A labor leader, Oscar Olivera advocated for affordable, clean water when the city’s water system was privatized. After a brutal crackdown, he emerged and continued protests and negotiations that forced the government to cancel the sale.
A conservationist, Eugène Rutagarama risked his life to save 355 of the world’s last 650 mountain gorillas that were threatened by Rwanda’s war and massacres in the 1990s. He helped rebuild the national parks system and protect gorilla habitat.
Bruno Van Peteghem worked against time and mining interests to protect New Caledonia’s reefs from destruction. On a fragile island where environmental regulations do not exist, he has confronted severe intimidation including the suspicious burning of his home.
TV journalists who researched the controversial growth hormone (rBGH) used to stimulate milk production in cows, Jane Akre and Steve Wilson were ultimately fired due to pressure from Monsanto, who manufactures rBGH.
Mama Yosepha Alomang organized resistance to the world’s largest gold mining operation. Despite inhumane confinement and torture, she continued to promote traditional cultures, collective action and the well-being of indigenous peoples.
Biologists by training, Giorgos Catsadorakis and Myrsini Malakou led the creation of the first trans-boundary protected area in the Balkans, an area better known for conflict than cooperation, at the borders of Greece, Albania and Macedonia.