“Peace on earth depends on our ability to secure our living environment.”
The Norwegian Nobel Committee | October 8, 2004 | Oslo
The Green Belt Movement is a grassroots, non-governmental organization based in Kenya that focuses on environmental conservation and community development. Prof. Wangari Maathai established the Green Belt Movement in 1977 under the auspices of the National Council of Women of Kenya.
On October 8th, 2004, the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2004 to Wangari Maathai for her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace.
The committee stated that, “Maathai stands at the front of the fight to promote ecologically viable social, economic and cultural development in Kenya and in Africa. 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.”
A Partnership in Peace and Environmental Sustainability.
From early on, the Marion Institute supported Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai and the Green Belt Movement, assisting Wangari in her tireless efforts towards environmental sustainability, democracy and peace. Beginning in 1999, the Marion Institute became Wangari’s representative and partner in the United States – advocating and raising funds for the Green Belt Movement.
“When there were few who believed in what we were doing, here, in the Green Belt Movement – when our little tree-planting movement often suffered repression, violence and jail time – the Marion Institute always stood by me. The Institute has generously helped raise financial support and awareness for the work of the Green Belt Movement. But more importantly, they have been a deep source of inspiration, emotional support and sustenance for me. Every tree needs water at its roots. It would not have been possible to plant all these trees and hope without the support and friends and partners like The Marion Institute.” – Hon. Prof. Wangari Maathai
Our vision is to create a society of people who consciously work for continued improvement of their environment, and a greener, cleaner Kenya. Our mission is to mobilize community consciousness for self-determination; equity, improved livelihood, security, and environmental conservation – using tree planting as an entry point. Guided by the values of volunteerism, love for environmental conservation, pro-action for self-betterment, accountability, transparency, and empowerment.
The Green Belt Movement works to realize its vision and mission through programs in tree planting/biodiversity conservation, civic & environmental education, advocacy & networking, food security, capacity building for women and girls and Green Belt Safaris. GBM also has a learning centre at Langata in Nairobi, which we rent out for seminars, workshops and accommodation.
“Every one of us can make a contribution. And quite often we are looking for the big things and forget that, wherever we are, we can make a contribution. Sometimes I tell myself, I may only be planting a tree here, but just imagine what’s happening if there are billions of people out there doing something. Just imagine the power of what we can do.” – Hon. Prof. Wangari Maathai
Green Belt Movement International – US office
1666 K St. NW
Washington, DC 20006