Who we are

MOTTAINAI Campaign was set into motion by Prof. Wangari Maathai.
When she came to Japan at the invitation of The Mainichi Newspapers February 2005, she met up with Japanese tongue "MOTTAINAI" in an interview with Mr. Yoshinori Kando, the former chief editor of The Mainichi Newspaper.She had sympathy deeply for it, and propounded to spread MOTTAINAI around the world as a common keyword for conserving environment.She has been speaking about the concept in Africa, Asia, Europe and the United States, for example at the commission on the Status of Women March 2005.The Mainichi newspapers and Japanese business firm "ITOCHU Corporation",
that give them approval to MOTTAINAI Campaign, make an ally to shape sustainable and cyclical society on a global scale by promoting making the most of limited resources and using them as efficiently as possible: as represented by the "3Rs": to reduce waste, reuse finite resources, and recycle what we can.READ MORE

what we do

Simply stated: We are in the business of delivering world peace through environment conservation.
Using MOTTAINAI as a keyword, we want to pass on the beauty of our earth to future generations. Prof. Maathai told us that we are merely borrowing the earth from future generations and that it is adults' responsibility to make sure we hand over to them a beautiful world. Personally, we believe that Japan, as the only country to have undergone a nuclear attack, and its people can use MOTTAINAI as an expression of their remorse and hopes for the future. By that, we mean that we should make an anti-war pledge to rid the world of war, the biggest example of MOTTAINAI because it is a waste of valuable resources.READ MORE

Who we are

The MOTTAINAI Campaign is striving for world peace through environmental conservation, effective use of limited resources and efforts to prevent global warming.
Prof. Maathai is the honorary chair of the MOTTAINAI Campaign.The campaign office is located in the Tokyo headquarter of The Mainichi Newspapers.We are working with local communities, government agencies,partner NGOs, and key businesses to implement environmental conservation and peace.READ MORE


  • MOTTAINAI official website is available in English on December 1.
    MOTTAINAI official website is available in English on December 1. We transmit MOTTAINAI information which includes Japanese lifestyle and wisdom placing importance on things with Prof. Wangari Maathai, winner of Nobel Prize 2004.
  • The first recruitment for non-free volunteer with MOTTAINAI were closed.
    We closed of the recruitment for non-free volunteer with MOTTAINAI on December 31st successfully.
    We will start the action of team MOTTAINAI on the begining of the year 2008.
    Please look forward to our advanced challenge!


Ex-Brazilian Environment Minister Silva visits disaster-hit Miyagi Prefecture

Former Brazilian Environment Minister Marina Silva, right, touches the cenotaph for junior high school students who lost their lives in the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami, in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture, on Oct. 12, 2015. Yuko Tanno, who lost her son in the disaster, stands next to Silva. (Mainichi) NATORI, Miyagi -- Former Brazilian Environment Minister Marina Silva on Oct. 12 visited the Yuriage district in this city, which was devastated by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and ensuing tsunami.


Silva heard accounts of the situation seen immediately after the disaster and how local residents had evacuated and lived in evacuation shelters, as well as reconstruction efforts, from Masayoshi Kosai, 74-year-old curator of the "Memory of Yuriage" museum. The museum, which had been originally standing in front of then Yuriage Junior High School, was moved to a location near the ocean in the spring of this year, together with the cenotaph built mainly by the parents of 14 students who perished in the disaster. While Yuko Tanno, 46, who lost her 13-year-old son in the disaster, was watching, Silva gently touched the cenotaph and prayed for the victims.

"I strongly feel that the people of Yuriage were supporting and taking good care of each other during the disaster even though they were put in extreme situations," Silva said. "No matter how much technologies advance, nature cannot be controlled. Humans are part of nature. Keeping this in mind and making efforts to rebuild the region will lead to a new future."

Silva is visiting Japan at the invitation of the Mainichi Newspapers to mark the 10th anniversary of the launch of the "Mottainai campaign." She is to give a lecture at a Mainichi-sponsored symposium at Sophia University on Oct. 13. The symposium is cosponsored by the AEON Environmental Foundation, Itochu Corp., the Utsunomiya Municipal Government, East Japan Railway Co., Sophia University and Rakuten Inc.
(by Mainichi Newspapers)


Message from Aisha Karanja , Executive Director of The Green Belt Movement

We received the congratulatory message for 10th Anniversary of MOTTAINAI Campaign from Ms.Karanja, GBM Executive Director. The full text(Q&A) is as follows.

GBM Executive Director Aisha Karanja.JPG

Q. Could we have some messages for for 10th Anniversary of Campaign and
appreciation to those who support

A.Congratulations on the 10th Anniversary of the Mottainai Campaign!
The late Prof Maathai saw the linkage between the Japanese concept of Mottainai and the eyesore caused when plastic waste litters public spaces everywhere. The GBM wish to congratulate the Mainichi Newspapers and all supporters on this occasion 10th anniversary of the Campaign. The story of Mottainai both in Japan, Kenya and around the world will continue to unfold and educate about the need to be more responsible, accountable and respectful in the way we utilize and share the limited resources on our planet. The Green Belt Movement is both humbled and honored to be associated and being part of this Campaign for a noble cause.
We appreciate the support received by the Green Belt Movement in this last ten years with funds received from the Campaign – Thank you!

