Rebecca Tarbotton: Leading Environmentalist Dies in Swimming Accident

The executive director of the Rainforest Action Network passed away at 39 years of age

By Laura Sinpetru on December 29th, 2012 10:43 GMT

This past Wednesday, the executive director of the Rainforest Action Network (RAN) passed away in a swimming accident while vacationing with her family and some of her friends in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

Rebecca Tarbotton was just 39 years old and her death is now mourned by conservationists and environmentalists worldwide. Needless to say, her husband, her brothers and her mother are devastated.

According to Mongabay, a press release made available to the general public by RAN stated that a local coroner reached the conclusion that Becky was asphyxiated by the water she inhaled while swimming.

“Becky was a leader's leader. She could walk into the White House and cause a corporate titan to reevaluate his perspective, and then moments later sit down with leaders from other movements and convince them to follow her lead,” stated Ben Jealous, presently employed as the executive director of the NAACP.

Furthermore, “If we had more heroes like her, America and the world would be a much better place.”

Rebecca Tarbotton became the head of the Rainforest Action Network back in August 2010, after spending just three years working closely with this organization.

Under her leadership, RAN managed to convince Disney to better regulate its use of paper and make sure that no fiber that could be linked to the destruction of tropical rainforests was used when printing children’s books.

As well as this, significant progress was made in terms of campaigning against palm oil and coal mining companies whose working agenda negatively impacts on the environment.

“Our hearts are broken. We lost a powerful, transformative leader this week. The Rainforest Action Network was her home, but the world was her stage, and her future was so incredibly bright,” argued Andre Carothers, the chair of the board of directors at Rainforest Action Network.

“We can do nothing more right now than love her, her family, her husband, and her friends and colleagues. We know how much she meant to so many,” Andre Carothers went on to add.
Leading environmentalist dies at 39
   Leading environmentalist dies at 39
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