Newsletter April 2010

Land grab in Africa

Ethiopia, often called one of the hungriest countries in the world, sells vast parts of its farming land to foreign companies and governments. The country, where several million people depend on food aid, exports food and biofuel to the Western World and the Middle East.

Ethiopia is only one of about 20 African countries where land is being bought or leased for agriculture. The Observer estimates that an area more than double the size of the UK is already in foreign hands.

Vandana Shiva (RLA 1993) states: "We are seeing dispossession on a massive scale. It means less food is available and local people will have less. There will be more conflict and political instability and cultures will be uprooted."

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Gold miners invade Yanomami territory

Due to the rising gold prices, gold miners are again threatening the Yanomami Indians in Brazil. About a 1000 miners have illegally invaded the area, transmitting diseases and polluting the rivers with mercury, thus contaminating drinking water and fish.

The last invasion during the eighties caused the death of about twenty percent of the Yanomami, Survival International (RLA 1989) reports.

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The 4th revolution - EnergyAutonomy

No nuclear power, no oil – 100% renewable energy is possible! This is the gist of the cinema documentary "The 4th Revolution - EnergyAutonomy" that has hit the theaters in Germany, featuring Hermann Scheer (RLA 1999).

The film is based on Scheer's book Energy Autonomy and outlines how to switch to 100% sun, wind, hydro and geothermal energy within the next 30 years.

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Margot Wallström new UN special representative

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced the appointment of Margot Wallström, former Vice-Chair of the European Commission and Right Livelihood Council member, as his first Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict.

In 2008, a Right Livelihood Award went to Monika Hauser (Germany) and her commitment to support and fight for the rights of victims of sexualized violence.

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The Simón Bolivar Youth Orchestra tours Europe

The Simón Bolivar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela has been established by José Antonio Abreu (RLA 2001) in 1975 to support disadvantaged children. This year the orchestra was in residency at the renowned Lucerne Easter Festival, conducted by Claudio Abbado and Gustavo Dudamel. The latter was trained in José Antonio Abreu’s El Sistema program and became the orchestra's conductor at the age of 18.

The Orchestra will tour Europe this summer, giving concerts in Gothenburg and Stockholm and other cities. So here is a chance to enjoy good classical music!

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New links available

Better World Links gives you about 4000 new links for all our laureates on our homepage! You can find the links under further information on the top right-hand corner of each laureate's profile page. Enjoy browsing them!

This was made possible thanks to the huge effort of Dr. Stute, who founded Better World Links, and a volunteer, Colin.

Better World Links is a thematically structured online resource with over 50.000 handpicked links, covering topics concerning our future, like peace, human rights and sustainability. It uses the same system as Wikipedia, i.e. changes can be made by users with immediate effect and dedicated people or experts can become moderators. Feedback and suggestions are most welcome.