Full TEXT of Prof Wangari Maathai’s Nobel lecture.
In her speech Prof Maathai gave a warning on the dangers to the planet and called for an end to corporate greed. She also asked that African leaders in particular to democratise and build fair and just societies.
devastate the environment and societies continue unabated……………Today we are faced with a challenge that calls for a shift in our
thinking, so that humanity stops threatening its life-support system,"
Some more excerpts
In the course of history, there comes a time when humanity is called to shift to a new level of consciousness, to reach a higher moral ground. A time when we have to shed our fear and give hope to each other.
That time is now.
As the first African woman to receive this prize, I accept it on behalf of the people of Kenya and Africa, and indeed the world.
I am especially mindful of women and the girl child. I hope it
will encourage them to raise their voices and take more space
for leadership. I know the honour also gives a deep sense of pride to our men, both old and young. As a mother, I appreciate the ispiration this brings to the youth and urge them to use it to pursue their dreams.
I know that African people everywhere are encouraged by this news. My fellow Africans, as we embrace this recognition, let us use it to intensify our commitment to our people, to reduce
conflicts and poverty and thereby improve their quality of life.
Let us embrace democratic governance, protect human rights and
protect our environment. I am confident that we shall rise to the occasion. I have always believed that solutions to most of our problems must come from us.
Tree planting became a natural choice to address some of the initial basic needs identified by women. Also, tree planting is simple, attainable and guarantees quick, successful results within a reasonable amount time. This sustains interest and commitment.
So, together, we have planted over 30 million trees that provide
fuel, food, shelter, and income to support their children’s
education and household needs. The activity also creates employment
and improves soils and watersheds. Through their involvement, women gain some degree of power over their lives, especially their social and economic position and relevance in the family.