Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Salvadoran wins international environmental activism prize

Francisco Pineda, a leader in the anti-mining movement in Cabañas, was named yesterday one of the 2011 recipients of the Goldman Environmental Prize. The Goldman Prize annually honors grassroots environmental heroes from six continents. The Prize "recognizes individuals for sustained and significant efforts to protect and enhance the natural environment, often at great personal risk." Each winner receives a cash award of $150,000

Francisco Pineda is a farmer with a degree in sustainable agriculture and is the founder and president of the Environmental Committee of Cabañas, a community volunteer association. In the process of organizing his community against a waste dump that would have polluted local water supplies, he taught himself about water ecology and became an environmental leader in his region.

Since 2004, Pineda's environmental organizing has included opposition to the gold mining planned by Pacific Rim. Pineda and his colleagues have been educating the people of Cabañas by going door-to-door and organizing community meetings. Since 2004, the movement has grown to include 26 communities and more than 450 members. Pineda helped establish the National Anti-Mining Board and with his coalition organized a series of local and national demonstrations to bring more attention to the issue.

Being a community organizer opposed to a major economic project like a gold mine is deadly business. In 2009, assassins killed other members of the environmental movement in Cabañas. Pineda, however, continues his activism on behalf of the environment in Cabañas and other areas of El Salvador.

This video highlights the work of Pineda.

1 comment:

Senor Pescado said...

congratulations Sr. Pineda, well deserved,