Nobel Laureate Maathai awarded Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace

November 19th, 2007 - 10:45 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, Nov 19 (ANI): Noted environmentalist and Nobel Laureate Wangari M. Maathai was today conferred the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development.
Conferring the prize on the 90th birth anniversary of Indira Gandhi, President Pratibha Patil said that the developing countries need to be economically sound, which can then facilitate other issues like environment and climate.
“Developing countries, whether in Asia or Africa, need economic growth to provide to their people opportunities for decent lives. The needs and concerns of developing countries should be addressed in global trade negotiations as also in climate change discussions,” said Patil.
Also present at the ceremony, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in his address called upon the developed nations to reflect on their development model based on high and wasteful consumption.
Singh said that India and other developing nations should be willing to accept the obligation of reducing the per capita emissions of pollutants.
“We are as committed to improving the life of the world’s poor as we are to protecting our environment. We do not see any contradiction in pursuing these two goals. In fact, we see them as complementary objectives,” said Singh.
He urged the developed world to reflect on whether it can continue to pursue a model of development based on high and wasteful consumption.
The Prime Minister congratulated Maathai, who is the President of the Economic and Social and Cultural Council of the African Union, and praised her for her efforts on environmental causes and her battle against superstitions and beliefs.
Maathai’s Green Belt Movement has succeeded in planting 300 million trees across Kenya to prevent soil erosion.
Maathai is also known for her work on sustainable development by safeguarding the environment, protecting human rights and promoting empowerment of women.
“I am particularly challenged to bring into our nation and region, leadership that empowers its citizen true information and education and thereby getting rid of ignorance. The leadership protects the environment even as it rushes to development, protects human rights and specially women, children and vulnerable group in minority,” said Maathai, after being honoured.
Maathai is now heading the United Nations Billion Tree Campaign.
Close on the same lines, India would be launching a programme called ‘Green India’ for planting trees in six million hectares of degraded forestland. (ANI)

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