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To Those Who Love Earth and Humanity

April 19, 1999|CONNIE KOENENN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Seven environmentalists from around the globe will be honored in San Francisco tonight with the 10th annual Goldman Prizes for extraordinary grass-roots achievements. In ceremonies at the War Memorial Opera House, each will receive $125,000 from the Goldman Environmental Foundation:

* From North America: Bernard Martin of Newfoundland, a fisherman who co-founded Fishers Organized for the Revitalization of Communities and Ecosystems, a global network to develop strategies to reverse overfishing of oceans.

* From South America: Jorge Varela of Honduras, who has promoted a model of shrimping that respects fragile resources in the Gulf of Fonseca, where commercial shrimp farms have destroyed estuaries, leading to the loss of common fishing grounds.

* From Africa: Samuel Nguiffo of Cameroon, a lawyer who founded the Center for Environment and Development, which helps forest-dwelling people battle the liquidation, for short-term profit, of the world's second-largest contiguous rain forest.

* From Europe: Michal Kravcik of Slovakia, a hydrologist who galvanized community opposition to an environmentally destructive large-scale dam project and presented an effective water management alternative.

* From Asia: Ka Hsaw Wa of Myanmar whose documentation of widespread abuses, including forced labor and executions, carried out by the military in support of an international pipeline project, has formed the basis of a precedent-setting lawsuit in the U.S. courts.

* From the Island Nations: Jacqui Katona and Yvonne Margarula, Australian aborigines who led a massive national campaign to prevent mining of Jabiluka, a major uranium deposit on land surrounded by a large national park. Mining operations would release long-lasting radioactive tailings into the park.

The winners, who will speak at a press reception Wednesday in Washington, D.C., "have opened our eyes to the obstacles and risks faced by individuals pursuing environmental interests worldwide," said Richard N. Goldman, chairman of Goldman Insurance Services in San Francisco, who with his wife, the late Rhoda Goldman, founded the world's largest environmental prize 10 years ago.

No applications are accepted for the awards, which are chosen by an international network of environmental organizations and a panel of experts.

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