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ENVIRONMENT REPORT - Goldman Environmental Prize - 2003-05-08

Broadcast: May 9, 2003

This is the VOA Special English Environment Report.

Seven activists are this year's winners of the Goldman Environmental Foundation awards. The winners received their one-hundred-twenty-five-thousand dollar prizes at a ceremony in San Francisco, California.

The Goldman Environmental Prize is the world’s largest program that honors local environmental activists. Each year, experts choose the winners from six parts of the world.

This year, two people share the prize for Islands and Island Nations. Eileen Kampakuta Brown and Eileen Wani Wingfield are Aborigines, the native people of Australia. They lead a campaign to block the building of a nuclear waste center in the desert in southern Australia where they live.

Julia Bonds of the United States is the winner of the Goldman Prize for North America. She has worked to stop the mountaintop removal method of coal mining in the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia. Mizz Bonds is the daughter of a coal miner.

For Africa, the Goldman Prize winner is forest protection activist Odigha Odigha of Nigeria. Mister Odigha helped establish a temporary ban on the cutting down of trees in Cross River State.

An activist from the Philippines won the Goldman Prize for Asia. Von Hernandez organized campaigns to end the burning of waste. Such burning releases poisons into the air. The Philippines became the first country to ban the activity.

Maria Elena Foronda Farro is a community organizer in Peru. She won the Goldman Prize for Central and South America for her efforts to stop pollution by Peru’s fishmeal industry. She formed alliances among community activists, fishmeal producers and the government to make the industry operate more cleanly.

The Goldman Prize for Europe went to Pedro Arrojo-Agudo of Spain. Mister Arrojo leads efforts to change government policies on water management in Spain. He seeks to end the system of blocking and re-directing the flow of Spanish rivers.

Richard and Rhoda Goldman created the Goldman Environmental Prize in nineteen-ninety. The purpose of the Goldman Foundation awards is to show the difference that each person can make to help the environment.

This VOA Special English Environment Report was written by Caty Weaver.