Nepalese Forest Activist Receives the First Wangari Maathai Award

To commemorate the life and work of the Kenyan environmentalist, Wangari Maathai – Africa’s first female Nobel Peace Prize laureate and founder of the Green Belt Movementand to recognize those who improve and sustain forests, the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) has established the Wangari Maathai Award.
Professor Wangari Maathai. Photo copyright: Martin Rowe.

Professor Wangari Maathai. Photo copyright: Martin Rowe.

The first ever award, which includes US$20,000 in funding, has been given to Nepalese forestry activist, Narayan Kaji Shrestha, in recognition of his efforts to promote community forest management.

“Narayan Kaji Shrestha’s work captures the spirit of Wangari Maathai,” said FAO Assistant Director-General for Forestry, Eduardo Rojas-Briales. “His vision, courage, commitment, intelligence and praxis is recognized though this award.”

Narayan Kaji Shrestha guided early attempts to create a more participatory approach to community decision-making, reaching out to women and low-caste villagers and initiating the country’s first community forestry group. More than one-quarter of Nepal’s forests are now protected by community forestry groups.

The Collaborative Partnership on Forests, which comprises 14 international organizations working together to promote forest management, conservation and sustainable development, commissioned the video below to commemorate and honor the life and work of Professor Wangari Maathai. 

The video includes statements from Former US President, Bill Clinton, Environmental activist and Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Al Gore, Greenpeace International’s Executive Director, Kumi Naidoo, and former UK Prime Minister, Gordon Brown.

Sources: FAO, Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) and the Green Belt Movement

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