When did you first become aware of this thing we now call climate crisis?”…

This is a vast and multi-layered topic. What you are about to read is a personal experience of conserving virgin rainforest, creating new community-owned managed woodland, living a sustainable lifestyle, and inspiring others to recognise a call to action when it bellows – all against the backdrop of what we now call climate injustice and climate emergency. I hope it will stimulate your thinking, that you will be able to extrapolate, and it spurs you to take your personal actions.

Where were you on 22 August 1987? I’m sure many will say “not yet born!” My story begins then.

I was walking with my not-yet-husband (Civil Partnerships hadn’t been invented, and this year we celebrate 52 years together) in our friends’ forest in Suffolk. It was pouring with rain. We were highly aware of the recent news about the wanton destruction of the Amazon Rainforest, disenfranchising, disrupting and dislodging ancient cultures. Both being ardent nature-lovers we suddenly thought – why don’t we go and visit a thriving rainforest while it is still alive?

There and then we made a commitment to do it. We even set our departure date to 22 November 1987, giving us three months to do our research, organise our lives and raise the cash. We were thrilled. And I was terrified.

At that time I was a working actor, Ric a writer.  The following day, Monday 23 August my agent rang me and said “Nigel, the phone has been buzzing for you this morning. I have three auditions for you for three different commercials. One is for Hanuta a German chocolate bar (I had just been playing a German character in a TV series), another one was to open a new shopping centre in Madrid (goodness knows why… out of the blue) and the third for American Express. I dutifully attended the three auditions and in each interview I mentioned my passion for the rainforest. Magically I got all three jobs! Our Rainforest Quest Fund had just been given a boost!

Three months later, on Sunday 23 November I was running an AIDS Mastery workshop for people infected and affected by HIV/AIDS with my dear friend Ray Evans. At the end of the day it was time for us to go to the airport. Ray came to bid us a fond farewell and was rather shocked and surprised when he saw what we had packed for our three month Rainforest Quest journey – one small knapsack each. “My God! Is that all you are taking with you?”

Because we were both active members of WWF we had taken their guidance and chosen to explore the wilds of Borneo. We aimed for East Kalimantan, up the Mahakam River, where we were assured there was splendid virgin rainforest. But in preparation, our first stop was to be Igatpuri, Maharashtra, India to attend a Vipassana ten day silent meditation course, to ensure we were internally ready for this massive adventure. It was also the first learning. Stop, Breathe, Look, Listen – discover equanimity. As it was a relatively new Ashram there was already a tree-planting initiative. All meditators were encouraged to plant trees at the end of each ten day course.  In those days it was not a conscious reaction to climate emergency, which phrase hadn’t yet been invented, but a natural of way of enhancing the peace and tranquillity of the Ashram.

Fortified, we moved on to Australia, arriving in the midst of the Bicentennial celebrations to visit the stunning Daintree Rainforest. This was not our ultimate goal, not nearly remote and pristine enough, but it gave me a flavour of what to expect. So whilst we were making plans we were sitting watching a film in a Sydney cinema, our friend Sally poked me in the ribs, pointed at the screen and said, “Hey Nige, that’s you!” I took my nose out of the popcorn bag, looked up and sure enough there I was in the American Express Ad I had filmed in September. I ran out of the cinema to find a telephone box so I could make an international call to my agent. “John, I’ve just seen the Amex Ad here in Sydney. Did we sign global rights yet?” “No, I’ll get on the case immediately.” A few days later, as we were on our way to Borneo, I received a message. “All done, this will pay for your entire three months adventure. Good Luck!”

Longpahangai., East Kalimantan, INDONESIA, BORNEO 21 January 1988

Dear Friend Ray,

What a pretty pickle Ric and I have found ourselves in! Find a map of Indonesia. Find the largest island- Kalimantan (the major part of Borneo). Look at the southeast and find a town called Samarinda. We are not there. Though that is indeed where we would like to be. But circumstances extraordinary prevent us!

