Thursday, September 1, 2011

Wangari Maathai & Sustainable, Holistic Development

The Green Belt Movement was founded in 1977 by Dr. Wangari Maathai.  It began as a grassroots tree planting program to address the challenges of deforestation, soil erosion and lack of water is now a vehicle for empowering women. The act of planting a tree is helping women throughout Africa become stewards of the natural environment. 

By protecting the environment, these women are also becoming powerful champions for sustainable management of scarce resources such as water, equitable economic development, good political governance, and ultimately… peace.

GBM has now grown to be one of the most prominent women’s civil society organizations, based in Kenya, advocating for human rights and supporting good governance and peaceful democratic change through the protection of the environment. Its mission is to empower communities worldwide to protect the environment and to promote good governance and cultures of peace. 

As a result of this movement, more than 40 million trees have been planted across Africa. The result: soil erosion has been reduced in critical watersheds, thousands of acres of biodiversity-rich indigenous forest have been restored and protected, and hundreds of thousands of women and their families are standing up for their rights and those of their communities and so are living healthier, more productive lives. 
Dr. Wangari Maathai - Founder of the Green Belt Movement
The planting of trees is the planting of ideas. By starting with the simple act of planting a tree, we give hope to ourselves and to future generations.–Wangari Maathai

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