Women's Activism NYC

Diana Beresford-Kroeger

1977 - Today

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Diana Beresford-Kroeger is an Irish botanist and biochemist who has been advocating for trees and forests for decades. Using centuries-old wisdom about plants and flowers along with modern science, she seeks to save species that can counter climate change and improve people's lives. She was born in England and was orphaned at the age of 12. An Irish uncle of hers took her to live in Cork, Ireland. A great aunt gave her the ancestral wisdom of her lands, where trees are a vital part of the world, and where every plant and flower in the forest has some medicinal use in humans. Diana studied botany and biochemistry at the University of Cork, moved to the United States to further her studies and ended up settling in Canada, where she lives to this day. There she started working as a scientific researcher. It was in the lab, studying the plants she had grown up with, that she realized that popular Irish knowledge had a grip on science if it was put under chemical testing. She left the Academy, and since the eighties she has been writing books and giving lectures, as well as cultivating her own native forest on her property, with species of trees that were already extinct in the area, saving seeds and planting them. Diana delivers rescued seeds to anyone who asks for them, and is an advocate of the importance of the boreal forest, not only to deliver oxygen to the ecosystem, but also for the fertility of its soils and other benefits for humans. Diana promotes a simple bioplan: if every person on earth planted 6 native trees –with species resistant to heat and floods, taking into account the climate challenges of the environment– climate change could be mitigated. She has published several books, and has received several honours, such as honorary doctorates and is part of the Canadian Geographical Society.

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