Green zone event: earth observers: from space frontiers to frontline farmers | #COP26 Monday, November 1, 2021

Event organiser: ActionAid International

Women leaders from the worlds of science, space exploration, activism and the arts discuss how they’ve witnessed climate change from unique vantage points, and what they’ve learned about solutions, collaboration, and ambition.


HOST: Teresa Anderson, ActionAid International

Teresa introduces the panel and mentions that there is less accessibility to attending COP26 in person due to worldwide COVID19 vaccine availability for women. COP26 decisions are made behind closed doors, largely dominated by white males.

Nicole Stott, Veteran-NASA Astronaut

Three vital life lessons:

  • We live on a planet.
  • We are all earthlings.
  • Our protection is our atmosphere – the thin blue line.

Nicola has worked on the International Space Station (ISS). The ISS motto is ‘Off the Earth, for the Earth, and Beyond. Together for our planet.’ To survive on the ISS it is important to pay attention to the air supply, the water supply, and the vessel. Living like a crew – how we should live on spaceship Earth. All visitors to ISS are overwhelmed by the awe-inspiring beauty of planet Earth and return to Earth with a mission to protect it. Nicola suggested it would perhaps be an idea to put all the world leaders on ISS to reach a planet protection agreement.

View of Earth from the surface of the moon.

Anastasia Pilan, Kenyan Drylands Farmer

Anastasia is living and dealing with a host of challenges due to the climate change impacts of worsening drought and floods. Rainfall patterns have changed, leading to drought. Deforestation has increased flooding impacts with soil and crops washed away. Adapted sustainable farming practices through agro-ecology, such as learning to harvest rainwater, have improved crop yields. With support from ActionAid, communities of women coming together have had their voices heard by the government, have become more financially independent from men and are better able to support girls to join and stay in education.

Teresa states the importance of adaptation finances pledged across the river (in the UN Blue diplomatic Zone) going directly to communities such as the Kenyan dryland farmers.


For more discussion from this and other live and recorded events from the Green Zone visit COP26 YouTube channel

Written by Helen Hooker, COPCAS 2021 PhD Student

University of Reading


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