Skip to content

Register Now to Meet this Year’s Heroes of the Environment


African Union Creates Official Day in Honor of Wangari Maathai

February 7, 2012

Honor and recognition keep pouring in for the late environmental hero Wangari Maathai. The 18th annual African Union Summit officially changed the name of “African Environment Day” to “Wangari Maathai Day.” The AU also created a new continental prize, the “Wangari Maathai Award for Outstanding Achievements in Environment and Biodiversity Conservation,” to promote conservation efforts throughout Africa.

Maathai founded the Green Belt Movement in 1977, an organization with tree planting at the heart of its operations, to curtail the effects of deforestation in Kenya.  Today, over 40 million trees have been planted all over the world by the Green Belt Movement. Maathai was awarded the Goldman Prize in 1991 and later went on to win the 2004 Nobel Prize.

Maathai passed away in September 2011. She was remembered with memorial services all over the world, including one hosted by the Goldman Prize in San Francisco. Her powerful legacy of peace and conservation continue to win praise.

Related Posts

Three Indigenous Leaders Protecting the Amazon

October 4, 2021

In early September, members of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress approved a motion requesting a global commitment to protect 80% of the Amazon Basin by 2025. The campaign behind the initiative, Amazonia for Life: 80% by 2025, acknowledges the critical role of the Amazon in stabilizing the global climate…

Read more

Gloria Majiga-Kamoto: Combating Malawi’s Plastics Problem

June 21, 2021

By Gloria Majiga-Kamoto One of my most favorite movies from my childhood is Pocahontas. The romantic part of it was ok, but I was always so taken by the depiction of the clash of two very different worlds in the movie. It is a story, on the one hand, of a greedy company that sets…

Read more

An Update on Myanmar from Paul Sein Twa

April 14, 2021

We continue to stand in solidarity with our three dedicated Burmese Prize winners—Ka Hsaw Wa (1999), Myint Zaw (2015), and Paul Sein Twa (2020)—and support their ongoing work to bring peace, democracy, and environmental conservation to Myanmar. We condemn the military crackdown on the Burmese people and urge the international community to listen to these…

Read more