Throughout history many people have devoted their life to promoting and protecting people’s human rights. One of whom was Wangari Maathai. She devoted her life towards bettering the environment of her native land, Kenya. Maathai was an environmentalist who developed the Greenbelt Movement. She was also known as a women’s rights advocate and she received many awards. Some of which were the Nobel peace prize in 2004, legion d’Honneur, France’s highest award in 2006 and in 2005 she was named one 100 most powerful women by Forbes Magazine. Some of the women in Kenya started to notice that the quality and quantity of their crops was going down due to environmental damage. One of those women was Wangari Maathai. She decided to try and help to fix the damage that had been done. Maathai did many things to improve the environment, one of which was founding the greenbelt movement. The green belt movement is an organization that promotes and awards the planting of “green belts” to stop soil erosion, provide shade and create a source of lumber and fire wood. Started on earth day in 1977 the movement has since planted over 15 million trees, produced income for 80 thousand people in Kenya alone, and has expanded its efforts to over 30 African countries, the U.S., and Haiti. Maathai was a very influential woman. Her success made a huge impact in the world. Through the greenbelt movement the vegetation in Africa greatly improved. This method then spread throughout the world. The impact Maathai had on the world will never be forgotten.
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