‘Alternative Nobel Prize’ awarded

The Right Livelihood prize, an annual "alternative" to the Nobel prizes, was awarded Tuesday to peace and environmental activists from Sri Lanka, Kenya, Canada and Bangladesh.

The two million Swedish kronor ($310,000) prize will be shared by Christopher Weeramantry of Sri Lanka for “his lifetime of groundbreaking work to strengthen and expand the rule of international law” and Dekha Ibrahim Abdi from Kenya for her “effective peace work and conflict resolution” in many divided countries.

Percy and Louise Schmeiser of Canada were named for giving “the world a wake-up call about the dangers to farmers and biodiversity everywhere from the growing dominance and market aggression of companies engaged in the genetic engineering of crops.”

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 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.