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In memoriam Kenyan Nobel laureate Wangari Maathai

All those who are connected to the WECF network mourn the passing away on September 25th of prof. Wangari Maathai, founder of the Greenbelt Movement and winner as the first African woman of the Nobel Prize for Peace in 2004

27.09.2011 |Irene Dankelman




All those who are connected to the WECF network mourn the passing away on September 25th of prof. Wangari Maathai, founder of the Greenbelt Movement and winner as the first African woman of the Nobel Prize for Peace in 2004.

For many of us she was a source of inspiration. Marie Kranendonk and Irene Dankelman, have known Wangari for a long time. In 1991 in Miami, during the World Congres on Women and Environment, an important founding moment of Women in Europe for a Common Future (WECF), she was one of the upcoming women leaders on environment. And through all these years she has been a leader of women's environmental movements in her own country and worldwide.

Later on at the UNEP WAVE (Women As the Voice for the Environment) Conference in Nairobi in 2004, at which Sascha Gabizon and Irene were also present, she impressed many with her radiant presence and took many of us on a field trip to Greenbelt projects. Important has also been her activities for the democratization in her country, Kenya. All in WECF will stay inspired by the achievements of this great African woman! Thank you Wangari!



About Wangari Maathai
Winner of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize, Wangari Maathai was the founder of the Green Belt Movement, a women-driven grassroots reforestation and sustainable development movement that has planted more than 40 million trees, its 3,000 tree nurseries managed by some 60,000 women and 1,500 men. Maathai was an elected member of Parliament and served as Assistant Minister for Environment and Natural Resources in the Government of President Mwai Kibaki from 2003 to 2005. A biologist, Wangari was the first Kenyan woman to earn a PhD, to teach and chair a department at the University of Nairobi; an environmental and sociopolitical activist, her numerous awards include the Goldman Environmental Prize, the Africa Prize for Leadership and the UNEP/Eyes on the Environment Award. Maathai is a co-founder of The Nobel Women's Initiative, whose goal is to support women's rights around the world. Her autobiography, Unbowed: One Woman's Story, was released in 2006

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