We are marooned – alas, not on a white-sanded, palm-fringed desert island, sipping chilled coconut milk (oh, IF only!) but six days up the muddy, menacing Mahakam river, home of the Dayak tribes. Marooned in a creaky-floor-boarded, hard-bedded Catholic Mission at Longpahangai, a remote outpost close to the Sarawak border. If you ever get this letter, save it, I may need it to remind me, someday, of this predicament. I’ll write again – hopefully from Samarinda. Your friend, Nigel

Our Rainforest Quest, first stop Borneo, had become a disaster. There we were, marooned. We had been deliberately mis-guided by three youths who took us in circles. Later we were held up at gunpoint by Indonesian loggers. They were trying to hide the illegal logging that had become a pandemic in Dayak territory. We were even presented with the severed head of a Toucan as a stark warning to stop meddling! Ultimately I became seriously ill and fortunately was rescued by an angelic Aid Post orderly, who literally saved my life. Dejected, despondent and depressed, we returned to Australia, where I was hospitalised.

After seeing I was in good care, Ric decided to strike off on his own. Having failed to find the pristine virgin rainforest we were promised in Borneo, we were advised by one of our friends to go to Papua New Guinea. My immediate response was “where is that?”

Ric negotiated a 42 day visitor’s visa and set off on his own, determined to realise his dream, to find and walk in primary rainforest in Papua New Guinea. After my recovery I continued delivering AIDS Mastery courses in Sydney and Melbourne. We were out of contact with each other, so I hoped and trusted he would not be hijacked again.

He wasn’t. When he came back safely he told me that on the plane from Sydney to Port Moresby he got chatting to one of the Cabin Crew on Air Niugini. Mark Tavakuin came from a remote village in the East Sepik district, which was full of rich, traditional, primary forest he told Ric. The tribespeople living there still had full ownership of their individual lands and all land rights. And good as his word he arranged through the wantok (one language) system to help Ric on his way, being passed from brother to brother. Unfortunately, with several mishaps and miscommunications later Ric ended up being transported through a village in the back of an open caged Police Wagon! Eventually he found himself standing on the bank of the Sepik river in the unexplored Hunstein Range. He was told about the real untouched forest up ahead. “How long will it take for me to get there?” he asked. “At least three days paddling by dugout canoe, then at least three days back.” BUT Ric’s visa had run out and he needed to get back to the District Capital, Wewak the next day in order to be on his return flight to Sydney. Mark, the Air Niugini steward, had warned him that there would be strict penalties if he broke his visa conditions. Reluctantly he jumped back in the Police Wagon which transported him back to Wewak. He told me he had been on the edge of realising his dream. But frustrated had to turn around. We resolved to return to the UK, earn more money and at the first opportunity we would both re-trace his footsteps (preferably not in a Police Wagon) to penetrate the vast forest where he knew we would find the BIG TREES!

On November 22, 1989, having worked hard and saved even harder, we were back on our Garuda Indonesia flight to Singapore, en route to Sydney. Our aim was to deliver some revenue-raising theatre and writing workshops to finance our next month in Papua New Guinea.

In Sydney I was given the name of the Director of the National Theatre of Papua New Guinea. I wrote a letter, introducing Ric and I as theatre practitioners wanting to exchange ideas and learn. I enclosed my temporary telephone number. One evening it rang. “Can I speak with Nigel Hughes please” “Yes, I am Nigel, who is that?” “This is William Takaku, Director of PNG National Theatre.” I was so excited I almost dropped the phone. “Nigel, we would be delighted and honoured for you and Richard to come and present some of your theatre and writing workshops here. When can you come? I will meet you at Port Moresby airport.” “How will I recognise you?” I asked. “I will be the blackest man with the longest dreadlocks. I am in mourning for my people on Bougainville. You won’t miss me.”

