Today, April 22, all over the world are celebrated the environment and the preservation of the planet on the occasion of Earth Day. Since 1970, every year, one month and two days after the spring equinox, the United Nations celebrate this festival to highlight the need for conservation of natural resources of the earth, reminding us all that our planet is a precious commodity , unique, to preserve every day and that it is our duty to use with caution and in a sustainable manner its natural resources.
Because over time the Earth Day has become a phenomenon both educational and awareness, both of information, today I want to tell you about five heroes of the environment, winners of the 2015 Goldman environmental prize , the most highest honor which since 1990 rewards activists around the world who are dedicated to protecting the environment, often running too big personal risks. For this, the Goldman Prize for the environment is often called the Nobel Prize for the environment.
The first, awarded in the category Africa, is Phyllis Omido, single mother who lives in a shanty town of Mombasa, Kenya. It all started when Phyllis was taken from a lead smelter to prepare a report on its environmental impact, the occasion on which she discovered that the plant was poisoning her community through the pollution of water sources, but executives have fired her, ignoring the results of her investigation. Then, when his son, at the time newborn, got sick because of the presence of alarming levels of lead in his blood, which probably had been passed from the mother through breast milk, Phyllis has not given peace mobilizing members of his community and founded the Center of justice, governance, and environmental action (Cjgea), in order to close the smelter. This activism led her to suffer violence and injustice. She has spent time in jail for demonstrating against the foundry and one evening, returning home, two armed men attacked her brutally. But thanks to her courage and tenacity the activities of the foundry have stopped in January 2014. Since then, several senators have promised that the contamination caused by the smelter will be cleaned and Phyllis now focused so that the promises of the senators are respected and she is mobilizing to bring the case to court.
Here are the other heroes chosen by Goldman prize. Myint Zaw (Burma, Myanmar) for stopping the construction of a dam in the river Irrawaddy, which threatened 18 thousand people with the forced displacement; Howard Wood (UK), undertaken to protect Scottish waters from industrial fisheries through the establishment of marine protected areas; Marilyn Baptiste (Canada), indigenous leader, who stopped the opening of a gold and copper mine; Berta Cáceres (Honduras), leader of the mobilization of an indigenous community that has blocked the construction of a dam that would have isolated the community from its natural resources.
To all these people we say a huge thank you.