I’m pleased to announce that Marina Rikhvanova, our long time partner, won the Goldman Environmental Prize! Winning the Prize, known as the Nobel Prize for environmentalists, is a huge and well deserved honor for Marina. For years, Marina has worked tirelessly to protect Lake Baikal, the world’s oldest and deepest lake.
“For me, this work is imperative. I can’t not do it. I would be ashamed if something happened to Lake Baikal in my lifetime. I would simply be ashamed. For this reason, I dedicate my life to protecting Lake Baikal.” -Marina Rikhvanova.
Marina won the Prize because of her four-year struggle to protect Lake Baikal from an oil pipeline slated to be built within a half-mile of the lake. Despite Russia’s increasingly repressive political climate, she successfully led a national campaign compelling President Vladimir Putin to reroute the pipeline away from the lake’s watershed. This marked a tremendous success for civil society and the environmental movement in Russia. Now Marina is leading the struggle to prevent a Uranium Enrichment plant from being built near Lake Baikal.
“Marina Rikhvanova is one of the most prominent grassroots environmental activists in Russia. Very few people do what she does. She is able to bring together diverse stakeholders, different parties and organizations, in battles against dangerous resource extraction projects. Marina has demonstrated her courage in organizing meetings to fight the planned Nuclear Enrichment Center.” – Dmitry Lisitsyn, Sakhalin Environment Watch
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For the Pacific Rim,
The Pacific Environment Staff