GBM Blog

Wangari Maathai Day 2015

March 3, 2015 - 01:05PM
Published by Communications

The Government of Kenya, led by His Excellency the President Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta, today hosted the celebration of the annual Wangari Maathai Day, Africa Environment Day & World Wildlife Day. The tri-celebration was held at the Nairobi National Park.  A large delegation of board members, staff, friends and partners of the Green Belt Movement (GBM), led by the Chair of the Board and daughter of Professor Wangari Maathai, Ms. Wanjira Mathai, were present to participate in the occasion.  

In her speech, Wanjira Mathai announced a new legacy project currently being designed and developed by the family of Wangari Maathai in partnership with the Green Belt Movement.

H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta in a short briefing on GBM's workMathai said “The Wangari Muta Maathai House (WMM House) will be a living memorial center celebrating the life of our mother, Prof. Wangari Muta Maathai.  The House will exhibit for the Kenyan, African and global public, Maathai’s speeches, international recognitions and awards, including the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize.  The House will also offer innovative programs to especially inspire young people to live lives of purpose, appreciate the natural environment in all its wonder, and explore ways of taking action to make their communities better.  In addition to educational programs, the House will also host conferences, retreats and seminars.  The public will have the opportunity to both enjoy the beautiful facilities at the House and also be inspired by Prof. Wangari Maathai’s ideas and ideals through interactive exhibits”.

In his keynote address, His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta applauded the celebrations as they bring together the people of Kenya, Government, the African Union, United Nations Agencies in Nairobi, International environmental organizations and representatives of the Diplomatic Missions and other key stakeholders in environmental conservation.

President Kenyatta urged all Kenyans to set aside 10% of their land for trees. He called on everyone to ensure that this portion is filled with trees, and that every tree felled is replaced with 5 new ones. He acknowledged African Environment and Wangari Maathai Day in showcasing good Practices in environmental management saying this will promote the entrenchment of environmental issues into the mainstream of various planning and policy instruments at all levels, in all countries.GBM Board Chair, Wanjira Mathai presents a gift to H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta

Wanjira Mathai invited the involvement of the Government of Kenya, the private sector and the general public in the development of the Wangari Muta Maathai House. The official launch of the Wangari Maathai House Project is planned for September 25, 2015; at a gala event to market the Fourth Anniversary of Professor Wangari Maathai’s passing. 

Please view more photos of the event here.

View Wanjira Mathai's speech here and the President's speech here.