Monday, July 19, 2004

The Tree Ambassador


Wangari Maathai is a name well-established in the world of environmental advocacy. She started in Kenya in 1977 when she began planting tree seedlings one by one, a trend that caught on en masse to form what would become the internationally recognized Green Belt Movement (GBM), which has earned, and still earns, her many awards, including the Goldman Environmental Prize and entry into UNEP’s Global 500 Hall of Fame.

Despite facing intense clashes with the government throughout the years, including being jailed for her work and her outspoken voice for the environment, democracy, and the rights of women and the poor, the GBM has struggled and survived. In 1986 it was expanded to the Pan African Green Belt Network, and to date has seen more than 30 million trees planted—on farms, schools, forests and other public lands, bringing life to often desertified areas. The concept was first introduced during Wangari’s involvement with the National Council of Women of Kenya, who adopted and supported her efforts to develop a grassroots organization focused on mobilizing women to conserve the environment and improve their quality of life. <more>

thanks angel


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