Bangladeshi Grameen Shakti wins “Alternative Nobel Prize” to peace work and biodiversity

October 3, 2007 | By | Reply More

Grameen Shakti linked to the Grameen Bank group that along with its founder Muhammad Yunus was awarded the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize has pioneered cheap solar home systems. Some 110,000 systems covering 30,000 villages are currently in use.A jury named winners from Bangladesh, Canada, Kenya and Sri Lanka Tuesday as recipients of the 2007 Right Livelihood Awards, often called the Alternative Nobel Prize.

Grameen Shakti, a company in Bangladesh, was cited for showing “that solar energy applications can be scaled up massively and rapidly to provide an affordable and climate-friendly energy option for the rural poor.” The organization linked to the Grameen Bank group that along with its founder Muhammad Yunus was awarded the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize has pioneered cheap solar home systems. Some 110,000 systems covering 30,000 villages are currently in use.

Legal scholar Christopher Weeramantry from Sri Lanka was honoured for “his lifetime of groundbreaking work to strengthen and expand the rule of international law,” Andersson said. For instance, Weeramantry had shown how international law can be used to tackle “the nuclear arms race,” she added of the former member of the International Court of Justice. Dekha Ibrahim Abdi of Kenya was lauded for “showing in diverse ethnic and cultural situations how religious and other differences can be reconciled,” the jury said. Andersson said Mombasa-based Dekha Abdi, who was born 1964 in Wajir, northern Kenya, was an example of how women are “not always credited for the peace work,” citing her work to promote inter-faith dialogue in countries ranging from Kenya to Uganda, Sudan and South Africa. Dekha Abdi has also taught in Britain and the Netherlands. Percy and Louise Schmeiser of Saskatchewan, Canada were lauded for their work to defend “biodiversity and farmers’ rights,” the citation said, referring to their long struggle against genetic engineering of crops.

The couple have taken on agribusiness firm Monsanto and the concept of “patents of life” and genetic engineering that poses a threat to biodiversity, the jury said.

The winners all showed “practical solutions to global problems,” jury member Marianne Andersson said. “Many women work as technicians which is also a plus,” Andersson added.

This year’s award is worth 2 million kronor (310,000 dollars) and was to be shared equally between the four. A total of 84 candidates from 42 countries were nominated. The awards are to be presented at a ceremony in the Swedish parliament on December 7.

Last year, the prize was awarded to Brazilian Chico Whitaker Ferreira who helped found the World Social Reform, Indian social activist Ruth Manorama, US “whistleblower” Daniel Ellsberg and a Colombian poetry festival.

The award, established in 1980, was announced in Stockholm by its founder Jacob von Uexkull, a former member of the European parliament. “The 2007 Right Livelihood Award Recipients highlight existing solutions for today’s world,” von Uexkull said in a statement. “Dekha Ibrahim Abdi and Christopher Weeramantry demonstrate how war and terror can be overcome by peace-building and the rule of international law. “The Schmeisers and Grameen Shakti show us how to protect two essential services of our global ecosystem: our agricultural resources and our global climate,” he said. The prizes will be formally awarded at the Swedish Parliament on December 7.

Information Sources: Right Livelihood Awards authorities
Photography: Md. Arafatul Islam

Category: Climate Change, Development

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  1. World Leaders Gather at Green Energy Summit 2009 to Plug Bailout Scenarios
    Clean Technology, Renewable Energy, and Sustainability as Sound Engines for Economic Growth

    BANGALORE, November 14, 2008 — Don’t wait for a bailout. There is none. This deepening understanding is bringing together leading green energy experts, heads of state, top government officials, heads of large international organisations, policy makers, sustainability experts, environmentalists and global investors at Green Energy Summit 2009 (GES 2009), March 4-7, 2009 to be held at the Palace Grounds, Bangalore, India.

    Going green is both a corporate advantage and an opportunity for humanity to enable change. GES 2009 ( will bring together the government, civil society and private business leaders in a bid to develop and drive new initiatives, provide insights, showcase sustainable product development and green business opportunities, and facilitate interaction between entities from all over the world and India. The summit will also address policy options and practical applications that have proven successful in ramping up development of environmentally and economically sound solutions that truly benefit all stakeholders.

    At GES 2009, participants can:

    -> Tune in to four focus areas – Green Power, Green Buildings, Green Fuels & Transportation, Green IT.
    -> Discuss solutions to some of humanity’s most compelling issues: energy security, climate change, renewable sources of energy & sustainable human development.
    -> Unlock sales opportunities in India: must-attend for International companies interested in meeting Indian buyers, partners and representatives.
    -> Find your match and shortlist potential business partners: the GES concierge will work away at your shortlist and arrange up to 6 one-on-one appointments.
    -> Expertise, advice and strategy: benefit from the expertise, credibility and mandates of a powerhouse team of influential RE and clean technology experts.


