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Green Belt Movement



The Green Belt Movement is a non-governmental organization based in Nairobi, Kenya. Launched in 1977 by Wangari Maathai, it allowed her to invest in two of her favorite concerns: the struggle of Kenyan women, especially in rural areas; and the progressive degradation of the environment.

The Green Belt Movement gets rural women to develop nurseries using seeds gathered in local forests (particularly indigenous trees such as fig, baobab, blue gum, acacia). Trees subsequently planted would ensure a supply of fire wood, would protect water sources and crops, and reduce deforestation and desertification. The movement's goal is to reforest and restore natural habitat.

The Green Belt Movement was the start of one of the most successful environmental programs in Africa. In the first 15 years of the program, over 12 million trees were planted, a thousand nurseries were set up, over 90,000 women recruited, and had an annual budget of US$5 million. By 2000 they had organized the planting of over 30 million trees.

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