We had been warned that Port Moresby was the most dangerous place to visit, so we were delighted and relieved that William greeted us with open arms and the widest grin. “It’s OK you are safe with me; I am your wantok. We will drive to my home where you will meet my wife Puele and our two kids Ani and Leka. We will take good care of you.” We felt the strong bonds of Global Kinship form there and then. And somehow in our early conversations it transpired that we shared Vipassana, our Buddhist meditation practice. So once we had arrived and settled in we sat in silence for our first evening meditation together.

Then it was time to get cracking and solidify our working partnership. William explained that his vision for the National Theatre of Papua New Guinea was to engage performers from as many of the 22 Provinces as possible. He was bringing those people together to engage in “The Mastery of Creativity” one of the workshops I had offered him. Ric would conduct “Daring to Write.” We had a plan and our creative partnership had begun. Then, he shared this story of environmental catastrophe:

Climate injustice led to Bougainville ten year war.

His own Bougainvillian people had experienced conflict and climate injustice for the last ten years. The Panguna mine is a large copper mine located in Bougainville, in the east of Papua New Guinea. Panguna represents one of the largest copper reserves in Papua New Guinea and in the world, having an estimated reserve of one billion tonnes of ore copper and twelve million ounces of gold. The discovery of these vast copper ore deposits led to the establishment of the copper mine in 1969 by Bougainville Copper Ltd (BCL), a subsidiary of the Australian company Conzinc Rio Tinto of Australia. The mine began production in 1972, with the support of the Papua New Guinea National Government as a 20% shareholder. In contrast to this, the Bougainvilleans received 0.5–1.25% share of the total profit. The site was at the time the world’s largest open-pit copper/gold mine, generating 12% of PNG’s GDP and over 45% of the nation’s export revenue.

The mine caused devastating environmental issues on the island, and the company was responsible for poisoning the entire length of the Jaba River, causing birth defects, as well as the extinction of the Flying Fox on the island. Bougainville Copper had set up a system of racial segregation on the island, with one set of facilities for white workers and one set for locals. This led to an uprising by the local landowners, especially the women who witnessed the detrimental health impacts on their children – their eyes and skin were suffering. In 1988, Francis Ona, a Panguna landowner created the Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA) and took charge of this critical situation, stole some dynamite and blew up the central generator of the mine. A ten-year conflict resulted causing over 20,000 deaths, as well as the eventual closure of the mine on 15 May 1989, and the complete withdrawal of BCL personnel by 24 March 1990. It has remained closed to this day. Bougainville is still seeking secession from PNG led by one of our close friends whom you will meet later.

William is the Chief of the Flying Fox clan in his village, so he was spiritually bereft when it disappeared. And the Panguna Copper mine had destroyed millions of hectares of their pristine rainforest. It became clear that this was a perfect example of a manmade climate and social crisis. Our partnership suddenly had a critical purpose, to create theatre that would highlight Bougainville’s catastrophe to the world. Some years later a film “The Coconut Revolution” was made, which told the story of how, due to sanctions imposed by Papua New Guinea, the Bougainvilleans had to become totally self-reliant. They reverted to their traditional hunter-gatherer ways. They found a way to process coconut oil which they used as fuel to propel the abandoned mine vehicles. Little by little the Jaba river became clean, their health improved and finally after 8 years the Flying Fox reappeared.

But first we concreted our plans to travel up the Sepik River – “where the big trees are” – to experience thriving, intact virgin rainforest for ourselves.

The wantok system worked. We were passed from brother to brother, confident that we would realise our dream. To give you the sense of our direct experience and how it seeded our personal actions and commitment to environmental sustainability, here are two extracts from our book Trees of Paradise, first published in 1992 and re-published as an eBook in 2020.

From Nigel’s journal. Wagu. Sunday 31 December 1989.

