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Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo

Michael Kavanagh discusses the problems afflicting the DRC

Pulitzer Center. | Pulitzer Center | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home

An interview by Worldfocus with Michael Kavanagh January 7, 2010 Contributor Michael J. Kavanagh reported for Worldfocus last year on the crisis in ...

Congo forest protector shares alternative Nobel

AP | DONNA BRYSON | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home

JOHANNESBURG — Rene Ngongo, honored with the "alternative Nobel" this week, grew up in a Congo where he could marvel at the wealth of animals and trees.

"Those are memories my children won't have," the father of four told The Associated Press, expressing fears that his work to save the forests may have started too late.

Ngongo won the Right Livelihood Award on Tuesday "for his courage in confronting the forces that are destroying the Congo's rainforests and building political support for their conservation and sustainable use."

A New Zealander, an Australian and a Canadian also won for working to rid the world of nuclear weapons, improving women's health in Africa and raising awareness of climate change. The awards were founded by Swedish-German philanthropist Jakob von Uexkull in 1980 to recognize deeds he felt were being ignored by the Nobel Prizes.

Ngongo said by telephone from Kinshasa, Congo, that his award comes at a "great time," as negotiators prepare to meet in Copenhagen in December to draft a global climate pact.