Wangari Maathai, African Environmentalist and Nobel Laureate
An Early Activist
The Green Belt Movement became known for its aggressive tree-planting strategy to combat deforestation. The organization utilizes the efforts of, and empowers, rural Kenyan women; since the founding of the movement, 30,000 women have trained in forestry, food processing and bee-keeping, and over 40 million trees have been planted. In this January 1999 photo, Maathai argues with private security guards when she and members of the Movement stormed the Karura forest, which had been illegally taken over by private developers.