    “GES 2009 will be a wholly interactive event with accent on the application of renewable energy and clean technologies in green power, green buildings, green fuels and transportation and green IT. The program will comprise high-level keynote sessions, expert case studies on specific themes, awards function, networking dinner and guided tours of green energy installations”, says Dr. Arcot Ramachandran, chairperson of the organising team.

    Speakers include Dr. Hermann Scheer (Member, German Parliament; President Eurosolar; General Chairman, WCRE), H.E. Corrado Clini (Director General, Ministry for the Environment Land and Sea, Italy & Chair, G8 Global Bioenergy Partnership), Dr. Mohamed T. El-Ashry (Chair, REN21), Prof. Arthouros Zervos (Chairman, GWEC), Dr. R.K. Pachauri (Chairman, IPCC), Dr. Dan Arvizu (Director, NREL), Dr. Jamshed J. Irani (Director, TATA Sons Limited and Chairman, Tata Quality Management Services), Michael T. Eckhart (President, ACORE & Co-chairman, WCRE), Dr. Marianne Osterkorn (International Director, REEEP), Dr. Yogi Goswami (Former President, ISES), Dr. Pramod Deo (Chairman, CERC), R Seshasayee (MD, Ashok Leyland), Nitin Desai (Special Adviser to the Secretary General for the World Summit on the Information Society), David Bohigian (Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Commerce), Dipal C Barua (MD, Grameen Shakti), Dr Ajay Mathur (Director General, BEE), Dr. Jose Achache (Director, Group on Earth Observations) and several other important stakeholders.


    Green Energy Expo is spread out over 10,000 sqm and will enjoy a footfall of more than 100,000. The exhibitions will have separate pavilions for Green Power, Green IT, Green Buildings, Green Fuels & Transport, Sustainable Brand Showcase, Nano in Sustainability and Biotech in Sustainability. Featuring Indian and International exhibitors from the US, Europe, Canada, Middle East and Asia Pacific, meet manufacturers, builders, vendors and investors of unconventional energy technology (solar, wind, biofuel, thermal), enterprise hardware & software technology vendors, semiconductor companies, financial institutions, venture capitalists and government bodies.

    The summit is supported by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India; EUROSOLAR, World Council for Renewable Energy (WCRE); Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA), Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), Confederation of Real Estate Developer’s Associations of India (CREDAI) and Karnataka Renewable Energy Ltd. (KREDL).


    “Climate change and sustainability strategies, renewable, green and clean technologies are as important for our planet as was perhaps financial jurisprudence to the current economic downturn. When the chips are down, customers and prospects will always look up to brands and businesses that are sustainable, conservative, and willing to assume corporate social responsibility for a cleaner future,” says Dilip Thomas, Steering Committee Member/Program Chair & CEO of Saltmarch Media, the organizers of GES 2009.

    If you have a sustainable brand, product, or service, your presence as a sponsor at GES 2009 sends out the right signals to your various marketing initiatives including customer touch points, CSR and branding, besides demonstrating clear commitment towards a clean, green and sustainable planet. GES 2009 is the world-class forum for varied stakeholders from the Solar, Wind, Biomass, IT, Transport, Construction, Aviation, Nanotechnology, and Biotechnology, to showcase your brand, propagate your leadership message, and unlock sales opportunities.

    About Saltmarch Media

    GES 2009 is conceived and organised by Saltmarch Media in association with the Renewable Energy Action Forum (REAF) — like-minded bodies that believe passionately in the role of Renewable Energy Technologies (RETs) in national development, reducing our dependency on fuel imports and protection of the environment.

    The organising committee is chaired by Dr. Arcot Ramachandran (Chairman TERI Governing Council, Former Under Secretary General UN, and Secretary, DST). Committee members include Dr. J Gururaja (Former Sr Adviser, United Nations and Adviser, MNRE, GoI), Dr. V Balasubramanian (Former Additional Chief Secretary, GoK), Dilip Thomas (Chairman & CEO, Saltmarch), A K Vora (Former MD, Tata BP Solar India, K Jairaj (Principal Secretary, Energy, GoK), Indu Britto (Group Publisher, Saltmarch Media), Shri. M N Vidyashankar (Ex-officio Principal Secretary, Govt. of Karnataka), K Subramanya, CEO, Tata BP Solar India Limited, Dr. Bhaktavatsalam (Former Chairman, IREDA, GoI), and Dr. Harish Hande – Founder & CEO, SELCO India.

    For more information on GES contact the GES Hotline:
    Mobile: +91 99015 08099, Tel: +91 80 4005 1000

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