I am the Hummingbird Campaign – In Memory of the Late Wangari Maathai
On 25th September, 2011, Kenya lost one of her foremost heroines. Professor Wangari Maathai was a world-renowned environmentalist, earning her the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize in 2004. She is internationally acclaimed for her persistent struggle for democracy, human rights, and conservation.
I am the Hummingbird Campaign is a nationwide all-inclusive tree planting campaign seeking to honour the memory of the Late Wangari Maathai by doing that which she loved most: planting trees. As a testament to all that she stood for and fought for, this initiative seeks to bring together Kenyans from all walks of life to participate in a national tree planting exercise to further the environmental cause closest to her heart.
In the immediate and as a pre-cursor to the tree planting, we will have a 24hour candle vigil across the world on the day of her funeral. The idea is to work with our networks to have people light a candle for an hour so for 24 hours, the world is lit by candles in remembrance of Prof. Wangari Maathai. We would like people to take a photo of their candles with the words “I am the hummingbird” or a short video clip of the same and we will then put all of them on the Green Belt Movement Website.
Friday 28th October
- Green Belt Movement is a NGO mobilizing community consciousness- using tree planting as an entry point- for self-determination, equity, improved livelihoods and security, and environmental conservation.
- Kenya Forest Services (KFS) is a Kenya Forest Service is a State Corporation established in February 2007 under the Forest Act 2005 to conserve, develop and sustainably manage forest resources for Kenya’s social-economic development.
- Kenya28Feb is a movement seeking to unite Kenyans around positive national symbols and cultivate a sense of patriotism among Kenyans.
KFS has 10 existing conservancies, 71 zonal managers, and 600 forest officers ensuring an active national presence; The Hummingbird Campaign will utilise existing KFS infrastructure to provide venues and guidance as to where and how those who wish to participate may plant trees. It is important that this exercise be undertaken in a structured manner so as to ensure trees are planted where they can be taken care of. KFS will ensure that all trees planted are inventoried and accounted for in its Seed Nursery Directory (currently implementing GPS tracking) such that it will be possible to track the number and location of trees planted during this initiative. By way of such a national concerted effort, it is estimated that this initiative could potentially increase Kenya’s forest cover by 10%.
This initiative will take advantage of the fact that October is the Eastern regime planting season; and will still incorporate planting in the Western regime, though will utilize less trees in the Western regime as conditions are not favourable at the moment.
Individuals and corporates will be welcome to purchase seedlings from tree nurseries (list to be provided by KFS who can hopefully negotiate discounted rates for this initiative) and provide these for the public to plant at the pre-determined locations.