Ecuador is the first South American country to reject the Dakar Rally race, raising questions about its environmental and archaeological impact. Government officials came to the conclusion after examining the environmental effects the 2013 edition of the race had on Peru, Chile and Argentina.
The decision is an important victory for Raúl Montenegro (RLA 2004, president of FUNAM, Argentina), who has been working with Luis Mariano Rendon from Chile and Klaus Hönninger from Peru to ban the race from the Latin American continent, highlighting the environmental and cultural damages caused by the race.
Last month, Montenegro launched a petition asking the Peruvian government to protect the life of Klaus Hönninger. Mr Hönniger was facing continuous death threats since he scientifically proved the damage done by the Dakar Rally in paleontological sites of the Ocucaje Desert, and communicated these findings to the media. The petition was signed by more than 50 RLA Laureates.
The Right Livelihood Award Foundation mourns the death of Indian scholar and reformist Mr. Asghar Ali Engineer. He passed away after prolonged illness on Tuesday, May 14th, at the age of 73.
In 2004, Asghar Ali Engineer accepted the Right Livelihood Award jointly with Swami Agnivesh. Swami Agnivesh today told the Right Livelihood Award Foundation: “He was my great friend, and we will all miss him. He was a great social and religious reformer. We have many religious preachers, but religious reformers are few and far between. Despite several attacks, he persisted with his work, and always spoke truth to power."
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), the Americas’ leading human rights body, has received an urgent petition from Survival International (RLA 1989) and Brazilian indigenous rights organization CIMI (of which Erwin Kräutler, RLA 2010, is the president) to save Earth’s most threatened tribe from illegal invaders on their land.
"Brazil’s government must show that it really can protect its most vulnerable citizens, the Awá, from the crooks who are destroying the rainforest. If South America’s largest nation, one of the world’s fastest growing economies, hasn’t the strength to do this, then all minorities there should be worried. The Awá are threatened with extinction, the time for action is now." (Survival International’s Director Stephen Corry)
On May 11, 2013, Robert Jungk (RLA 1986) would have been 100 years old. In honour of this anniversary, the Robert Jungk International Futures Library in Salzburg is organising several events throughout the year, such as exhibitions, a lecture series, and the publication of 2 new books.
The goal is to commemorate and reintroduce his ideas about the future, peace and anti-nuclear activity.
To address the public health emergency of iron deficiency anaemia, India’s Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) signed an MoU with Queensland University of Technology to increase the iron content in bananas through genetic engineering.
Navdanya claims this is a false solution, as GMO bananas will have "3000% less iron compared to turmeric, niger, or lotus stem, and 2000% less than mango powder." In a letter to India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Navdanya questioned the spending of taxpayer's money on something that has such less iron content instead of the other safe and biodiverse alternatives available.
With the campaign, Navdanya also wants to promote "indigenous biodiversity and knowledge as the real solution to hunger and malnutrition."