Green Belt Movement

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The Green Belt Movement (GBM) is an indigenous grassroots non-governmental organization based in Nairobi, Kenya that takes a holistic approach to development by focusing on environmental conservation, community development and capacity building. Professor Wangari Maathai established the organization in 1977, under the auspices of the National Council of Women of Kenya. The Green Belt Movement organizes women in rural Kenya to plant trees, combat deforestation, restore their main source of fuel for cooking, generate income, and stop soil erosion. Maathai has incorporated advocacy and empowerment for women, eco-tourism, and just economic development into the Green Belt Movement. Since Maathai started the movement in 1977, over 40 million trees have been planted. Over 30,000 women trained in forestry, food processing, bee-keeping, and other trades that help them earn income while preserving their lands and resources. Communities in Kenya (both men and women) have been motivated and organized to both prevent further environmental destruction and restore that which has been damaged. In 2004, Wangari Maathai received the Nobel Peace Prize - becoming the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize - for her work with the Green Belt Movement. Her book, The Green Belt Movement is published by Lantern Books. Maathai was a leader in ecofeminist movement. In 1972, the environmental movement revolutionized advocacy and policies surrounding environmental issues such as those in The United Nations Environment Programme, also known as (UNEP). UNEP was established in Nairobi as a result of the United Nation Conference on Human Environment held in Stockholm in the same year. This development helped arouse interest in the environment in Africa regardless of the fact that many governments in the region held hostile sentiments towards the policies adopted in Stockholm to limit

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