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The Rightlivelihood Award
24 August 2015
70th anniversary of atomic bombings

The 70th anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings has led to renewed calls for an absolute prohibition on nuclear weapons. 2014 Laureate Basil Fernando has described the bombings as "the most definitive act, when morality was completely delinked from deciding on not only the death of hundred thousands of people at that moment but also many more in future generations" in a recent article.

The importance of a common and collective movement towards nuclear weapon abolition was emphasised by the joint statement organised by Alyn Ware (RLA 2009) which will be presented to the United Nations on September 26, the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. RLA Founder Jakob von Uexkull recently wrote an article examining the worldwide fight for nuclear disarmament.
Agro-colonialism in the DR Congo

2011 Laureate GRAIN has published a report detailing the land conflict between Congolese communities and private companies. It is a dispute stretching back to colonial times when European powers designated thousands of hectares for the purposes of establishing plantations. These plantations were then operated by western corporations.

There is continuing controversy over work and living conditions for the local population. "The company controls everything – the roads, the social services and their own police force. All of the people that we spoke to had stories of intimidation or abuse from these company security agents" a senior researcher for GRAIN recently told Africa is a Country in an interview about the report.
Vandana Shiva and Nnimmo Bassey meet in Nigeria

Vandana Shiva (RLA 1993) travelled to Nigeria in July to take part in an event commemorating the United Nations International Year of the Soil and the 20th anniversary of Ken Saro-Wiwa's (RLA 1994) murder. Her visit was organised in cooperation with Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) and Nnimmo Bassey (RLA 2010).
Together, the Laureates visited Ogoniland where the soil is polluted with hydrocarbons up to depths of 5 metres. In a joint statement, Vandana Shiva and Nnimmo Bassey linked climate change and ecological degradation to the "diverse manifestation of insecurity in the area, including the scourge of Boko Haram."

"Oil economy is subject to political manipulation", they stated, and warned about false solutions that "include carbon capture and storage, genetically modified crops, carbon trading mechanisms such as Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) and geoengineering. These false solutions allow polluters to continue with their polluting acts and externalize the problems to vulnerable peoples and poor nations and communities. (....) Care for the Earth is the best antidote to the rise of insecurity, violence and terrorism."

Read Nnimmo's subsequent blog post here and press coverage of the event here.
More news from the Laureates

Medha Patkar's protest in the Narmada Valley

Over 40 Laureates signed a joint statement in support of Medha's (RLA 1991) protest against raising the level of the Sardar Sarovar dam in the Narmada Valley. The Hindustan Times has written a brief history of her struggle as well as a recent update about the protest.

'Operation Storm' war crimes site established in Croatia

Three NGOs, including Documenta (led by 1998 Laureate Vesna Teršelič), launched a new interactive site called 'Storm in The Hague'. The website provides an assembled narrative of known facts about this 1995 Croatian military operation ahead of its anniversary. 

Maude Barlow warns against water privatisation in Greece

Maude Barlow (RLA 2005) has spoken out against the privatisation of water facilities. "I know Greece has its problems, but privatising their water systems is not a good answer to the crisis there" she told the Guardian.

Daniel Ellsberg pledges to Wikileaks crowdsource fund

Daniel Ellsberg (RLA 2006) has pledged to a crowdsource fund set up by Wikileaks. It is intended to be used as a reward for those who leak documents relating to the TTIP trade deal between the US and the EU.
News from the Foundation

This summer, the Foundation is opening a second office in Geneva. We are located centrally at the Maison de la Paix, which hosts a number of NGOs, think tanks and the campus of the Graduate Institute. We are grateful to the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) for their generous support.

While we will continue to have our Award Ceremony and headquarters in Stockholm, we are moving our research on candidates for the Award and our protection work to support Laureates at risk to Geneva. We hope to benefit from the new office's close proximity to a plethora of UN, diplomatic and international civil society institutions.
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The Right Livelihood Award Foundation
Head office:
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Phone: +46 (0)8 70 20 340

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