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2019-03-20 09:17

来源:新东方在线

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  Kenyan environmentalist and human rights campaigner Wangari Maathai has won the Nobel Peace Prize. She is the first African woman to be awarded the peace prize since it was created in 1901. A surprised Mrs. Maathai broke the news to reporters minutes before the official announcement. The prize committee says Mrs. Maathai, Kenya's Deputy Environment Minister(助理环境部长), is an example for all Africans fighting for democracy and peace. The delighted 64-year-old professor said the award was completely unexpected. "This is extremely encouraging to the people of Africa and the African woman," she told the BBC. "It is a recognition of the many efforts of African women, who continue to struggle despite all the problems they face." In the late 1970s, Mrs. Maathai led a campaign called the Green Belt Movement to plant tens of millions of trees across Africa to slow deforestation(采伐森林) . The movement grew to include projects to preserve biodiversity, educate people about their environment and promote the rights of women and girls. Known as "The Tree Woman" in Kenya, Mrs Maathai celebrated by planting a Nandi flame tree(凤凰木) in her home town of Nyeri, in the shadow of Mount Kenya. She said she was delighted that the vital role of the environment had been recognised. "The environment is very important in the aspects of peace because when we destroy our resources and our resources become scarce, we fight over that". "I am working to make sure we don't only protect the environment, we also improve governance," she added. The committee says she has combined science with social engagement and politics, and has worked both locally and internationally. The professor was the 12th woman peace laureate since the first award was first made in 1901. A spokesman for the Kenyan government said his country was honored. "This is a great moment in Kenyan history. To us this shows that what Wangari Maathai has been doing here has been recognized," Alfred Mutua said. "We're very proud of her and she deserves all the credit." Mrs. Maathai beat a record 194 nominations, including former chief United Nations weapons inspector Hans Blix and the head of the UN energy watchdog, Mohamed ElBaradei, to win the prize. Mrs. Maathai is the second woman in a row to be awarded the peace prize, which last year went to Iranian lawyer Shirin Ebadi for her work for the rights of women and children in Iran. The award, which includes 10 million Swedish kronor ($1.3m) is awarded in Oslo on 10 December each year.

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