Nobel Laureate Urges Global Tree-Planting Campaign to Support Kyoto

NAIROBI -- Kenyan Nobel peace laureate Wangari Maathai urged developing nations to help fight global warming and support the Kyoto Protocol on climate change by joining her tree-planting campaign.

Maathai, whom the Nobel committee honored last year for her spirited campaign to promote good governance and human rights in Kenya through community-based tree planting, said expanding the project would boost the treaty's chances of success.


"What we (in the developing countries) should do to ensure that the Kyoto Protocol is successful is to plant a lot of trees in order to create carbon sinks," she said.

The Kyoto Protocol, which aims to fight global warming by requiring developed nations to cut emmissions of greenhouse gases, took effect earlier this month without the support of the world's leading polluter, the United States.

The treaty does not require developing countries to make similar cuts but Maathai said countries not covered by the pact could help in other ways, such as planting trees which convert carbon dioxide into oxygen.

"Anybody, anywhere can plant a tree and make it survive," she told AFP at the sidelines of the 23rd UN Environment Programme (UNEP) governors' conference in the Kenyan capital.

Maathai, who serves as Kenya's deputy environment minister, is credited with planting more than 30 million trees across Africa.

Published on Thursday, February 24, 2005 by the Agence France Presse

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