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Marc Ona Essangui: 2009 Goldman Prize winner, Gabon

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Published on Apr 15, 2009

In Gabon, a country without a culture of civic engagement, Marc Ona led efforts to publicly expose the unlawful agreements behind a huge mining project threatening the sensitive ecosystems of Gabons equatorial rainforests. Onas efforts led to an unprecedented victory for civil society in Gabon, with the government adopting new environmental oversight regulations and significantly reducing the size of the mining concession.

The Goldman Environmental Prize is the world's largest award for grassroots
environmentalists. Awarded annually since 1990, the Prize is given to environmental heroes from the six continental regions of Africa, Asia, Islands & Island Nations, Europe,
North America and South & Central America.

The Prize is announced in April every year, to coincide with the international
celebration of Earth Day. It includes a trip to San Francisco to accept the cash award of $150,000 per winner. Recipients receive a bronze sculpture that interprets the crosscultural motif of a snake with its tail in its mouth. Known as the ouroboros, this symbol is associated with nature's powers of renewal.

The purpose of the Prize is to recognize sustained and significant efforts to preserve the natural environment, including, but not limited to, protecting endangered ecosystems and species combating destructive development projects; promoting sustainability; influencing environmental policies;and striving for environmental justice.

Learn more at http://www.goldmanprize.org

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