Happy Birthday to Malaika Vaz, The Explorer and Environmentalist

Malaika Vaz is a National Geographic Explorer, TV presenter and wildlife filmmaker from Goa, India. Let us wish her a very happy birthday.

Malaika Vaz was born on 13 April 1997 in Goa. Malaika was educated at Sharada Mandir School in Goa and then represented India, along with students from 92 other countries, at UWC Mahindra College, one of the 18 United World Colleges spread out across the world.

As a competitive windsurfer, sailor, and Professional Association of Diving Instructors Divemaster, she has developed a strong connection to the ocean and has witnessed the effects of unsustainable tourism on the Marine ecosystem. This inspired her to campaign for ecological protection and work towards conserving India’s natural resources through initiatives such as the Leave No Trace campaign, that reduced plastic waste drastically. She is also an environmental activist who cares for India’s big cats, some of which are endangered.

Through her non-profit organization Kriyā (meaning “deed” or “action” in Sanskrit), Malaika works to empower women, victims of sexual violence and disadvantaged teenage girls through adventure sports and outdoor education.

In 2018, she presented the TV series On the Brink for Discovery Channel and Animal Planet, which follows her journey exploring the many endangered species across India together with the stories of researchers and scientists involved in protecting them. She is currently working on an investigative documentary on the illegal trafficking of Manta Rays across Southeast Asia. As a National Geographic Explorer Malaika produced and presented a 3-part series on human-wildlife coexistence titled Living with Predators that focuses on how local communities live alongside India’s big cats.

-Staff Reporter

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