Seeds of peace.
Wangari Maathai (wan-GAH-ree mah-DHEYE), a woman from Kenya who started an environmental movement in Africa, and who has campaigned for women's rights and greater democracy, has been awarded the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize. Maathai is the first African woman to win the prize since it was first awarded in 1901. Through her efforts, women across Africa have planted some 30 million trees to help reverse the deforestation that has stripped much of the continent bare. For every tree that takes root, the woman who planted it earns a small sum. Maathai's activism has not always been welcomed by the Kenyan government. In years past, she was labeled subversive, and was beaten and jailed. But she remains committed to the idea that environmental concerns are important to peace. "When our resources become scarce, we fight over them," she says. "In managing our resources and in sustainable development, we plant the seeds of peace."