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International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

In 2004, when the Nobel Committee awarded Kenya’s Wangari Maathai its Peace Prize, it cited “her contribution to sustainable development, democracy, and peace.” The committee made special mention of her work in founding the Green Belt Movement, which mobilized African women to plant more than 30 million trees, and her courageous stand against political oppression. Maathai, commended for combining “science, social commitment, and active politics,” is a member of parliament and Deputy Minister of the Environment, Natural Resources, and Wildlife. She spoke with Lynn Aylward of the IMF’s Policy Development and Review Department about why she believes peace, conservation, and good governance are intertwined and so critical to development.