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Environmental heroes.

This year marked the 15th annual presentation of the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize to grassroots activists from six geographic regions. Each year, winners are selected by an international jury to split a $125,000 cash award. A survey of past award winners showed that their combined work has impacted the lives of an estimated 102 million people around the world. This year's winners are:

* Margie Richard, of Norco, Louisiana, who successfully campaigned for Shell Chemical to pay fair resettlement costs to area residents who were too poor to move away from a local Shell refinery that emitted pollutants including benzene and nitrogen oxides. Shell also agreed to reduce the plant's emissions by 30%.

* Rudolf Amenga-Etego, of Accra, Ghana, who is fighting a World Bank effort to privatize Ghana's water supply. The plan would impede access to clean drinking water, with the brunt of the burden falling on Ghanaian girls, who are responsible for providing the family water.

* Rashida Bee and Champa Devi Shukla, of Bhopal, India, who organized the first global hunger strike to draw attention to the continuing problems arising from the 1984 chemical disaster near their town. They are suing to get remediation of the factory site and coverage for treatment of continuing health problems.

* Libia Grueso Castelblanco, of Buenaventura, Colombia, who secured territorial rights to over 5.9 million acres for the country's rural black citizens, who have lived on the land for hundreds of years.

* Manana Kochladze, of Tbilisi, Georgia, who is fighting to block a major oil pipeline that would run through a pristine wilderness area.

* Demetrio do Amaral de Carvalho, of Dili, East Timor, who ensured that environmental justice was addressed in that nation's new constitution, helping to guide sustainable management of East Timor's rainforests, coral reefs, and other natural resources.
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Title Annotation:The Beat
Author:Dooley, Erin E.
Publication:Environmental Health Perspectives
Date:Jun 1, 2004
Words:297
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