As a child Emery came across the volumes of naturalist, artist and author Joy Adamson, who emigrated to Kenya in her 20s, in her grandmother’s bookshelf. The accounts of a woman who would go on to dedicate herself to wildlife preservation while documenting her experiences in paintings and writing, inspired Emery to embark on a similar journey: Those books, together with the stories of Jane Goodall and a few other female artists and environmentalists informed my life and passions more than anything else.
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 and does not collaborate on projects where these are present: Kinder Solutions.pdf
Since we humans have the better brain, isn’t it our responsibility to protect our fellow creatures from, oddly enough, ourselves? Wildlife is something which man cannot construct. Once it is gone, it is gone forever. Man can rebuild a pyramid, but he can’t rebuild ecology, or a giraffe.
– Joy Adamson
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. Simply see, and the rest will begin to follow. Every other act of preservation depends on that first step.
– Richard Powers