Green Kids Club continues to be inspired by those individuals that have made the environment and animal conservation a priority. With that in mind, we wanted to highlight some of the people that inspire us in a new Environmental Heroes spotlight.
Our first featured Environmental Hero is Taegen Yardley, the mind behind A World With Elephants.
Taegen is educating the world, through mini-documentaries, about the harsh realities of the earth's decreasing biodiversity and endangered species. Since she first learned of animal trafficking at age 12, she has been an animal advocate, using her voice to bring important issues to light. In recognition of her efforts, she received the 2018 Fostering Partnerships in Conservation Award from Interpol's Wildlife Crimes Working Group, presented to her by the Duke of Cambridge. She also is spreading the refrain, "If not me, then who?" to empower the next generation to find their voice and take action. The remarkable thing about all of this is that Taegen is still in high school!
GKC: What drove you to animal advocacy?
Taegen: I’ve always loved animals, and the altruism and compassion elephants have for others is astounding to me, and are qualities that drew me to them. By volunteering to help endangered species, I am giving future generations the chance to witness these amazing animals on this amazing planet.
GKC: What do you like best about your work?
Taegen: Seeing the impact I am making on others and the ripple effect my voice has. When I inspire someone to want to learn more and dive deeper into an issue they are passionate about, that’s extremely rewarding.
GKC: You went to Thailand last summer to work on a marine conservation project. What can you tell us about your trip?
Taegen: I traveled to a remote village in the south of Thailand where I worked with local fishermen to learn about the threats facing fish populations in and around the area. The main source of income in the village is fishing and many of the locals are realizing that if unsustainable fishing practices continue, there may not be any fish for future generations. I worked with a group of students to plant mangroves that help shelter many of the fish populations. They also constructed fish houses from cement, which increase the diversity of fish by providing a structure where native seagrasses can grow and thrive.
GKC: What advice would you give to aspiring, future environmental heroes?
Taegen: Seeing that my voice had power was an “aha moment” for me, because I realized that young voices can make a difference. A lot of youth today think their voices are too small, but I’ve discovered through my volunteerism that I can get other kids to raise their voices about unique issues they are passionate about.