In 2004, Wangari Maathai became the first African woman and environmentalist to win the coveted Nobel Peace Prize. Among her achievements was founding the Green Belt Movement in 1977, which involved training 30,000 women in rural Kenya to combat deforestation, generate income and stop soil erosion.

It had taken the Nobel Foundation more than three decades to notice this visionary. But in 1986, nearly 20 years before receiving the Nobel Prize, Maathai had been recognised by an award that is still little-known in the UK, although it is highly respected in many European countries for being at the ...


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