During a meeting with the 2012 Goldman Prize winners in DC last month, White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley stressed the importance of individual countries making their own commitments on curbing emissions and fighting climate change.
Melina Selverston, a program officer at the Goldman Prize, recently attended the 11th Annual Conference of International Funders for Indigenous Peoples (IFIP) in San Francisco. In the entry below, Selverston reflects on the theme of the conference, “strengthening indigenous sustainability.”
While they were in Washington DC last month, the 2012 Goldman Environmental Prize winners met with Nancy Sutley, chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. This is the third time Ms. Sutley has met with Goldman Prize recipients; this time they met in the Roosevelt Room, which features portraits of Teddy Roosevelt and Franklin Roosevelt.
Protecting the Earth’s resources is a dangerous job. On April 26th, a Cambodian anti-logging activist named Chut Wutty was shot and killed by military police while investigating illegal logging activities.
The maternal instinct to protect one’s family is a powerful catalyst. Many Goldman Prize recipients initially became involved in environmental activism to protect the health and wellbeing of their children. From Lois Gibbs (1990) to Sofia Gatica (2012), the Goldman Prize has been honoring activist mothers since its inception.
One of the first recipients of the Prize, Lois Gibbs, began her journey with environmental activism when her children and neighbors began suffering from unusual health problems. She launched a personal investigation and discovered that her neighborhood was built on top of a toxic waste dump, known today as the Love Canal.
In the weeks leading up to the Rio+20 Earth Summit, we’ll be posting blog entries that celebrate environmental achievements accomplished at the grassroots level over the past two decades while urging government leaders to step up to the challenge of sustainable development.
As the first part of a this new blog series, we’re pleased to highlight excerpts from Douglas Goldman, the Goldman Environmental Foundation board president’s speech at the 2012 Prize ceremony in Washington DC, where he praised grassroots activists for their environmental accomplishments and called out the vacuum of leadership from government leaders around the world:
The mission of the Goldman Prize is to ‘inspire, educate and motivate.’ The heroism and courage demonstrated by the Prize recipients year after year inspires us to believe in overcoming incredible odds, educates us by providing insight into environmental issues going on all over the world, and motivates us to take action in our own lives.
Harrison Ngau Laing was awarded the Goldman Prize in 1990 for his struggle to protect the rights of the indigenous peoples of Sarawak, Malaysia to defend their tropical forests from the highly corrupt logging industry.
Since then, Ngau has gone on to become legal advisor to Save Rivers Network, which is currently leading the protest against the Baram Hydroelectric Dam Project on the Baram River in Sarawak.