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environment info - prize 2009
This year's winners are:
Marc Ona Essangui, Gabon: In Gabon, a country without a culture of civic engagement, Marc Ona led efforts to publicly expose the unlawful agreements behind a huge mining project threatening the sensitive ecosystems of Gabon’s equatorial rainforests. Ona’s efforts led to an unprecedented victory for civil society in Gabon, with the government adopting new environmental oversight regulations and significantly reducing the size of the mining concession.
Rizwana Hasan, Bangladesh: Working to reduce the impact of Bangladesh’s exploitative and environmentally-devastating ship breaking industry, leading environmental attorney Rizwana Hasan led a legal battle resulting in increased government regulation and heightened public awareness about the dangers of ship breaking.
Olga Speranskaya, Moscow, Russia: Russian scientist Olga Speranskaya transformed the NGO community in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia into a potent, participatory force working to identify and eliminate the Soviet legacy of toxic chemicals in the environment.
ISLANDS AND ISLAND NATIONS
Yuyun Ismawati, Indonesia: As waste management problems mount throughout the Indonesian archipelago, Yuyun Ismawati implements sustainable community-based solutions that provide employment opportunities to low-income people and empower them to improve the environment.
Maria Gunnoe, USA: In the heart of Appalachia, where the coal industry wields enormous power over government and public opinion, lifelong resident Maria Gunnoe fights against environmentally-devastating mountaintop removal mining and valley fill operations.
SOUTH AND CENTRAL AMERICA
Wanze Eduards & Hugo Jabini, Suriname: Wanze Eduards and Hugo Jabini, members of Maroon communities originally established by freed African slaves in the 1700s, successfully organized their communities against logging on their traditional lands, ultimately leading to a landmark ruling for indigenous and tribal peoples throughout the Americas to control resource exploitation in their territories.