Naseem Munshi and Mike Tupper on the importance of living in harmony with nature

Women water plants in a nursery
Naseem Munshi and Mike Tupper

Naseem Munshi, a retired scientist and WWF National Council member, and her husband, Mike Tupper, a retired engineer, are lifelong nature lovers. Naseem attributes her love for nature to a childhood spent camping in Tsavo National Park and playing in tide pools near her home in Kenya. Mike attributes it to a life-changing YMCA canoe and camping experience in the Allagash Wilderness Waterway in Maine. The couple live in Boulder, Colorado, and are devoted to several philanthropic causes, including long-standing support of WWF.

When did your commitment to conservation begin?

Naseem: I grew up in Kenya at a time when the country was developing very quickly. When I was nine, Kenya got its independence from Britain. It was a time of immense change, and the struggle between nature and humanity was ever-present. The idea of how to create balance and ensure the needs of everyone—and every living thing—are met was very much a part of my growing up. The importance of living in harmony with nature has been a focus for me ever since.

Mike: After my experience in Maine as a teen, I chose to spend a lot of time outdoors: backpacking, hiking, and more. That exposure led to familiarity and a deep appreciation for protecting nature for nature’s sake, and for our own.

What motivated you to support the CARE-WWF Alliance Sowing Change Initiative?

Naseem: I really appreciate the work WWF has done in Africa over decades. For example, when the war ended in Namibia in 1990, WWF already had a presence and was able to quickly help people reconnect with nature, with wildlife, and to support them as stewards of their lands. So, when Mike and I were offered an opportunity to contribute to a CARE-WWF Alliance project, which supports women- and community-led solutions to climate change challenges and helps alleviate poverty in Kenya and other parts of eastern and southern Africa, we knew it was the right fit for us.

Are you hopeful for the future of nature?

Mike: In the short term, I appreciate the global effort to conserve 30% of the world’s land and seascapes by 2030. There is so much fantastic work happening to help meet that goal, including all that WWF is doing. WWF has engaged many partners, is incredibly inclusive, and is focused on solving problems and having the greatest impact. In the long term, I believe nature and the Earth will prevail.

Find out more about Sowing Change.

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