Environmental Protection & Preservation
Six Grassroots Environmentalists Win Goldman Environmental Prize
A Vietnam veteran fighting Pentagon plans to incinerate chemical weapons stockpiles, a man who tipped the United Nations to illegal logging in war-torn Liberia and the person behind the creation of the world's largest area of protected tropical rainforest are among the winners of this year's prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize (b-roll/satellite feed available; see below).
"These six winners are among the most important people you have not heard of before," said Goldman Prize founder Richard N. Goldman. "All of them have fought, often alone and at great personal risk, to protect the environment in their home countries. Their incredible achievements are an inspiration to all of us."
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Wangari Maathai, former Goldman Environmental Prize winner and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, will address the audience at the invitation-only ceremony tonight (Monday, April 24, 2006) at 5 p.m. at the San Francisco Opera House.
The $750,000 Goldman Environmental Prize, now in its 17th year, is awarded annually to six grassroots environmental heroes and is the largest award of its kind in the world.
This year's winners are:
-- North America: Craig E. Williams, 58, Kentucky: Williams convinced
the Pentagon to stop plans to incinerate old chemical weapons
stockpiled around the United States and has built a nationwide
grassroots coalition to lobby for safe disposal solutions. Williams
co-founded the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation, which won the
1997 Nobel Peace Prize for its international campaign to ban landmines.
-- Africa: Silas Kpanan'Ayoung Siakor, 36, Liberia: Siakor exposed
evidence that former Liberia President Charles Taylor used profits of
unchecked, rampant logging to pay the costs of a brutal 14-year war.
Such evidence -- collected at great personal risk to Siakor -- led the
United Nations Security Council to ban the export of Liberian timber,
part of wider trade sanctions that remain in place today.
-- Asia: Yu Xiaogang, 55, China: Yu spent years creating groundbreaking
watershed management programs while researching and documenting the
socioeconomic impact of dams on Chinese communities. His reports are
considered a primary reason that the central government paid additional
restitution to villagers displaced by existing dams and now considers
social impact assessments for major dam developments.
-- South & Central America: Tarcisio Feitosa da Silva, 35, Brazil:
Feitosa led efforts to create the world's largest group of protected
tropical forest regions in a remote, lawless region in northern Brazil
threatened by illegal logging. Despite death threats, Feitosa worked
with local organizations to create protected lands for local residents
and exposed illegal logging activities to the Brazilian government.
-- Europe: Olya Melen, 26, Ukraine: Melen, a lawyer, used legal channels
to temporarily halt construction of a massive canal that would have cut
through the heart of the Danube Delta, one of the world's most valuable
wetlands. For her efforts, she was denounced by the notoriously
corrupt and lawless pre-Orange Revolution government.
-- Islands & Island Nations: Anne Kajir, 32, Papua New Guinea: Kajir
uncovered evidence of widespread corruption and complicity in the Papua
New Guinea government, which allowed rampant, illegal logging that is
nbsp; destroying the largest remaining intact block of tropical forest in the
Asia Pacific region. In 1997, her first year practicing law, Kajir
successfully defended a precedent-setting appeal in the Supreme Court
of Papua New Guinea that forced the logging interests to pay damages to
indigenous land owners.
About the Goldman Environmental Prize
The Goldman Environmental Prize was established in 1990 by San Francisco civic leader and philanthropist Richard N. Goldman and his late wife, Rhoda H. Goldman. It has been awarded to 113 people from 67 countries.
Prize winners are selected by an international jury from confidential nominations submitted by a worldwide network of environmental organizations and individuals.
Previous Prize winners have been at the center of some of the world's most pressing environmental issues, including seeking justice for victims of environmental disasters at Love Canal and Bhopal, India; leading the fight for dolphin-safe tuna; fighting oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; and exposing Monsanto's role in introducing rBGH milk-stimulating hormone in the dairy industry.
Since receiving a Goldman Prize
, eight winners have been appointed or elected to national office in their countries, including several who became ministers of the environment. The 1991 Prize winner for Africa, Wangari Maathai, won the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize.
More Environmental Protection & Preservation Articles
Global Thermostat Named Among World’s 10 Most Innovative Energy Companies
Coal-fired power generation coming to an end in New Zealand
Researchers Find Less Expensive Way to Convert Carbon Dioxide
New Technology to Recycle All Type of Plastics Without Using Water
Recycling Styrofoam into rigid plastic
Veolia transforms non-recyclable paper into new products
SaskPower launches world's first commercial carbon capture and storage process
Carbon Taxes and Emissions Trading are Cheapest Ways of Reducing CO2, According to OECD
Artificial Lung to Remove Carbon Dioxide - from Smokestacks
Pilot Plant to Permanently Store CO2 Emissions as Carbonate Rock Bricks for use in Construction Industry
even more articles...
Suggest an Article for Green Progress