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2009 Wrap-Up: Celebrating Achievements on the Global Front
In our sixteenth year of supporting grassroots environmental groups around the world, Global Greengrants Fund is proud to look back on 2009 as a year of landmark victories and worldwide recognition for the work of our grantees. Last year, we made 646 grants totaling almost $4,000,000 in 84 countries, addressing issues from water to climate justice to indigenous peoples' rights. We're pleased to share with you some of the successes from the past year, and pause to give thanks and congratulations for the hard work of the Greengrants community of donors and activists, who together are growing the grassroots environmental movement worldwide.
Protection of Our Coasts and Forests
From West Africa to the Caribbean, our planet's pristine ecosystems are threatened by large-scale development projects and extractive industry expansion. Last February, the National Coalition on Mining succeeded in pressuring the Ghanaian government to ban mining in protected forest reserves after nearly a decade of activism supported by several small grants from Greengrants. That same month, a Marine Protected Area was established on North Bimini Island, the Bahamas, after Earthcare used a small grant to develop a legal strategy that succeeded in blocking a major hotel development.
Defending Indigenous Lands
Last year saw two momentous victories for indigenous peoples in the Americas, achieving a degree of land security and protection sought after for decades. In March, a Brazilian court ruling gave five tribal Amazonian groups official demarcation of their homelands - the Raposa Serra do Sol reserve. Much farther north, the Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI) indigenous community in northern Ontario reached similar success in December, safeguarding its land from mining exploration interests that had threatened the region for 11 years.
Global Recognition for Groundbreaking Activism
Congratulations to our many grantees and advisors who were acknowledged last year for their contributions to the environmental movement. Among them: Father Marco Arana, Nnimmo Bassey, Marc Ona, Olga Speranskaya, and Zhao Zhong - each recognized as of of Time Magazine's Heroes of the Environment 2009. Once again, Greengrants is proud to have several grantees awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize, including Wanze Eduards and Hugo Jabini, Marc Ono, and Olga Speranskaya. Other award recipients from the Greengrants network include Ka Hsaw Wa, Ma Jun, and Yu Xiaogan for the Ramon Magsaysay Award, and the Titikaveka Growers Association for the 2009 SEED Award. Congratulations all!
Global Greengrants Fund extends a big 'thank you' to all of you - our grantees, advisors, supporters, and friends - for standing up for our planet and its people in 2009. We look forward to working together toward even more successes in 2010!