Tuesday October 2 2007
2007 Right Livelihood Awards highlight solutions to global challenges
The 2007 Right Livelihood Award of SEK 2 million is shared between four Recipients, who show that there exist practical solutions to pressing global challenges:
Christopher Weeramantry (Sri Lanka) is a world-renowned legal scholar, best known for his landmark International Court opinion on the threat and use of nuclear weapons. The jury honours “his lifetime of groundbreaking work to strengthen and expand the rule of international law”.
Dekha Ibrahim Abdi (Kenya) has engaged in effective peace work and conflict resolution in many of the world’s most divided countries. The Jury commends her “for showing in diverse ethnic and cultural situations how religious and other differences can be reconciled, even after violent conflict, and knitted together through a cooperative process that leads to peace and development”.
Percy and Louise Schmeiser (Canada) have given the world a wake-up call about the dangers to farmers and biodiversity everywhere from the growing dominance and market aggression of companies engaged in the genetic engineering of crops. The Jury honours the Schmeisers “for their courage in defending biodiversity and farmers’ rights, and challenging the environmental and moral perversity of current interpretations of patent laws”.
A woman technician demonstrating a Solar Home System
The company Grameen Shakti (Bangladesh) has shown that solar energy applications can be scaled up massively and rapidly to provide an affordable and climate-friendly energy option for the rural poor. The Jury commends Grameen Shakti “for bringing sustainable light and power to thousands of Bangladeshi villages, promoting health, education and productivity”.
Quote Jakob von Uexkull: “The 2007 Right Livelihood Award Recipients highlight existing solutions for today’s world: Dekha Ibrahim Abdi and Christopher Weeramantry demonstrate how war and terror can be overcome by peace-building and the rule of international law. The Schmeisers and Grameen Shakti show us how to protect two essential services of our global ecosystem: our agricultural resources and our global climate.”
The Right Livelihood Award Foundation is a Swedish charitable foundation that has so far presented Awards to 123 Recipients from 56 countries. The presentation takes place in the Swedish Parliament, with the support of Members of Parliament from all political parties.
The Awards were founded in 1980 by Jakob von Uexkull “to honour and support those offering practical and exemplary answers to the most urgent challenges facing us today”. Since then, the Award has been supported by individual donors. The total prize money is SEK 2 million (USD 310,000/EUR 220,000).
The Right Livelihood Awards are often referred to as “Alternative Nobel Prizes”.
At the press conference:
Marianne Andersson, Member of the Board and Jury of the Right Livelihood Award Foundation
Sven Bergström, Member of the Swedish Parliament, Chairman of the Society for the Right Livelihood Award in the Swedish Parliament
Ole von Uexkull, Executive Director of the Right Livelihood Award Foundation
Telephone interviews on October 2:
Christopher Weeramantry: +94 11 255 50 28 or +94 11 250 02 29
Dekha Abdi: +254 721 91 58 53 and +254 733 98 25 29
Percy and Louise Schmeiser: +1 306 369-2520
Dipal Barua, Managing Director of Grameen Shakti: office +88 02 80 11 222, home +88 02 80 58 122, mobile +88 1713 500 500
Jakob von Uexkull: +44 7780 67 23 74
Ole von Uexkull (afternoon): +46 8 70 20 337
For TV interviews with satellite link from Stockholm please contact: Ole von Uexkull: +46 8 70 20 337 / +46 8 70 20 339
A press conference with the Recipients will be held in Stockholm on Thursday, December 6th at 9:30 am. The award presentation ceremony in the Swedish Parliament will be held on December 7th at 6 p.m.