Throughout her career, Danuse Kvasnickova has promoted environmental education at all levels of the Czech Republic's educational system. She began working as a secondary school biology teacher and, in 1968, organized a national biological competition which continues today. Later, she established the Czechoslovakian Society for Environment, the ECOMENIUS Foundation which trains environmental education specialists, and the Eco-Gymnasium. The gymnasium, where she is Director, was the country's first private school with a curriculum emphasizing the environment in all subjects and at all academic levels. She later worked with other Eastern European countries to simulate her work on an international level. Ms. Kvasnickova is involved in the Dandelion Project sponsored by the Ministry of Agriculture, which focuses on environmental activities for young people living in rural areas. She has taught pedagogy courses and lectures on environmental education at Charles University in Prague. She has also produced textbooks, articles, radio programmes and videos which were part of a television series entitled "Ecology in all Cases".
Professor Akio Morishima
Professor Akio Morishima is an eminent international lawyer whose primary concern has been environmental protection for more than three decades. He is considered a theoretical leader in environmental law and policy development in Japan and in environmental research and science. He has served in this field at national and international levels and has been an enthusiastic supporter of environmental justice. He participated, as an expert adviser to the plaintiffs' lawyers in two important court cases, namely the Yokkaichi Asthma Litigation and the Shinkansen Super-Express Train Noise Litigation. Not only did the plaintiffs win the case, his efforts resulted in the strengthening of pollution control and environmental protection measures by the Government. As Chairman of the Policy Committee of the Central Environmental Council, he was the mastermind behind the report Basic Environment Plan which outlines the long-term policies for environmental conservation in Japan, while taking into account the outcome of the Earth Summit in Brazil. Professor Morishima has also taken the lead in environmental research and science, and has played a key role in promoting environmental awareness and community action through the Chubu Environmental Association which he established. He is a member and representative of the Consumer Action Network in Nagoya - a consumer and environmental groups forum. He is President of the Japan Society of Environmental Sciences and a member of the Executive Board of the Japan Centre for Human Environmental Problems. Through his actions, he has gained the confidence of governments and community-based organizations alike. He is also a member of the Commission of International Environmental Law of IUCN and of the Editorial Advisory Board of the World Resources Institute.
Bahuddin Hi Pabbite
Eighty year-old Bahuddin Hi Pabbite, better known as Pak Tua, has since 1940 been alone in his fight to preserve the Maleo Bird - long before the Government of Indonesia put this species on the endangered list. The Maleo, who lives in Tomini Bay in Central Sulawesi Province, has been threatened for decades by human predators who steal their eggs. An illiterate man, he lives a very simple existence in an unsuitable house along a beach where the Maleo lays its eggs, so that he can protect its offspring. During the egg laying season, he collects the eggs and puts them in a traditional hatchery box measuring 100x50x50 cm3 which accommodates approximately 40 to 80 eggs. After about three months, the eggs hatch and seven days later the small birds are released into their natural habitat. Pak Tua determines their ability to survive when these chicks are able to crack gravel, dig in sand, run and fly. Although this noble work is not appreciated by the village people, Pal Tua has not lost his enthusiasm and still finds much satisfaction in this lifelong work. He is the winner of his country's 1994 Kalpataru Award in the Environmental Pioneer category.Bahuddin Hi Pabbite
Sonia Regina de Brito Pereira
Sonia Pereira of Brazil is an environmental lawyer, a biologist, a social psychologist, and professor of Environmental Law and Human Ecology. She also coordinates the Ecological and Educational Training Programme in Human Ecology to support low-income communities to help them address their common problems, through reflective-learning and working together to clean and restore their environment. In the 1980s, she was responsible for bringing to international attention the negative effects of the biggest hydroelectric power station built in the Amazon. She has fought against the destruction of the forest and submitted a paper asking the United Nations to conduct investigations and examine the killing of many people in the whole region and the use of poisonous chemical substances to clear the vegetation. She has contributed to the development of Government environmental management activities, and promoted public dialogue between the Government and communities. Her conviction which encouraged communities to resist efforts to destroy their lands and lives, has led to numerous death threats. She has written several articles and co-authored a book entitled "Environmental Planning". She was a delegate for the Latin America and Caribbean Seminar on Women and the Environment, a Success Story Presenter at the Global Assembly on Women and the Environment and at the World Peace University Symposium for Native Wisdom, Native Rights and Mother Earth.
Environment 2000 Foundation
Environment 2000 (E2000), is a non-profit organization staffed by young Zimbabweans, whose aim is to: stimulate environmental awareness and action; uplift socio-economic sustainability and the well-being of the community; and protect the environment.
Aware of the need to work with the corporate sector to reduce environmental degradation, in 1992, E2000 established the Environmental Labelling Programme (ELP). ELP has received a favourable response from industry which is trying to become greener by requesting to have their operations audited before being awarded the blue or green logos stamp of approval. ELP also makes consumers aware of companies whose products and services are environmentally friendly and encourages them to avoid buying products and services which are not.
In line with its goal to spread environmental education, E2000 established clubs in schools, throughout the country, to educate young people about the economic, cultural and aesthetic value of natural resources and helps them develop a better understanding of nature conservation. E2000 provides information through its quarterly magazine "Green-line". Environmental debates, public speaking, camps, field trips, tree plantings and essay competitions are among other activities which E2000 Clubs undertake. Its Information Service engages in comprehensive research in rural and urban areas in order to expose negative environmental activities.
