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Tanzania Law Professor Scoops World’s Environmental Rights Award

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Tanzania’s Dr. Elifuraha Laltaika has won a World’s environmental rights award becoming the first African Scholar to win the award.

He is a senior lecturer of Human Rights Law and Policy at Tumaini University Mukamira in Arusha.

The Svitlana Kravchenko Environmental Rights Award is given to a scholar from anywhere in the world with “exquisite qualities of both head and heart, mixing academic rigour with spirited activism, and speaking truth to power, while exhibiting kindness towards all”.

It is named after a Ukrainian law Professor who became a citizen of America and the entire world, and it aims at recognising distinguished individuals who exemplify the ideals and works of Professor Kravchenko who passed away in 2012.

She enormously impacted the world but left “unfinished work” that needs continuity. Through their work, award recipients insist: “Environmental rights and human rights are indivisible.”

The award winner is selected by the co-directors of Land, Air and Water after nomination by and in consultation with the staff of the Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide (ELAW), and Professor John Bonine, the professional partner and husband to the late Professor Kravchenko.

The University of Oregon Environmental and Natural Resources Programme students award the prize during the annual Public Interest Environmental Law Conference (PIELC) considered the largest environmental gathering in the world.

This year, the conference is in its 40th annual session and it will be held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the conference programme posted in the official website, this year’s awardee is Dr Laltaika. The award goes to a person who “makes broad impacts in the law, while working to support local communities”.

So far there have been only seven recipients since it was issued for the first time in 2012.