14. September 2003, 21:34

Horn of Africa Relief and Development Organization

The African winner this year is Fatima Jibrell, a Somali woman who founded the Horn of Africa Relief and Development Organization to focus attention on the environmental damage being caused by her country's political turmoil. Jibrell, who was born to a nomadic family but received a graduate degree in the United States, began training local young people to save old growth acacia trees which were being chopped down to make charcoal for export. She has also worked to cut local charcoal consumption by introducing solar cookers, while teaching community groups to prevent soil erosion by building small rock dams. "When you lose a government, you are nonexistent to the world," Jibrell said in an interview. "Anything can happen and people look away, and the predators come out. By the time you find all the little pieces of the environment have been eaten up, you cannot bring them back for a million years."
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    foto: goldman prize
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