Monday, April 19, 2010

Planting Trees and Other Subversive Acts

How can you argue with tree planting? A seemingly-gentle act actually packs quite a political punch.
In 1977, Nobel Peace Prize winner and Kenyan political activist Dr. Wangari Maathai wanted to combat the effects of deforestation and soil erosion by organizing a tree planting campaign. Her Green Belt program not only made a change in the Kenyan landscape, it also changed how Kenyan women felt about themselves. In organzing tree planting, Maathai encouraged Kenyans not only to invest in their country, but gave them a sense of empowerment, which grew along with the 40 million trees planted across Africa. Maathai was eventually elected to Parliment in 2002.
Palestinians hope their burgeoning tree planting campaign will be as influential as Kenya's. As reported in the New York Times, Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad has encouraged tree planting on the West Bank to establish a positive presence in the area. And Green Belt is planning to expand their tree planting efforts in earthquake-ravaged Hati.
Perhaps Emerson was right. Connecting with nature helps us restore our natural morality. So as Earth Day is upon us, perhaps it's time for us each to plant a tree.


Clare said...

Holy crap, what an inspiring sotry! Just from planting trees! See?? Being green does make a big difference!

Nadine @ BDG said...

I know-- much better than bullets!