Black People : Wangari Maathai wins Nobel Peace Prize

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by fanyamambo, Oct 12, 2004.

  1. fanyamambo

    fanyamambo Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Forgive me if this has already been posted but I haven't seen it so thought I would. I'm SOOOOOOOOO proud!


    OSLO (AFP)


    Kenyan ecologist Wangari Maathai, whose campaign to save Africa's forests began with nine trees in her yard nearly three decades ago, won the Nobel Peace Prize.

    She is the first African woman to take the award and it is also the first time since the prize was first awarded in 1901 that an environmental cause is honoured by the Nobel committee.

    Maathai, Kenya's assistant minister for the environment since 2003, founded the Green Belt Movement in 1977, the largest tree planting project in Africa, aimed at promoting biodiversity and at the same time creating jobs and giving women a stronger identity in society.

    "Peace on earth depends on our ability to secure our living environment," the Nobel Committee said in announcing the award.

    Maathai stands at the "front of the fight to promote ecologically viable social, economic and cultural development in Kenya and in Africa," it said, recalling that her political and ecological activism has landed her in prison on numerous occasions.

    "She has taken a holistic approach to sustainable development that embraces democracy, human rights and women's rights in particular. She thinks globally and acts locally," the committee said.

    Joined in Nairobi by AFP, Maathai said she was delighted at having won the prize and pledged to pursue her environmental work.

    "I am very delighted and I thank God for everything," she said. "I will carry on with my campaign and I ask Kenyans to join me.

    Voted Time Magazine's "Hero of the Planet" in 1998 and a household name in her country, Maathai said she had been informed earlier in the day by Norway's ambassador to Kenya that she had won the coveted prize and told Norway's NRK radio that it had been the "biggest surprise in my entire life".

    The environmental group Greenpeace hailed the announcement Friday saying it was overdue recognition of the link between environmental concerns and world peace.

    "We're clearly delighted that the influential Nobel committee has put the green into peace," the pressure group's spokesman Michael Townsley told AFP.

    "For the Nobel committee to recognize the twin threat of environmental destruction and global security is a very significant statement to the world."
    Deforestation has been a major problem in Kenya, exposing millions of people to drought and poverty.

    Maathai's ecological campaign began in 1977 when she planted nine tree seeds in her yard and founded an organisation which has since planted more than 30 million trees throughout Africa. The organisation and its nurseries now employ tens of thousands of people in Kenya and elsewhere.

    Yet forests still cover less than two percent of Kenya's land, far below the United Nations' recommended minimum of 10 percent which it says is required for a country to sustain life naturally with the availability of rain, underground water, soil fertility and clear air and prevention of soil erosion.

    "The environment and natural resources are very important aspects of peace, because when our resources become scarce we fight over them. And many wars in the world are actually fought over natural resources," Maathai said on NRK.

    "We plant the seeds of peace, now and in the future," she added.

    Maathai, 64, is a biologist by training. She was the first woman in eastern Africa to receive her doctorate and become a professor.

    The latest Nobel laureate is also an ardent human rights activist in Kenya, and her opposition to the one-party rule of former president Daniel arap Moi led to her being jailed, harassed and vilified by his regime in the 1970s and 1980s.

    "Her unique forms of action have contributed to drawing attention to political oppression - nationally and internationally. She has served as inspiration for many in the fight for democratic rights and has especially encouraged women to better their situation," the Nobel Committee said.

    She directed the Kenyan Red Cross for much of the 1970s, and has served as a member of the UN Advisory Board on Disarmament and on the boards of several international environmental organisations.

    Maathai was elected to the Kenyan parliament on the Green party ticket in December 2002 in the first free elections held in the country in decades. In January 2003, she was named assistant minister for the environment.

    The Nobel Committee has for many years chosen to give the prize to people or organizations who have worked either to resolve conflicts by peaceful means or in defense of human rights.

    But the Committee said in 2001, on the centenary of the first Nobel prizes, that it planned to widen the scope of the award.

    Maathai will receive the Nobel Peace Prize, which consists of a gold medal, a diploma and cheque worth 1.3 million dollars (1.1 million euros), at a formal ceremony in the Norwegian capital on December 10, the anniversary of the death of the prize's creator, Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel, in 1896.

    http://kenya.news.designerz.com/nobel-peace-prize-to-kenyan-ecologist-wangari-maathai.html
     
  2. NNQueen

    NNQueen going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    fanyamambo thank you for posting this exciting news because I too saw it reported and feel proud that this sister is being recognized for her great and unselfish work. This is something to celebrate and be acknowledged among all Africans in the Diaspora! We need to join hands with her and spread her good work. I believe we can all learn well from her and become a great benefit to ourselves and our people.

    Queenie :blowkiss:
     
  3. panafrica

    panafrica Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    The accomplishments of black people never ceases to amaze me!
     
  4. Therious

    Therious Banned MEMBER

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    THTS AN AMAZING STORY I HVE NOT READ THE ENTIRE POST BUT WILL WHEN I HVE MORE TIME.
     
  5. fanyamambo

    fanyamambo Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Yes sister it is very exciting news for all of us. And such an inspiration for African women.
     
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