Degraded Environments and Financial Bailouts: Both Long-Run Obstacles to Development, Some Say

May 18, 2009 —Greenbelt Movement founder, 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Winner, politician, and environmental activist Wangari Maathai recently made a stop at the World Bank headquarters in Washington DC to give talk on the dangerous consequences of environmental degradation. She urged the World Bank to use its influence with policy makers to help reverse disaster courting policies adopted by some African countries. “They listen to you,” she implored. Maathai was joined by Bruce Babbitt, Chairman of the World Wildlife Fund, in an installment of the Distinguished Seminar Series, co-sponsored by the InfoShop and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) and moderated by Apurva Sanghi, Bank Senior Economist. Professor Maathai was on a tour of the United States to promote her book Challenges of Africa that analyzes the most egregious bottlenecks to development in Africa, chief among them wanton and shortsighted destruction of the environment in places that are hobbled by many obstacles thus risking even greater disasters to come.

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