support all of the SDGs, but I’m more informed on Life on Land, Life below Water, Climate Action, Affordable and Clean Energy, Gender Equality, Responsible consumption and Production….. lol. I should just have said all of them. But those are my top picks.
What does the Mals in your organisation name represent?
Haha, everyone asks that… Well the (.mals) is an abbreviation for animals. So it’s Tree_Sea.mals. The ‘ni’ in animals is represented by the dot. A little word play was insinuated there 🙂
What are your long-term plans for Tree_Sea_Mals?
The major agenda for the organization is to spread environmental awareness across different generations. However, I’m working on a Service sector whose main aim will be to encourage partnerships with free-lancing youths and not necessarily involve paid employees as the norm would be. This, in my opinion, will encourage self-employment within the country and create trusted partnership among individual entities i.e. Instead of hiring an E.I.A agent who’ll represent the organization, Tree_Sea.mals could act as an advertising agent drawing in customers of whom we’ll link to the QUALIFIED, consultant youth party. It is similar to Uber, where every individual uses their own resources, skills and expertise, our job will be to create a platform of discovery. Environmental issues requiring
What environmental issue do you think requires the most attention right now?
OCEANS. A lot of people nowadays are focusing more on land wildlife and forest cover, which are absolutely, very crucial resources. However, No one is paying the water bodies as much attention as need be. You see water can act as a great façade, its appearance doesn’t change with pH nor temperature so a lot of what is taking place underwater is un-noticeable. Truth is, marine life is vastly depleting and coral reefs that support millions in species of life are dying. Overfishing and pollution is the norm. Oceans are much more fragile and complex than we are aware of.
Do you in anyway support Ecofeminism?
I fully believe and support ecofeminism. In fact, women are known to be the ones who manage ecological sustainability, especially in Africa. They determine the source of energy fuel used for cooking within households, they manage the generation of wastes and they are most often than not responsible for the distribution of water within the community. Women are the major stakeholders of the environment. According to most studies, women and youth have the most to gain from the environment in terms of economy and resources.
Your website is fun filled, any reasons for that
I think the website is a representation of who I am, not only as an individual but also as a Kenyan youth consumer. Environmentalists are known for their aggressive activism approach to communicate the issues affecting our planet (which I’m constantly accused of [^_^]. The public however,tends to respond better to a non-aggressive, chill approach. I use motion graphics, emoticons and playful banter to just kind of lighten up the mood on the crucial matters being looked at.
How can people contact you?
Email- [email protected]
Phone no- 0712950183