The Laureates of this year’s Right Livelihood Award, widely known as the ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’, are now announced.
The 2018 Honorary Award goes to anti-corruption champions Thelma Aldana (Guatemala) & Ivan Velásquez (Colombia) “for their innovative work in exposing abuse of power and prosecuting corruption, thus rebuilding people’s trust in public institutions.”
The three cash awards go to the following Laureates:
The civil and human rights defenders Abdullah al-Hamid, Mohammad Fahad al-Qahtani and Waleed Abu al-Khair (Saudi Arabia) share an Award “for their visionary and courageous efforts, guided by universal human rights principles, to reform the totalitarian political system in Saudi Arabia”. It is the first time that a Right Livelihood Award goes to Laureates from Saudi Arabia. The Laureates are all currently in jail.
The farmer Yacouba Sawadogo (Burkina Faso) receives the Award “for turning barren land into forest and demonstrating how farmers can regenerate their soil with innovative use of indigenous and local knowledge”.
The agronomist Tony Rinaudo (Australia) is recognised by the Jury “for demonstrating on a large scale how drylands can be greened at minimal cost, improving the livelihoods of millions of people”.
The announcement was made at the International Press Centre at the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs by Ole von Uexkull, Executive Director of the Right Livelihood Award Foundation , and Amelie von Zweigbergk, board and jury member of the Foundation , following the decision by an international Jury that considered 107 nominations from 50 countries. Ole von Uexkull commented: “The Laureates’ trailblazing work for accountability, democracy and the regeneration of degraded land gives tremendous hope and deserves the world’s highest attention. At a time of alarming environmental decline and failing political leadership, they show the way forward into a very different future.” The three cash award s are worth SEK 1 Million (EUR 96 ,000) each and will be used to support the Laureates’ successful work. The prize money is not for personal use. The Award Presentation will take place in Stockholm on 23 November, followed by public events and high-level meetings in Geneva, Zurich and Berlin.
For more information about this year’s Laureates, please visit www.rightlivelihood.org.