Activists win 'alternative Nobel' | world | Hindustan Times
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Activists win 'alternative Nobel'

world Updated: Oct 02, 2007 18:23 IST

Activists from Sri Lanka, Kenya, Canada and Bangladesh on Tuesday were named winners of the 2007 Right Livelihood Award, also known as the 'alternative Nobel,' for their efforts to promote peace, biodiversity and renewable energy.

The winners share the USD 310,000 award, founded by a Swedish-German philanthropist to recognise work he felt was being ignored by the prestigious Nobel Prizes.

Non-profit company Grameen Shakti was honoured for its work to promote solar energy among rural households in Bangladesh.

The company was created in 1996 under the Grameen Bank, which was awarded the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize together with its leader Muhammad Yunus for efforts to help the poor through tiny loans called micro-credits.

Sri Lankan legal scholar Christopher Weermantry, a former vice-president of the International Court of Justice, was cited for his efforts to "strengthen and expand the rule of international law," the award citation said.

The prize also honoured Dekha Ibrahim Abdi, a Muslim peace activist from Kenya, for her work to bridge religious and cultural differences, and Canadian farmers Percy and Louise Schmeiser for defending biodiversity and farmers' rights.

The couple has been embroiled in a legal battle with US agribusiness giant Monsanto Co over the use of the company's genetically engineered canola plant.