This is a question which invites some bias of opinion, but I think that the Nobel prize given to Wangari Maathai (Nobel Peace Prize 2004) has done a great deal of good for progressive environmental politics in Africa and the world. In creating the Green Belt movement, Maathai integrated the concepts of free democratic politics and environmental protection — stating that without transparent government and corporate procedure, people could have no recourse in protecting their country’s natural legacy — and thus conceptually advanced environmental politics, linking causes of the environment to causes of justice as early as the mid-80s (despite massive pressures from the government of Kenya and corporate interests across the world).
The systems of education and environmental outreach the Green Belt movement helped create as early as twenty-five years ago are still in place in Kenya, and Maathai remains an integral figure in mobilizing people against the corruption of natural resources.
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