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Published:April 28th, 2006 02:27 EST
The Green Belt Movement- Seeds of Hope

The Green Belt Movement- Seeds of Hope

By Juliet Maruru

“It is evident that many wars are fought over resources which are now becoming increasingly scarce.  If we conserved our resources better, fighting over them would not then occur… so, protecting the global environment is directly related to securing peace. Those of us who understand the complex concept of the environment have the burden to act.  We must not tire, we must not give up, and we must persist.”  [Wangari Maathai, upon receiving the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize]
In Kenya, there is constant conflict in the Northeastern and North Rift-Valley Provinces.

In other Central and East African countries, conflict arises time and time again, hiding behind ethnic and regional differences but, in reality, being caused by scarcity in resources.  Indeed, it is the same the world over.  There is need for communities, nations, continents and, yes, the whole world to be educated on the importance of our natural resources and how we can use them responsibly and conserve them for future generations.  The Green Belt Movement seeks to address such issues.


The Green Belt Movement (GBM Kenya) is a grassroots non-governmental organization (NGO) based in Kenya that focuses on environmental conservation, community development and capacity building.  Prof. Wangari Maathai established GBM Kenya in 1977, under the auspices of the National Council of Women of Kenya. GBM International has been launched with the vision to spread the mission of GBM Kenya on a worldwide scale.
 
The Green Belt Movement (GBM Kenya) is a grassroots non-governmental organization (NGO) based in Kenya that focuses on environmental conservation, community development and capacity building.  Established GBM Kenya in 1977, under the auspices of the National Council of Women of Kenya.  GBM International has been launched with the vision to spread the mission of GBM Kenya on a worldwide scale.


The mission of the Green Belt Movement International is to empower individuals worldwide to protect the environment and to promote good governance and cultures of peace.


GBMI goals are:


ü      Goal 1: To strengthen and expand the Green Belt Movement in Kenya
ü      Goal 2: To share the Green Belt Movement’s program with other countries in Africa and beyond
ü      Goal 3: To empower Africans, especially women and girls, and nurture their leadership and entrepreneurial skills
ü      Goal 4: Advocate internationally for the environment, good governance, equity and cultures of peace.


In her letter announcing the launch of GBMI, Wangari Maathai wrote, “The planting of trees is the planting of ideas. By starting with the simple step of digging a hole and planting a tree, we plant hope for ourselves and for future generations.  Through the process of mobilizing people to action, The Green Belt movement addresses a wide range of issues that directly affect the lives of individuals, particularly women, and their families, including education, access to water, equity, and reproductive health.  People then begin to stand up for their rights and those of their communities.  It is their empowerment that truly leads them to decide to prioritize the environment, good governance, and cultures of peace.”


Visit The Green Belt Movement [www.greenbeltmovement.org] to see a complete description of GBMI and details of how you can be involved.