To the beat of African drums, Kenyan environmentalist Wangari Maathai received her Nobel Peace Prize yesterday, telling the audience of royals, celebrities and diplomats that protecting...

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OSLO, Norway — To the beat of African drums, Kenyan environmentalist Wangari Maathai received her Nobel Peace Prize yesterday, telling the audience of royals, celebrities and diplomats that protecting the world’s resources is linked to halting violence.

“Today, we are faced with a challenge that calls for a shift in our thinking, so that humanity stops threatening its life-support system,” the first African woman and first environmental activist to win the peace prize said.

Maathai, 64, warned that the world remains under attack from disease, deforestation and war. “We are called to assist the Earth to heal her wounds, and in the process heal our own, indeed, to embrace the whole creation in all its diversity, beauty and wonder,” she said.

“This will happen if we see the need to revive our sense of belonging to a larger family of life, with which we have shared our evolutionary process,” said Maathai, who founded the Green Belt Movement, as she received the gold medal and diploma that accompanies the $1.5 million prize.

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In neighboring Sweden, the other Nobel prizes were awarded. Other recipients were:

Americans Richard Axel and Linda B. Buck (medicine); Americans David J. Gross, H. David Politzer and Frank Wilczek (physics); Israelis Aaron Ciechanover and Avram Hershko and American Irwin Rose (chemistry); Norwegian Finn E. Kydland and American Edward C. Prescott (economic sciences). Absent from Stockholm was the literature prize winner, Elfriede Jelinek of Austria.