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Wednesday, April 16, 2003

A grandmother, Julia Bonds, from West Virginia has just won a top environment prize for international grass-roots activists in recognition of her work to stop coal-mining companies removing the tops of mountains in order to access seams of coal.

This form of mining devastates streams + forests and results in a mining slurry containing lead, arsenic and mercury which often overflows into watercourses, contaminating drinking water... it has also resulted in the loss of 1000 miles of streams and valleys!

Other prize winners include:

* Odigha Odigha who is trying to protect the Cross Rivers forest in Nigeria.

* Maria Elena Foronda Farro who leads campaigns to clean up Peru’s fishmeal industry.

* Von Hernandez who campaigns against reckless waste incineration in the Philippines.

* Eileen Kampakuta Brown + Eileen Wani Wingfield who are trying to stop a nuclear waste dump being put in their ancestral land, and

* Pedro Arrojo-Agudo who is campaigning against a water diversion scheme in Spain which would involve 120 dams.

Serious damage is clearly being done to Julia's Appalachian Mountains, and elsewhere in the world, so Earth-Info.Net is very glad that all of the prize winners have been brave and determined enough to take on powerful commercial interests and their political representatives - despite exposing themselves to considerable risk + difficulty!