Ikal Angelei Wins 2012 Goldman Environmental Prize

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Today, April 16, 2012, our friend and partner Ikal Angelei, Director of Friends of Lake Turkana, joins the ranks of the distinguished winners of the Goldman Environmental Prize.

Each year, six activists are chosen from around the world – one from each inhabited region – to be honored for their "sustained and significant efforts to protect and enhance the natural environment, often at great personal risk." Ikal has won the prize for Africa, and is the first person from the region to ever be honored for dam fighting.

Read the press release for information on the Goldman Prize and the two activists who are being honored for their work to protect rivers.

Ikal has been working to organize the indigenous communities around Lake Turkana to stop the massive Gibe III Dam in Ethiopia, which would essentially cut off the main water supply of Lake Turkana and devastate the environment and the communities who depend on the lake for their survival. Ikal and her colleagues have successfully managed to keep most international financiers from investing in the project; China's biggest bank is now the only financier left besides the Ethiopian government.

Learn more about the Ikal's work and the Chinese connection to Gibe III in a blog by our Policy Director Peter Bosshard.

Ikal and the other five winners – including another river protector, Ma Jun of China – will be honored at an awards ceremony tonight in San Francisco. This ceremony is the conclusion of a weekend-long look at China's role as the world's biggest dam builder. Read a blog by our Executive Director Jason Rainey for information on this weekend's events on China's global dam footprint.

As one of the organizations responsible for nominating Ikal for this year's Goldman Environmental Prize, all of us here at International Rivers are proud to know Ikal and support her work as a leader of the environmental and social justice movement in Africa.  

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