Wangari Muta Maathai was born in Nyeri, Kenya in 1940.
In 1960, she won a Kennedy scholarship to study in America and earned a master's degree in biology from the University of Pittsburgh and became the first woman in East Africa to earn a Ph.D.
Returning to Kenya in 1966, Wangari Maathai was shocked at the degradation of the forests and the farmland caused by deforestation.
Heavy rains had washed away much of the topsoil, silt was clogging the rivers, and fertilizers were depriving the soil of nutrients.
Wangari decided to solve the problem by planting trees.
Under the auspices of the National Council of Women of Kenya, of which she was chairwoman from 1981 to 1987, she introduced the idea of planting trees through citizen foresters in 1976, and called this new organization the Green Belt Movement (GBM).
She continued to develop GBM into broad-based, grassroots organization whose focus was women's groups planting of trees in order to conserve the environment and improve their quality of life.
For more information about the title The Green Belt Movement: Sharing the Approach and the Experience, read the full description at Amazon.com, or see the following related books:
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