Kenyan Nobel Peace Prize Laureate: Plant a Tree for Easter

Reply Sun 12 Dec, 2004 09:37 pm
Plant a Tree at Easter, Nobel Laureate Says


OSLO - Kenyan Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Wangari Maathai on Friday called on people around the world to plant trees at Easter as a symbol of renewal and to protect the planet.
"If it was a worldwide campaign it would be wonderful, you can imagine the millions of trees that would be planted," Maathai told Reuters Television in Oslo, where she received the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize.

Maathai, a Christian who has led plantings of 30 million trees across Africa to combat deforestation, said an annual tree-planting drive could symbolize revival for all peoples.

She suggested plantings at Easter, when Christians believe that Christ was crucified on a wooden cross. A tree must have been felled to make the cross, she said.

"We could make it a day to say thank you for those of us who believe in the Bible, those of us who believe in the Koran," she said shortly before the prize ceremony in Oslo City Hall.

"Even in the eastern religions they are very respectful to the other species and so it could be something to unite all of us," she added.

She suggested that the tree-planting day be set for Easter Monday, a day after Christians believe Christ rose from the dead, and said the day could be shared worldwide by other religious groups and non-believers.

"Most of Africa is Christian, certainly south of the Sahara, that is where much of the desertification is taking place," Maathai said.

Maathai, 64, is the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize, which comprises a check for 10 million Swedish crowns ($1.48 million), a gold medal and a diploma.

She is being honored for work to protect the environment and to promote peace, democracy and women's rights.

She said Easter Monday could also be a day for wider work to protect the environment, ranging from cleaning beaches to slowing silting of rivers.

($1=6.769 Swedish Crown)

Story by Alister Doyle

Story Date: 13/12/2004

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Reply Sun 12 Dec, 2004 10:48 pm
I love the woman, despite some controversial statements she's said about AIDS being invented and planted in America by the conniving Western scientists. I make a point of teaching about the Greenbelt movement everytime I do a lecture on human rights, have been following her for years and am overjoyed she got the Peace Prize.
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Reply Sun 12 Dec, 2004 10:53 pm

The first I heard of Maathai's comments on AIDS as a Western Curse, was when she recently denied them saying that she'd be misquoted.

I don't know about the ins and outs of that controversy, but I'm delighted that a woman and environmentalist has won the peace prize.

I'm not Christian, but I'll be planting trees for Easter.
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Reply Sun 12 Dec, 2004 10:57 pm
oh, that's a good thing to know. i didn't know she denied it. even better. i'll be planting one of few too, for sure!
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