Dr. Yu Xiaogang, a non-governmental environmental protection advocate in China, was recently awarded the "Goldman Environmental Prize", the world's supreme accolade honoring environmentalists, in San Francisco.
As a leader of "Green Watershed", a non-governmental environmental protection organization in China, Yu is dedicated to the protection of the ecological environment in Yunnan Province and opposes the building of a large dam over Yunnan's Nu River. Yu stated that instead of fighting against the construction of one or two dams, they aim to create a mechanism to boost scientific and democratic decision-making for the drainage area administration.
Thanks to Yu's efforts, the Chinese government finally agreed to compensate the villagers who have lost their homesteads due to the construction of the dams, indicated Richard Goldman, founder of the Goldman Environmental Prize awarding committee.
"We are facing so many environmental problems and therefore, this success is merely the beginning of a 'Long March'. We need the participation of all Chinese people to realize real lasting and sustainable development of China," said Yu during the ceremony when he accepted the prize.
The Goldman Environmental Prize was founded in 1990 by American philanthropists Richard and Rhoda Goldman. As one of the environmental prizes that offer the highest rewards, it gifts US$125,000 to every winner who has long been devoted to the protection of the natural environment. The prize encourages the public to participate in the protection of the endangered ecological system and species and combat destructive development projects.
(Chinanews.cn April 28, 2006)