Best 152 of Wangari Maathai quotes - MyQuotes

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Wangari Maathai
By Anonym 14 Sep

Wangari Maathai

It's a matter of life and death for this country. The Kenyan forests are facing extinction and it is a man-made problem.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Wangari Maathai

I definitely hope to relax when I get back hope. I will disappear into the forest and be rejuvenated by the beauty of the mountains.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Wangari Maathai

Nile perch is a fish that was introduced into Lake Victoria. The reason that fish was introduced into Lake Victoria was because it was decided that the people living near the lake needed more proteins than they were getting.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Wangari Maathai

You have to know yourself, and that once you know yourself, then you cannot be bound by - because sometimes we are bound by other people's thoughts, because we are not sure about ourselves. But once you know yourself... I guess it is really an expression of the biblical statements that the truth will make you free! When you know, then you are free, your mind is free.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Wangari Maathai

All of us have a God in us, and that God is the spirit that unites all life, everything that is on this planet. It must be this voice that is telling me to do something, and I am sure it's the same voice that is speaking to everybody on this planet - at least everybody who seems to be concerned about the fate of the world, the fate of this planet.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Wangari Maathai

Every one of us can make a contribution. And quite often we are looking for the big things and forget that, wherever we are, we can make a contribution. Sometimes I tell myself, I may only be planting a tree here, but just imagine what's happening if there are billions of people out there doing something. Just imagine the power of what we can do.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Wangari Maathai

When I first started, it was really an innocent response to the needs of women in rural areas. When we started planting trees to meet their needs, there was nothing beyond that. I did not see all the issues that I have to come to deal with.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Wangari Maathai

I want to do the right things - I want to plant trees, I want to make sure that the indigenous forests are protected because I know, whatever happens, these are the forests that contain biodiversity, these are the forests that help us retain water when it rains and keep our rivers flowing, these are the forests that many future generations will need.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Wangari Maathai

Finally I was able to see that if I had a contribution I wanted to make, I must do it, despite what others said. That I was OK the way I was. That it was all right to be strong.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Wangari Maathai

Culture defines who we are and how we see ourselves. A new attitude toward nature provides space for a new attitude toward culture and the role it plays in sustainable development

By Anonym 13 Sep

Wangari Maathai

I learned in America a long time ago, the three R's, the principle of three R's - reuse, reduce, recycle. And as I say those words, there are so many things individually we can do to reduce - we don't need to consume as much as we are consuming. Reduce. And by reusing, we can reuse a lot of things we just throw into the dumpsite. And reduce the production. The more we reuse, the more we can reduce.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Wangari Maathai

We can work together for a better world with men and women of goodwill, those who radiate the intrinsic goodness of humankind. To do so effectively, the world needs a global ethic with values which give meaning to life experiences and, more than religious institutions and dogmas, sustain the non-material dimension of humanity. Mankind's universal values of love, compassion, solidarity, caring and tolerance should form the basis for this global ethic which should permeate culture, politics, trade, religion and philosophy. It should also permeate the extended family of the United Nations.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Wangari Maathai

The way in which we can promote peace, is by promoting sustainable management of our resources, equitable distribution of these resources, and that the only way you can actually do that, is that then you have to have a political, economic system that facilitates that. And then you get into the issues of human rights, justice, economic justice, social justice, and good governance or democratic governance. That's how it ties up.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Wangari Maathai

Why do we have to have people come from afar to come and grow food for us, or to grow food to sell to us? It is partly because we are almost becoming used to people doing things for us. Like somebody else is going to solve that problem for us. And that to me is very disempowering system.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Wangari Maathai

What a friend we have in a tree, the tree is the symbol of hope, self improvement and what people can do for themselves.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Wangari Maathai

When you think of all the conflicts we have - whether those conflicts are local, whether they are regional or global - these conflicts are often over the management, the distribution of resources. If these resources are very valuable, if these resources are scarce, if these resources are degraded, there is going to be competition.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Wangari Maathai

I'm sure the government of Qatar is not coming in to grow food for the people of Kenya; it's coming to grow food to sell. If it can also sell to the people of Kenya, well, then good. I think that the moves can be helpful, but I think that the history that Africa knows, as I say in my book, has been a history of exploitation.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Wangari Maathai

One of the reasons why I've written The Challenge for Africa is to save it. Surely there are so many problems we can solve in Africa, but first and foremost, we need a government that feels responsible to protect their own people from the exploitations, from the misuse, from the mistreatment that they can easily get.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Wangari Maathai

We tend to put the environment last because we think the first thing we have to do is eliminate poverty. But you can't reduce poverty in a vacuum. You are doing it in an environment.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Wangari Maathai

I think that for anybody who has worked in the civil society, government bureaucracy moves very very slowly.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Wangari Maathai

I knew that I was not doing anything wrong, and I knew in my mind I was doing the right thing. I knew that the people who were going against me were not going against me for a good purpose. I knew that they were trying to justify their corruption and misgovernance.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Wangari Maathai

The generation that destroys the environment is not the generation that pays the price. That is the problem.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Wangari Maathai

It is very important for young people not to be afraid of engaging in areas that are not common to the youth. Get involved in local activities, get involved in local initiatives, be involved in leadership positions because you can’t learn unless you are involved. And if you make mistakes that is alright too because we all make mistakes and we learn from those mistakes. You gain confidence from learning, failing and rising again.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Wangari Maathai

We can work together for a better world with men and women of goodwill, those who radiate the intrinsic goodness of humankind.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Wangari Maathai

An individual citizen cannot protect himself from the powers of large corporations or external governments. It is the responsibility of the government to protect its citizens.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Wangari Maathai

And so I'm saying that, yes, colonialism was terrible, and I describe it as a legacy of wars, but we ought to be moving away from that by now.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Wangari Maathai

So GMOs, who knows? Maybe GMOs will come, they will get maize that produces double. But who knows what else may happen to the maize?

