Wednesday, June 20, 2007

An Award for Activism

Congratulations to Ms. Sheila Watt-Cloutier for winning the prestigious Mahbub ul Haq Award for Excellence in Human Development.

According to UNDP, the award is presented every 2-3 years to a leader who has demonstrated outstanding commitment to furthering the understanding and progress of human development in a national, regional or global context.

Ms. Watt-Cloutier fits the bill. As an Inuit activist and political leader, she has fought tirelessly to raise global awareness about climate change on behalf of the Arctic communities of Canada, Alaska, Greenland and Russia, which are suffering from global warming effects. Ms. Watt-Cloutier also helped launch one of the world's first international legal actions on climate change, contending that unchecked gas emissions from the US violated Inuit cultural and environmental rights. Her inspiring leadership has brought global attention to global warming. It is now up to the world's leaders to take action.

Ms. Watt-Cloutier is also nominated for the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.