Posts Tagged ‘Wangari Maathai’

Press Release: Replenishing the Earth by Wangari Maathai

September 24th, 2010


 On Sale: September 14, 2010  

Contact: Caroline Sill






Spiritual Values for Healing Ourselves and the World  

By Wangari Maathai

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate


Behold my works! See how beautiful they are, how excellent! All that I have created for your sake did I create it. See to it that you do not spoil and destroy my world; for if you do, there will be no one to repair it after you.”  —Ecclesiastes Rabbah 7:13 



In some way or another, many people today have a sense of spiritual displacement, feeling as if they no longer have a connection to the world in a way that provides meaning. In REPLENISHING THE EARTH: Spiritual Values for Healing Ourselves and the World (Doubleday Religion; On Sale: September 14, 2010; Trade Paperback Original; $13.00), Wangari Maathai (winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004) seeks to engender a new level of consciousness in people’s spiritual lives, explaining why it is necessary to reconnect with the natural world wherever they live on the planet.


If…spiritual values were part of discussions about the forests, everyone, from corporations to politicians to the local communities, would look at these resources very differently.”


Since its beginning, the Green Belt Movement has moved from the simple act of tree-planting to meet basic needs to attempting to mitigate the effects of climate change and heal the earth’s wounds. When Wangari Maathai began her work in 1977 with the GBM, she wasn’t motivated by her faith or religion. Instead, she was thinking literally and practically about solving the problems of rural populations suffering from a lack of basic needs such as clean water and adequate food.



Our efforts weren’t only about planting trees, but were also about sowing seeds of a different sort—the ones necessary to heal the wounds inflicted on communities that robbed them of their self-confidence and self-knowledge.”

After many years of working with the Green Belt Movement, she came to realize that the organization has certain intangible values, specifically: love for the environment, respect and gratitude for Earth’s resources, self-betterment, and the spirit of service and volunteerism. Such values are not unique to the GBM. They are universal, not contained within a certain religion or faith. They are a part of human nature, and it is Wangari’s belief that these four ideals shape humankind in that they foster the aspects of people that seek more than material comfort, power, or worldly success. They are what give our lives value and meaning and inspire us to look beyond ourselves.


“None of the healing that is necessary is automatic; it will require much work, for the wounds that have been created in the earth are deep. If we can’t or won’t assist in the earth’s healing process, the planet might not take care of us either.”


In REPLENISHING THE EARTH, Wangari explores the broader application of the core values described above that continue to guide the Green Belt Movement and that remain at the center of its activities, wherever the spirit of the movement is embraced. If we as custodians of this earth are to heal the wounds that have been inflicted on our planet, and subsequently on ourselves, we need to achieve a new level of consciousness and internalize the spiritual values that can help us move to address these wounds. By helping the earth to heal and rejuvenate, we help ourselves. The same values we employ in the service of the earth’s replenishment work on us, too and we must act now. 

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Wangari Maathai was born in Nyeri, Kenya, in 1940. She is the founder of the Green Belt Movement, which, through networks of rural women, has planted more than forty-five million trees across Kenya since 1977. In 2002, she was elected to Kenya’s Parliament in the first free elections in a generation, and in 2003, she was appointed deputy minister for the Environment and Natural Resources. The Nobel Peace Prize laureate of 2004, she has three grown children and lives and works in Nairobi. For more information, please visit her website:



Spiritual Values for Healing Ourselves and the World

By Wangari Maathai   

Published by Doubleday Religion, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group

Trade Paperback Original

ISBN: 978-0-307-59114-2; 208 pages; $13.00

On-Sale: September 14, 2010      


For more information about REPLENISHING THE EARTH or to schedule an interview with Wangari Maathai please contact Caroline Sill at 212-782-8943 or

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The Crown Publishing Group