Remember the incredible Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Wangari Maathai, who launched the Green Belt Movement in Kenya. Planting a tree, helping to fight climate change and creating shade for the next generations… Waw! This is the cultural, social and ecological heritage that she has created.
An African woman born in 1940 and become the most famous woman on the continent thanks to the work she has been doing since 1976 with the National Council of Women of Kenya. She designed and implemented an ingenious plan to mobilize a massive tree-planting effort in Kenya and lift women out of poverty. This work has evolved into the Green Belt Movement (GBM), designed to stabilize degraded soils, conserve and reforest land and fight poverty. The Green Belt Movement has helped women plant more than 45 million trees on community land in Africa and has benefited more than 900 000 women.
Wangari Maathai received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004. The Norwegian Nobel Prize Committee highlighted Professor Maathai’s contribution to the “Sustainable development, democracy and peace”. Wangari has adopted a holistic approach to sustainable development that encompasses democracy, human rights and the rights of women in particular, as well as ecology. She thinks globally and acts locally. Professor Maathai said:
I think the Nobel Committee sent a message that protecting and restoring the environment contributes to peace. it is a work of peace. . . . I always thought that our job was not just to plant trees. It was about inspiring people to take charge of their environment, the system that governed them, their lives and their futures.Wangari Maathai, Nobel Peace Prize, 2004
Learn more about The Green Belt Mouvement