Plant for the Planet

Wangari Muta Maathai was awarded the nobel peace prize in 2004 for her work founding the Green Belt Movement in Africa. Maathai was the first woman in East and Central Africa to earn a doctorate degree along with the first female chair of the Department of Veterinary Anatomy and the first female associate professor in Africa.

Her GBM organization is founded on community-based tree planting which serves to reduce poverty and create environmental conservation. The mission of the GBM is “to mobilize community consciousness for self-determination, equity, improved livelihoods and security, and environmental conservation.”

With the help of the organization Maathai has helped plant more than 40 million trees on community land. GBM also established a Pan African Green Belt Network in 1986 that has exposed African leaders in Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi, Lesotho, Ethiopioa, Zimbabwe and others to establish their own tree planting initiatives. The GBM has 12 different programs and currently 3 global campaigns. One of those campaigns is the Plant for the Planet: The Billion Trees Campaign. “The objective of the Billion Tree Campaign (BTC) is to plant at least one billion trees worldwide each year. The campaign strongly encourages the planting of indigenous trees and trees that are appropriate to the local environment. Communities, businesses, governments, civil society organizations, and individuals may register their trees on the BTC website. In September 2009, UNEP announced that in just three years over seven billion trees were planted and registered with BTC online!”

Maathai has other initiatives you can view here.

She truely is an inspiration!

“We have come a long way from ignorance to deep insight, from fear to courage and from the streets to Parliament. We moved from self to others, from ‘my issue’ to ‘our issues’, from home to communities, from national level to global. Now we embrace the concepts of our common home and future.”