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Last Updated: Friday, 10 December, 2004, 14:54 GMT
Nobel Peace Prize
Wangari Maathai
Nobel Peace Prize 2004

In a HARDtalk interview on 10th December, Gavin Esler talks to the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Wangari Maathai.

Professor Maathai is the first African woman and environmentalist to win the prestigious award.

The 64-year-old was honoured for her campaign to save Africa's trees and for promoting social, economic and cultural reforms that are ecologically viable.

Green belt

Prof Maathai is the founder of the Green Belt Movement, which has planted 20-30 million trees in Africa to counter forest loss and slow the spread of the deserts.

The movement went on to campaign on education, nutrition and other issues important to women.

She was elected as an MP in Kenya in 2002, and became deputy environment minister in 2003.

Prof Maathai beat a record 194 nominations, including former chief United Nations weapons inspector Hans Blix and the head of the UN energy watchdog, Mohamed El Baradei, to win the prize.

She talks to Gavin Esler about the controversy surrounding her win and her hopes for Africa in the year to come.

HARDtalk can be seen on BBC World at 04:30 GMT,1130 GMT, 1530 GMT, 1930 GMT, 0030 GMT

It can also be seen on BBC News 24 at 04:30 and 23:30

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