26 Sep 2011:
Wangari Maathai, Nobel Laureate
And Environmental Activist, Is Dead at 71
Wangari Maathai, a Kenyan environmentalist whose advocacy for social justice and ecosystem
preservation in post-colonial Africa earned her the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize, has died after a battle with cancer
. Maathai, 71, who during four decades skillfully articulated the benefits of environmental sustainability to ordinary citizens, was co-founder of the Green Belt Movement
, which helped Kenyan women plant trees on their farms, school properties, and church compounds as a means of preserving the environment, sustaining watersheds, and teaching new skills. Since 1977, the organization has planted an estimated 45 million trees across Kenya and has expanded to other African nations. Maathai spoke around the world about environmental justice and poverty, but remained focused on issues in Kenya, serving as a parliamentarian and assistant minister for several years. “Wangari Maathai was known to speak truth to power,” said John Githongo, an anti-corruption campaigner in Kenya. “She blazed a trail in whatever she did.”
Yale Environment 360 is
a publication of the
Yale School of Forestry
& Environmental Studies
e360 on Facebook
Donate to e360
View mobile site
Subscribe to our feed:
Yale Environment 360
articles are now available in Spanish and Portuguese on Universia
, the online educational network. Visit the site.
Business & Innovation
Policy & Politics
Pollution & Health
Science & Technology
Antarctica and the Arctic
Central & South America
A Yale Environment 360
video explores Ecuador’s threatened Yasuni Biosphere Reserve with scientists inventorying its stunning forests and wildlife. Watch the video.
is now available for mobile devices at e360.yale.edu/mobile
The Warriors of Qiugang
, a Yale Environment 360
video that chronicles the story of a Chinese village’s fight against a polluting chemical plant, was nominated for a 2011 Academy Award for Best Documentary (Short Subject).
Watch the video.
Top Image: aerial view of Iceland
. © Google & TerraMetrics.
In a Yale Environment 360
video, photographer Pete McBride documents how increasing water demands have transformed the Colorado River, the lifeblood of the arid Southwest. Watch the video.