Ken Saro-Wiwa led the resistance of the Ogoni People against the pollution of their Delta homeland in Nigeria. At all stages of their campaign, Saro-Wiwa advocated peaceful resistance to the forces that would deprive the Ogoni People of a say in the development of their region. As leader of the resistance movement, he knew full well the risks he ran in opposing the Nigerian Government. In November 1995, Saro-Wiwa and eight other Ogoni activists were executed. Subsequently, the Nigerian regime was roundly condemned by the leaders of the international community. Saro-Wiwa advocated that human rights and the environment are inextricably linked. He sent a message to the world that all peoples have an inalienable right to peacefully protest destructive development.Ken Saro-Wiwa
Tatyana Fyodorovna Stepanenko
In 1975, when Russian Tatyana Fyodorovna Stepanenko went to work at Vodokanal, a state enterprise in St. Petersburg, she set her sights on finding ways to limit levels of waste dumped into the Newa River system and the Baltic Sea. She wrote, "... the sewage waters of industrial enterprises of St. Petersburg are discharged without any surveying whatsoever...". Soon after, not only did she find high levels of extremely polluted waste water discharged by industry, but many of those industries were part of the defense complex. Her work posed enormous challenges: environmental protection was not high on the policy agenda and the defense industry was not obliged to follow the few environmental regulations in place. Tatyana Stepanenko persevered. In the end, she established an information collection system of the industrial waste dumped into the water. The findings prompted the Government to draft regulations for industry that included supervisory measures and a system of fees structured according to a polluter pays principle. The goal she set out to achieve took 18 years. The policy Tatyana Stepanenko helped develop is now in force in all Russian townships. But this is not the end of her story. In 1994, she established a fund for the fees collected from polluters to finance projects to improve the ecology and urban environment. Today she is director of Vodokanal and organizes seminars to educate industry about protecting seas and waterways.
Nergis Yazgan is a leading nature conservation figure in Turkey, whose environmental activities span two decades. In 1975, she was instrumental in establishing two non-governmental organizations: The Society for the Protection of Nature (DHKD) and the Turkish Nature Conservation Foundation. DHKD is today a leading conservation organization in the country with 6,000 members and a professional staff of 27, including geomorphologists, fishery engineers, ornithologists and business administrators. Together they are implementing 12 field projects ranging from protection of wetlands and bird habitats to safeguarding Turkey's vast botanical biodiversity through the cultivation of indigenous bulbs and the protection of coastal zones. All DHKD projects have an environmental education component. Thanks to her single-handed efforts a major environmental battle to safeguard the most important breeding grounds of the endangered sea turtles was won. The issue became a huge national and international concern, and ended with the cancellation of a mega- tourism master plan and the declaration of Dalyan as a specially protected area in 1988. In 1994, she was very active in the declaration of another protected area: The Poloneskoy Nature Park near Istanbul. Mrs. Yazgan has always advocated the need for supportive volunteers and has undertaken fund raising activities in addition to her conservation efforts. She was the organizer of three fund raising events, which has permitted DHDK to undertake its activities.
Herederos del Planeta
Herederos del Planeta (Inheritors of the Planet) is a Colombian youth programme designed by the Red de Reservas Naturales de la Sociedad Civil, an environmental network linking 85 reserves throughout the country. Herederos addressed the issue of inter-generational justice and aims to: motivate and train young people; create environmentally conscious and dedicated global citizens; and prepare future generations for the struggle to preserve the environment and the continuity of species. It has about 100 activists and more than 500 highly motivated followers. The most enthusiastic candidates are selected in each region and offered basic environmental training on the functioning of ecosystems. Exchanges are organized among the various nuclei around the country during school holidays, to provide motivation and to exchange experiences. Each nucleus organizes its own fund raising ventures to meet the costs of its activities. The Network today has a seed fund for small projects. Each member also publicizes the programme and its activities, excursions and courses among his/her schoolmates. The Sibundoy Valley Group collected funds to purchase a marsh area and turned it into a nature reserve so as to conserve a water source feeding into the local aqueduct. Each year, creative competitions are sponsored by Herederos in each region to solve a given environmental problem. Members of the organization are also invited to training events held by the Reserves Network.
A High School Student Group of Junior Journalists for Environment
Ten years ago teachers at the high school in Xuzhou Coalmine, a village in China's northern Jiangsu Province, got together with students to start a group of junior environmental journalists. It was an effort to raise the students' sense of responsibility about the world around them. Over the years, increased projects have focused mainly on public education activities. The group has held writing, photography, speech and story-telling contests, worked with the local environmental authorities to inform the public about subjects ranging from the harm of killing frogs and the illegal sale of its meat to protecting local rivers and lakes from wastes. The students also do hands-on work such as planting trees, organizing school clean-up campaigns, and attending extra-curricular classes on environmental protection. They even have an environmental summer camp when school is out of session. The field studies they have conducted have taken them far beyond the schoolyard. Since 1985, the group has travelled more than 10,000 miles. The students have surveyed major sources of pollution along the Kui River after which they wrote a report and drew up a map that they submitted to the municipal government. They also studied the offshore water pollution in the Bohai Gulf, travelled to Hunan Province to learn about dealing with pest control problems, visited Balinyou County, Inner Mongolia, to see the sandification of the area's grassland and trekked through northwestern China to examine the region's biological diversity.