Green Belt Movement: The planting of trees is the planting of ideas

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Green Belt Movement: The planting of trees is the planting of ideas

Project Summary
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The Green Belt Movement advocates for human rights and supporting good governance and peaceful democratic change through the protection of the environment. Its mission is to empower communities worldwide to protect the environment and to promote good governance and cultures of peace.

About You
Green Belt Movement
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Section 1: About You
First Name


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Green Belt Movement

Section 2: About Your Organization
Organization Name

Green Belt Movement

Organization Phone

254 20 2211842

Organization Address

Hughes Building, Kenyatta Avenue, Nairobi Kenya

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What makes your approach innovative?

The Green Belt Movement (GBM) was started in 1977 by Dr. Wangari Maathai, the first African woman and the first environmentalist to receive the Nobel Peace Prize (in 2004). What began as a grassroots tree planting program to address the challenges of deforestation, soil erosion and lack of water is now a vehicle for empowering women. The act of planting a tree is helping women throughout Africa become stewards of the natural environment.

But that’s just the first step.

By protecting the environment, these women are also becoming powerful champions for sustainable management of scarce resources such as water, equitable economic development, good political governance, and ultimately….. peace.

How will you sustain your solution?

Our goal in the next decade is to plant one billion trees worldwide. A healthy natural world is at the heart of an equitable and peaceful society. And protecting the environment is something every individual can take part in.

Creating an open discourse around the production and use of GMOs is also crucial. Wangari Maathai states, "It is a very big area and it all depends on to what extent farmers, especially in developing countries, will be able to protect their right to have seeds, to continue producing those seeds the way they have always done, and their right to use those seeds and not to become dependent on the multinational corporations which engineer the seeds and then patent them and make them unavailable to the farmers."

What will be the impact of your solution?

Today, more than 40 million trees have been planted across Africa. The result: soil erosion has been reduced in critical watersheds, thousands of acres of biodiversity-rich indigenous forest have been restored and protected, and hundreds of thousands of women and their families are standing up for their rights and those of their communities and so are living healthier, more productive lives.

Yet, so much remains to be done. Forests are still being lost, democracy is fragile, and poverty is still widespread. We will continue to fight these global problems.