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Goldman Environmental Prize

2002-5-2

This is the VOA SpecialEnglish ENVIRONMENT REPORT.

Eight environmental activists from around the world have beenawarded the Goldman Environmental Prize this year. They receivedone-hundred-twenty-five-thousand dollars from the GoldmanEnvironmental Foundation. The awards were presented last week at aceremony in San Francisco, California.

The Goldman Environmental Prize isthe world's largest program that honors local environmentalactivists. Experts choose the winners from six different parts ofthe world.

Three winners will share the prize for North America. They areJonathon Soloman and Sarah James of Alaska, and Norma Kassi ofCanada. These Gwich'in tribal leaders fought to prevent oilcompanies from exploring in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge inAlaska. Some experts say drilling in the ground would endanger theCaribou population. These animals are important for the survival ofthe Gwich'in culture.

Jean La Rose of Guyana won theGoldman prize for South and Central America. Mizz La Rose leads thestruggle for land rights in Guyana. She works to halt destructivemining activities that have damaged Guyana's rainforests and thehealth of many of its native communities.

Businessman Alexis Massol-Gonzalez of Puerto Rico won the prizefor Islands and Island Nations. He led a successful campaign tochange a mining area into a protected forest reserve that is nowsupervised by the community.

Jadwiga Lopata of Poland won the prize for Europe. Mizz Lopatacreated a program to increase support for the more than two-millionfamily farms in Poland. These small farms provide importantenvironmental systems for many different plants and animals.

Ecologist Pisit Charnsnoh ofThailand was awarded the Goldman Prize for Asia. He works withfishermen to protect and restore Thailand's environment that hasbeen damaged by industrial fishing and tree-cutting.

Fatima Jibrell of Somalia won the prize for Africa. She works forpeace and environmental protection in her country, while dealingwith wars and a severe lack of water.

Richard and Rhoda Goldman created the Goldman Environmental Prizein Nineteen-Ninety. The Goldman Foundation awards the prizes to showthe difference each person can make to help save the environment.

This VOA Special English ENVIRONMENT REPORT was written byCynthia Kirk.