Worldwatch Institute Mourns an Environmental Heroine

Profile picture of late environmental activist Wangari Muta MaathaiIt is with great sadness that Worldwatch Institute says goodbye to Kenya’s Wangari Muta Maathai, an environmental activist and women’s rights advocate. Maathai was the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004, for promoting conservation, women’s rights, and a transparent government.

She was arrested many times and even tear-gassed during her efforts to secure better governance and increased human rights in Kenya. In 1977, she started the Green Belt Movement, which has supported the planting of over 20 million trees, and she has tirelessly worked for the better management of natural resources.

In 2003, Worldwatch Institute had the honor of interviewing Maathai and being in her presence in Kenya.  She was an inspiration and will be dearly missed.

Read a tribute from the United Nations Environment Programme.

Read Worldwatch's coverage of Maathai's work:

Don't Get Mad, Get Elected! A conversation with Kenyan activist Wangari Maathai, Worldwatch Magazine May/June 2004

Maathai Recounts Life's Journey in Unbowed, Eye on Earth Series

The Greening of Kenya, Worldwatch Magazine May/June 2004

UN Refugee Agency Turns to Tree Planting, Eye on Earth Series