World Council of Churches

A worldwide fellowship of churches seeking unity, a common witness and Christian service

Congratulations on award of the Nobel Peace Prize

08 October 2004

Letter to H.E. Prof. Wangari Maathai, Assistant Minister of Environment and
Natural Resources of Kenya, 8 October, 2004

Your Excellency,

We greet you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

On behalf of the World Council of Churches and as your compatriot, I congratulate
you for being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2004. Being the first
African woman in history to receive this prestigious prize, you have brought honour
to the African Continent and its people. Today, in Africa, every woman, man
and child must feel proud of your achievement.

The World Council of Churches is fortunate to have had you as an advisor on
environmental issues. We fondly recall your participation in the Faith and Science
Conference, which the Council organized at the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology in the year 1979, where you were the keynote speaker. This was a
landmark conference in our history as it was instrumental in setting up the programme
on "Just, Participatory and Sustainable Societies". Having gained much
from your insights, we have always treasured this association.

The Nobel Peace Prize is in recognition of the immense service you have rendered
to sustaining life through saving the environment from wanton destruction.

This you have done through the Green Belt movement, which you founded
in 1977 and which has made a valuable contribution to earth ethics. You have
done all this through mobilizing the people and through legislative means. Your
campaign against deforestation across Africa is a unique contribution not only to
save African forests, but also African lives. As the Nobel Committee correctly
says, you represent an "example and a source of inspiration for everyone in Africa
fighting for sustainable development, democracy and peace".

May our Lord's blessings be with you as you continue to work for His creation
and for His people.

Yours in Christ,

Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia
General Secretary

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