The Right Livelihood Award – known as the “Alternative Nobel” – was presented on Wednesday to three activists and an organization working around the world to empower communities in areas ranging from child protection to environmental protection.
The Swedish Right Livelihood Foundation, which awards the prize, said that “in the face of a worsening climate crisis, powerful government and corporate interests and even a terrorist threat, the 2021 award winners prove that solidarity is better for all.” is the key to the future.”
Winners include Indigenous rights campaigner Freda Hewson of the Wet’suweton First Nation in B.C., awarded for “her fearless dedication to reclaiming the culture of her people and protecting her lands against disastrous pipeline projects”. Was.
The foundation also recognized Marthe Vandou, a gender and peace activist who has worked since the 1990s to prevent sexual violence against girls in the Lake Chad region of Cameroon and to care for its victims.
Russian environmental campaigner Vladimir Slyvyak was honored for helping ignite grassroots opposition to the coal and nuclear industries in the country. He co-founded EcoDefense, which he described as one of Russia’s leading environmental organizations.
Finally, the India-based Legal Initiative for Forests and Environment, or LIFE, often uses legislation and legal processes to empower vulnerable communities and help them stand up against powerful interests and give them a voice in the decision-making process. helps, the foundation said.
Right Livelihood chief Ole von Uexkul said in a statement that the four award winners are “courageous mobilizers who show what people’s movements can achieve.”
Created in 1980, the annual Right Livelihood Award honors efforts that the prize’s founder, Swedish-German philanthropist Jakob von Uexkul, felt were being overlooked by the Nobel Prizes.
The winners will receive prize money of 1 million kroner ($115,520) and will be awarded during a virtual awards ceremony on 1 December.
The foundation said a record number of 206 nominees from 89 countries were considered in 2021. Recipients of the Right Livelihood Award in recent years have included Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, American civil rights lawyer Brian Stevenson and imprisoned Iranian lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh.
Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Granthshala editors, giving you a brief summary of the day’s most important headlines. .