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Meet The Green Nobel Prize Winners

April 20, 2010

“It is not enough to be compassionate. You must act” said Dalai Lama and there are few ordinary people who follow this maxim and take actions on issues they feel passionate about. Goldman Environmental prize or alternatively called “Green Nobel Prize” recognizes efforts of such grass root level activist who follow their passion to save the environment. These are ordinary peoples who do extraordinary works and their efforts need to be applauded and supported by all of us and April 22nd being the Earth Day, this is the perfect time to salute these real life heroes. Goldman prizes were first given in 1990 and previous recipients include Medha Patkar from India and Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai from Kenya.  Each year Goldman prize is given to six environmentalist from six different geographical areas. This year the award was given on April 19th to following grass-root level environmentalist:

Tuy Sereivathana: He is affectionately called “Uncle Elephant” back in Cambodia where he is a peacemaker between the wild elephants and poor villagers who were forced to kill the wild elephants who destroyed their farms in order to save their crops. The elephant population has been dwindling (currently 400 in Cambodia) and to rescue came Tuy Sereivathana who taught villagers how to save their farms from elephants without killing them and thus conserving the endangered species.

Humberto Rios Labrada: He is a singing scientist and also called “seed man” of Cuba who promotes seed diversity in farming along with low-input farming methods so that to reduce extensive use of chemicals and thereby making food chemical free and agriculture more sustainable.

Lynn Henning: She tracks pollution from large farms, known as concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). She exposed the egregious polluting practices of livestock factory farms in rural Michigan, gaining the attention of the federal EPA and prompting state regulators to issue hundreds of citations for water quality violations.

Malgorzata Gorska: She continued her struggle for eight years and ultimately was successful in changing the route of highway project Via Baltica between Warsaw and Helsinki in Poland which otherwise would have resulted in large scale destruction of natural landscape and ecosystem in the area which is one of the last wilderness areas left in Europe.

Thuli Brilliance Makama: After a grueling three-year legal battle, Swaziland’s only public interest environmental attorney, Thuli Brilliance Makama, won a landmark case to include environmental NGO representation in the Swaziland Environment Authority, reinforcing the right to public participation in environmental decision making.

Randall Arauz: Drawing international attention to the inhumane and environmentally catastrophic shark finning industry, Randall Arauz led the campaign to halt the practice in Costa Rica, making his country the international model for shark protection.

You can  watch this playlist showcasing their stories and work:

Source: Goldman Environmental Prize

Randall Arauz

Filed under: Environment,News,Social Issues,Video

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