The Right Livelihood Award Foundation this morning (September 30, 2010) at a press conference held at the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Press Room, Stockholm, announced the Executive Director of the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN), Nnimmo Bassey among four winners of the Right Livelihood Award, also known as the 'Alternative Nobel Prize'.

Established in 1980, the Right Livelihood Award honours and supports individuals offering practical and exemplary solutions to the most urgent challenges facing the world. The award is widely recognized as the world's premier award for personal courage and social transformation and enables recipients to reach out to an international audience that otherwise might not have heard of them. It is presented annually in Stockholm at a ceremony in the Swedish Parliament.

This year, Nnimmo Bassey was listed among 69 candidates, mostly from developing nations that were nominated out of a record 120 nominees from 51 countries. Past recipients include Ken Saro-Wiwa (1994) and Monika Hauser who got the award in 2008 for her work with women who have experienced sexualised violence.

Unlike the Nobel Prizes (for Physics, Physiology/Medicine, Chemistry, Literature, and Peace), the Right Livelihood Award has no categories. It recognises that, in striving to meet the human challenges of today's world, the most inspiring and remarkable work often defies any standard classification. For example, people who start out with an environmental goal frequently find themselves drawn into issues of health, human rights and/or social justice. Their work becomes a holistic response to community needs, so that sectoral categories lose their meaning.

Bassey who is also the Chair of Friends of the Earth International, is recipient of several international awards including Time Hero of the Environment in 2009. In November he will be honoured by the Benin Monarch, Oba Erediauwa for his contribution to environmental sustainability in Nigeria, particularly the Niger Delta where resource conflicts are rife.

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