Ricardo A. Navarro
Ricardo Navarro is a mechanical engineer by profession.
In the 1970s while he was a professor at the State University in San Salvador, he organized three international Congresses: "Efficient Use of Natural Resources," "Appropriate Technology for Developing Countries" and "Basic Needs and Technology." Due to this, the engineering community of El Salvador became involved in ecological and social issues in the country for the first time.
In 1980, Navarro founded the Salvadorian Centre for Appropriate Technology (CESTA).
While in political exile, Navarro continued to work for the welfare of his people. He conducted an investigation into the use of bicycles as an alternative transport medium. The bicycles made from used parts provided jobs and an energy-friendly transportation mode.
Upon his return to El Salvador, he influenced peoples' attitudes towards their environment encouraging more direct participation in environmental matters. Navarro was one of the main contributors to the action plan for the National Ecological Recovery of El Salvador (the"Cerro Verde" proposal). A timely plan as the country had a war-torn abused environment.
Through CESTA, and in cooperation with Salvadorian ecologists and environmental organizations, Navarro was able to save ecologically important areas from destruction and hazardous industrial development. He also prevented toxic waste dumping.
Her Majesty Queen Noor
Queen Noor of Jordan has reached out to the population in her efforts to bring about awareness of the state of the environment and promote preservation efforts. She is a leader of many environmental initiatives in which she involves herself at all levels -inception, implementation and follow-up.
At the international level, she acts as Patron of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). As Patron of Jordan's Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN) - which operates environmental protection and awareness projects primarily concerning the country's wild and marine life - Queen Noor has overseen the establishment of seven reserves. The Society plans to establish five more by the year 2000. Her RSCN activities also include supporting environment clubs throughout the school system and commissioning comprehensive studies on fauna and flora in the Dana Nature Reserve.
Her Majesty's concern for the ecosystem of the Gulf of Aqaba - one of Jordan's environmental treasures - prompted her to found the Aqaba Committee for the Protection of the Environment, launch campaigns to fight pollution, and help establish the Gulf's Marine Science Station, which features an aquarium and carries out education and research projects. In addition, she headed the National Commission to develop laws supporting the National Environmental Strategy. The Commission worked with IUCN defining the strategy, making Jordan one of only two Middle East countries with a comprehensive environmental plan.
She also supports the role of women in environmental preservation through her position as Patron of the Noor Al Hussein Foundation, which has a project providing rural women with farming equipment and training to manage medicinal herb gardens.
Serigne Samb is a farmer in the small village of Thiamb'ene Till in north-western Senegal: an area which has seen a drastic reduction in tree cover due to grazing pressures, shifting cultivation, and tree cutting. The loss of tree cover has meant loss of valuable fodder for domestic animals kept by the villagers.
Samb recognized the negative effect that deforestation was having on his livestock herd and so in 1983 he established the first sylvo-pastoral field in Thiamb'ene Till. Samb fenced in 14 hectares of his farm using cuttings from Euphorbia balsamifera. His intent was to use the fenced in area as a fodder reserve in drought years.
The natural regeneration of Acacia raddiana developed extremely well inside Samb's fenced field in contrast to the barren lands around it and after only four years of protection, the number of trees/ha had increased from 10 to 1,250. Samb's experiment has been a great success and has stimulated other farmers and community members in the region to adopt similar practices.
His farm has become a model for soil conservation and environmental protection and has attracted the attention of the PROBOVIL project, which is making technical improvements and organizing visits by farmers from neighbouring villages. Samb's example clearly demonstrates that individual farmers, using locally developed technologies, can rehabilitate and protect their land and increase their level of productivity at the same time.
George B. Schaller
George B. Schaller
Safina Z. Siddiqi
When nearing the age of 60 - a time of retirement for most people - Safina Z. Siddiqi was just gearing up to lead the women in her neighbourhood in Karachi in a campaign to improve their environment and living conditions. Her living-room wall - plastered with "before" and "after" pictures - portrays the fruits of the women's efforts. Before, the streets were pitted with potholes, open sewers spilled over contaminating drinking water and uncollected garbage accumulated into stinking heaps on the road sides. Since 1989, when Siddiqi founded the Karachi Administration Women's Welfare Society (KAWWS), the sites have changed. The women - the majority of whom are housewives with no university education like Siddiqi - pressured civil servants to help them build and repair roads in neglected areas, fix sewers and install street lights. The women themselves established a garbage collection system, planted tree saplings, negotiated a caretaking system to ensure their survival, and established eight parks - one which replaced a sewage pond. In 1992, KAWWS made quality drinking water a national issue when it filed public interest litigation before the country's Supreme Court as a human rights case. Siddiqi and her neighbours' efforts have attracted more members and international recognition. Membership has swelled to more than 100 and Siddiqi's story was one of 200 community development successes reported during the 1991 Global Assembly of Women and Environment in Miami, USA.
