Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Urges Individual Action

Friday, March 10, 2006
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DECORAH, Iowa – Nobel peace prize laureate Dr. Wangari Maathai today said citizens of the world should hold those in power accountable for their actions towards the environment, if we are to preserve the environment for future generations. She gave the example of Americans who despite their government’s refusal to sign the Kyoto treaty have with individual actions have embraced the spirit of the treaty.

Maathai, winner of the 2004 peace prize said good governance is critical to the sustaining of the environment. She told attendees at the conference numbering about 1,500 that it is the little things that they do that make a difference and they do not have to wait for the government to do it for them.

“If left alone, politicians can do almost anything if they can get away with it”, she said. She was one of the keynote speakers along with former Environmental protection Agency (EPA) Secretary Christine Todd Whitman at the 18th annual peace prize forum that began here today.

Dr. Maathai who gave an eloquent speech for about an hour without notes was well received at Luther College where the conference is being held receiving a prolonged standing ovation at the conclusion of her address.

The Green Belt Movement, of which Maathai is the founder is credited with planting more than 30 million trees since its founding three decades ago.

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About Tom Gitaa

Tom is the President and Publisher of Mshale and chair of the Minnesota Multicultural Media Consortium (MMMC). As Mshale founder, he did a lot of the reporting during the humble beginnings of the newspaper. While he still does the occasional reporting, he now concentrates on the publishing side of the news operation.Tom was also the original host of Talking Drum, the signature current affairs show on the African Broadcasting Network (ABN-America), which was available nationwide in the United States via the DishNetwork satellite service. On the show, he interviewed Nobel laureates such as 2004 Nobel Peace prize winner, Professor Wangari Maathai, the first woman from Africa to win the peace prize and heads of states such as the president of  The Gambia, Yahya Jammeh at State House, Banjul. Tom has previously served in the board of directors of Global Minnesota, the sixth largest World Affairs Council in the United States. He has also previously served as President of the Board of Directors of Books for Africa, the largest shipper of donated books to Africa and. He sits on the board of the United Nations Association.

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