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More often than not, images of environmental devastation in Africa are accompanied by images of Western activists arguing that the developed world needs to act in order to save the developing world from the effects of its industrialisation. The current climate change debate is a prime example. The discussion has continually been framed in terms of what’s being done to and for Africa rather than what Africa and Africans are doing for themselves and, in December, world leaders will gather in Copenhagen to try to thrash out a plan to address the problem. But Africa has a long tradition of producing activists – against racism, sexism and political corruption – and there are many advocates for the environment who rarely get the same kind of attention as others but face similar dangers. The campaigners featured here – some well known, others not so – have all dedicated their lives to the cause of preserving and protecting the world’s natural resources. Some do so at great personal risk, having faced death threats and intimidation. But in spite of this, their passion and commitment to the cause remains unbowed. Sylvia Arthur highlights their individual successes and salutes their collective courage. (Continue Reading…)

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