The 3rd of March marks the celebration ofAfrica Environment Day. Since 2012, this day is jointly commemorated withWangari Maathai Day, in recognition of the life and legacy of the late Professor Wangari Maathai (1940–2011). With relentless energy and great vision, she devoted her life to protecting the natural environment and promoting sustainable development. Among many other accolades, in 2004 she was awarded theNobel Peace Prizein recognition of her trailblazing work.
Maathai is widely recognized as a hugely influential environmental, political, and women’s rights activist. TheGreen Belt movement, which she founded, works with local communities, especially women, to conserve the environment and improve livelihoods. Since its foundation in 1977, the movement has planted over 51 million trees in Kenya alone.
Maathai also was a scientist—the first woman to gain a PhD (in veterinary anatomy) in East and Central Africa, and the first…
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