GBM Blog

Peace from the Roots

July 27, 2012 - 07:05PM
Published by Sofia Olsson

This blog was written by our communications intern, Grace Wanene with editorial input from Judy Kimamo, senior project officer.

On Friday the 13th of July, GBM held a seminar for students of Daystar University in Nairobi at our Langata Training Centre, on the linkages between the environment, peace and good governance. Twenty-two students who are studying peace studies, international studies, electronic media studies and mass communication at Daystar University attended the event.

It began with the screening of two documentaries about GBM: Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathai and Rehabilitating the Aberdares: The Trickling Effect. The documentaries show GBM’s work with regards to safeguarding the environment, defending human rights and promoting democracy. The screening was followed by a discussion about GBM’s concept of a three-legged stool representing the environment, democracy and good governance as the three pillars to sustainable development.

GBM promotes peaceful co-existence, dialogue and collaboration among communities through tree nursery groups (TNGs). The TNGs take part in tree planting as a way to protect natural resources and reduce resource conflicts within their communities. In addition, TNGs provide a platform for community members to discuss and address issues that relate to the management of natural resources. TNG members are also encouraged to take up leadership positions within community resource management committees.

After the screening and discussion, the students visited the food security garden at GBM’s Langata Training Centre. Here they learned about the connection between food security and peace, and how kitchen gardens can contribute to food security, livelihood improvement and community well being. One of the students, whose passion is to promote peace in the arid and semi-arid areas of Kenya, volunteered to work at the Langata food security garden during her holidays.  The students closed the seminar with the planting of a peace tree. 

Another student commented after the seminar “now I understand how peace can come from the roots”.