Here I am, sitting at the edge of Wagu crocodile lake on the eve of our bikpela wokabaut into the forest. It’s dark and late. We waited so long in Ambunti for Lucas. Ric got a splitting headache and had to lie down all afternoon, eventually resorting to taking some Aspirin. I poodled off to the far end of the village. I walked by the river, past the timber mill, and sat and talked with a round-bellied friendly Ambunti man who works for Air Niugini as an engineer in Port Moresby; he’s here on leave. We spoke half English, half Pidgin. He told me how much he likes his own village and how he dislikes the crowded, dirty Moresby. But he has to earn a living. He wants to go to England one day. He was extremely interested to hear about our journey upriver, people usually go downriver from here: ‘It is plenti hard, planti natnat plenti pik (pig) plenti, plenti snek (leeches)’. I’m not sure if he thought I was brave or stupid. Tonight, we gave our first performance in Pidgin for Emanuel’s ninth birthday. Maria, his Mother, cooked all day, preparing. She killed and plucked a big white duck, a cassowary and a wild pig – making a feast for about sixty people.

We made up our impromptu play this afternoon. It was about an old man who couldn’t manage to carry his cargo. A young boy (me) passes by. He is crying because his parents have no food left. He helps to carry the old man’s cargo. The old man (Rick) then turns into the Spirit of the Forest: the cargo is magically transformed into a big bag of food for the boy’s family. When I cried, the audience absolutely shrieked with laughter. When Rick turned into the Spirit waving a palm frond, they squealed with terror. And when the boy got his reward, they applauded with delight. Under the swaying sago palms we had a hit! I think they have never seen white men being such idiots before. – In fact many of them had never seen people like us before.  Later, Ringo and Keith took it in turns to play the boy and the Spirit, whooping and crying alternately.

After Emanuel’s party, we had a lengthy discussion about our seven-day expedition. Waga our self-appointed patrol leader, insisted that we take three guides: himself, Habe and a man called Tom. With some gentle confirmation from Lucas, we agreed. It means that we won’t have to carry anything: I’ll probably have enough to cope with anyway. The area in which we are going to walk is called the Hunstein Range. We have to cross Mount Samsai, one of two high mountains and the home of the King of the Wallabies. I’m glad we’re not going over the other one, Pyramid Mountain, where, it is said, lives a monster with one thousand legs! I wonder how I’ll fare.

It just turned midnight. The New Year 1990. A great clinking and crashing of pots, drums and cans went on for about ten minutes, and Lucas lit a flaming torch and circled the house, to chase away the bad spirits. Now a singsing (traditional celebration) has begun up in the village, I can hear drums beating and a strange mixed sound of singing/wailing. Even though it’s late and we have to get up at dawn to begin our tripela de bikpela wokabaut. (three-day trek) how can we miss it?


Wagu. Sunday 7 January 1990


YOU DID it Nod! You have reached a remote, dense virgin rainforest in Papua New Guinea – and survived to tell the tale. I think you can now call yourself a ‘traveler’. No more safe tourist holidays sprawled out on a white sand beach under a plastic umbrella sipping chilled, freshly squeezed orange juice – well, just occasionally perhaps. It was eventful. I collapsed with exhaustion by a stunning waterfall, got stuck in a swamp, my foot swelled up to twice its size. I felt more like a liability to Rick than a companion. Waga, Habe and Tom must have thought me a real weed at times, but they didn’t show it. I hope I thanked them enough for their attentive patience. I hope the kina that we agreed to pay them will reward them for their strength. Waga, with his incredible hunting skills. Habe, who was so delighted to be with his wantoks in Gahom, flitting from house to house telling them the story of our bikpela wokabaut- how they all must have laughed when told of the antics of tupela (the two fellows). And Tom, constantly on the lookout for us, helping us in Gahom when no one else could. Thank you, all three.