Television Trust for the Environment
Set up in 1984, Television Trust for the Environment (TVE) works to raise public awareness through audiovisual media, placing particular emphasis on promoting issues relevant to developing countries and on building up programme-making capacities in these countries.
In 1987, TVE launched the "Moving Pictures" service to provide a wide range of high quality films and videos to TV stations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other educational agencies in low and middle income countries. Since its launch, "Moving Pictures" has enabled over 128 countries to broadcast over 5000 films one or more times and sent out over 16,000 videos to NGOs.
For ten years, TVE has supplied environmental programmes for Worldwide Television News (WTN). TVE and WTN just formalized their association by joining forces to co-produce a new television series "Agenda 21". The series provides TVE with a new means to help producers and film crews based in developing countries and countries in transition. TVE co-productions have won over 120 international awards, including Emmys, Prix Italias and BAFTAs.
Trees for Africa
Trees for Africa (TFA) is the only national greening organization in the Republic of South Africa that facilitates community owned projects.
Funds are raised from corporations, funding organizations and citizens to assist in the improvement of the quality of life in the townships, curb soil erosion in rural areas, and create environmental awareness. Since its formation, TFA has planted almost a quarter of a million trees at 1,000 events throughout the country.
TFA promotes education, training and youth development through educational workshops and tree planting projects. TFA continues to expand its activities and receives numerous requests daily for assistance from community groups throughout southern Africa. Although it is strong on grassroots involvement, TFA would not survive without the generous support of sponsors. Corporations, small businesses and individuals have given money, goods and expertise that have been pivotal in its work.
According to the Department of Environment Affairs, eight million tons of fuelwood will be consumed annually in the Republic South Africa by the year 2000. Thirty per cent of the population relies on fuelwood as the main source of energy and growing trees for fuel is desperately needed to take the pressure off indigenous trees.
Ron G. Watkins
Ron Watkins has developed an innovative system of land management, to solve the problems of land degradation, water logging and secondary salinisation, wind and water erosion in his area. He has integrated this with land use management to address additional problems of soil degradation, acidification, loss of structure (organic matter) and loss and imbalance of plant nutrients.
Watkins developed a new approach by insisting on the need to address whole catchments and work from the top of the landscape down, rather than treat the symptoms at the bottom of the landscape. The system also involves water harvesting and water use. This "Integrated Whole Farm - Whole Landscape Planning" management system is a significant advance in whole farm management irrespective of whether it finally solves the problem of recharge of ground water leading to secondary salinisation.
The cost-effective system has application in wind and water erosion control and in commercial and small holder farming systems. The land management system has been put in place over the past 10 years. Through membership at the Land Management Society, Watkins has contributed significantly to intellectual approaches to environmental problems.
In 1955, Won Kyung-Sun, a Republic of Korea farmer, founded Pulmuwon - a self-reliant, charitable organic farming community with the goal of increasing food production in sustainable ways, which also would guard against food contamination. His first step in establishing Pulmuwon was giving up his land titles and donating his property to the community.
At 80 years of age Won is still putting his life's energy into promoting organic farming as well as battling environmental destruction in an effort to alleviate poverty. He is revered as the father of Republic of Korea's organic farming movement and his influence on the Republic of Korea farmers has been far-reaching. Over the years, he organized education initiatives promoting agricultural reform.
Today, his former students are practicing organic farming throughout the country and have developed alternative agricultural technologies. They distribute their products widely through consumer cooperatives, providing people with ample amounts of safe food. In 1990, Won joined the Citizens' Coalition for Economic Justice (CCEF), and in 1992 he represented CCEJ at the Earth Summit. Upon returning to the Republic of Korea, he established the CCEJ's Centre for Environment and Development which has worked with the Government to promote policies concerning recycling, pollution control and alternative energy development that adhere to sustainable development principles.