By Anonym 13 Sep

Wangari Maathai

In Kenya, one of our biggest exports is coffee. Where do you grow coffee? You grow coffee in the land. To be able to grow coffee you need rain, you need special kinds of soils that are found on hillsides, and that means you have to protect that land from soil erosion so you don't lose the soil. You also want to make sure that when the rains come you're going to be able to hold that water and have it go into the ground so that the streams and the rivers keep flowing and the ground is relatively humid for these plants.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Wangari Maathai

The little grassroots people can change this world.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Wangari Maathai

What I am trying to say is that they need to learn to rely on themselves and to learn from other people, and when you learn something from other people, then you keep moving onward for yourself.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Wangari Maathai

What is really important is to educate people how to protect themselves and how to ensure that, despite their poverty, they can get tested and access drugs. So I just hope that those who can will make those drugs available.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Wangari Maathai

Because I was a woman, I was vulnerable. It was easy to vilify me and project me as a woman who was not following the tradition of a 'good African woman.'

By Anonym 15 Sep

Wangari Maathai

Those of us who witness the degraded state of the environment and the suffering that comes with it cannot afford to be complacent. We continue to be restless. If we really carry the burden, we are driven to action. We cannot tire or give up. We owe it to the present and future generations of all species to rise up and walk!

By Anonym 15 Sep

Wangari Maathai

When resources are degraded, we start competing for them, whether it is at the local level in Kenya, where we had tribal clashes over land and water, or at the global level, where we are fighting over water, oil, and minerals. So one way to promote peace is to promote sustainable management and equitable distribution of resources.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Wangari Maathai

Do not be naive. AIDS is not a curse from God to Africans or the black people. It is a tool to control them designed by some evil-minded scientists, but we may not know who particularly did it.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Wangari Maathai

If you make mistakes that is alright because we all make mistakes and we learn from those mistakes. You gain confidence from learning, failing and rising again.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Wangari Maathai

Some say that AIDS came from the monkeys, and I doubt that because we have been living with monkeys from time immemorial, others say it was a curse from God, but I say it cannot be that.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Wangari Maathai

We think that diamonds are very important, gold is very important, all these minerals are very important. We call them precious minerals, but they are all forms of the soil. But that part of this mineral that is on top, like it is the skin of the earth, that is the most precious of the commons.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Wangari Maathai

Tradition sometimes excludes the girl child from inheriting; or single women may not want to be perceived as pursuing too much property. The law has come a long way in favor of the woman, but it is the tradition, the attitudes, that we often have to fight.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Wangari Maathai

Now when Nile perch was introduced [into Lake Victoria], I don't think enough research was done; maybe it was done, maybe it was not. But Nile perch is a huge fish. So it ate all the little fish, and it grew into a monster which the local people could not fish with their little boats and their little nets.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Wangari Maathai

Quite often when you help poor people, they don't think about the environment. They think about survival.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Wangari Maathai

The people are learning that you cannot leave decisions only to leaders. Local groups have to create the political will for change, rather than waiting for others to do things for them. That is where positive, and sustainable, change begins.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Wangari Maathai

As long as we have all these conflicts, it is the women who will continue to suffer, so that is one reason why I guess as women we should really work for peace, because we know how painful wars can be to us and our daughters.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Wangari Maathai

I have always felt that perhaps women have sometimes almost embraced the same values as men, and the same character as men, because they are in the men's world, and they are trying to fit into a system that men have created. And maybe in truth when there is a critical mass of women who play that role in governments, then we will see whether women can really manage power in a way that is less destructive than the way that men have used power.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Wangari Maathai

African women in general need to know that it's OK for them to be the way they are - to see the way they are as a strength, and to be liberated from fear and from silence.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Wangari Maathai

People need open space. People need to bring their children into an area where they can play without restriction." And I was told, "This is development." And I said, "That is not development, definitely not sustainable development, definitely not responsible development. People need fresh air. They can do without buildings. They can do without concrete. But they cannot do without fresh air.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Wangari Maathai

The developed world should be willing to help [Africa] and support her and make this energy affordable.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Wangari Maathai

You cannot protect the environment unless you empower people, you inform them, and you help them understand that these resources are their own, that they must protect them.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Wangari Maathai

It's the little things citizens do. That's what will make the difference. My little thing is planting trees.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Wangari Maathai

Using trees as a symbol of peace is in keeping with a widespread African tradition. For example, the elders of the Kikuyu carried a staff from the thigi tree that, when placed between two disputing sides, caused them to stop fighting and seek reconciliation. Many communities in Africa have these traditions.