As a child Emery found the trilogy of books called Born Free by naturalist, artist and author Joy Adamson in her grandmother’s bookshelf. The accounts of a woman who walked with lions instilled a life long ambition of caring for animals and their natural habitat.
At the age 18, following a period of having lived and travelled between more than 15 countries, Emery moved to a small island in South East Sulawesi. A few years prior her father and friends had come across a small, uninhabited island, its surrounding waters at the time heavily overfished. Realizing the reef’s potential, they founded an eco dive resort and marine reserve, protecting what today is one of the world’s most beautiful coral reefs. Through extensive conservation efforts over two decades Wakatobi has been able to enhance its marine biodiversity for the long term benefit of the island and its surrounding communities.
For almost a decade Emery has been working closely with animal welfare and environmental groups including the RSPCA as well as Trees for Cities, while also regularly rasing funds for charitable causes.
Her most recent book Yuka & The Forest (printed on 100% recycled paper with 30% of profits donated to the World Wide Fund For Nature), raised awareness of the continuous demise of our woodlands, while reminding us that cultures which are deeply embedded in nature like that of Japan, have been able to preserve much of their natural habitat by having fostered an interconnected value system.
Emery actively campaigns against the use of fur or exotic skins within fashion and does not collaborate on projects where fur or exoctic skins are present.
“To live on this primarily nonhuman planet, we must change how we think of nonhumans. The salvation of humanity—for it’s us, not the world, who need to be saved—and our continued lease on this planet depend on our development of tree consciousness. We are here by the grace of trees and forests. They make our atmosphere, clean our water, and sustain the cycles of life that permit us. Just begin to see them. See them up close and personal. See them from far away across great distances. Notice all the million complex beautiful behaviors and forms that have always slipped right past you. Simply see, and the rest will begin to follow. Every other act of preservation depends on that first step.”
– Richard Powers