Vu Thi Quyen, Vietnam

It took Vu Thi Quyen more than two years of lobbying and paperwork to convince Vietnam's government to legalize Education for Nature-Vietnam (ENV), the country's first homegrown environmental group. Bureaucrats had no objection to Quyen's plan to teach public-school students about Vietnam's rare and endangered species. The problem, Quyen says, was that at age 25, she wasn't so long out of school herself. Environmental enthusiasts co-sponsoring the group were even younger, and that didn't go down well in a communist state where seniority counts and youthful feistiness isn't necessarily prized. "It was very difficult because we were very young," says Quyen....

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