For the first time in history, some of Latin American’s finest visionaries and activists – with a shared commitment towards a better future for all inhabitants of the planet – will come together for a special event in Colombia. They are all winners of the Right Livelihood Award, also known as the “Alternative Nobel Prize”.

The Right Livelihood Award was established in 1980 to honour and support those “offering practical and exemplary answers to the most urgent challenges facing us today”. It is presented annually in Stockholm and has become widely known as the ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’. There are now 149 Laureates from 62 countries.

Latin American laureates include figures such as Manfred Max-Neef (Gaia Associate, from Chile) lauded for creating Barefoot Economics Principles and Theory of Human Scale Development, Chico Whitaker for his work in strengthening democracy in Brazil and the creation of the World Social Forum, and Fernando Rendon, founder of the International Festival of Medellin, Colombia.

Many of our international Associates and Advisors have received this prestigious international award, such as José Lutzenberger (Brazil), Wangari Maathai (Kenya) and Manfred Max-Neef (Chile); also Vandana Shiva (India) “for placing women and ecology at the heart of modern development discourse”, Tewolde Gebre Berhan Egziabher (Ethiopia) “for his exemplary work to safeguard biodiversity and the traditional rights of farmers and communities”, Melaku Worede (Ethiopia) “for preserving Ethiopia’s genetic wealth”.

The Gaia Foundation was proud to be one of the NGOs honoured by the Right Livelihood Award in 1999 for the COAMA Programme, “…for showing how indigenous people can improve their livelihood, sustain their culture and conserve their rainforests”. COAMA (Consolidación Amazónica) presented an innovative approach towards consolidating indigenous territories and other protected areas in the Colombian Amazon. For over two decades COAMA has involved a small network of NGOs and local indigenous organizations in the region, developing territorial rights and local indigenous governance as the basis for tropical forest preservation. This long-term programme has been commended by the World Commission on Forest and Sustainable Development and by the European Commission.

This special event in Bogotá, Colombia, bringing together some of Latin America’s Right Livelihood Award Laureates, is made possible by the Right Livelihood Award, Fundación Gaia Amazonas and the COAMA programme, and supported by the Church of Sweden. It takes place on 4th July, at the Club de Ejecutivos, Bogotá. For more information: or phone +57 1 6291919.