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[greenyes] Media Release: Incinerator Opponent Wins Environmental Prize
Dear Colleagues,

Today the world's biggest environmental prize for grassroots
environmentalists is being given to Von Hernandez for the Philippines' ban
on waste incineration. This award is a recognition for everyone who worked
to achieve this major legislative victory, for everyone who is helping
to protect the ban from being repealed, and for everyone fighting to build a
future free of incinerators and toxics.

Below is a media release from the Goldman Environmental Prize about Von and
incineration, which you can distribute (or write your own) to your local,
national, and regional media contacts. If it is helpful, you might note that
Von Hernandez is Co-coordinator of GAIA (Global Alliance for Incinerator
Alternatives). Please also use/refer to the Goldman Prize website:
www.goldmanprize.org for more press information about the prize and all
recipients. For a Word document of this media release suitable for faxing,
please contact Manny Calonzo: manny.gaia@no.address

Thank you, and congratulations to Von and everyone!
--------------


GOLDMAN ENVIRONMENTAL PRIZE, www.goldmanprize.org

(All information in this document is STRICTLY EMBARGOED for release until
APRIL 15, 2003 (Philippines Time))


Filipino?s crusade against waste incineration wins
world?s largest award for Grassroots Environmentalists


An Asian environmental campaigner who helped make history in 1999 when the
Philippines became the first country in the world to ban waste incineration
nationwide has scooped a major international award.

Von Hernandez, 36, who remains at the forefront of a heated battle to
maintain the ban in the face of strong industry pressure, today became the
first Filipino to win the Goldman Environmental Prize.

The Prize is given annually to grassroots environmental heroes from six
geographic areas. Each receives a no-strings-attached award of US $125,000.
As the largest award of its kind, the Goldman Environmental Prize has been
dubbed the ?Nobel Prize for the Environment.?

Hernandez, who lives in Quezon City, is the Asia Toxics Campaigner for
Greenpeace International and the  co-coordinator of the Global
Anti-Incinerator Alliance /Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives
(GAIA). His efforts to fight the serious human health hazards posed by
incinerators have alerted the entire region to the real costs of waste
incineration.

In spite of the Philippines Clean Air Act of 1999, Hernandez acknowledges
the struggle against waste incineration in Asia is far from being won with
incinerators across the region spewing cancer-causing dioxins into the air.
He is particularly concerned that industrialised nations are dumping toxic
waste and moving dirty and deadly technologies like incinerators in
developing Asian countries, bringing with them a host of serious threats to
human health and the environment.

?Our fight against incineration, landfills and polluting technologies is
actually a struggle against the negative and destructive forces of
over-consumption and dirty industrial development,? said Hernandez. ?It is
essentially a struggle to shift the dominant paradigm to one which is truly
respectful of life and the rights of future generations.?

In Thailand, home of last year?s Goldman Environmental Prize winner, Pisit
Charnsnoh, there are several proposals to build Japanese waste incinerators.
Other countries in the region such as Malaysia, Vietnam and China, are also
being inundated with plans to erect incineration plants mostly from Japanese
companies with the promise of soft loan packages from the Japan Bank for
International Cooperation (JBIC).

Japan, a country typified by heavy consumption patterns, has more
incinerators than any other country.  It also holds the dubious distinction
of having the highest levels of dioxin emissions in the world today.

?The developing countries of Asia should avoid repeating the mistakes of
industrialized countries. Incineration is one such mistake which not only
generates toxic pollution but also perpetuates the continuing wastage and
plunder of finite resources.  Incineration has no place in a sustainable
future,? Hernandez said.

Hernandez said the Goldman Prize came at a critical point in the campaign
and described it as a ?very encouraging and pleasant surprise?. ?I feel
gratified and vindicated having spearheaded this campaign and having been
ridiculed constantly for it. The international recognition is an important
validation that we are doing the right thing.?

Hernandez, who is pushing a ?Zero Waste? agenda. is currently in San
Francisco to collect his award and will attend a series of high level
meetings with US Congress, senior World Bank officials and public policy
leaders.  He will not miss the opportunity to ask the World Bank to stop
funding the construction of incinerators in the global South.

?This year?s winners have looked beyond themselves, often risking freedom or
safety, to inspire their communities to fight for environmental protection,?
said Richard N. Goldman, founder of the Goldman Environmental Prize. ?In the
current political climate, it is more important than ever to recognize
people who are working to protect the health of their water, air and
community resources. We are honored to recognize work that exemplifies how
much can be accomplished when ordinary people take extraordinary action to
protect the health of our planet.?


-	Ends -

Notes to editors

1.	High resolution images of Von Hernandez, together with a detailed
backgrounder, can be downloaded from http://www.goldmanprize.org/media/
username: prize
password: 2003

2.	The Goldman Environmental Prize allows individuals to continue winning
environmental victories against the odds and inspire ordinary people to take
extraordinary actions to protect the world. The Goldman Environmental Prize
was created in 1990 by civic leaders and philanthropists Richard N. Goldman
and his late wife, Rhoda H. Goldman. Richard Goldman founded Goldman
Insurance Services in San Francisco. Rhoda Goldman was a descendant of Levi
Strauss, the founder of the worldwide clothing company.

The Goldman Environmental Prize winners are selected by an international
jury from confidential nominations submitted by a worldwide network of
environmental organizations and individuals. Prizewinners participate in a
10-day tour of San Francisco and Washington, D.C., for an awards ceremony
and presentation, news conferences, media briefings, and meetings with
political, public policy, financial and environmental leaders.

Background on the Prize and previous winners is available at
http://www.goldmanprize.org/


CONTACTS:
-For further information on the Goldman Environmental Prize, contact Lucy
Farmer in Australia +61-3-9589 7189 (mobile 0403 869905)
-Von Hernandez is currently in San Francisco to collect his award. He can be
contacted on his mobile - (63) (0) 917-5263050. Please note Philippines time
is 16 hours ahead of San Francisco time.
-For more information on Von Hernandez and the anti waste incineration
campaign, contact Manny Calonzo of GAIA on Tel: (632) 929-0376 or Francis de
la Cruz of Greenpeace Southeast Asia, on (632) 434-7034
-The following media contacts may also be reached in the US by cell phone:
Simon Aronoff (415-596-0696), Mike Smith (415-613-8517), Daniel Silverman
(415-378-400
-For more background on the GAIA campaign visit http://no-burn.org/



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