The Green Belt Movement (GBM)


Green Belt Movement logoThe Green Belt Movement (GBM) was started in 1977 by Professor Wangari Maathai, the first African woman and first environmentalist to receive the Nobel Peace Prize (2004). GBM has gone on to become one of the most prominent women’s civil society organisations in Kenya.

Our vision is to create a values-driven society of people who consciously work for continued improvement of their livelihoods and a greener, cleaner world. We strive for better environmental management, community empowerment, and livelihood improvement.

Through its holistic approach to development, GBM addresses the underlying causes of poverty and environmental degradation at the grassroots level. GBM programmes use a unique ten-step development model to address the challenges of deforestation, soil erosion and water scarcity, and are a vehicle for empowering women. By planting trees and protecting the environment, these women are becoming powerful champions for sustainable management of scarce resources such as water, equitable economic development, good political governance, and ultimately, peace.

As a result of the work of the Green Belt Movement more than 47 million trees have been planted in Kenya. The result: soil erosion has been reduced in critical watersheds, thousands of acres of biodiversity-rich, indigenous forests have been restored and protected, and hundreds of thousands of women have lifted their families out of poverty.

While tree planting has always been the focal activity, GBM programmes have expanded to include projects in indigenous tree planting, civic education, advocacy, food security, greenbelt eco-safaris, and “women and change.”

The Vision of Wangari Maathai

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‘I will be a hummingbird’ – Wangari Maathai

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Green Belt Movement