Why Famous: Internationally renowned environmentalist and political activist, Dr. Maathai became the 1st African woman to win a Nobel Peace Price in 2004 for her work against environmental degradation and poverty.
After founding the Green Belt Movement in 1977, Maathai was responsible for planting over 30 million trees in Africa, and helping provide employment for nearly 900,000 women.
- 1977-06-05 National Council of Women of Kenya led by Wangari Maathai march to Kamukunji Park, Nairobi, and plant seven trees - beginning of the Green Belt Movement
- 1999-01-08 Tree planting protest against the privatisation of Karura Forest, including Wangari Maathai, attacked in Kenya prompting outrage
- 2004-10-08 Kenyan Wangari Maathai is the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for "her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace"