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Ex-child soldier wins environment prize

Rodrigue KatemboRodrigue Katembo

Rodrigue Katembo

GOLDMAN ENVIRONMENTAL PRIZE

Ranger Rodrigue Katembo has been kidnapped and attacked and has suffered mock executions while protecting the Virunga National Park in the DRC

An ex-child soldier who has spent years risking his life to fight illegal mining and wildlife poaching has been given a prestigious award.

The Goldman prize for park ranger Rodrigue Mugaruka Katembo, from the Democratic Republic of Congo, honours “environmental defenders” worldwide.

It comes as new analysis shows more environmental activists were killed in the last year than ever before.

Mr Katembo is one of several winners of this year’s award.

He has been tortured and imprisoned and has suffered mock executions in his work defending the Virunga National Park. The park is home to one quarter of the world’s critically endangered mountain gorillas.

Mr Katembo told the BBC:

You cannot do this work and think you are going to earn money, because that will not happen. You have to do this because you have the heart and the passion to make a real change.”

The Goldman Environmental Prize honours individuals who go to extreme lengths to protect the environment. Indeed, previous winners of the award were recently murdered.

Source: BBC

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