Greta Thunberg and three other people receive the ‘alternative Nobel Prize’

The Swedish activist, a defender of the Brazilian Amazon, a Chinese feminist lawyer and a Saharawi activist are added


The 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg has been awarded, along with three other people, with the Livelihood Award, considered the alternative to the Nobel Prize, as announced by the foundation organizing the event on Wednesday in Stockholm.

In this year's edition they have awarded “four visionaries whose leadership has empowered millions of people to defend their inalienable rights” and to protect life on this planet. The four winners have been selected from 142 candidates from 59 countries. Each of the winners will be provided with 1 million Swedish crowns (about 93,600 euros) to invest in their projects. The ceremony will be on December 4.

Greta Thunberg and three other people receive the ‘alternative Nobel Prize’
Greta Thunberg and three other people receive the ‘alternative Nobel Prize’

Thunberg has been awarded for “inspiring and amplifying the political scope of demands for action against climate change reflecting scientific data,” according to the committee that awards the award. The young Swedish woman was the promoter of the 'Fridays for Future' movement, to which students from all over the world have joined, demonstrating in front of the parliaments of their countries demanding action against climate change.

“If you choose to fail us, we will never forgive you,” the activist said Monday at the United Nations Climate Summit in New York. Thunberg has expressed his desire to share the award with the rest of the people who have participated in “the defense of our living planet”.

Another of the winners is the Brazilian Yanomani indigenous Davi Kopenawa, along with the Yanomani Hutukara Association, of which he is founder. The indigenous leader has dedicated his life to the protection of the Amazon rainforest and the way of life of the Yanomani, an indigenous people of the Amazon whose lands between Venezuela and Brazil make up the largest jungle area under indigenous rule.

“The prize has given me strength to continue fighting to defend the soul of the Amazon,” said Kopenawa, who thanked the vote of confidence towards him and his association in the protection of the environment. The activist has suffered numerous threats from miners and loggers as well as from policies promoted by the president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro.

Aminatu Haidar has become the first winner of this recognition in the Western Sahara region for her “non-violent action, despite suffering imprisonment and torture, in her struggle for the right of self-determination of the citizens of Western Sahara,” the committee applauded.

Haidar has considered that the award is a recognition of the non-violent effort he has carried out for 30 years and also of the “just cause of the Saharawis.” The Polisario Front, which controls the self-proclaimed Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) claims the right of self-determination against Morocco, which controls much of the former Spanish colony since 1975.

Chinese lawyer Guo Jianmei has also received this honor for her “pioneering and persistent work in the conquest of women's rights in China,” according to the committee. Guo has helped thousands of people, especially women and people with disabilities, have access to legal representation and has created a network to offer free advice.

“This award recognizes the work of my team to preserve the rights of women and promote democracy” under difficult circumstances for the past 25 years, the lawyer thanked.

This event was founded in 1980 to reward those people with an exceptional initiative in the fields of protection of peace, Human Rights and the environment. They are not connected with Nobel prizes, but they also have great prestige.

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