Bhubaneswar: Noted human rights and environmental activist Prafulla Samantara won prestigious Goldman Prize for the year 2017.
Goldman Prize is considered at par with Noble Prize in the field of environment. An iconic leader of social justice movements in India, Prafulla Samantara led a historic 12-year legal battle that affirmed the indigenous Dongria Kondh’s land rights and protected the Niyamgiri Hills (Odissa) from a massive, open-pit aluminum ore mine gets Prestigious Goldman Prize for the year 2017.
Mr. Samantra was one of the key leaders responsible for rallying tribes, indigenous to Odisha’s Niyamgiri region, and using legal provisions to thwart mining-to-metals conglomerate, Vedanta. The company has been forced to suspend plans to mine bauxite.
The annual prize honours grassroot environmentalists, who undergo risk to their lives, to protect the environment and empower those who have most to lose from industrial projects threatening their traditional livelihood.
Other winners this year include Mark Lopez, United States; Uroš Macerl, Slovenia; Rodrigo Tot, Guatemala; Rodrigue Katembo, Democratic Republic of Congo; and Wendy Bowman, Australia.