On Earth Day, Apr. 22, Kenyan activist Phyllis Omido takes the stage in Washington DC to receive the Goldman Environmental Prize for her efforts to defend her community from lead poisoning and force the closure of a lead smelting plant that was emitting fumes and spewing untreated acid wastewater into streams, poisoning the neighbourhood – including her own baby.
The 2015 Goldman Environmental Prize for Central and South America has been awarded to Berta Cáceres, an indigenous Honduran woman who co-founded the Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras, known as COPINH.
The statistics tell the story: in some parts of the world, four times as many women as men die during floods; in some instances women are 14 times more likely to die during natural disasters than men.
Disregarding the rights of indigenous people to their traditional lands is costing companies millions of dollars each year, and costing communities themselves their lives.
Aleta Baun, an Indonesian environmental activist known in her community as Mama Aleta, has a penchant for wearing a colourful scarf on her head, but not for cosmetic reasons.