Experts' profiles - Margaret Koli
Margaret Koli
Margaret Koli is a dynamic young environmentalist from Nairobi, Kenya. Her passion for environmental protection started when growing up in a fast-developing society, watching the negative impacts on the environment and experiencing first-hand environmental decline. This led to her active participation in environmental protection, wildlife conservation and other youth initiatives.

In 2006 she was nominated UNEP-Bayer Young Environmental Envoy from Kenya. Later in the year, she helped organize the Conference of Youth in preparation for the UNFCCC held in Nairobi, Kenya.

In 2007 she was elected UNEP-Tunza Youth Advisor for Africa (2007-2009), a position that required her to advise UNEP on how better to engage youth in environmental activities. During her term, she has presented youth statements to the UNEP Governing Council on involving indigenous youth in environmental programs. In 2008, she represented youth in the UNEP Governing Council in Monaco and read a speech on behalf of Nobel Peace Laureate Professor Wangare Maathai; later, Maggie represented Maathai in a tree planting activity with HSH Prince Albert of Monaco and the Executive director of UNEP, Mr. Achim Steiner.

Maggie has led workshops with the United Religions Initiative, a U.S.-based organization, on the role of interfaith groups in peace and environmental protection, following the post-election violence in Kenya in 2007. She has also led a workshop on youth environmental initiatives during the conference on Children and Development organized by the Socialist Group of the European Parliament in Brussels, which was attended by members of the European Parliament. In addition, she has worked with youth in other initiatives, including the Africa Youth Environment Network, Youth for Conservation, and Solar Generation, an initiative of Greenpeace International.

Since 2009, Maggie has worked as an intern at UNEP, in the Children and Youth unit, where she helped organize the 2009 Tunza International Children and Youth Conference that was held from 17-23 August in Daejeon, South Korea. On 20 August, the conference brought together over 600 youth from more than 110 countries to compose a youth statement on climate change to be presented to world leaders during the UN Climate Week and in Copenhagen as part of the Seal the Deal Campaign!

Having just graduated with a Bachelors degree in Business Administration at the United States International University-Africa, Maggie hopes to pursue a Master in Business and Environment. Her studies in French, Kenyan Sign Language and local African languages have encouraged her to learn about other cultures and interact with people from all over the world, exchanging ideas while working towards the same cause of environmental protection. She hopes to start her own initiative working with women and youth and people with disabilities to make reusable and biodegradable bags with environmental messages printed on them for sale both locally and internationally, thereby creating green jobs, building a culture of environmental protection among African youth and generations to come, and educating them on issues pertaining to HIV/AIDS, health and environmental awareness.

She believes that just as a drop of rain raises the sea, so the effort of each individual is important in making a change.

Its the little things citizens do. That's what will make the difference. My little thing is planting trees.
Wangari Maathai

What is your little thing?
Looking for a specific topic?
Climate Change
Disasters and Conflicts
Ecosystem Management
Environmental Governance
Harmful Substances
Resource Efficiency
Other Thematic Areas