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Namati Partner, Silas Siakor, Honored with Environmental and Human Rights Activism Award

Silas Kpanan ‘Ayoung Siakor, founder of Liberia’s Sustainable Development Institute, was honored by the Alexander Soros Foundation for his tireless work in protecting Liberia’s natural resources from exploitation and accompanying human rights abuses.  Siakor received the Alexander Soros Foundation’s inaugural Award for Extraordinary Achievement in in Environmental and Human Rights Activism, which draws inspiration from the memory of the recently-slain Cambodian environmental activist, Chut Wutty.

One of three institutional partners of Namati’s Community Land Protection Program, the Sustainable Development Institute works relentlessly to empower local communities to organize and defend their land rights.  Siakor has fought against large companies, such as Sime Darby and Golden Veroleum, in the face of the growing land grab in Liberia.  Earlier this year, Siakor and Program Director, Rachael Knight, published an op-ed in The New York Times exposing questionable land concession practices in the Johnson Sirleaf administration.

This work is particularly difficult in the politically-charged Liberian context, as Siakor explains in an interview with FrontPage Africa, where land concessions and government policies disrupt the livelihoods of many communities.  The award is not only a recognition of SDI’s commitment to protecting the rights of marginalized Liberians, but also a crucial endorsement for its continuity.

To read a press release announcing the Award, please click here.

July 25, 2012 | Namati

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