Friday, July 08, 2011

Wangari Maathai: "If the rivers stop flowing, people will fight."

Wednesday the 6th of July 2011 Wangari Maathai received a honorary doctorate at Copenhagen University and spoke about her work with the Green Belt movement, the Taking Roots movie and more. Watch her speech, I recorded it for you:

[15:39] Protecting forests is extremely important [...] also very important for conflict [...] many of the local conflicts that we were having, especially in East Africa, [...] were being fed by competition over resources. Especially over land, [?], farming land, water, watering points [?]. And many of these conflicts are unavoidable unless we learn to manage the resources in a responsible way, in an accountable way and also we learn to share these resources in a more equitable way. Now, these are words, but when you translate them into practicalities on the ground it is actually [?] possible to stop people fighting. If there is no water and there is only one watering point people will fight over that watering point. If the rivers stop flowing [...] people will fight. And usually when people fight, that's when [the developed, rich world hear about the developing, 3rd world and begin to wonder] 'why are they fighting?'. Well they are fighting over resources because either those resources are degraded, they are diminished or they are exhausted or they are not being shared equitably.

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