Durban activist wins international award

2014-04-29 15:08
Desmond D'Sa. (YouTube)

Desmond D'Sa. (YouTube)

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New Delhi - Six environmental advocates from India, Peru, Russia and South Africa have won this year's Goldman Prize, which is awarded annually for grass-roots activism.

South Africa's Desmond D'Sa won the award for helping to close down one of the SA's largest toxic waste dumps in Kwa Zulu Natal.

The award was given to D'Sa for his work that led to the shutting down the Bulbul Drive landfill in 2011, one of the largest hazardous waste sites in South Africa.

Other winners

India's Ramesh Agrawal received the prize for helping villagers fight a large coal mine in Chhattisgarh state, the San Francisco-based Goldman Environmental Foundation said on Monday.

Peru's Ruth Buendia was recognised for helping to prevent construction of two large dams that would have displaced nearly 10 000 indigenous people in the Peruvian Amazon, and Russian zoologist Suren Gazaryan won for defending protected areas around Sochi from illegal land seizures for Olympic construction projects, it said.

American lawyer Helen Slottje received the award for helping communities fight fracking in New York State by discovering a legal loophole that allows individual towns to ban the oil extraction method under zoning laws.

Indonesian biologist Rudi Putra helped shutter 26 illegal palm oil plantations that were causing deforestation in northern Sumatra.

"From fracking to palm oil development, the 2014 Goldman Prize recipients are not only tackling some of the world's most pressing environmental problems; they are also achieving impressive environmental victories and inspiring others to do the same", foundation executive director David Gordon said in a statement.

The winners received $175 000 at a ceremony on Monday evening at the San Francisco Opera House.

The award was launched in 1990 with a grant from philanthropists Richard and Rhoda Goldman to honour grass-roots environmental activists in the six regions of Africa, Asia, Europe, Island Nations, North America and Latin America.

Take a look at the passionate work Desmond D'Sa does.

Read more on:    durban  |  us  |  environment  |  conservation

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