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Statement by FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf on the death of Wangari Maathai

The world loses a dedicated activist

Photo: ©FAO/Ivo Balderi
Wangari Maathai

It is with profound sadness that I learned of the passing away of Nobel Price for Peace Laureate Wangari Maathai.  I would like to convey my deepest sympathies to her family in their hour of grief.

Wangari Maathai dedicated her life to saving the planet from environmental degradation and improving the well being of people, not only in Kenya, but around the world. We are indebted to the contributions she made to the work of FAO in recent years.

Her participation in the Ministerial Meeting on Forests and at the Seventeenth Session of the Committee on Forestry in March 2005 helped raise awareness about the need for sustainable forest management and, in particular, the conservation of Central Africa's forests.

She brought to our attention the severe impact that violent conflict is having on forests around the world and the need to address this intricate link in our efforts to protect and sustainably use this precious resource. We are also grateful for the role she played at the UNFCCC's Forest Day 3 in Copenhagen in 2009 and for her contributions to the UN Forum on Forests.

We owe a great deal to her for the work she carried out to make this world a better place for all. She will be greatly missed.

27 Septembre 2011, Rome