Between India and Bangladesh, the Sundarbans mangrove forest (which sits on one of the largest deltas in the world) is urgently affected by climate change, as rising sea levels and eroding embankments threaten nearly 4.5 million lives. This is why over 15,000 women from the surrounding villages have begun planting hundreds of thousands more mangrove trees in the open waters in order to create a protective barrier. The mangroves mitigate climate change, capture carbon and also reduce the height and speed of waves to lessen storms. Planting them is no easy feat, however; the women must wade through snakes, thorns and biting snails—along with rebuffing popular beliefs in the area that women belong at home. With no government backing and while many men move to the city for work, it is often the women who are leading the fight against climate change. Since growing their mission, these women have not only saved villages but also proven their fortitude. Learn more about these courageous activists on the frontlines at The New York Times.
Image courtesy of Saumya Khandelwal/The New York Times