Friday, September 30, 2005



The idea of 'right livelihood' is an ancient one. It embodies the principle that each person should follow an honest occupation which fully respects other people and the natural world. It means being responsible for the consequences of our actions and taking only a fair share of the earth's resources. This is a very fundamental teaching of the Buddha and encompasses one of the eight fold paths we are discovering.

In every generation, there are groups of people and individuals around the globe who valiantly uphold these principles of right livelihood. They should be the stars in our human cosmos, but their work often entails personal sacrifice, being opposed by powerful forces around them. They are however, the true heroes of our planet!

The Right Livelihood Award was established in 1980 to honour and support such people. It has become widely known as the 'Alternative Nobel Prize' and there are now over 100 laureates from 48 countries.

This Award exists to strengthen the positive social forces that its recipients represent and to provide the support and inspiration needed to make them a model for the future. It has been said that if the Nobel Prizes reflected world concerns of the 20th century, the Right Livelihood Award should reflect those of the 21st.

2005 Right Livelihood Awards

The 2005 Right Livelihood Awards honour pioneers for justice, fair trade and cultural renewal

The 2005 Honorary Right Livelihood Award goes to one of Mexico's greatest living artists and community philanthropists, Franscisco Toledo.

The SEK 2 million Award is shared by Maude Barlow and Tony Clarke from Canada, Irene Fernandez from Malaysia, and the organisation First People of the Kalahari, and its founder Roy Sesana, from Botswana.

The Jury's citations in respect of the 2005 Right Livelihood Awards are as follows:

Francisco Toledo (Mexico) - "... for devoting himself and his art to the protection, enhancement and renewal of the architectural and cultural heritage, natural environment and community life of his native Oaxaca."

Maude Barlow and Tony Clarke (Canada) - "... for their exemplary and longstanding worldwide work for trade justice and the recognition of the fundamental human right to water."

Irene Fernandez (Malaysia) - "... for her outstanding and courageous work to stop violence against women and abuses of migrant and poor workers."

The organization First People of the Kalahari, and its founder Roy Sesana (Botswana) - "... for resolute resistance against eviction from their ancestral lands, and for upholding the right to their traditional way of life."

Founded in 1980 the Right Livelihood awards are presented annually in the Swedish Parliament and are often referred to as “Alternative Nobel Prizes”.

They were introduced “to honour and support those offering practical and exemplary answers to the most urgent challenges facing us today”.

Jakob von Uexkull, a Swedish-German philatelic expert, sold his valuable postage stamps to provide the original endowment. Alfred Nobel wanted to honour those whose work “brought the greatest benefit to humanity”. Von Uexkull felt that the Nobel prizes today ignore much work and knowledge vital for our world and future.

A press conference with the recipients will be held in Stockholm on Wednesday, December 7th. The award presentation ceremony in the Swedish Parliament will be held on December 9th.

There were 77 candidates from 39 countries on the confidential list of nominations this year: 4 from Africa, 4 from the Arab world, 20 from Asia, 1 from Australia, 26 from Europe, 12 from Latin America and 10 from North America.


Buddha says; "Better than a hundred years lived in idleness and in weakness is a single day of life lived with courage and powerful striving".


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