Goldman Environmental Prize 2015 - winners include activists fighting damaging smelters, mines & dams

Goldman Environmental Prize

 

The Goldman Environmental Awards are "awarded annually to environmental heroes from each of the world’s six inhabited continental regions, the Goldman Prize recognizes fearless grassroots activists working against all odds to protect the environment and their communities. They often work in countries where violence and death threats against environmental defenders are on the rise..."

This year the winners included:

Phyllis Omido (Kenya) - Phyllis galvanized her community in Mombasa to shut down asmelter that was exposing people to dangerous chemicals.

Myint Zaw (Myanmar) - Despite government scrutiny Myint launched a national movement to stop construction of the Myitsone Dam on Myanmar’s Irrawaddy River.

Marilyn Baptise (Canada)-  Marilyn led her community in defeating one of the largest proposed gold and copper mines in British Columbia that would have destroyed Fish Lake—a source of spiritual identity and livelihood for the Xeni Gwet’in.

Berta Cáceres (Honduras) - Berta rallied the indigenous Lenca people of Honduras in a grassroots campaign that successfully pressured the world’s largest dam builder to pull out of the Agua Zarca Dam.

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Article
21 April 2015

Goldman Environmental Prize Honors Six Heroes of the Environment

Author: Goldman Environmental Foundation

The Goldman Environmental Foundation today announced the six recipients of the 2015 Goldman Environmental Prize, the world’s largest award for grassroots environmental activists. Awarded annually to environmental heroes from each of the world’s six inhabited continental regions, the Goldman Prize recognizes fearless grassroots activists working against all odds to protect the environment and their communities. They often work in countries where violence and death threats against environmental defenders are on the rise, as documented in a report from Global Witnessreleased today...This year’s winners are: PHYLLIS OMIDO...MYINT ZAW...HOWARD WOOD...JEAN WIENER...MARILYN BAPTISTE...BERTA CÁCERES...

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Article
21 April 2015

Honduran indigenous rights defender wins Goldman Prize for opposition to hydropower in “most dangerous country for environmental defenders”

Author: Jonathan Watts, The Guardian

Berta_Caceres_Credit_COPINH

“Honduran indigenous rights campaigner wins Goldman prize” 20 Apr 2015

…Berta Cáceres…has been declared the winner of this year’s Goldam Environmental Prize…[She] is facing down one of Central America’s biggest hydropower projects, powerful landowners, a US-funded police force, and a mercenary army of private security guards…The project…which is being built by local firm Desa…would choke the main source of irrigation and drinking water for the community…The often bloody campaign struggle has achieved notable successes. In 2013, China´s Sinohydro…backed out of the Agua Zarca project, saying it was concerned about…“controversial land acquisition”... NGOs are calling upon a German company, Voith Hydro, to end all the involment in the scheme, which has yet to begin construction…

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Article
21 April 2015

Kenya: Activist who campaigned for closure of health-threatening battery smelting plant wins Goldman prize

Author: BBC

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Article
21 April 2015

New report by Global Witness finds at least 116 environmental activists killed in 2014

Author: Global Witness

New report shows killings of environmental activists are increasing, with indigenous communities hardest hit...Each week at least two people are being killed for taking a stand against environmental destruction...As companies go in search of new land to exploit, increasingly people are paying the ultimate price for standing in their way. We found that at least 116 environmental activists were murdered in 2014... A shocking 40 % of victims were indigenous...Nearly three-quarters of the deaths we found information on were in Central and South America.  Globally, it’s likely that the true death toll is higher...We also shone a spotlight on Honduras, the most dangerous country per capita to be an environmental activist for the last five years, with 101 deaths between 2010 and 2014...The true authors of these crimes – a powerful nexus of corporate and state interests – are escaping unpunished.

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Article
20 April 2015

6 extraordinary activists to receive Goldman Prize on Monday

Author: Peter Fimrite, San Francisco Chronicle (USA)

Six activists who rallied communities around the world to protect people and ecosystems against commercial exploitation will be honored in San Francisco on Monday with the most prestigious award for grassroots environmental work. The winners of the Goldman Environmental Prize include a Canadian who stopped construction of a fish-killing mine, a Honduran who rallied indigenous people to stop a giant dam and a Kenyan who shut down a smelter that was poisoning locals. The awards, established in 1989 by San Francisco philanthropists Richard and Rhoda Goldman, recognize average people around the world who have taken extraordinary action to win environmental victories.