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The poor in the "Global South" are the most impacted by global warning, We must create a "Global South" Civilian Conservation Corps now.



Named after the Nobel Peace Prize winner, Dr. Wangari Maathai, a champion of human and environmental rights, and founder of Africa's Green Belt Movement, the Wangari Maathai Legacy Project spanning the continents of Africa, Southeast Asia and South America is designed to recover lands lost to over development, agriculture, logging and other economic developments and convert them back to native forests, plains, and wetlands. We must end the tragedy of people abandoning the countryside and moving to urban centers and mega-cities to escape the devastation of global warming (such as water shortages), in search of "economic opportunity" and a "better life." Unfortunately, the economic opportunities in these "Global South" cities are insufficient to employ all the able-bodied, eager rural people moving to the urban centers. 

Additionally, these cities in Africa, Asia, and South America, are woefully ill-equipped to handle the population increases and severe climate change they are experiencing. Many of these cities in the "Global South" have underfunded, and deteriorating roads, bridges, electrical and utility grids insufficient to serve it's most exploited population its poor.

We must create incentives for people to move back to the countryside and become the keepers of the Earth (planting and nurturing forest reforestation.)  At the same time, we must fund "Green Belt" type projects that raise the stature, and sense of well-being, and health for the "slum" settlements in large "Global South" cities following the Bhutanese tenets of GNH (Gross National Happiness) index.

Lastly, according to the World Bank and FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) women in Sub-Saharan Africa create "up to 80% of foodstuffs for household consumption and sale in local markets." Explore the potential of gender equitable distribution of farming roles and responsibilities, resources, and pay..

Is this proposal for a practice or a project?


What actions do you propose?

1. The Wangari Maathai Legacy Project will expand Dr. Maathai's Green Belt Movement across the African, Asian and South American continents, funded by a multinational, multi-organizational entity that provides Universal Basic Income (UBI) to the rural poor living in remote economically deprived regions and encourage urban poor to leave the "slum" areas of mega-cities and join the GCCC (Global Civilian Conservation Corps.) 

2. The WMLP will create green roofs, rooftop gardens in the urban "slum" areas of Nairobi,  Kenya, Manila, Philippines, and Rio de Janeiro, Brasil.

3. The markets for organic farm products continues to rise in value globally, creating new and more profitable opportunities for farmers in the "Global South" Organic farming in Africa is in its early stages, now is the time to act and create incentives to foster the development of new organic farmers across the continent. One regional success story is Abalimi Bezekhaya in Cape Town, South Africa, established 1982, is a non-profit micro-farming organization which also set up a micro-farm to market program called Harvest of Hope.

4. Critical to the successful implementation of the Wangari Maathai Legacy Project in selected Impoverished communities in the "Global South" is the de-internetization of the targeted settlement. The major advantage the "Global South" has over the "Global North" is the embracing of community as identity versus than the expression of individualism through material goods. This fact makes the transition from consumer product driven identity of the city back to the collective mindset of rural living more viable and palatable. A less tech obsessed community like the ones proposed have a much smaller carbon footprint than a community that fervently embraces the latest communication and internet technologies (planned obsolescence.)

Finally, removing litter such as plastic from the environment (oceans, streams, rivers) is equally important and meaningful. This simple action when combined with basic UBI model could be viable in our targeted regions as well. One successful example of this is the "Litter 4 Tokens" project in South Africa. Participants in the "Litter 4 Tokens" project allows people with little or no revenue stream to earn money and basic food staples in exchange for removing plastic from the environment.



Who will take these actions?

The Wangari Maathai Legacy Project will only work with local, environmental, non-profit groups who have a clearer understanding of the region's natural resources, political climate, and urgent needs of the poor compared to large NGOs based in the "Global North."

At the forefront it is hoped that the Wangari Maathai Foundation would play a key and critical role in this project, Additionally, The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) would be critical for the transcontinental deployment of this project. 

Additional on the ground local NGOs include:

  • Tio LIno's NGO, Rocinha Mundo da Arte in Brazil
  • Illac Diaz's  MyShelter Foundation in the Philippines
  • Litter 4 Tokens project in South Africa


Other key members to be announced soon.

Where will these actions be taken?


  • Initiate the principles of GNH (Gross National Happiness) campaign through neighbor committees in Kibera, Tondo and Rocinha. This will occur through teach-in sessions.
  • The first pilot program of the Wangari Maathai Legacy Project would commence in Kibera, located outside of Nairobi, Africa's largest 'slum.'  It is in this settlement where organic, hydroponic projects would begin. These urban micro-farms will yield native, non-monoculture type crops (not coffee, or cocoa), specifically introducing them to regional markets and serving the mega-cities.
  • Additionally, the WMLP will work in the Tondo region of Manila, the city's largest "slum andIllac Diaz's MyShelter Foundation to install solar bottles, green roofs, and rooftop gardens
  • Expand the rooftop gardens, green spaces and community food growing project work of Tio Lino in Rocinha, the largest "slum" in South America located in Rio De Janeiro, Brasil.


Continue the principles of GNH (Gross National Happiness) campaign through neighbor committees in Kibera, Tondo and Rocinha and begin implementing techniques.

Implement a pilot UBI program with selected volunteers from Kibera, Tondo, and Rocinha for the GCCC project in the rural areas. It is projected that with a UBI comparable to regional cost of living that micro-lending techniques may not be necessary.

Actions taken include:

  • Reforest rural areas with native plant species which are better suited to endure the extremes of climate change events
  • Restore and support original/local farming techniques combined with permaculture and organic production implementations.
  • Foster and create regional not international markets for food products produced by the GCCC farmers
  • Reforest savanna-like areas devastated by climate change and "modern" farming techniques


Continue the principles of GNH (Gross National Happiness) campaign through neighbor committees in Kibera, Tondo and Rocinha and begin implementing techniques.
Follow-up and manage newly implemented programs, systems and committee structures.



In addition, specify the country or countries where these actions will be taken.

No country selected

Country 2


Country 3


Country 4


Country 5

No country selected


What impact will these actions have on greenhouse gas emissions and/or adapting to climate change?

The Wangari Maathai Legacy Project through the GCCC will reforest the rural areas of Africa, Southeast Asia, and South America, offsetting the greenhouse gas emissions of "Global South" mega-cities. Additionally,  GCCC farmers growing and cultivating native plants - agro-biodiversity - and trees will reduce water shortages, and need for pesticides like (mono-crop) coffee and cocoa plantations foster.

What are other key benefits?

It will reduce the carbon footprints and congestion in "Global South" mega-cities by encouraging "Green Belt," rural village development  Close-knit communities such as the ones proposed are less consumer product oriented, are happier and more neighborhood and event oriented, expressive  to the methodology of Bhutan's GNH (Gross National Happiness) index. Additionally, communities which are less consumer product oriented will be less inclined to use products that have built-in planned obsolescence marketing and short life cycle, which will reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well.


What are the proposal’s projected costs?

Challenges include creating equity and balance between rural and urban populations that have implemented the Wangari Maathai Legacy Project.

Success would not create an exodus or reverse migration to the rural areas from mega-cities.

Additionally, the Wangari Maathai Legacy Project would work exclusively with local NGOs and not require a UN type deployment to implement the distribution and logistics since all the system created would not require the importation of supplies.


$10,000 converts to approximately 1025976.78 Kenyan Shilling (KES.)

Brazillian Real and Philippian Peso;


The main costs are as follows



Given the growing patterns and seasons of the "Global South" it is believed that the Wangari Maathai Legacy Project could reduce greenhouse gas emission in a five year time period by employing plant materials native to each continental region.





About the author(s)

Related Proposals


Gross National Happiness (GNH) index



Universal Basic Income (UBI)

Andrew Yang, a former lawyer and tech. executive and currently a 2020 candidate for president in the United States believes in a VAT (Value Added Tax) funded UBI. He believes that tech companies in Amierica's Silicon Valley should pay for UBI.


The Value of Native Plants and Local Production in an Era of Global Agriculture.


Reforest Africa

The Wangari Maathai Foundation

Transforming Gender Relations in Agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa: Promising Approaches   by Marion Davis, Cathy Farnworth and Melinda Sundell

Litter For Tokens