This evening I am lucky enough to be at a talk by Professor Wangari Maathai, Nobel Peace Prize winner in 2004.
Professor Maathai, an environmentalist and also Kenya’s deputy environment minister, was the first African woman and environmentalist to win the prestigious award.
She was honoured for her campaign to save Africa’s trees and for promoting social, economic and cultural reforms that are ecologically viable. She has been described as an example for all Africans seeking democracy and peace.
Proffesor Maathai is the founder of the Green Belt Movement, which has planted 20-30 million trees in Africa to counter forest loss and slow the spread of the deserts.
At her acceptance speech in Oslo in December 2004, this is what Professosor Maathai said:-
“There can be no peace without equitable development and there can be no development without sustainable management of the environment in a democratic and peaceful space.
This shift is an idea whose time has come.
Industry and global institutions must appreciate that ensuring economic justice, equity and ecological integrity are of greater value than profits at any cost.”
It is high time more and more corporates around the world started to take heed and listen before it is too late.