So, this changes things a bit. I wanted a new perspective; now I certainly have one. No longer going along for the ride: having experienced the forest and its people, I have my own conviction to spur me to do something. As fate would have it, I have already begun. Tonight, as we walked through Wagu, we came across Joseph sitting on the steps of his house; he is one of the elders that Ricky met last year. He invited us into his big house. In the corner next to the smoking fire sat his blind father. Lucas translated patiently. Solomon ‘number one’, Petrus and about ten other villagers piled in too. We began by repeating the same warning that Rick had given them last year: about the danger of big companies coming in to log; about the necessity for an environmental plan and a replanting scheme; about the risk of the big logging companies tricking them with false promises, as has happened all over the world. I stood back and listened to us all and realized that here I was talking to the people that it mattered to most. I looked around at the faces and the house and caught a sense of excitement and urgency in my heart.


They told us of a man called Harry Sakaris from the College of Forestry in Lae. He had led a team that conducted an ecological survey in the Hunstein Range: Petrus had been one of the cargo carriers. Even though Harry had not crossed Mount Samsai, he had given the same warning to the Wagu people. They had heard a story about a meeting coming in March to decide which company would start logging. They asked us to find out more about this in Wewak and let them know. We told them of our connections with Friends of the Earth in England. The Rainforest Campaigner, Simon Counsell, would be happy to offer some advice and guidance if they wrote to him. We impressed upon them that FOE only act if asked directly by local people.


Later at Lucas’s house, the Aid Post Orderly who had some English language skills, when he had written a letter, Solomon and Joseph came to sign. It was just getting dark, and Lucas had lit the kerosene lamp which was hissing wildly; we were all sitting cross-legged on the floor. Lucas signed it. He then invited Solomon and Joseph to do the same. Solomon leaned over and put his hand flat on the top of the pen while Lucas wrote his name, thereby effectively signing it. Joseph in his turn did exactly the same. These people are illiterate: how on earth are they going to cope when it comes to reading and signing contracts with the ruthless logging companies? My heart rose into my mouth with the thought of their utter vulnerability. The precious letter is now safely tucked away for posting in Wewak tomorrow. My resolve to help these people to protect their forest in any way I can deepened at that moment. These are quiet, patient men who trust us. I cannot let them down. They have no clear notion of what their fate may be. No one could shed any light on the mysterious Billimer company that Lucas had written to us about. It looks like we are going to be kept pretty busy in Wewak. How will we fit all this into our tight workshop schedule? Good old Trust and Patience will have to come to the rescue.



“What is the forest like in your place?”

Yasio, Wagu village elder posed the question: “What is the forest like in your place?” Ashamed of our answer “We lost our forest many years ago.” We were in deep contemplation – what could we personally do?, we asked ourselves this question as we travelled back to Port Moresby. Hooking up with William again, we regaled him with our forest adventures. He introduced us to one of his Bougainvillian brothers (also a Vipassana Meditator) Simon Pentanu, who just happened to be the Clerk of the PNG Parliament. We all joined forces and I conducted “The Mastery of Creativity” workshop again, this time in the Parliament House with a number of MPs, staff and Forestry Department representatives. Most were only one generation away from being forest dwellers themselves. They, like us, were keen to help in combating the “April Salumei Logging Project”.

We garnered our experiences and honoured the request from our wantoks in the Hunstein Range to help them. We promised to return next year, respecting that PNG is a culture of storytelling – what better way to disseminate the danger of indiscriminate industrial logging than through the medium of theatre?


Our response

Back in the UK we used our combined skill sets and inaugurated Green Light Productions to perform theatre with an environmental message. Helping people realise that we are all one planet, we all have the perfect right to breathe clean air, to live in harmony with nature, whether we are rainforest or urban dwellers. It went down a storm. At the New End Theatre Hampstead our productions broke box office records and set us up for the future. We partnered with WWF, Greenpeace and Save the Children engaging them all in our campaign to raise the critical issues of shared resources, sharing cultures through our Global Kinship ideology.

