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Today, the Government of Sweden bestowed the Illis Quorum Meruere Labores, a gold medal awarded for outstanding contributions to Swedish culture, science or society, on Jakob von Uexkull, Founder of the Right Livelihood Award.
Jakob von Uexkull received the medal (12th size) from the Swedish Minister for Environment, Lena Ek. It is the first time that the Minister for Environment has presented this award, as it is very rare that it is given for work related to the environment.
"I am very grateful for this prestigious award! I chose to present the Right Livelihood Award in Stockholm because Sweden was the first country to honour people from around the globe whose work offered 'the greatest benefit to mankind', as Alfred Nobel said. It was also Stockholm that hosted the very first UN conference on environmental problems in 1972. Thus it feels right that the prize I founded for those who courageously take on responsibility and who find practical solutions has been presented here, in the Swedish Parliament, for many years." said Jakob von Uexkull upon receiving the medal.
The Right Livelihood Award Foundation has released a new short documentary about RLA Laureate Nnimmo Bassey who received the Award in 2010 "for revealing the full ecological and human horrors of oil production and for his inspired work to strengthen the environmental movement in Nigeria and globally".
This documentary is the eighth short documentary about one of the Right Livelihood Recipients.
All the short documentaries are available on the Right Livelihood YouTube Channel.
RLA 1991 Laureate MST recently sent a letter to the Vatican asking Pope Francis to support their campaign against the use of GM crops in Brasil. The letter was supported by many scientists and activists, including Vandana Shiva (RLA 1993 Laureate) and Pat Mooney (RLA 1985 Laureate). According to the scientists who signed the letter, "patents on life forms and living processes should be banned because they threaten food security and promote biopiracy of traditional knowledge". The letter will be further discussed in September when Bishop Leonardo Steiner, general secretary of la Conferencia Nacional dos Bispos do Brasil and one of the key promoters of the initiative, will pay a visit to the Pope.
The full article can be read on El Universo (in Spanish) and on ETC Group website (English).
56 recipients of the Right Livelihood Award from 35 countries signed a statement in which they condemn the killing of hundreds of children and innocent civilians in Gaza by the Israeli Defence Forces, the indiscriminate firing of rockets by Hamas against Israeli civilians, and mourn the continued suffering of Gaza’s inhabitants.
Read the statement.
Raji Sourani from Gaza (RLA 2013) comments on the escalating violence in the Middle East:
"Five weeks ago, I was full of hope. A new national unity government had been formed and it seemed that, for the first time in seven years Palestine would be united. We thought that with reconciliation – with Hamas removed from absolute power in the Gaza Strip – the closure might be lifted. But it did not happen."
"As the bombs fall, they add rubble to rubble; another generation of destruction."
"It is a constant cycle of illegality that has returned us to this point. Illegal attacks are used to justify illegal attacks, and on it goes. There are two constants: the continuous suffering of civilians, and total impunity for those suspected of committing war crimes." ...
Read the full text on the Irish Independent