They stand up against violence and climate change and address the most pressing questions of our time: Marthe Wandou (Cameroon), Wladimir Sliwjak (Russia), Freda Huson (People of the Wet’suwet’en, Canada) and the Legal Initiative for Forest and Environment (India) are the winners of the Right Livelohood Award (“Alternative Nobel Prize”) 2021.
We chose these four changemakers, because they bravely stand up for the rights of women and girls and indigenous peoples, because they fight to protect the climate and because they do this in a cooperative manner. They try to strengthen and mobilize local communities.
Right Livlihood has issued the following press release to announce the new award winners (excerpts):
The 2021 Right Livelihood Laureates are leaders in advancing the rights of women and girls, environmental protection and reclaiming Indigenous rights through mobilising communities and empowering grassroots initiatives.
Hailing from Cameroon, Russia, Canada and India, this year’s change-makers show that lasting change is built on communities banding together. In the face of the worsening climate crisis, powerful governmental and corporate interests, and even a terrorist threat, the 2021 Laureates prove that solidarity is key to a better future for all.
The 2021 Laureates are:
Marthe Wandou (Cameroon) “for building a model of community-based child protection in the face of terrorist insurgency and gender-based violence in the Lake Chad region of Cameroon;”
Vladimir Slivyak (Russia) “for his defence of the environment and for helping to ignite grassroots opposition to the coal and nuclear industries in Russia;”
Freda Huson (of the Wet’suwet’en people, Canada) “for her fearless dedication to reclaiming her people’s culture and defending their land against disastrous pipeline projects;”
Legal Initiative for Forest and Environment (India) “for their innovative legal work empowering communities to protect their resources in the pursuit of environmental democracy in India.”
“The 2021 Right Livelihood Laureates are courageous mobilisers who show what peoples’ movements can achieve,” said Ole von Uexkull, Executive Director at Right Livelihood.
“In the face of the escalating climate and environmental crises, senseless violence, and blatant human rights abuses, they successfully engage for a better future through solidarity and organisation. These grassroots activists are not just resisting but actively mobilising entire communities to claim their rights, becoming agents of change where governments fail,” von Uexkull added.
The 2021 Laureates will be honoured during a televised Award Presentation in Stockholm on Wednesday, December 1.