The donations received over the years have supported various projects and ensured that the works of empowering the local communities continue and this support from you has continued even after the demise of our founder Prof. Wangari Maathai.

Q.GBM has planted 3.8million trees at the foot of Mt.Kenya as Mottainai Green Project. Tell us the future goals for this project.

A.Through the support from the Mottainai Green Project, 3.8 million trees have been planted , contributing greatly to the Community°«s quality of life. The greening project has accrued tangible benefits and services to the local residents around mount Kenya and Aberdare Region that has greatly improved their household livelihood securities°« These include
•More disposable income for the rural women who have diversified their household income generating activitiesas a result of compensations received from trees seedlings they plant and provide for planting.
•The rehabilitated forest sites and restored habitats have continued to provide ecosystem goods and services to the local communities. The flash floods and soil erosion has been controlled resulting in better crop yields and household food safety in the region.
•The project has greatly resulted in reduced human induced ecosystem failure, forest fires and human-wildlife menace. The peaceful coexistence between humans and other species that are dependent on the forest resources has led to tranquility and peace in the region.
The project is focusing on provisions of incentives and empowering local communities engaged in conservation activities. This is through building their entrepreneurial and business skills on the establishment of nature based enterprises such as beekeeping and honey production.This is in addition to continued tree planting activities.
The project further aims at reducing the pressures on the forest resources by providing sustainable clean energy to the local communities °«for both lighting and cooking.
Indigenous food production and diversification is safety net for household°«s livelihoods°« and as an adaptation measure to climate change which the project will continue to integrate in its implementation.

Q.Tell us the GBM°«s Current situation, how to succeed Prof. Maathai°«s legacy.

A.Today the Green Belt Movement continues to seek ways of highlighting the critical and central role the environment plays in changing the lives of the communities we work with as envisioned by our Founder Prof. Wangari Maathai. By upholding all that she stood for we have succeeded greatly in keeping her legacy alive. Her daughter, Wanjira Mathai who worked to ensure International Liaison during the times of Prof. Maathai now chairs the Board of the Directors of the Organization that her mother founded. . This has renewed sense of optimism and resurgence of the spirit of environmentalism from both our partners and local communities°«
The world commitment to legacy and ideals of our founder Professor Maathai on green livelihoods models and climate justice continues to rise as was demonstrated at United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (COP 20) in Lima –Peru. A plaque in honor of Prof. Maathai for her actions in promoting sustainable development, democracy , peace and environmental conservation through tree planting was unveiled at a Park in the town of San Borja, Lima (Peru). A ceremonial tree planting at the Park too place on 9th Dec 2014 led The Former First Lady of Peru, Mayor of San Borja, Mayor of San Isildro, Rodolfo Beltran, as well as Ms. Wanjira Mathai, Chair of the Board of the Green Belt Movement.9th December 2014.
The Green Belt Movement feature in the Al Gore°«s 24 hours of Climate reality show. A global call for 24 hours of hope in October. The Organization°«s milestones towards empowering communities in resilience towards Climate Change challenges was featured around the world/
We are implementing projects within 30 priority watersheds in the 5 major water towers (i.e. Mount Kenya, The Aberdare, Mount Elgon, the Mau complex and Cherangany). GBM has 6500 tree planting sites in critical watersheds across the country with a total of 4000 tree nurseries that have been established.
We have increased our focus of towards sustenance and preservation of our historical achievements across the five major water towersby promoting the uptake of clean and sustainable energy initiatives and provision of ecologically sound livelihood options are introduced to the communities we work with.. The effective energy technologies (EETs) and improved cook stoves (ICS) is an intervention towards reducing deforestation and a mitigation measure against climate change that we are advocating for in all our networks across the country.

Q.How do you wish to continue MOTTAINAI Campaign?

A.The Green Belt Movement wishes to continue being involved in the Mottainai campaign to ensure that through our Watershed based approach to tree planting and water tower protection campaigns and activities rehabilitation of degraded areas in the Mount Kenya region continue

By working with the county governments in the new devolved system in Kenya GBM endeavors to continue raising more awareness through:
•Awareness Creation: To raise awareness of the Mottainai concept and connect it with the campaign to eliminate persistent organic pollutants in Kenya and other chemical wastes
•Policy Advocacy: To lobby for county government policy review on the production toxic wastes and to advocate for legislation for better plastic waste management.
•3R Promotion: To promote the 3R campaign- reuse, reduce and recycle by promoting the use of alternative bags and containers to replace thin plastic bags within the counties.



Contact point for donations toward the Green Belt Movement

MOTTAINAI Campaign office is now promoting the fund-raising for aiding the afforestation activities by the Green Belt Movement which Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Prof. Wangari Maathai founded.
A fund-raising contact point becomes the Mainichi Newspapers.

MOTTAINAI Campaign office
ITOCHU Corporation

Japanese   English