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Monday, March 9, 2015

Double celebration for Africa: Environment and Wangari Maathai

This year’s celebrations to mark the Africa Environment Day and Wangari Maathai Day commenced weekend with the burning of 15 tonnes of contraband ivory by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta at Nairobi National Park, NaijaAgroNet can report authoritatively.

With estimated 1,000 guests in attendance including the African Union Commissioner, Cabinet Secretaries, the United Nations and members of the international community. Information made available to NaijaAgroNet revealed that this year’s celebration highlighted the role of women in sustainable natural resource management and the fight against wildlife crime.

The festival, NaijaAgroNet learnt, is seen as an opportunity for more Kenyans to learn about wildlife through music, theatre, and debate—and the importance of ending a US$213 billion illicit trade that includes elephant poaching, great ape theft and the illegal transport of timber.

 In another development, in celebration of the life and work of Wangari Maathai, Africa's first female Nobel laureate, a champion of grassroots environmental activism and founder of the Green Belt Movement, special emphasis will this year be placed on the importance of empowering women in sustainable natural resource management, NaijaAgroNet gathered.

As a mark of honour, a one-day Regional Forum on Women and Environment will be held on the 4 March in honour of Wangari Maathai at The World Agroforestry Centre Headquarters in Nairobi, which will feature expert panel discussions on several gender-related themes, including: gender equality in Africa, and the impact of climate change and desertification on women and their response in addressing the challenges.

NaijaAgroNet recalls that Professor Maathai was the inspiration for the Billion Tree Campaign launched by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in 2006, which inspired the planting of 12.5 billion trees worldwide, and is now run by the Plant for the Planet Foundation

Cyriacus Nnaji/GEE

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Pix: Prof. (Mrs) Wangari Maathai

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