Wangari Maathai Forest Champion Award

The CPF launched the first Wangari Maathai Award in 2012 to honour and commemorate the impact of this extraordinary woman who championed forest issues around the world.

In 2015, the CPF awarded Ugandan forestry activist Gertrude Kabusimbi Kenyangi in recognition of her efforts to promote the conservation and sustainable use of her country's forest resources.

Since 1994, Kenyangi has been working with Uganda's National Forest Authority to protect and promote the sustainable use of tropical forests in the country's Mbarara and Ntungamo districts. With the help of the women of the community-based non-governmental organization Support for Women and Agriculture (SWAGEN), she has planted
over one million trees in the Rwoho Natural Forest buffer zone. These activities have not only contributed to mitigation of and adaptation to climate change in Uganda, but also have generated the new sources of income for local communities through beekeeping, timber harvesting and sales of carbon offset credits.

The awardee receives a cash prize of USD20,000 along with international recognition of their outstanding contributions to preserve, restore and sustainably manage forests and to raise awareness of the key role forests play in supporting local communities, rural livelihoods, women and the environment.

The Wangari Maathai Award, given for the first time in 2012, was created by CBD, CIFOR, FAO, GEF, ICRAF, ITTO, IUCN, IUFRO, UNCCD, UNDP, UNEP, UNFCCC, UNFF and World Bank, all members of the CPF. Nominations will be reviewed by an international jury of renowned personalities, who will also take into consideration such elements as empowering women and civil society, fostering social commitment, promoting networks and improving the valuation of forests in society.