A Chinese researcher who prompted officials to give greater thought to building dams and an activist who exposed timber plunder in Liberia were two of six recipients Monday of one of the world's most prominent environmental awards.
SAN FRANCISCO A Chinese researcher who prompted officials to give greater thought to building dams and an activist who exposed timber plunder in Liberia were two of six recipients Monday of one of the world's most prominent environmental awards.
"These six winners are among the most important people you have not heard of before," said Richard Goldman, founder of the Goldman Environmental Prize. "All of them have fought, often alone and at great personal risk, to protect the environment in their home countries."
Each winner will receive $125,000. The prizes, established by a foundation set up by San Francisco insurance brokerage founder Richard Goldman and his wife, were first awarded in 1990.
Watershed specialist Yu Xiaogang crafted reports on the social effects of dam building that Chinese officials now use as models for similar assessments for proposed water projects, and Silas Kpanan'Ayoung Siakor uncovered illegal logging associated with human rights abuses in Liberia, which led to trade sanctions against the country.
The other prize recipients were Olya Melen of Ukraine, Anne Kajir of Papua New Guinea, Craig Williams of the United States and Tarcisio Feitosa da Silva of Brazil.
Melen, a lawyer, challenged and temporary halted construction of a canal through wetlands of the Danube Delta.
Kajir, also a lawyer, has fought in court to stop large-scale logging in tropical forests.
Williams is a Vietnam War veteran who successfully lobbied the U.S. military to halt plans for incinerating chemical weapons stored across the United States.
Feitosa is an activist who pressed Brazil's government to act against illegal logging in tropical forests and to protect rainforests.