In 2004 [Wangari] Maathai was honored with a Nobel Peace Prize for her work founding the Green Belt Movement, which enlists villagers, and especially women, to improve their local environment.
Since then, she’s concluded that people’s values are what motivate them. If the values are good ones, good actions will follow. Hence it’s importance for people to tap their spiritual traditions for guidance in caring for the environment, she says.
“I saw that if people have [good] values, they can sustain what they are doing,” says Maathai in a recent interview at a New York City hotel not far from the United Nations, where she’s addressed the General Assembly in the past.