In the midst of recent headlines that put the spotlight on the ongoing climate crisis, war and dragnet surveillance, the Right Livelihood Awards, also known as the 'alternative Nobels,' offer welcome respite, highlighting this year four individuals working for peace, justice, healing and sustainability.
The 2013 winners, announced on Thursday, are Paul Walker from the U.S., “for working tirelessly to rid the world of chemical weapons,” Gaza-based Raji Sourani, human rights defender and the first Palestinian to win the award, Denis Mukwege from the Democratic Republic of Congo, “for his courageous work healing women survivors of war-time sexual violence and speaking up about its root causes,” and Swiss agronomist Hans Herren, who works to fight hunger using agro-ecological approaches.
“This year’s group of Laureates secure the fundamentals of human life," stated Ole von Uexkull, Executive Director of the Right Livelihood Award Foundation. "They show that we have the knowledge and the tools to eliminate weapons of mass destruction, to secure respect for human rights, to end the war on women in Eastern Congo, and to feed the world with organic agriculture. The world should not have to live with problems that we know we can solve. These four men, whose vision, courage and commitment we honor today, show what the solutions look like.”
The awards will be presented in December at the Swedish Parliament.
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To see more about the Laureates' work, see the videos below.
In this video uploaded by Feather Wisdom, Dr. Paul Walker talks about his work and the need to meet the Millenium Development Goas from the Rio +20 summit:
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In a November 2011 interview with Democracy Now!, human rights lawyer Raji Sourani talks about the UN statehood bid, the peace process and the siege of Gaza:
Dr. Mukwege describes his work as both doctor and human rights defender in repairing physically and emotionally the women sometimes mutilated as a result of the rape epidemic in his country:
Finally, Hans Herren, President of Biovision and the Millennium Institute, discusses "Food Systems of the Future: Why & How They will be Different from Today’s" in this video uploaded by MAD: