Today marks one year since the passing of Professor Wangari Maathai, a dear friend of The Gaia Foundation’s, and a leader and visionary to so many millions of people around the world.

Professor Wangari Maathai, or “Prof” as she was fondly known, was the founder of the Green Belt Movement and in 2004 she became the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. The Green Belt Movement works with rural communities, particularly women, to help them address their needs for essential basic services such as water, fertile soil, and a healthy ecosystem through planting trees on critical watersheds. You can find out more about GBM’s work here.

Professor Wangari Maathai has been internationally recognised for her struggle for democracy, human rights, and environmental conservation, and served on the board of many organisations. She addressed the UN on a number of occasions and spoke on behalf of women at special sessions of the General Assembly during the five-year review of the Earth Summit. She served on the Commission for Global Governance and the Commission on the Future.

To mark a year since Wangari’s passing we would urge you all to reflect upon and add to the condolences website set up in her memory. The site includes moving tributes from Barack Obama, Winnie Overbeek and the Dalai Lama to name a few. We would also draw your attention to the Hummingbird campaign which was set up as a means of encouraging us all to plant trees, and with the aim of planting 1billion trees across the globe in memory of Wangari.

You may also like to take a trip down memory lane with us, and listen to a podcast of Wangari – “Recognising Earth & Culture as the basis for all life” – in full flow at a Gaia Evening in Hampstead some years ago.