As promised we re-visited, but this time with “Pikinini Forest” (Forest for Our Children). It was a traditional piece of theatre that we created together with the Raun Isi Theatre Company, Wewak.  Along with William, who was also realising his own dream of a truly national theatre company, we toured for three weeks by dugout canoe to the villages, performing to the people that were to be directly affected by the pending rainforest destruction. The theme song goes like this:

“Whooa Whooa. Katim wanpela, Planim tupela. Katim wanpela, larim sampla.

Planim bus bilong ol Pikinini. Bai ol I can katim bihain”

Whooa Whooa. If you cut one, you must plant two.

If you cut one, you must leave some

Planting trees for all the little children. So they can cut some trees again.

This gave a traditional message of cutting some trees on a rotational, sustainable basis. After each performance we had a “toktok” led by our new team Project Coordinator, Denis Waliawi. We had set up an in-country NGO “Friends of the Sepik” to raise awareness of the issues and engage community action. We all sat down – villagers, performers, pigs and cassowaries (!) who talked, shouted, screamed and laughed through what each village could do. Kiawi, the elder of Gahom, the most remote village, having seen the play said, “My heart cries with tears of blood when I think of our forest being cut down.”

We were invited to take the production on a national tour, to perform in the District capital (Ambunti), Provincial Capital, (Wewak) and finally in Port Moresby at the National Parliament. All audiences comprised of grass roots people, elders, local government, forestry department and finally national government representatives. The united call was to prevent the industrial logging operation from starting.  Due to our initiative, the 2,000 square miles of threatened virgin forest of the Hunstein Range, East Sepik, Papua New Guinea, to this day, is still standing. And that was only the beginning of our 30 + years of climate emergency response. The next phase began with this killer question.

“Well if you have lost your forest many years ago, why don’t you go home and do something about that?”

We responded, “Yes we will – and why don’t you come with us?”

We published our book Trees of Paradise in 1992 and, encouraged by our publishers, decided to do a UK national publicity tour, accompanied by two of the Raun Isi actors from Papua New Guinea. This gave the unique opportunity to our audiences in hearing from four authentic voices, the most important, Lucas and Hendrik. After one matinee performance in Taunton, a teacher, transfixed by the environmental, ethical and spiritual themes, invited us all to visit her school. She said it was a perfect story of hope to combat the bad social injustice messages and would fit perfectly into her PHSE agenda. The following day we gave birth to “Bringing the Rainforest Into Your School” (BRS). Lucas and Hendrik helped us create an experiential workshop that we adapted once they had returned to PNG. Over the next ten years BRS toured schools, colleges and conferences helping to embed the key message of rainforest destruction that has enormous environmental, social and governance impacts. AND after each performance the audience were invited to write a letter to the Premier of East Sepik Province. We knew later he had received over 1,000 letters.

The morning walk.

We said farewell to our excellent rainforest brothers, realised it was time to focus on our local issues. On a morning walk at home in Suffolk I had a flash of insight/vision/passion. I ran home quickly, sat Ric down and said, “Let’s create our own forest starting here in Suffolk.” On November 22, 1992, a group of villagers, including farmers and landowners met in our sitting room. I gave them my vision that to complement the work of conserving 2,000 square miles of virgin rainforest in Papua New Guinea, we could create 200 acres of new woodland here in the UK. Some were enthusiastic, some were resistant and after much discussion one person said, “You’ll never get a landowner to sell you any land here, it’s too important for growing crops.” Then a very quiet voice came from the corner of the room. “Well I’ve got a rubbish bit of land that I can’t grow anything on, you could have that. And in fact I will give you my half. I’ll speak to my brother about his half.” Within a month we had secured the first piece of land. Forest for Our Children was born.

Strong global partnership.

On 6 June 1993 William Takaku, at his own expense, travelled from Port Moresby to Lawshall to plant the inaugural tree in Lawshall Primary School. He gave it a traditional blessing. Then, as a surprise the children sang in perfect Melanesian Pidgin “Wahoo Wahoo – Katim wanpela”. And from that moment we had begun. Subsequently every year, every child attending the school is engaged in our seven step “Seed to Tree” programme. From collecting acorns, planting them in the tree nursery, to nurturing the seedlings, learning about why trees are essential, to finally planting their own home-grown saplings in “the big wood” before they leave and progress to the Upper School. This has become continuous sustainable forestry to combat what we now refer to as the climate emergency.

