Out this week: The Environment, February 2022

Guest editor letter:

When it comes to talking about ethnicity, I, like no doubt many others, have plenty of questions, and fewer answers. One that I often contemplate is: what one term can sum up my east-African origins while acknowledging my British nationality? I’ve yet to come to a conclusive answer and have come to realise that there will never be a one-size-fits-all approach or term that truly reflects each individual’s heritage and unique life story. And that’s a good thing.

But conversations have to start somewhere, and in this issue that somewhere is from hearing from the members of Global-Majority community from all corners of the water and environmental (WEM) sector.

One area of consensus that has been reached is that the breadth of ethnic diversity in WEM needs to be showcased, not just in takeover issues such as these, but regularly.

The Environment Agency’s Derek Bell sums this up well on our final opinion page, while Gaverne Bennett’s timeline of Global-Majority heroes of land, water and planet charts the journey so far and the many inspiring stories within it.

In between we also hear from climate adaptation and mitigation changemakers at every level, from Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees to Tesco’s campaign’s director Kené Umeasiegbu as well as academics leading cutting-edge research into everything from using algae to improve soil health to continuing inequalities in access to sustainable diets.

2022 has only just begun, and many organisations in the WEM sector and beyond, including CIWEM, will continue to develop and enhance diversity and inclusion initiatives, working to ensure that Global-Majority staff, members and the communities they interact with can tell the continuing story of the sector, their way.

It’s thanks to diversity of thought, influence, lived experience and more that this issue has been made possible.

And in the words of Google CEO Sundar Pichai “a diverse mix of voices leads to better discussions, decisions, and outcomes for everyone”.

Miriam Habtesellasie is CIWEM's digital-content editor

Share this article

Become a member

Whether you are studying, actively looking to progress your career, or already extensively experienced, our membership will add value and recognition to your achievements. We can actively help you progress throughout your career.

Become a member

View our events

We organise a wide portfolio of UK and international thought leading events, providing an industry recognised forum for debate, CPD and sector networking. These events also support our policy work and inform key initiatives.

View our events