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Green Nobel Prize Winners For 2011

June 6, 2011


Every year on April 22nd we celebrate the Earth Day and on the same day Goldman Environmental prizes are awarded to grass root environmental activists in order to recognize their efforts as well as to highlight the importance of protecting our environment, endangered ecosystems, species, and to promote sustainability and influence environmental policies. These awards are also called as Green Nobel prizes. On the occasion of World Environment day, let’s take a look at this year’s award winners and their stories (video playlist showcasing the work of all the winners is embedded at the end of the post).

Africa
RAOUL DU TOIT, Zimbabwe
Raoul du Toit coordinated conservation initiatives that have helped to develop and maintain the largest remaining black rhino populations in Zimbabwe. “Conserving rhinos saves much more than the rhino themselves – they are flagships for biodiversity and for national development based upon sustainable wildlife management in Africa.”

Asia
DMITRY LISITSYN, Russia
Dmitry Lisitsyn fought to protect Sakhalin Island’s critical endangered ecosystems while also demanding safety measures from one of the world’s largest petroleum development projects. “The last wild, untouched salmon rivers, which we are trying to save on our island, are the embodiment of beauty, power and freedom of wild nature. I’m convinced – if we would lose them, all our planet would be poorer, because we will never be able to get them back”

Europe
URSULA SLADEK, Germany
In response to Germany’s expanded reliance on nuclear energy, Ursula Sladek created her country’s first cooperatively-owned renewable power company. “A renewable energy supply helps reduce nuclear dangers as well as climate change and therefore is central for the future of mankind.”

Islands
PRIGI ARISANDI, Indonesia
Biologist Prigi Arisandi initiated a local movement to stop industrial pollution from flowing into a river that provides water to three million people. “Protecting our water quality is important work to do, but it is more important to guarantee that water resources will be available for the next generations, because we do not want to be called a greedy water robber generation by our grandchildren”

North America
HILTON KELLEY, USA
Now leading the battle for environmental justice on the Texas Gulf Coast, Hilton Kelley fights for communities living in the shadow of polluting industries. “I speak up for the disadvantaged because it is my duty, it is the duty of all mankind to help those in need, those who have no voice, no way of helping themselves. Having compassion for others in adverse situations is the very thread that creates a civilized and just nation, a just society.”

South & Central America
FRANCISCO PINEDA, El Salvador
Living under the constant threat of assassination, Francisco Pineda led a citizens’ movement that stopped a gold mine from destroying El Salvador’s dwindling water resources. “My work is as an environmentalist; this is the principle for my life. When I began to understand the impact of the mining exploration, I couldn’t stay quiet.”


Image credit: Inhabitat.com

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