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Together we can make a difference at #EarthOptimism

The TBA is a major player in #EarthOptimism – an event to mark Earth Day 2017 – designed to empower the public into feeling positive about the future of the planet.

#EarthOptimism Cambridge is part of a global initiative, to be held on Saturday 22nd April, to counter the pessimism that so often surrounds news about our natural world.  The TBA is one of the partners organising this big public outreach event, together with the Cambridge Conservation Initiative and the University of Cambridge.

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Drawing on good news from around the globe, three TBA alumni will share their ‘Stories of Hope’ alongside other inspiring conservationists such as Jane Goodall and Sir David Attenborough. Rio Heriniaina will explain why he is optimistic about making Madagascar a green island again; Mbunya Francis Nkemnyi is working with communities, government and NGOs to build a brighter future for gorillas in Cameroon, and David Amaning Kwarteng will describe how he and a group of passionate conservationists in Ghana saved the country’s slippery frog from extinction.

There is also a strong local focus to the day, and TBA is applying its capacity building skills to show people how they really can make a difference in the #EarthOptimism Solutions Fair.

The Solutions Fair is central to #EarthOptimism’s aim to inspire people to take positive action. Tailored for Cambridge residents, over 50 local, national and international organisations will showcase a variety of practical ways that people can make a lighter footprint on the planet.

“A lot of people simply don’t know what impact they are having, or what they can do to help the environment,” says Cheryl-Samantha McSharry, TBA’s Programme Manager, and Project Coordinator for #EarthOptimism.  “Yet in life, everyone can make relatively straightforward and simple decisions that will help.”

Visitors will leave the Solutions Fair empowered with the knowledge of the steps we can all take to make a difference to the world. The Fair is divided into four themes, each of which addresses an aspect of daily life.  Read more.

“While our focus is influencing the public, #EarthOptimism has given an injection of enthusiasm for local organisations to explain what they do,” says Cheryl-Samantha. “Some conservation organisations around Cambridge have become a little jaded because they think their voices are not being heard. The Solutions Fair is giving them a boost and a platform. Everyone feels it’s good to talk about positive stories.”

#EarthOptimism reflects TBA values, and TBA commitment to the event includes the active participation of Director, Rosie Trevelyan, a member of the six-person CCI organising team from the outset.

While TBA training is all about building the capacity of conservation scientists working on the ground in tropical countries, #EarthOptimism aims to inspire the public and give them practical ideas for living more sustainably.

As Cheryl-Samantha says: “#EarthOptimism is bigger than the day itself, and we want people to carry on after the event and to believe that they can make a difference.”

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Photos: Cheryl-Samantha McSharry