Indian environmental law organization wins Right Livelihood Award | Latest India News
The Delhi-based environmental organization Legal Initiative for Forest and Environment (LIFE) received the Right Livelihood Award 2021 for its “grassroots approach of empowering vulnerable communities to protect their livelihoods and claim their right to an environment. own “. The prize is known as Sweden’s Alternative Nobel Prize.
Other laureates include Cameroonian women’s and girls’ rights activist Marthe Wandou, the first Cameroonian person to receive the award, Russian environmental activist Vladimir Slivyak and Canadian indigenous rights defender Freda Huson.
The Right Livelihood Award honors and supports people who solve global problems. It is accompanied by a cash prize of one million Swedish kronor (US $ 115,000) and long-term support to showcase and develop the work of the laureates.
“Despite a strong legislative framework on environmental protection, access to justice for those who intend to protect India’s remaining forests and biodiversity is often limited. To fill this gap, LIFE was founded by lawyers Ritwick Dutta and Rahul Choudhary in 2005. Since then, LIFE has tackled some of India’s most significant environmental threats, including helping local communities stop construction of ‘a large-scale bauxite mine in eastern Odisha state and shut down a hydroelectric project in Arunachal Pradesh state,’ a statement from Stockholm-based Right Livelihood said Wednesday.
The Right Livelihood jury declared that LIFE received the award “for innovative legal work enabling communities to protect their resources in the pursuit of environmental democracy in India”.
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Dutta said they were extremely thrilled to receive the Right Livelihood Award. “This is our first international award, and it means a lot to us and to all the local groups across India that we support. The award will help us increase the impact of our work, empowering more people to protect nature and livelihoods. “
Ole von Uexkull, Executive Director of Right Livelihood, said: “The Forest and Environment Legal Initiative works for justice and nature conservation on behalf of communities across India. Von Uexkull added that from dams to mines, LIFE lawyers have fought both government and business interests that threaten the survival and rights of peoples. “They enable groups of citizens to claim their right to a clean environment, on which their livelihoods depend. “