News

    Goldman Environmental Prizes Honor Diverse Group of Activists

    Picture of winners of Goldman Prize
    Picture of winners of Goldman Prize
    Deborah Block

    A Catholic priest, a tribal leader and a mother were among the winners of this year’s prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize.  The privately-sponsored award honors outstanding grassroots environmental activists from six different regions of the world. This year, the laureates are from the Philippines, Kenya, China, Russia, Argentina and the United States.

    Kenyan Ikal Angelei is a hero to the people who live around Lake Turkana. She received a Goldman award for her efforts to halt construction of a dam on a river in neighboring Ethiopia that feeds the Kenyan lake.  Critics say the dam would harm the lake and prevent water access for people who live nearby.

    “The biggest challenge was working with a community who are already having a lot of problems.  It’s hard when you’re talking about environmental rights,” Angelei said.

    Angelei organized the Friends of Lake Turkana movement. Its campaign against the dam was successful, and the project has been halted - for now.

    The Philippine island of Mindoro is home to tribes that live off of the land’s natural resources.  When a Norwegian company moved in to explore mining nickel, Edwin Gariguez said the mine's toxic waste would contaminate the island’s water and destroy the tropical forests. The Catholic priest began a movement to stop it.  

    “Part of this mission, or calling, is really to be the voice of the voiceless.  So given the situation, we really need to take the challenge of leading the people against this destructive project,” Gariguez said.

    His actions, including a hunger strike, spurred the government to revoke the company’s mining permit.

    In China, Ma Jun is working with corporations to clean up their pollution.  The institute he founded has an online database and digital maps identifying factories that violate air and water regulations.

    “And our idea is to give people access to this information on water quality, the amount of discharge, and also a whole list of companies that have been penalized for breaking the water standards,” Ma Jun said.

    He hopes the public will use the information to try to stop violations.

    Sofia Gatica is from a town in Argentina where the soybean fields are routinely sprayed with pesticides -- and the rate of cancer is high. Believing that exposure to pesticides led to her newborn's death, Gatica mobilized other mothers and obtained a ban on the use of agrochemicals near populated areas.

    Evgenia Chirikova is demanding that a highway planned to cut through a protected forest in a Moscow suburb be re-routed. Although she and her followers have been arrested and detained, her campaign has gained widespread public support.

    And Caroline Cannon, a community leader in Point Hope, Alaska, is fighting to keep Arctic waters safe from offshore oil and gas drilling.  She’s concerned an oil spill would endanger her coastal village and its abundant wildlife.

    “There’s no technology on how to clean an oil spill out in the Arctic.  They have not done an actual cleanup in that kind of an environment,” Cannon said.

    Cannon and the other Goldman Environmental Prize winners each received $150,000.  Cannon says some of the money will go to help her village.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora