Wangari Maathai Sc.D.'94, the 2004 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, had an op-ed titled “Trees for Democracy” published in the Dec. 10 New York Times. Maathai is Kenya's assistant minister for environment and natural resources and the founder of the Green Belt Movement.
In the editorial Maathai gave the history of her involvement in planting trees in Kenya, and her experiences of the needs of Kenyans.
“What we've learned in Kenya – the symbiotic relationship between the sustainable management of natural resources and democratic governance – is also relevant globally,” she wrote. ” … Unless we properly manage resources like forests, water, land, minerals and oil, we will not win the fight against poverty. And there will not be peace. Old conflicts will rage on and new resource wars will erupt unless we change the path we are on.”
Maathai was a guest of Renee Montagne on National Public Radio's Morning Edition, Dec. 10. Her acceptance speech was aired on Democracy Now and a rush transcript from Democracy Now is available. She is also the mother of Muta, a 1996 Hobart graduate, and Wanjira, a 1994 graduate of William Smith.