#WomenCrushWednesday: Veronica Jakarasi
By Tapiwa Prosper Chimbadzwa
WHO IS VERONICA JAKARASI ?
Veronica Jakarasi is a loving mother and an extraordinary wife, first before she is career woman. She is an amazing mentor to many people around the world on developmental and spiritual issues. She's also an inspiration who has caused realization to many major dreams through her philanthropic personality. In her professional world, she is the Head of Climate Finance at the AECF (formerly, Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund); Climate Diplomat supporting the African Group of Lead Negotiators, Development Finance Expert and Board Chair of the Zimbabwe Forestry Commission. She is also a Pastor, Moderator, Speaker and seasoned Researcher among others
Question: What are your duties at the AECF and Forestry Commission Zimbabwe ?
Answer: At the AECF I help in mobilizing climate finance to support small and growing businesses in the renewable energy and agribusiness sectors with the aim of reducing rural poverty, building climate resilience and creating green jobs. At the Forestry Commission I provide oversight and guidance on the regulation, management and conservation forest resources.
Question: Who is your inspiration and what motivates you to do this job?
Answer: Apart from the late Princess Diana who loved nature and people, My family has always been my primary source of inspiration, and my background has always put me in the forefront of changing the world in every little step I take.
Exciting Moments in her career
Question: What are the most exciting and most challenging experiences of your work.
Answer: the most exciting experience is the opportunity at hand to transform lives, conserve nature and save the planet from the global climate challenge. I am inspired to be part of the innovative solution makers. My superiors and colleagues are extremely understanding, open to ideas for growth. The confidence that they put in me is amazing. They have been a pillar of strength even in challenging times.
Women's challenges in conservation
Question: What are the challenges being faced by women in conservation and what can be done to address them
Answer: As women tend to expand their tentacles in the conservation workplace, they are actually landing themselves directly in the face of challenges, which has caused many to quit in the face of fear. Spending time in the wild taking care of nature is not easy. Exposure to poachers and wildlife can be threatening. Patriarchal, cultural and social norms have also be a challenge. Formal and Informal exclusions in decision making processes are also a limiting factor.
Based on the fact that women bear the brunt of climate change, but they are still the world’s best bet in the fight for a clean, healthy, and sustainable planet.
Invest in women: Investing in women creates a ripple effect that yields multiple benefits, not only for individual women, but also for families, communities, and countries.
Therefore women empowerment can not be undermined
ADVICE TO ASPIRING CONSERVATIONISTS
Things would definitely go wrong at some point in time, and you'd feel like giving up, but as it is always said "whenever the journey gets tough, only the tough get going". Stand on your ground, and face the challenges squarely without having to burn the bridges behind. Remember, you'll always need to stand on the shoulders of giants to see what's incoming. Get a reliable mentor and always nurture your passion for nature. You will never regret it.
What is your favorite animal
An elephant and a peacock. I like the contrast of the humble and the proud.
Photo by Tapiwa Prosper Chimbadzwa
OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUTHS
COP27 and CITES conferences are around the corner. Let’s contribute our voices to amicable outcomes that are favorable to the people of Africa.