ONE WORLD VIP-AWARD FOR WANGARI MAATHAI POSTHUMOUSLY PRESENTED IN NAIROBI
The late Prof. Wangari Maathai had accepted the One World VIP-Award 2010 for her outstanding achievements (VIP, stands for Very Impacting Person!). Last year she was not able to receive the prize personally. Her award ceremony was scheduled for the occasion of the IFOAM International Organic Agriculture conference at UNEP in Nairobi on November 15th. With greatest sadness and deep grief we had to accept that "Mama miti" (Mother of Trees) had passed away just a few weeks prior to the award ceremony.
The One World Award jury had chosen Wangari Maathai as she personified with her outstanding engagement all the objectives of the One World Award, especially the aspect of "peaceful community building". All of her work was solidly built on the three pillars of sustainability. As a tireless campaigner and activist for environmental conservation, democracy, human and especially women’s rights, peace and justice she put the objectives of the One World Award into action on a global level and with the greatest impact.
Today the partners of the One World Award - the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) and the pioneering German organic company Rapunzel Naturkost - presented the award at UNEP headquarters in Nairobi to Wangari Maathai’s daughter Wanjira Maathai. The festive award ceremony with the presence of conference participants and distinguished guests from all over the world was a heart moving tribute to this courageous woman and hero of the environmental movements. In her laudation speech the member of the German federal parliament (Green Party) and former agricultural minister of North Rhine Westphalia Baerbel Hoehn highlighted the work of Wangari Maathai. "Wangari Maathai was not only ‘Mama Miti’ – the Mother of Trees. She also was an irrepressible voice of democracy, an inexhaustible source of inspiration, a beacon of hope!", said Baerbel Höhn.
IFOAM commemorated Wangari Matthai’s heritage at its very recent General Assembly in Korea. "She deserves the highest acknowledgment we can provide", said Markus Arbenz, IFOAM’s Executive Director. "Just like the Organic Movement, Wangari Matthai was not always popular, since she fought loud and clear for the right cause: for the planet and for the people, particularly the disadvantaged."
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