Elizabeth Wathuti

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Elizabeth Wanjiru Wathuti
Born (1995-08-01) 1 August 1995 (age 27)
Kiandu village, Tetu Constituency, Nyeri County Kenya
EducationKenyatta University
Years active2015–present
Known forEnvironment and Climate activism since childhood

Elizabeth Wanjiru Wathuti (born August 1, 1995) is a Kenyan environment and climate activist and founder of the Green Generation Initiative, which nurtures young people to love nature and be environmentally conscious at a young age and has now planted 30,000 tree seedlings in Kenya.[1][2]

In 2019, she was awarded the Africa Green Person of the Year Award by the Eleven Eleven Twelve Foundation[3] and named as one of the 100 Most Influential Young Africans by the Africa Youth Awards.[4]


Wathuti graduated from Kenyatta University with a bachelor's degree in Environmental Studies and Community Development.[5]

Early childhood and environmental activism[edit]

Wathuti grew up in Nyeri County, which is renowned for having the highest forest cover in Kenya.[6] She planted her first tree at the age of seven and went on to establish an environmental club in her high school with the help of her geography teacher, who offered to be the club's patron.[7] She was part of the leadership of Kenyatta University Environmental Club (KUNEC) where she was able to conduct numerous activities; such as tree planting, clean ups and environmental education; all while increasing awareness of global environmental challenges like climate change.[8]

In 2016, she founded Green Generation Initiative, with a focus of nurturing more young environmental enthusiasts, practical environmental and climate education, building climate resilience and greening schools. Her video "The Forest is a Part of Me[9]" was featured by the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) as part of a series on Youth Voices in Landscapes.

She is a recipient of a Wangari Maathai Scholarship award for her outstanding passion and commitment to environmental conservation.[10] Wathuti is also a full member of the Green Belt Movement, which was founded by the late Professor Wangari Maathai who is Wathuti's role model and a big inspiration and influence[11]

In 2019 on International Youth Day, she was recognized by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on their Instagram feed[12] for her work in environmental conservation. She was also featured on the Queen's Commonwealth Trust website.[13][14] In the same year she was featured alongside Vanessa Nakate and Oladuso Adenike by Greenpeace as one of three young black climate activists in Africa trying to save the world.

Awards and recognitions[edit]

  • 2016 fourth Wangari Maathai Scholarship Award[15]
  • Green Climate Fund Climate Youth Champion Award 2019[16]
  • Africa Green Person of the Year 2019 Award by the Eleven Eleven Twelve Foundation.[17]
  • 100 Most Influential Young African by the Africa Youth Awards.[18]
  • The Diana International Award (2019)[19]
  • UN Young Champions of the Earth Regional finalist for Africa (2019)[20]
  • International Youth Day 2019 Recognition by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.[21]
  • Bloggers Association of Kenya - BAKE Awards (2018) for the best environmental blog.[22]


  1. ^ "Perspective - Elizabeth Wathuti, the 23-year-old environmental activist planting trees in Kenya". France 24. 2019-09-25. Retrieved 2020-02-02.
  2. ^ Environment, U. N. "Elizabeth Wathuti". Young Champions of the Earth - UN Environment Program. Retrieved 2020-02-02.
  3. ^ "Green Award Categories – EETFoundation". Retrieved 2020-02-04.
  4. ^ APANEWS. "Nine Kenyans among 2019 most influential young Africans". apanews.net. Retrieved 2020-01-31.
  5. ^ "Meet Elizabeth Wathuti, Kenya's environment champion". The Star. Retrieved 2020-02-02.
  6. ^ App, Daily Nation. "Lakeside counties with 'no forests'". mobile.nation.co.ke. Retrieved 2020-02-04.
  7. ^ "Elizabeth Wanjiru Wathuti | Kenyans.co.ke". www.kenyans.co.ke. Retrieved 2020-02-04.
  8. ^ "Elizabeth Wanjiru Wathuti". www.tiredearth.com. Retrieved 2020-01-31.
  9. ^ The forest is a part of me, Elizabeth Wanjiru Wathuti, Kenya, retrieved 2020-02-01
  10. ^ "Recipients of the fourth Wangari Maathai Scholarship Award | The Green Belt Movement". www.greenbeltmovement.org. Retrieved 2020-02-01.
  11. ^ "KCDF". www.kcdf.or.ke. Retrieved 2020-02-01.
  12. ^ "Kenya rising". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 2020-02-01.
  13. ^ "Green Generation Initiative: working towards a green future". www.queenscommonwealthtrust.org. Retrieved 2020-02-01.
  14. ^ Wealth Trust, Queen's Common. "Queen's Common Wealth Trust Annual Report" (PDF). Annual Report. year ended 31st March, 2019: 17.
  15. ^ "Recipients of the fourth Wangari Maathai Scholarship Award | The Green Belt Movement". www.greenbeltmovement.org. Retrieved 2020-02-01.
  16. ^ Hub, IISD's SDG Knowledge. "First-ever GCF Green Champion Awards Recognizes Efforts to Combat Climate Change | News | SDG Knowledge Hub | IISD". Retrieved 2020-01-30.
  17. ^ "Green Award Categories – EETFoundation". Retrieved 2020-02-01.
  18. ^ "Nine Kenyans among 2019 most influential young Africans". apanews.net (in French). Retrieved 2020-02-04.
  19. ^ "Roll of Honour 2019". The Diana Award. Retrieved 2020-02-14.
  20. ^ "Roll of Honour 2019". The Diana Award. Retrieved 2020-02-14.
  21. ^ Musyoka, Michael. "British Royals Praise Kenyan Girl Who's Inspired Them". Retrieved 2020-02-14.
  22. ^ Wamathai, James (2018-05-19). "Here are the BAKE Awards 2018 winners". BAKE Awards. Retrieved 2020-02-14.

External links[edit]

* Elizabeth Wathuti on Twitter