|Environmental Peace: Profiles|
|Hon. Professor Wangari Maathai,
Prof. Maathai won the Nobel prize for Peace in 2004 for her work in democracy, human rights and environmental conservation. She was born in Nyeri, Kenya (Africa) in 1940. The first woman in East and Central Africa to earn a doctorate degree, Prof. Maathai obtained a degree in Biological Sciences from Mount St. Scholastica College in Atchison, Kansas (1964). She subsequently earned a Master of Science degree from the University of Pittsburgh (1966). She pursued doctoral studies in Germany and the University of Nairobi, obtaining a Ph.D. (1971) from the University of Nairobi where she also taught veterinary anatomy. She became chair of the Department of Veterinary Anatomy and an associate professor in 1976 and 1977 respectively. In both cases, she was the first woman to attain those positions in he region. Wangari Maathai was active in the National Council of Women of Kenya in 1976 -87 and was it chairman in 1981-87. It was while she served the National Council of Women that she introduced the idea of planting trees with the People in 1976 and continued to develop it into broad-based, grassroots organization whose main focus is the planting of trees with women groups in order to conserve the environment and improve their quality of life. However, through the Green belt Movement she has assisted women in planting more than 20 million trees on their farms and on schools and church compounds.