Wangari Maathai
View All People

Wangari Maathai

Environmentalist and Political Activist, Kenya

Wangari Maathai

Wangari Maathai was a Kenyan environmentalist and political activist known for founding the Green Belt Movement and being the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

About Wangari Maathai

Wangari Maathai, born on April 1, 1940, in Kenya, was a prominent environmentalist, political activist, and advocate for social justice. She was the founder of the Green Belt Movement, an organization focused on environmental conservation, women’s rights, and community development. Maathai’s work involved mobilizing women to plant trees in their communities, empowering them with knowledge and resources to address environmental challenges and improve their livelihoods.

Her efforts in environmental conservation and sustainable development led to her being the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004. The Nobel Committee recognized her for her significant contribution to “sustainable development, democracy, and peace” through her grassroots initiatives.

Throughout her life, Wangari Maathai fought against deforestation, land degradation, and environmental injustices, advocating for the protection of Kenya’s forests and natural resources. She believed that environmental conservation and social justice were interconnected and that empowering women played a crucial role in promoting sustainable development.

Wangari Maathai’s legacy continues to inspire people worldwide to take action for environmental protection, women’s empowerment, and social change.

Videos of Wangari Maathai on our YouTube Channel

For me, one of the major reasons to move beyond just the planting of trees was that I have tendency to look at the causes of a problem. We often preoccupy ourselves with the symptoms, whereas if we went to the root cause of the problems, we would be able to overcome the problems once and for all.

View More Quotes by Wangari Maathai
Linked Organizations