World Environment Day

UN Women and the Green Belt Movement mark World Environment Day

Date: Wednesday, June 17, 2015

On 5 June  UN Women joined hands with the Green Belt movement (GBM) in celebrating this year’s World Environment Day, as the global community also marks the 20th anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action.

Informed by the theme: ‘7 Billion Dreams: One Planet, Consume With Care’, the event was marked by a tree-planting ceremony at the Prof. Wangari Maathai  corner, in Nairobi, Kenya– the same location where the late Nobel Laureate led a group of citizens to demonstrate against the illegal grabbing of land within the Uhuru Park forest. This action, brought attention to the work and significance of the efforts of the late Ms. Maathai, who

In her opening speech, Aisha Karanja, the Executive Director of GBM, spoke of the significance of the site of the commemoration, saying it represented the empowerment and freedom of women. She encouraged stakeholders to emulate Ms. Maathai’s bold steps in saving Karura Forest by doing ”little things” to make the environment a better place for every individual on the planet. In her concluding remarks, she shared a quote from the late Nobel Laureate, saying: “For these billion dreams to happen, for the Beijing Platform for Action to happen, we must rise and walk.”

Wanjira Maathai, daughter of the late Prof. Maathai and current GBM Chair, ad the tree-planting session in which members of GBM, UN Women, the Kenya Defence Forces, the Kenya Forest Services and school children. Photo: UN Women

“We have done well, but we are not there yet,” stated Wanjira Maathai, daughter of the late Prof. Maathai and current GBM Chair, at the commemoration of the Beijing Declaration. She encouraged people to improve and protect the environment more by giving facts on the environment and the impact it has on our livelihoods. Keeping alive the late Nobel Laureate’s dream of conserving the environment, she said: “Let the question that your children ask be: ‘how did you do it?’ rather than ‘what were you thinking?’”

The event was crowned by a colourful tree-planting session in which members of GBM, UN Women, the Kenya Defence Forces, the Kenya Forest Services and school children, joined in planting 500 trees to mark the commemoration.