René Ngongo, of Greenpeace DRC, has been named on 13/10 a recipient of the 2009 Right Livelihood award. René Ngongo has been working closely with Greenpeace to save the Congo Basin Forests (the second largest tropical forest after the Amazon) since 2004, first in his capacity as head of OCEAN and now as Political Advisor for Greenpeace Africa.
As part of his work to protect the Congo Basin Forest from industrial loggers, René actively developed grassroots solutions and local contacts in remote villages. This infrastructure soon became the basis for educational activities on deforestation/reforestation and general environmental awareness building. Between 1994 and 2002, René developed tools to fight “slash and burn” agriculture. Among these tools were demonstration fields in Kisangani that showed local people possible alternative agricultural techniques. These allowed to diminish the pressure on the forests and provide better income alternatives to local farmers.
René coordinated the creation of a seedling plantation (20,000 seedlings) of the most exploited tree species in the Eastern province. This plantation provided trees for several 'green city' events. During these 'green city' (Ville Verte) events, trees were planted in abandoned parks, along avenues and in schools.
Greenpeace Africa press release 13/10. Greenpeace staff member wins alternative Nobel Prize