'Alternative Nobel Prizes'

December 07, 2005.  

Press release




The recipients of this year's Right Livelihood Awards (often referred

to as the 'Alternative Nobel Prizes') arrived in Stockholm on

Tuesday. They were speaking at a press conference in the Foreign

Office Press Room on Wednesday morning 7 December 9:30 CET.


Maude Barlow and Tony Clarke are Canadian activists for fair trade

and a human right to water. Maude Barlow said: 'The growing fresh

water crisis is perhaps the most urgent environmental and human

rights issue of our times and, for this reason, water must be

preserved as a common heritage.' Tony Clarke added: 'Yet, next week

in Hong Kong, the World Trade Organisation could decide, in effect,

that water be controlled by for-profit corporations and sold in the

open market to the highest bidder.'


The leader of the organisation First People of the Kalahari, Roy

Sesana, fights for the land rights of the Gana, Gwi and Bakgalagadi

'Bushmen' against powerful corporate and government interests in

Botswana. He said: 'My people are currently suffering terribly inside

the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, which is my ancestral home. As the

game reserve has been completely sealed off by the government of

Botswana, families have been split up and people are being prevented

from hunting and gathering by armed police and are dying of

starvation and dehydration. Before coming here I was imprisoned for

trying to take food and water to my family.'


Irene Fernandez from Malaysia fights for the rights of the poorest

and most vulnerable in Malaysian society - migrant workers, farm

workers, domestic workers, prostitutes and AIDS sufferers. She said:

'The thread of globalisation connects peoples all over the world. But

it is the impact of this globalisation that tends to divide and

marginalise various communities. I am very happy to be part of the

Right Livelihood Award Family because it binds us together to

humanise the world.'


Francisco Toledo, one of Mexico's greatest contemporary artists, did

not travel to Stockholm, but was represented by his daughter Natalia

Toledo. She said: 'In our mother tongue, Zapotec, beauty and justice

have the same meaning - we use the word 'Sicarú' to designate them.

This means to search for a way of life based on beauty and justice

for all. This, for us, is the way ahead.'


More information on the recipients can be found at:



A news package with footage from the press conference in Stockholm

and from the First People of the Kalahari in Botswana is expected to

be delivered to broadcasters by AP Television News today.


The Right Livelihood Awards will be presented in the Swedish

Parliament on Friday 9 December at 18:00. A number of seats will be

available for the press. Please call us if you would like to attend.


Founded in 1980, the Right Livelihood Awards are presented annually

in the Swedish Parliament 'to honour and support those offering

practical and exemplary answers to the most urgent challenges facing

us today'.



For further information, please contact:

Ole von Uexkull

Right Livelihood Award Foundation

PO Box 15072, 104 65 Stockholm, Sweden

Phone: +46 8 702 03 37, Fax: +46 8 702 03 38

ole(at)rightlivelihood.org, www.rightlivelihood.org



Günther Manske

Dr. Günther Manske