Madison Vorva will speak at the UN about her campaign to protect forests

Pomona first-year student Madison Vorva is one of the invited speakers at the United Nations' celebration of International Forests Day on Friday, March 21.

The special event will feature a panel discussion highlighting inspiring women who are making a difference for forests and sustainable development, as the 2014 International Day of Forests coincides with the 58th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women.

Vorva, along with her project partner Rhiannon Tomtishen, were honored among the U.N.'s first group of Forest Heroes in 2011, for their work to an end harmful palm oil farming practices that destroy forests and crucial orangutan habitats. They began their crusade as an 11-year-old Girl Scouts in Plymouth, Mich., and just last month, they celebrated a key victory when Kellogg, the world's leading cereal company and the second largest producer of cookies, agreed to use "fully traceable palm oil, produced in a manner that's environmentally responsible, socially beneficial and economically viable."

At Pomona, where sustainability is a central part of the curriculum and campus life, Vorva is stepping up her efforts and gaining insights to carry on her crusade on a global level. She has continued her campaign from campus, networking with environmentalists and activist leaders and spreading the word, from interviews to recently skyping with a second grade class in Singapore.

The U.N. program will include thought leaders, Forest Heroes and filmmakers from around the world in celebration of the role of women as agents of change for forests and sustainable development.

The event runs panel runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will be webcast live.

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