A Somalian environmentalist has won the 2014 UN Environmental Programme (UNEP) Champions of the Earth award for her fight against illegal charcoal trade, an official said Friday.
UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said that Fatima Jibrell, 67, has joined the ranks of global icons who made history for championing environmental sustainability, Xinhua reported.
“For the last 20 years, Jibrell has mobilised local and international resources to protect Somalia’s pastoral way of life and the fragile environment upon which many livelihoods depend,” Steiner said.
The UNEP’S Champion of the Earth Award is dedicated to individuals who have demonstrated unwavering commitment to environmental conservation.
Jibrell became the first Somalian woman to bag the award since its launch in 2005.
She will be among the eight winners to be honoured by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon at a ceremony in Washington DC later this month.
Jibrell is the founder of the Horn of Africa Relief and Development Organisation (Adeso) which has been championing environmental and social justice in Somalia, South Sudan and Northern Kenya since 1991.
Jibrell has mobilised local communities to restore the Somalia rangelands that were destroyed through harvesting of acacia trees.
Her campaigns led to the ban on charcoal trade.
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