On November 22, 1993 (have you clocked the significance of this date?) 32 hearty volunteers came to plant the first 2.5 acres, about 400 trees. It was so cold that we completed planting in 3 hours. The principle was to create new sustainably managed woodland by and for the community. We had gained three partners in the planning process, Forestry Commission, Babergh District Council, and FWAG – Farming & Wildlife Advisory Group. They were the experts who advised on correct species, spacing and design. We ensured there was Public Access for all. In 1994, 1997 and 2000 we purchased more land for our growing project. Every year – around the 22 November – we had a community event where over 100 residents came to plant and mulch. Each day ended in the “Katim Wanpela” song, and we gorged ourselves on a well-prepared feast in the village hall.

Our Global Kinship with our rainforest brothers and sisters flourished. William Takaku’s inaugural tree planting was followed by visits from members of the original Raun Isi Theatre company to Lawshall. Simon Pentanu, whom I introduced earlier – William’s cousin brother and fellow Vipassana meditator, by 1997 had become the Chief Ombudsman of Papua New Guinea. He inaugurated the new piece of land which we named “Golden Wood”. Then 3 years later, Kaku Yafei who was 14 when we first visited the Hunstein Range whose father just died, became the main landowner of the threatened forest. To celebrate 2000, he came to Lawshall and planted “The Millennium Yew”.

Lawshall’s Community Woodland project ultimately spawned 62 other communities to take action, all following our model of grass roots ownership and community engagement. We even inspired businesses in for example – Newmarket, Oxford, Sheffield to think and act “Green”. Each added a community woodland, planted by their employees and open to the general public in or near their premises. We have extended our global reach to encompass places like Poland, Ghana, India who have also picked up the challenge, in communities, schools, colleges and businesses.

As Green Light Trust – we had by now registered it as an environmental education charity, grew in influence and workers we had to move out of our “Shoffice” at the back of our 450 year old cottage. We found the perfect location – a dilapidated 1840’s Traction Engine Shed. In one year we transformed it using “deep green principles”, creating a fully functioning carbon neutral environmental education centre which in 2006 won the RIBA East Sustainability and Innovation award. This caught business community attention. Our local building merchants were hooked suddenly on our strict policies that they integrated sustainable principles into their business. We inspired and trained volunteers in B&Q to be “Environmental Champions” in their stores.  In 2010 we celebrated another milestone of Global Kinship and community engagement. Five Hunstein Range landowners, including the first two women to ever come to Europe, worked with our Lawshall volunteers to build the “Hauswin” – a replica of a traditional PNG building where the people would go to cool off in the heat of the day and tell their stories. We had a cross-cultural celebration where the PNG visitors dressed in their fabulous traditional costumes and painted faces, performed singsing (song and dance), and The Green Dragons reciprocated with a fabulous display of Morris Dancing!

We are all more aware now of the massive impact climate change has on humanity, equity and injustice and we see how people are disconnected from nature by virtual worlds. I feel our dedication to highlighting the positive acts we can do to make a practical re-connection will make some difference.

What direct action might you take to combat climate change and climate injustice?

Nigel Hughes is an expert in leadership, creativity, and high performing teams. A multi-award-winning Founder and CEO of three organisations Nigel knows leadership from the inside. Empowering people worldwide with his global perspective, he is an inspirational speaker, leadership coach and mentor. ‘His sessions for senior people in corporations are both riveting and transformational.’ – Enderson Guimaraes, PepsiCo Europe.

In January 2019 he created Outstanding.Global Ltd to help people become outstanding custodians of themselves, their businesses, and our planet.

Contact: nigel@outstanding.global T: +447711546131

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