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There are trees that inspire

April 7, 2015

beth moon

Trees fill our environment with oxygen, provide timber or help us find new drugs. The largest form of plants is useful in so many ways, no wonder we are fascinated by them. There is, however an African woman, who dedicated her entire life to trees, that made her immortal.

From early childhood Wangari Maathai used to observe forests being cleared and replaced by commercial plantations or simply cut down to provide fuel. She noticed that chopping trees not only destroyed the ability to conserve water, something of great importance in her native Kenya, but also that an absence of trees causes a void in social interaction. Once the trees in villages and along dusty roads are being cut down, people no longer gather to enjoy their shade and admire their crowns. So she decided to do something about it and devoted her entire life to planting trees. Every time she had the opportunity, Wangari encouraged people to plant trees and many followed her example. 50 million trees have been planted in Kenya alone and the idea soon spread to the other Sub-Saharan countries.

After establishing a Green Belt Movement, she did not stop at simply planting trees, but went on by trying to provide livelihood to women. Wangari provided education for thousands of women to be trained in forestry, beekeeping and other skills providing their income. What started as a simple tree planting mission, developed into the leading environmental conservation and women’s rights movement in Africa. She later became a political activist, advocating justice and civil liberties, but it was her trees that made her the first African lady to receive a Nobel peace prize.

The photo is taken by another woman fascinated by trees. Beth Moon is a photographer from San Francisco. For over a decade, she has been wandering the world in search for the world’s oldest trees. Beth is travelling to remote locations to capture the most magnificent trees, which look as old as the world itself. The quest led her also to Wangari’s homeland.

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From → Get Inspired

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