University Post
University of Copenhagen
Independent of management


Nobel Peace Prize winner revisits Life Science

The Faculty of Life Science hosts a second visit from 2004 Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Mathaai

This is not the first time the Nobel Peace Prize winner will visit the Faculty of Life Science.

In 2009 she visited to initiate a collaboration aimed at saving one of the largest and most important forest areas in East Africa, the Mau forest. The collaboration was a part of a partnership between Life Science and other East African Universities.

Read: Kenya and Copenhagen cooperate to save Mau forest

This time, on 6 July, 2011, Maathai will present a lecture on ‘The Environment, Democracy & Peace: A critical link’.

The lecture is a part of University of Copenhagen’s ‘Sustainability Lecture’ series.

Highly accomplished

As the first woman in Central and East Africa to earn a doctoral degree and first African woman to earn a Nobel Peace Prize, Maathai has been a symbol of both environmentalism and feminism.

On top of all her other accomplishments, Maathai was also elected into the Kenyan parliament in 2002 with a 98 per cent vote. She served as Assistant Minister for Environment, Natural Resources and Wildlife.

The United Nations Environment Program has also named Maathai as one of the 100 heroines of the world.

Sustainability warrior

Maathai is best known for initiating the Green Belt Movement. The movement has assisted women in planting over 20 million trees on their farms, as well as school and church grounds in Kenya.

Many other organizations in Africa have followed the model and have established their own initiatives.

Her latest campaign is against land grabbing in Africa, and plundering forested land.

Stay in the know about news and events happening in Copenhagen by signing up for the University Post’s weekly newsletter here.