The Collaborative Partnership on Forests is giving the award to one extraordinary individual for having improved our forests and the lives of people who depend on them.
The winner of the 2022 award will be celebrated for his/her outstanding contributions to conserve, restore and sustainably manage forests and to raise awareness of the key role forests play in supporting local communities, rural livelihoods, women, youth and the environment, at the upcoming XV World Forestry Congress, (2-6 May 2022, Seoul, Republic of Korea).
Along with international recognition and prestige, the recipient of the award will be granted a cash prize of USD20,000 and travel support to participate in the award ceremony in Seoul. The XV World Forestry Congress was postponed to 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In line with this decision the CPF postponed the Wangari Maathai Forest Champions Award to take place in the same year as the Congress. All nominations received during the previous call for nominations will remain valid unless withdrawn by the submitter.
Nominations are reviewed by a panel of renowned forestry experts, from research to politics, who will also consider the nominees’ efforts in empowering women, youth and civil society, fostering social commitment, promoting networks and improving the visibility and socio-cultural value of forests.
The CPF launched the first Wangari Maathai Award in 2012 to honour and commemorate the impact of this extraordinary woman who championed forest issues across the globe. Maathai was the first African woman to win a Nobel Peace Prize for her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace in 2004.
Her Green Belt Movement is an environmental organization that empowers communities, and particularly women, to conserve the environment and improve livelihoods. The movement has also planted over 51 million trees in Kenya. This spirit is revived through the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030, which was launched this year with a rallying call for the protection and revival of ecosystems all around the world, for the benefit of people and nature.
Previous Wangari Maathai Forest Champion Award winners are Nepalese community forestry movement leader Narayan Kaji Shrestha (2012), Mexican environmental campaigner Martha Isabel ‘Pati’ Ruiz Corzo (2014), Ugandan forestry activist Gertrude Kabusimbi Kenyangi (2015), Brazilian forestry activist Maria Margarida Ribeiro da Silva (2017), and Burundian forestry activist Léonidas Nzigiyimpa (2019).