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.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora