British-Bangladeshi ornithologist and activist Dr Mya-Rose Craig earned the nickname ‘Birdgirl’ after the blog she started in January 2014, aged just 12, dedicated to birdwatching, twitching and environmentalism. Since then, she has become the youngest person ever to have seen half of the world’s birds, as well as an environmental activist in her own right, with accolades under her belt fit for the most seasoned birdwatchers.
Passionate about the intersection of racial equality and the environment, in 2015 Craig started a nature camp for inner city teens of colour in her native Bristol. A year later she held her first Race Equality in Nature Conference, investigating the lack of access to nature for POC, as well as the lack of diversity in the UK’s environmental sector. Last year, as the Covid-19 lockdowns highlighted how detrimental a lack of access to nature can be on young people’s mental wellbeing, Craig was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Science from Bristol University for her efforts toward giving POC equal access to nature..
This year, with no sign of slowing down, Craig is set to publish her first book, We Have a Dream – an illustrated book for children and young adults highlighting “30 young BIPOC environmentalists from around the world who are ignored by the media in the global north”. And in 2022 she is hoping to film a documentary as well as publish her memoir, Bidgirl, about birding, mental health and family.
Text Zsofia Paulikovics