To stop war turn over new leaf and plant more trees, says Nobel laureate
Now, why didn’t we think of this before? To solve Africa’s problems – all of them – the solution is to plant more trees! Gee, the USA; Europe; Scandinavia and Australasia are going to feel like real tits for pumping all that blood money into the continent for so many years when here right before our eyes was the solution all the time. Quick, get me my shovel (or maybe I should rather get me the same meds this woman’s on cause I also want to live in la-la land and speak to fairies)!
STOPPING wars in Africa requires planting more trees, says the Nobel Peace Prize-winner Wangari Maathai.
Up to 80 per cent of Africans live in rural areas dependant on natural resources, so fixing the environment is the catalyst for solving the continent’s social problems.
”If you destroy the forest, you are undermining people’s livelihood,” Ms Maathai said. ”This has caused the vicious cycle of violent conflicts over resources that we’ve been seeing the past 15 years.”
The first African woman to win the peace prize is in Sydney to receive the 2010 Lions Humanitarian Award to recognise her environmental and community work.
Dubbed ”Kenya’s Tree Woman”, Ms Maathai plans to use part of the $200,000 award to launch an institution at the University of Nairobi, which will teach students about the value of volunteer and community involvement.
”This is something that is missing in today’s society; people want to get paid for everything,” Ms Maathai said.
”In Africa there’s no leadership, no compassion or empathy. We want to train those with university education who are the most likely to end up in government how to actually help the people, rather than exploit these communities.”
The remainder of the funding will go towards Ms Maathai’s tree-planting organisation, The Green Belt Movement. The grass roots movement was born out of the concerns of rural women in Kenya about the devastation that deforestation was causing for clean drinking water, firewood and food. Since it began in 1977, it has planted more than 40 million trees across Africa.
”As a child, the village that I lived in was so green but now the environment has taken a turn for the worse,” Ms Maathai said. ”Fixing the forest is the first building block towards addressing the deeper problems in Kenya.”