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#10-21 Wangari Maathai … on the origins of Kenya’s Green Belt Movement

Long before she was a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, biologist Dr. Wangari Maathai came to San Francisco to receive the Goldman Environmental Prize in 1991. There she also gave this address to the Sierra Club, in which she explains the origins, purposes, methodology and political ramifications of the Greenbelt Movement. As of 2021, the Greenbelt Movement says its members have planted 51 million trees in Kenya alone and is spreading across Africa.

Host(s): Frieda Werden
Featured Speakers/Guests: Biologist Dr. Wangari Maathai grew up in a rural community in Kenya. After six years studying in the United States, she returned to find the conditions of the people in her area much worsened by “development.” Cash-cropping had destroyed not only the local food base, but also the previous sources of water and fuel. Maathai joined the national women’s association and through them involved women, men and children in planting trees to provide resources and restore the environment.

Credits: Talk recorded by Sue Supriano; narration and editing for WINGS by Frieda Werden (WINGS Series Producer)