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Wangari Maathai
04:07pm Friday, Jun 26, 2009 | 1 comments | 4.3/5 rating | Share

Making peace with the environment:

Professor Wangari Maathai (April 1, 1940 – present) is internationally recognized for her persistent struggle for democracy, human rights, and environmental conservation. In 2004, she became the first African woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

In 1976, while serving on Kenya’s National Council of Women, Maathai introduced the idea of community-based tree planting. She continued to develop this idea into a broad-based grassroots organization whose main focus is poverty reduction and environmental conservation through tree planting. With the Green Belt Movement, Maathai has assisted women in planting more than 40 million trees on community lands including farms, schools, and church compounds. Her work has provided jobs and helped counter deforestation.

Maathai currently serves as patron of the United Nations Environment Programme’s Billion Tree Campaign, along with Prince Albert II of Monaco. The movement seeks to plant seven billion trees by the end of 2009. Earlier this year, Maathai spoke before the United Nations and called on the world’s armies and UN peacekeepers to join the campaign. “When we plant trees, we plant the seeds of peace and seeds of hope.”

Learn more:
Wangari Maathai biography at The Green Belt Movement
Wangari Maathai biography at NobelPrize.org

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Professor Wangari Maathai is very inspiring. She combines a keen interest in people and the environment in a way that makes so much sense. I wish many others would follow her example.
05:49pm Friday, Jun 26, 2009

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